Town Hall meetings for members of congress have gotten pretty heated lately, as the president's health-care proposal has, it's safe to say, riled up some on the right. Houston congressman Gene Green's office is doing something about it -- they're requiring that people present a photo ID proving they live in Green's district.
No photo ID, no Town Hall.
"Our constituents have requested it," Green spokeswoman Brenda Arredondo tells Hair Balls. "At the last one, eight out of 10 people who signed in were not constituents." (That event drew about 150 people, she said.)
She said non-constituents "have been very disruptive and not let our constituents ask questions...That's the only reason behind it. It's just been a lot of yelling and disruption and our constituents feel intimidated asking questions."
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Green's events webpage talks of "a coordinated effort to disrupt our town hall meetings."
This amuses the people at The Corner, the National Review's blog.
Of course, this is the same Congressman Green who is against requiring photo ID for voting. He voted against the Federal Election Integrity Act in 2006, which would have required anyone voting in a federal election to produce a government-issued photo ID. Green wants to verify the identity of every individual who comes to one of his town-hall meetings -- but he does not want election officials to verify the identity of everyone who votes in the elections that put him into office. Interesting contrast, isn't it?
Interesting, yes, if you're interested in right-wing paranoia about widespread voter fraud that supposedly happens all the time and would be stopped if we just made it harder for poor people and minorities to vote.