Anne Stopper and a small group of fellow constituents can’t seem to track down U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, no matter how doggedly they search. The Republican congressman’s staff has shown little interest in arranging so much as a telephone call between Northeast Pennsylvania’s first and most ardent Trump supporter and the people he was elected to serve.
Meanwhile, I learned minutes ago that Sen. Pat Toomey has agreed to meet this afternoon with 10 members of Action Together Northeastern PA at his Scranton office. Anne Stopper will be one of them. This is a victory for active citizens who refuse to be ignored, and it just might be good for Sen. Toomey, too.
Nothing, however, has changed in Marino Land.
“It’s been a total runaround,” said Anne, a South Abington Twp. taxpayer and organizer of “Mondays with Marino.” She and 10 other constituents went to Marino’s Hamlin office Monday and were turned away at the door by Dave Weber, the congressman’s deputy chief of staff.
As you can see in this video, Dave was not happy to see Anne and Friends making their fourth visit to the office since February. He turns them away and demands they stop filming a government employee denying taxpayers access to a public building they fund. I called Dave today, but he said he couldn’t comment and referred me to the congressman’s spokesman. So far, he has not returned my message.
In this video, Anne sums up the frustration shared by the group “Tuesdays with Toomey,” and others putting pressure on Republican lawmakers to face their constituents and explain or defend their records. GOP senators and representatives have faced angry audiences on both sides of the aisle across the nation, particularly after the Obamacare repeal/replace debacle.
Tom Marino, Rep. Lou Barletta and Sen. Toomey (who seems to finally get it) have been unwilling to face citizens who may disagree with their positions or (gasp!) did not vote for them or President Trump.
NOTE TO ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS: You were elected by a majority of the people to represent all the people. If you are too timid, too cynical (or both) to interact with all of your constituents, you are not fit for office. Face the music or get off the dance floor.