Town halls not popular forum this recess

The majority of U.S. House lawmakers aren't conducting town halls open to the public during their August break, a survey by a non-partisan group indicated.

The group No Labels said its members phoned every House member's office and learned that 174 — about 40.5 percent — were conducting public events, while 256 — about 59.5 percent –weren't, Politico reported.

By party, the survey indicated Democrats were more likely to eschew public meetings, with 68 percent of them not conducting any. Fifty-one percent of House Republicans weren't conducting public town halls, the survey indicated.

“Our concern is that elected officials are only hearing from their respective partisan bases and will not expose themselves to criticism,” said No Labels co-founder William Galston, a former policy adviser to President Bill Clinton. “Politics is about competing ideas, and everyone should have a seat at the table.”

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