Critics look to make presence known at Isakson town hall

Protesters hold their signs and rally against the Trump administration during Open Office Day event at Greene County Government Office in Greensboro on Friday, February 10, 2017. Hundreds of protesters flocked to a “constituent service day” for U.S. Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Rep. Jody Hice in this east Georgia town, cheering as one speaker after another railed against the three Republicans and the Trump administration. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

If Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was hoping to be greeted by a low-key crowd next week at his first in-person town hall of the year, that may be wishful thinking.

A local chapter of the progressive group Indivisible indicated it’s planning to make its presence known when the Republican takes the stage at Kennesaw State University on Monday evening.

“THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR!!!” read the description of the Facebook event inviting members of Indivisible Sea Change, the 6th Congressional District chapter of the Trump resistance group, to the town hall.

It’s not clear what the group’s exact plans are for the event — the page’s organizer did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. But the national group’s guide to public town hall events advises its members to stick to a prepared list of “sharp,” “fact-based questions” and not give up microphones until they’re satisfied with the answers from the lawmaker at hand.

If the event is anything like U.S. Rep. Doug Collins’ town hall in Gainesville last night, things could get hairy. Here’s a scene from the Republican’s Q&A session:

Left-leaning groups have been pressuring members of Georgia’s congressional delegation to hold in-person town hall events since Donald Trump was inaugurated. Many GOP lawmakers have instead shied away from the spotlight, especially after a constituent service day with congressional staffers turned rowdy back in February.

Some have opted to meet with invite-only crowds. Others have utilized the more controlled telephone town hall format. Isakson held three of those this spring and summer, all of which were generally polite affairs. But some critics have criticized the strategy as a way of shutting out critics.

Reader Comments 2

55 comments
Anita Jones
Anita Jones

they should have to show a GA id at the door to get in, so REAL constituents can have their voices heard

Daniel Caplin
Daniel Caplin

Actually they are concerned georgia citizens who aim to speak with their congressman and be heard so he can properly represent their needs as he was elected to do. This actually is not about party or politics

Patricia Young
Patricia Young

Bull, no one needs to get paid to voice their objections about Trumps agenda.Actually they would have to be paid to stay home.

Patricia Young
Patricia Young

I bet if it was fox you wouldn't say it was fake news.You have been brainwashed

Joanne Ward Lutes
Joanne Ward Lutes

Where is this meeting? I just want to go to say USA, USA, USA every time rude people try to drown out those that have legit questions the Senator can answer. \U0001f604

Harriet Thomas Ivy
Harriet Thomas Ivy

I wish I could attend. With work and childcare responsibilities, 6:30 on a weekday is impossible. I do call and write my representatives frequently. I appreciate their interns' willingness to listen, but they never have answers. My emails receive form letter replies, if there is any reply at all. I hope Senator Isakson will have another in person town hall on a weekend. Perdue and Handel need to have them too. Listening to constituents (hopefully, taking their concerns to heart) is the most important part of the job.

Amy Becker Swygert
Amy Becker Swygert

This article does a grave disservice to organizations like Indivisible by turning what is really happening into some kind of political drama. The Indivisible groups, along with the many other grassroots organizations that were formed immediately after the Presidential election, consist of everyday citizens, most of whom were not politically active prior to November. Their members and members of many other groups will undoubtedly be at Senator Isakson's town hall not to "disrupt" but to simply make sure that the Senator hears the legitimate fear and grave concerns for our health and safety loud and clear so that he goes back to Washington to do something about it. This is not a political game. This is about our lives.

Patricia Young
Patricia Young

That getting paid comment is BS. With Trump as president people would have to be paid to stay home instead of going and voicing their concerns.

HIbought theRefs
HIbought theRefs

 If you read the article (or the Indivisible guide), you'd know that screaming and disruption are not endorsed as techniques for Town Hall meetings.  

Why shouldn't a person be allowed to come, ask questions, and expect their elected representative to listen? After all, they've seen the polling on how many people want to retain the ACA, how deeply Trump is distrusted, etc.  

I congratulate the Senator for holding an open Town Hall meeting, instead of these ticket-only, invitation-only or telephonic Town Halls.
Yes, there are people in the audience who disagree with every conservative policy, but at least the Senator is going to sit and listen to their views.  I challenge him to not only listen, but to also HEAR what is said - the anguish of people who cannot afford the attack on the ACA, who are close to the Age Tax issue, or who are working multiple jobs to get by financially.   Let him hear from parents who are dealing with failing schools, workers who are stuck in hour-long commutes due to gridlock, and more.  It's time for a real-world experience for our Senators (and I hope Sen. Perdue will take note of Sen. Isakson's bravery.)


