Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The truth is out as to why Minnesota 7th district representative Collin Peterson won't conduct town halls with his constituents:
“Twenty-five percent of my people believe the Pentagon and Rumsfeld were responsible for taking the twin towers down,” said Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who represents a conservative Republican district in Minnesota. “That’s why I don’t do town meetings.”
So apparently Representative Peterson believes that about 1 out of 4 of his constituents believe the 9/11 was an inside job. I would be interested in seeing what poll he got this information from, but that isn't the most striking part of this quote. What really is astounding is that he refuses to conduct town halls because he believes 1 in 4 of his constituents are "conspiracy" believers.
Personally, I don't understand his reasoning. If this fact was true, would his constituents ask questions about it? Yes. Would he need to give a lengthy rebuttal to their claims? No. What about the other 75%? Plus, why should he not have town halls because he disagrees with constituents about a certain theory? I believe representatives should be ready to serve their people. It's mighty hard to represent people you refuse to have town hall meetings with where constituents can openly voice their opinions. He knows people will show up to the town halls who otherwise would not interact with him (via telephone, mail, etc.). This is just a cop out for someone who doesn't want to have to directly answer to constituents.
He is a very conservative "blue dog" Democrat who voted against cap and trade and the stimulus bill. I applaud him for those votes, but the point I am trying to make is that representatives should be in constant communication with constituents, regardless of their views. Town halls are the least he could do.