Cardboard cutouts take place of absent lawmakers at town halls
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Some Republican lawmakers have skipped local town halls after facing floods of constituents protesting the policies of the GOP-led Congress and President Trump's administration.

But that hasn't stopped protesters from holding town halls anyway.

Over the past week, people have been organizing their own events and bringing along cardboard cutouts and makeshift stand-ins of their lawmakers to use if their invited congressmen don't show up.  

The protests are partially spurred by the Town Hall Project, which has encouraged thousands to attend town halls and be active in the legislative process. And a group called Indivisible formed by former congressional staffers has a "Missing Members of Congress Action Plan" on its site with tips on "how to make your Member of Congress more accessible." 

In Channahon, Ill., constituents taped a headshot of GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the top of a suit and set it up at the center of the stage so protesters could speak to it.

In Pennsylvania, protesters who were hoping for a town hall with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey set up a suit at the center of the stage in his place.

In Idaho, constituents used a cardboard cutout of their representative. And in San Diego, people taped photos of Rep. Darrell Issa's (R) face to a cutout image from the "Where's Waldo" books. 

 

Some Republicans in swing districts are steering clear of in-person town hall gatherings this week and instead holding small roundtable discussions, Facebook chats and virtual town halls, all formats that can be more easily controlled.

But other lawmakers have scheduled traditional town halls to hear from their constituents.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans tested on Trump support after Mueller Anti-smoking advocates question industry motives for backing higher purchasing age Former Bush assistant: Mueller report makes Obama look 'just plain bad' MORE (R) was met by nearly 1,000 protesters at a town hall in Kentucky on Tuesday night, for example.