GOP lawmaker holding 'ticket lottery' for access to his town hall

GOP lawmaker holding 'ticket lottery' for access to his town hall
© Greg Nash

A House Republican is holding a drawing to give constituents a chance to ask him questions at a town hall.

During a summer when many Republicans are avoiding holding town hall events, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) will hold one on Aug. 22. But he isn't making the location publicly available, and the only attendees will be those chosen by local newspaper The Bucks County Courier Times.

 

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Constituents can submit their questions online at Fitzpatrick.house.gov/townhall for a chance to be chosen for an invitation.

"In addition to focusing on the important issues of protecting our homeland, growing our economy and fixing a broken system in Washington D.C., it is critically important that we make ourselves accessible to our constituents, who are our bosses, in as many different venues as possible," Fitzpatrick's office said in a statement.  

"This will provide yet another venue where we can all collaborate on how to best address our community's and our nation's challenges," the statement said.

Fitzpatrick's website says attendees will be "randomly drawn." Those who enter the drawing are asked to include their question when they fill out their registration form. It's not immediately clear whether those in charge of the drawing will know which registrants want to ask which question.

"Registered names will be randomly drawn by the Bucks County Courier Times and selected individuals will be contacted to RSVP and receive further details. Ticketed names and addresses will be checked at the door," according to Fitzpatrick's website.

"Registration does not guarantee a ticket," the website adds. The deadline to register is Monday night.

Republicans have seen videos of their town halls go viral after angry demonstrators overwhelmed and shouted down lawmakers over the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Other lawmakers have chosen to pre-screen attendees before town hall events, and many have declined to hold town halls.

-This report was updated on August 13 at 3:45 p.m.