Dear Mo Brooks: we in AL-05 smell chicken. Many AL-05 residents were excited by the opportunity to see Congressman Mo Brooks in his native habitat: a Tea Party meeting held in a Baptist Church. But alas, it was not to be. Rep. Brooks & the Huntsville, AL Tea Party group abruptly canceled Thursday’s event – after the Eventbrite ticket sign-up for free tickets sold out.
Brooks’ office explained that it was never a “public town hall,” but a “private” address to the Huntsville Tea Party.
Apparently, someone forgot to tell the TEA Party, because their Facebook page advertised the event as a “town hall” that was “free and public welcome.”
The announcement disappeared from the group’s Facebook page late yesterday morning and the group’s Web site several hours later. Many people, however, had already printed their tickets.
This appears to be a trend. NY-01 Republican Congressman also canceled a town hall event yesterday. Perhaps disappointed constituents across the country should turn these tickets into collectibles.
Pity the poor Huntsville Tea Party; they did a great job of publicizing the event – which still shows in Google’s search results this morning.
The explanation that this was just a speech to the Tea Party group falls apart when you consider how the group publicized it.
Whitesburg Baptist Church’s Pulaski Pike campus can accommodate large groups. And, based on the group’s event calendar, the religious institution appears to double as the Huntsville Tea Party Clubhouse. And why go to the trouble of making tickets available to the public via Eventbrite if it was a “private talk,” instead of a big event that required tickets?
UPDATE: The Huntsville Tea Party group told WAAY-TV that they canceled because Trump’s cabinet wasn’t in place yet. Which doesn’t fit with what Brooks’ office said about the cancellation.
AND, if that was the reason they canceled the event, you have to wonder about their political savvy – not to mention their manners. It’s obvious to any political observer that Trump’s cabinet won’t be in fully in place for a while yet. They should have seen that coming long before yesterday. Why not notify everyone who had signed up and apologize for the confusion? They have the emails via EventBrite.
CHICKEN TIMES TWO
Perhaps Rep. Brooks has been talking to his fellow Republicans about their town hall meetings:
And at an event in Pinellas County, Fla., Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R) faced an unruly town hall crowd as critics took the microphone to lecture him on the importance of saving the Affordable Care Act.
“I appreciate you sharing your story,” Bilirakis said after one man told the lawmaker that he would go bankrupt if Republicans repealed the law.
“Grow a spine!” shouted an angry protester.
News outlets are brimming with stories about the unrest. Liberal activists are filming the encounters and uploading damaging visuals of Republicans fleeing the ruckus on social media.
Voters have long understood that Mo Brooks prefers small, friendly audiences filled with supporters over large gatherings where he has less control of the topics and discussion.
It’s one reason he prefers the “telephone town hall” to the live, in-person events.
- There are a very limited number of questions allowed.
- They’re screened by a staffer, and most of them are of the “Why do Democrats hate America?” and “What are you going to do to keep Happy Meals away from illegal immigrants?“variety.
The next telephone town hall, his office says, is scheduled for February 16. That’s not good enough.
Local citizens are mounting an effort to encourage Rep. Brooks to actually meet his constituents in settings where they don’t have to pay $35 a plate.
Here’s what to ask for when you contact his office:
- Rep. Brooks should schedule public, free, town hall events in every county in his district.
- Schedule them at accessible times – evenings/weekends – not 2pm on a weekday.
- Hold them ASAP. If he has time to chit chat with the local Tea Party and Chamber, he can meet the average voters too.
- Here’s the office “Request an Appearance” form. What do you bet the Chamber doesn’t have to fill it out to get a booking?
Here’s how to contact his offices:
2400 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4801
Fax: (202) 225-4392
Decatur district office
302 Lee Street Room 86
Decatur, AL 35601
Phone: (256) 355-9400
Fax: (256) 355-9406
Huntsville district office
2101 W. Clinton Avenue Suite 302
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone: (256) 551-0190
Fax: (256) 551-0194
Shoals area district office
102 South Court Street Suite 310
Florence, AL 35630
Phone: (256) 718-5155
Fax: (256) 718-5156
It’s time for Rep. Brooks to get out of his comfortable DC, Freedom Caucus bubble and meet with the people whose lives and livelihoods will be impacted by the GOP agenda. It may be uncomfortable for him, but too damn bad. We deserve answers from our Congressman.
If you can’t take the heat, maybe it’s time to get out of the House.