By Jeri Clausing / San Diego U-T / Sept 3, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Too much yelling, not enough listening.
Facing organized, often raucous confrontations at political events, some members of Congress this summer abandoned the long-time tradition of open meetings with the folks back home.
It was goodbye to one of the few remaining opportunities for voters and lawmakers to talk face to face.
Some cited security in the aftermath of the shooting that severely wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at a meet-and-greet event in January. Others blamed grass-roots groups for commandeering the town halls. Still others opted for smaller, sometimes private or paid events.
Whatever the explanation, the dearth of meetings sparked criticism that lawmakers were dodging their constituents when Congress is held in such low regard. A recent Associated Press-GFK poll showed 87 percent of Americans disapprove of lawmakers’ job performance.
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