Congressman Ben Quayle took a beating from constituents during a town hall meeting in Anthem back in May. Now, the congressman is catching even more heat, this time for not having town hall meetings at all -- that constituents don't have to pay to attend, anyway.
Congress is in recess for the summer, which is traditionally time designated for lawmakers to leave Washington D.C. and listen to their constituents gripe.
You can still complain to Congressman Quayle, but it will cost you.
Quayle, next week, will host an "Eggs and Issues" breakfast in Scottsdale where constituents can discuss Congressional issues with the young congressman. The price tag: 50 bucks a head.
"When Quayle voted for [Congressman Paul] Ryan's plan to dismantle Medicare, he got an earful from his constituents back in May," Luis Heredia, Arizona Democratic Party executive director, says. "So now that he's decided to walk away from town halls, it's no shock that he wants a friendlier audience -- preferably one that will shell out campaign contributions."
Quayle is one of several members of Congress who've bailed on open town hall meetings -- Politico ran a story yesterday about Congressman Paul Ryan's decision to only host "pay-per-view" events for constituents to discuss Congressional issues.
Quayle also is scheduled to attend an August 23, luncheon hosted by the Arizona Republican Lawyers Association. The price tag (as determined by the ARLA): $35.
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By outsourcing the events to third parties that charge an entry fee to raise money, members of Congress can eliminate most of the riffraff while still -- in some cases -- allowing reporters and TV cameras for a positive local news story.
"Maybe he thinks if only those who can afford to pay will show up, he won't get asked why he voted to support the Tea Party agenda rather than our nation's economy," Heredia continues.
Quayle spokesman Richard Cullen declined to speak on the record about the congressman's decision to bail on town hall meetings.