Thursday, February 23, 2017

Where is Chris Smith?

For an individual who was just elected to his 19th term as a member of the House of Representatives, Christopher H. Smith seems awfully timid about facing his constituents.

Wednesday night (Feb 22) a non-partisan coalition of groups sought to hear directly from Smith, mostly about his position on the ACA but other matters as well. You would think that Mr. Smith would be savvy enough and comfortable enough to face residents of his district and answer tough questions. He refused and his office has suggested that this isn’t a real town hall since the congressman didn’t convene it.

"Social media has perpetuated this deceit -- a tactic designed to incite disappointment towards the congressman -- but which in reality exploits the concerns of well-meaning and unsuspecting citizens, Jeff Sagnip, Smith's aide, said in a statement to the Asbury Park Press.

Sorry, Mr. Sagnip. The disappointment comes from the fact that the Congressman stopped holding town hall meetings two decades ago. How can Smith say he truly represents the people of his district if he can't meet with them face to face and hear their feelings? 

Smith himself said in a recent interview that his decision not to hold town halls was forced by bad behavior in the past. 

His refusal to meet is as rude and inexcusable as those who may have engaged in "bad behavior" at past town halls. He sought the position as the people's representative; he should have the fortitude to come before his constituents. 

Congressman Smith obviously suffers from the inertia of incumbency and is more interested in preserving his position than representing the 4th District .