Mark Faucette
Mark Faucette

How does an elected government official have a town hall meeting by invitation only? I wasn't aware that our senators were able to choose their constituents. Shouldn't we all have a right to voice our opinions in person to our senator?

Mary Anne Carpenter
Mary Anne Carpenter

That is not the problem with these trashy scumbags that get paid by the dems to come and disrupt the meetings. George Soros pays these trashy scumbags a lot if money to show up and dusrupt republican meetings all across the USA and they have the leftist news media come along and film it all so the #FakeNews outlets such as MSNBC AND CNN and the likes can put it on Tv to try and make All Americans think everyone in America hates the republican party ! #crooksandliars #lyingDemocrats #corruption filthy nasty #FakeNews #scumbags all of them !

Anita Jones
Anita Jones

unless they have an ID with GA residence they should NOT be allowed in

scooderpup
scooderpup

Since Georgia is so gerrymandered

they already have chosen their constituents.....

scooderpup
scooderpup

Ever notice how calling people names makes you sound like a no class fifth grader?

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

This trashy scumbag has one... Lol. Morons.

Christopher Channell
Christopher Channell

He's not your Senator, just like Trump isn't your President, now laws and rights matter to liberal idiots who support our Constitution endlessly being violated.

Margaret Lovell
Margaret Lovell

So glad to have an opportunity to address my concerns about healthcare, voting, and the economy with Senator Isakson.

Debbie Sumner
Debbie Sumner

Yes we appreciate the Senator meeting with all of his constituents as they are supposed to do.

Mark Cotner
Mark Cotner

Fully supported by the AJC with free advertisements

Effie Jones
Effie Jones

People in Georgia can spot a trouble maker .....they have no respect for anyone ....... Lie every time they open there mouth.! They can stand for people that can think on their on. They want to control you!!

Mary Anne Carpenter
Mary Anne Carpenter

Truth be told ! That is not the problem with these trashy scumbags that get paid by the dems to come and disrupt the meetings. George Soros pays these trashy scumbags a lot if money to show up and dusrupt republican meetings all across the USA and they have the leftist news media come along and film it all so the #FakeNews outlets such as MSNBC AND CNN and the likes can put it on Tv to try and make All Americans think everyone in America hates the republican party ! #crooksandliars #lyingDemocrats #corruption filthy nasty #FakeNews #scumbags all of them !

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

A more accurate headline might have been "Local constituents plan to attend town hall with their Senator".

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

Nah..... he represents us. ALL OF US. And you sound like a trashy scumbag by using the term "trashy scumbag".... isn't that weird?

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

"Local chapter"..... Isakson's constituents.

Joshua Hart
Joshua Hart

They should lead them all down the hall and straight to the bathroom, and then flush them.

Mike Steele
Mike Steele

The Marxist are not there just to make their presence known but to disrupt isakson's right to excecise free speech.

Anita Jones
Anita Jones

The Bolsheviks should have GA licenses to get into the townhall

Mark Faucette
Mark Faucette

He's not there for free speech. He's there to talk to and hear from his constituents. That's part of his job.

Warren Winter
Warren Winter

They have an equal right to have their positions acknowledged and addressed.

Mike Steele
Mike Steele

Mark Faucette yes it is but communication is a two way street. I will also bet you that the Bolsheviks are not there for civil discussion

Warren Winter
Warren Winter

If he had not ignored their opinions, concerns, and issues for so long there would not be any need for anyone to be disruptive. Isakson needs to ask himself, 'What is my part in this?'

Frank Shirley
Frank Shirley

If the green-hair and man-buns set gets noisy, patriots should shout THEM down. Actually, we need to be asking Isakson if he will support Sen. Perdue's efforts to protect American jobs with the RAISE Act, as well as efforts to repeal anti-gun laws.

Mike Steele
Mike Steele

Warren Winter think it through. How is a republic supposed to work. He was elected to office by people who support his policies. I am among the rest of the majority support much of his votes. Some things we disagree with but that's life.

Tiana Kelly
Tiana Kelly

He reps all of us, whether he likes it or not.

Mike Steele
Mike Steele

Yes. I'm one of those free market, small government commies

abswyg
abswyg

This article does a grave disservice to the real issues we're facing. Political differences are besides the point. Organizations like Indivisible formed because millions of people across the country were -- and still are -- terrified of the damage an inexperienced and unfit President would inflict on our country. The Resistance is a grassroots-driven movement that primarily consists of average concerned citizens of all political stripes who have never been politically active before. It is NOT a concerted effort of the political establishment. Yes, Senator Isakson's town hall will likely include some tense moments. But to suggest it is because people want to score some political points is simply perpetuating the falsehood that the Resistance is some extreme leftist effort when it's really a groundswell of average Americans expressing their dismay at what is happening to our country.

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