As people flood town halls during the Congressional recess to register their outrage over President Donald Trump’s right-wing agenda, many members of Congress are apparently attempting to duck the public outcry by refusing to hold any town halls at all.
And so constituents are taking matters into their own hands, and publicizing representatives’ refusal to meet with them by holding “mock” town halls with cardboard cut-outs of their missing representatives.
Indivisible Idaho, for example, wrote on Twitter that the group “didn’t have our MoC [member of Congress] so we brought our own”:
Another such town hall targeted Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) in Austin, Texas, on Sunday. “[T]he Republican congressman was invited, and, if he had showed up, it would have been a real [t]own [h]all,” observed local political pundit Jonathan Tilove in the Austin American-Statesman. “But he didn’t and it was thus a mock town hall in which he was represented by a handsome cardboard cutout of his likeness.”
The mock town halls are taken seriously and conducted as if they were real ones, with constituents lining up at a microphone to address questions and concerns to the cardboard representatives:
Alternative town halls are scheduled for Tuesday as well, and some are expected to be contentious. Indivisible Tennessee, for example, is planning an “Alternative Rally for Marsha Blackburn,” to be held outside of Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s (R-Tenn.) town hall—an event limited to only 100 people—in Fairview, Tenn.
An organizer told a local television station, “I have set this up to give anyone and everyone a chance to have their voice heard. We have a cardboard cutout of Marsha that we’re calling the alternative Marsha Blackburn so they’ll be directing their questions to that picture.”
Similar mock town halls are happening throughout Texas, whose Republican members of Congress appear particularly unwilling to face their constituents, as well as across the country for the rest of the week.
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