GOP Congressmen Put Constituents Who Asked Tough Questions On A “Watch List”
By Marie Diamond on Aug 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm
In recent weeks GOP congressmen have resorted to all sorts of underhanded schemes to avoid interacting with their angry constituents back home over August recess. Now two Republican freshmen, Reps. Daniel Webster (R-FL) and Tim Griffin (R-AZ), are taking this trend one step further, using disturbing intimidation tactics and “watch lists" to discourage constituents from asking them questions.
In April, ThinkProgress reported from Webster’s home district about a town hall where he faced a barrage of criticism for defending his support for tax breaks for the rich and the Medicare-ending Paul Ryan budget. One of the constituents ThinkProgress interviewed, Tamecka Pierce, ended up as #5 on the “Watch List.”
So disagree with them and get your face and info distributed? This is disgusting and a little bit terrifying. Further, who cares if there are paid activists in attendance? Does that mean they don’t have the First Amendment right to ask a question at a public venue? The amount of effort put into the flyer, with the photos and research, is ridiculous. I would like to know if the staffers were paid with federal money to run opposition research on activists. <sarcasm> This isn’t COINTELPRO v. 2.0 - leave that to the FBI </sarcasm>.
This serves to do nothing more than have a chilling effect on freedom of speech and on holding elected officials responsible to their constituents. Shame on any media outlet that enables this charade.