Senator Hoeven Holding Phony Town Halls
At the beginning of the month I put out a call for Senator John Hoeven to hold open-mic town halls with his constituents in the same manner his colleague Rep. Rick Berg has.
So I was elated to read a headline indicating that Senator Hoeven had held a town hall. Except, when I actually read the article, it became clear that it was really no town hall at all.
U.S. Senator John Hoeven says excessive government regulations are hurting the national economy.
Those regulations are the target of the pro-growth legislation he is pushing in Washington.
He’s holding several town hall meetings in North Dakota to talk about those issues. On Tuesday, he was in Grand Forks.
Hoeven greeted about 20 business leaders who wanted to share their concerns about the national economy.
In other words it was a town hall…for those 20 “business leaders.” Not the public in general. In times past Senator Hoeven has called this sort of meeting a “business round table.” Now suddenly it’s a “town hall,” which makes me wonder if the shift in nomenclature isn’t about defusing criticism over his unwillingness to give the public an open forum with him.
According to the Dickinson Press the Senator has another “town hall” scheduled for today…in the middle of the afternoon at a private business where the focus will be a “manufacturing competitiveness update.”
The article does say that Hoeven will “open the floor for discussion with constituents,” but given the timing of the event there aren’t likely to be a lot of constituents on hand (most of them have jobs) and given the way the even is described one wonders if you have to talk to him about manufacturing issues or if you could ask a question about, say, the national debt or health care.
Regardless, Senator Hoeven clearly isn’t achieving the level of openness with his constituents that we should be demanding. Rep. Berg set the standard quite high, and good on him for it, but Senator Hoeven so far isn’t living up to it.Tags: John Hoeven, North Dakota News, Rick Berg, town halls