Smile Politely

Rodney Davis won’t do a town hall meeting because he doesn’t do “grandstanding events”

We’ve been trying to get in touch with our U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis for quite a while now, and while we haven’t been granted any access, The News-Gazette has been. Rodney stopped by the WDWS Morning Show this morning and was pressed (not hard enough for my liking) on quite a lot of issues.

Most notably, this exchange happened when Elizabeth Hess pressed Rep. Davis on why he won’t schedule a town hall meeting in Illinois’ 13th District:

EH: You could actually just make your supporters and antagonists a lot happier if you could just schedule a town hall meeting. Is there one in the works? Could you just commit to one right now on the radio?

RD: I don’t like grandstanding events – I’ve never done those. You know, we continue to meet to people on a regular basis, but I can’t be in two places at one time when I’m out here in Washington and I’m asked to do something on someone else’s schedule back home. Elizabeth, you know that.

EH: I know, but you do have some free time back in your district. That’s just what people want to know. Can you commit to one (a town hall meeting) down the road?

RD: Elizabeth, I don’t do grandstanding events, and I never will do grandstanding events. These are things that elected officials from both parties decide what they’re doing. I do plenty of tele-town halls and give an opportunity for even more people, that don’t want to listen to the screaming and shouting from people who obviously don’t want me to win, or even be in this job.

So, this is the opportunity for many of them to get a chance to have their concerns addressed. We’ve consistently done what we call “open office hours” where we meet with groups who agree and groups who disagree, and also meet with constiuents who also really have problems with the federal bureaucracy. Those are the types of things that I’ve said I’m going to continue to do in my job, and put the politics and the screaming from people who don’t want me in my job, off to the side.

So, Rod-man doesn’t do any town hall meetings because he doesn’t want to grandstand. But in order to grandstand, don’t you have to be overwhelmingly liked by people? I can say with almost complete certainty that Rep. Davis would not have the opportunity to grandstand because he’d constantly be defending his alignment with this preposterous GOP administration.

If he’s referring to the “grandstanding” of his opponents, that’s problematic, as well. That’s just brushing them off as opposed to not addressing or realizing their concerns, which is the opposite of what an elected official should do.

These verbal gymnastics are distracting from the point – which is that Rod has a duty to meet with all of his constituents when they show concern. Times are uncertain, and Rod owes it to us to explain and justify why he’s said what he has said lately.

The full interview can be found here.

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