Friday, September 09, 2011

Paul Ryan Can't Hide from Angry Constituents

Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been having a tough time with his constituents. Back in April the home town folks were expressing their displeasure with his plan to cut Medicare.

During the August recess, he dodged constituents by only speaking in venues where people had to pay to get in. From Mother Jones:

Over the past week, hundreds of people, a mix of constituents and other angry Wisconsinites, have marched outside Ryan's Kenosha and Racine offices, angry over what they see as Ryan's inaccessibility and refusal to face his constituents in a free, public, in-person town hall. For four days, they also held sit-ins inside Ryan's Kenosha office—until police kicked them out. The only in-person event on Ryan's recess calendar is an appearance at a Rotary hall outside his district with a $15 entrance fee; by contrast, Ryan held more than a dozen town halls in 2009. "This is a jobs crisis in his congressional district, an emergency," says Scott Page, 37, an unemployed Kenosha resident. "Yet he's not even listening to his own constituents."

As our own Joel Payne pointed out, democracy is not pay per view.

Ryans's constituents are increasingly annoyed at being deliberately ignored by their Congressman. From the Group Wisconsin Jobs Now!:

Unemployed constituents, spurned by Paul Ryan on multiple occasions, were galvanized into action the Tuesday following Labor Day. After being unable to convince their representative to schedule a FREE public meeting following a week long sit-in, the members of his district converged on a one time only pay-per-view event far away from the majority of his constituents.

Here's the video the group made of their visit to confront Congressman Ryan:

It doesn't cast Ryan in a very good light. As the police force an elderly man to the ground to put handcuffs on him, Ryan "jokes" that he hopes the man has taken his blood pressure medication. That's ugly. It's a perfect illustration of the kind of "concern" Ryan has for the working people in his district, and around the country.

Wisconsin Jobs Now! is a coalition of community groups, neighborhood associations, faith based organizations and organized labor, all working together to bring good jobs to the state. Bravo to them for not letting Paul Ryan hide behind pay-per-view events, and for showing all of us what kind of a Congressman (and person) Paul Ryan is.

We'll all be entering voting booths on November 6, 2012 - and we won't forget.

cross-posted at MainSt/

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