Congressman Mark Pocan holds town hall in Speaker Paul Ryan's district
Congressman Mark Pocan, one of the most progressive democrats in congress, stepped into Speaker Paul Ryan's district today to hold a town hall with Ryan's constituents.
"It's not that it's just your member of congress that is hiding from you all. And I know that Paul Ryan is not representing your values. I feel like he's rolling over and having the president rub his belly," State Rep. Mark Pocan said.
When asked if there was some disrespect meant in doing this, Rep. Pocan replied: "I think it's disrespectful to drop 24 million people from having health insurance coverage."
About 175 people gathered in Kenosha for a town hall style event with Madison-Area congressman Mark Pocan. They were voicing concerns on the new health care bill and republican leadership.
"It's very sad that Paul Ryan is that out of touch with the people in his district that he can't show up for us," said Kenosha resident Rebecca Stevens.
A spokesman for the Wisconsin Republican Party blasted the Pocan event, calling it a political stunt. A Paul Ryan spokesman said Ryan is constantly in contact with constituents through phone town halls and other in-person events. Ryan was at Lake Geneva High School while Pocan was in Kenosha.
When asked what the difference between what he's doing and this, Pocan replied: "Huge difference. When you have an event, it's a specific audience. The public is not invited, often whatever group has put it together is keeping control of what questions are asked. When you do something like this, you could be asked anything under the world."
Pocan says going into republican districts is part of a new house progressive caucus strategy and says we'll start seeing more of it around the country.
"Hopefully they'll realize they better talk to their own constituents otherwise someone else might."
The event was put on by a group called Forward Kenosha. The progressive advocacy group invited Pocan to Paul Ryan's District.