Progressive Activists to Challenge GOP Lawmakers at Town Halls

Thursday, 01 Aug 2013 03:24 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Progressive activists plan to turn up the heat on Republican lawmakers at their town hall meetings during the August recess with questions for them on issues such as Obamacare and immigration reform.

Americans United for Change will send representatives to Republican town halls mainly in swing states, but also in red states as the group tries to go after Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, The Huffington Post reports.

"This is a new approach," said Brad Woodhouse, president of the progressive group. "The theory in the past has been to be stealth about the effort to confront members at town halls — but sometimes it's been too stealth, and we haven't generated enough activity."

"Since everyone knows that both sides are doing this, we're going to be public-facing about it," Woodhouse said.

The group launched Accountable Congress on Wednesday, giving those who want to participate information and tools about when and where GOP senators and House members will be speaking while on recess, complete with talking points on a variety of issues from immigration to gun violence.

Woodhouse says he hopes activists will engage with the lawmakers, ask tough questions, and report the results, so that Americans United can share the outcomes. They also plan to have daily conference calls to coordinate strategies with activists.

"We're also not just focusing exclusively on swings 1 whether in the issue or electoral sense," he said. "We'll try to have a presence at any GOP member event."

While House Republicans have put together their own playbook with information for lawmakers on meeting with constituents, promoting the Republican agenda in the House, and getting media attention.

The Huffington Post notes that conservative and tea party groups such as Americans for Prosperity, will be represented at town hall meetings, as well.


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