SCRANTON–Several Clinton County residents joined the weekly protest effort “Tuesdays with Toomey” at Sen. Patrick Toomey’s office in Scranton this Tuesday. The weekly protests, held at Toomey’s offices across the state, began a week after the presidential election. A local participant said constituents, anxious to express their concerns about the current political climate and finding that Toomey was unavailable, decided that a more public protest might get his attention.
A Lock Haven representative of the group said a sizeable number of Senator Toomey’s constituents are angry that he has dismissed his critics as out-of-state protestors when, like the representatives of Clinton County who traveled to Scranton this week, they are residents of Pennsylvania who often go out of their way to attend a rally, hoping to see him in person.
She said in an effort to appease what she called growing anger, Toomey did hold a ‘telephone town hall’ last week. But the event was announced only 90 minutes before it took place and lasted under 45 minutes, not nearly enough time to adequately address his constituents’ concerns.
“I don’t know a person who got their question addressed,” Angela York Crane said of Toomey’s telephone town hall. “We don’t think it’s adequate. We think it’s an attempt to make an appearance to satisfy the optics.”
A spokesperson for the local group said that anger was especially apparent this week because Feb. 20-26 was set aside as a congressional District Work Period when members of Congress are expected to return to their home bases and meet with their constituents.
The reason the District Work Period exists, according to those involved in “Tuesdays with Toomey,” is to make sure that elected representatives don’t lose touch with their constituents’ concerns. As citizens, the spokesperson said, “We deserve the opportunity to share our personal stories about how their policy affects our lives and hear from them in response. In asking for a face-to-face meeting, we are exercising our democratic prerogatives.”
The Clinton County contingent returned to Lock Haven Tuesday night dismayed, they said, but eager to continue fighting to make their voices heard.