On the other hand — think back to the tea party in the summer of 2009 — they worry that the sessions could get out of control.
And this summer, with divisive issues — immigration and health care in particular — roiling voters, public events have the potential to produce embarrassing exchanges, or just turn into circuses.
Trying to keep their plans under the radar, many lawmakers were quietly announcing their district events, direct-mailing constituents, and keeping the dates and times off their Web sites, where they could easily be shared among the activist set.
As our colleague Matea Gold
points out, folks from both sides of the political spectrum are compiling the schedules of members of Congress, essentially crowdsourcing their way to knowing where the lawmakers will be showing their faces.
FreedomWorks has set up an online “Demand a Townhall” portal for people to share local events at which they plan to apply none-too-gentle pressure on lawmakers to make sure they’re doing “everything they can to defund ObamaCare.”
“You can go on recess, but you can’t hide,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe warned in a statement.
Meanwhile, the progressive group Americans United for Change has something similar planned. The group launched a Web site this week that will let the activist community know where Republican members of Congress will be at any given time.
The plan is to effectively turn them into an army of “trackers,” by urging them to pose questions (there’s a list of suggested tough queries on the Web site for issues including guns, jobs and immigration), film their interactions, and share them.
Well, at least when members of Congress are asked in September what they did on their summer vacations, they’ll have plenty of photos and videos to show.
Not a media type
Sen. Rand Paul dislikes: big government, drones and New Jersey Gov.
He likes: filibustering, the occasional Bluegrass State bourbon . . . and our colleague David A. Fahrenthold’s recent story about a magician whose rabbit (the one he pulls out of a hat during his act) got caught up in onerous USDA regulations.
Paul apparently is such a big fan of the story that he’s shared it with colleagues and staffers and posted it on Facebook and Twitter — and the article even appeared under Paul’s own byline in two of his home-state papers.
Seems the local papers ran the story under Paul’s byline as a result of a mix-up. Steve Doyle, the editor of the Sentinel-News in Shelbyville, Ky., explained to the Loop that the piece was included as part of a regular e-mail from the senator’s office. Typical of the updates many lawmakers send media outlets back home, the
e-mail includes clips mentioning Paul, statements issued from his office, opinion articles he’s penned and the like.