Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey are spending the dog days of summer hosting meetings and town halls in the far flung corners of Pennsylvania.
On Friday, Toomey’s office released a schedule of town halls for this week, all of which will be held in north-central Pa.
The first, held this morning, took place in Montour County. Tomorrow, he will travel to Sullivan County, after which he will go to Clearfield County on Wednesday and Potter County on Thursday.
Since the commonwealth’s U.S. Senators have much of their attention divided between national policy in Washington and the population centers around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it’s not unusual for them to travel to central and northern Pa. during summer recess.
“It will be great to hear from Pennsylvanians in a town hall setting that is at the heart of our representative democracy,” Toomey said in a press release. “I have been crisscrossing the state this summer and I’ve heard from so many constituents who want to see our economy grow by creating jobs, rolling back excessive regulations, and putting our nation on a sustainable fiscal path. I look forward to constructive discussions.”
There’s another benefit to the northern tier: it’s nearly impossible to organize a big protest there.
Both Casey and Toomey learned a lesson from the heated summer of 2009, when Sen. Arlen Specter faced raucous town hall meetings across the state.
Political activists from Philly don’t want to make the drive to Coudersport, while Toomey can inoculate himself from any charges that he hasn’t been open with his constituents.
Casey has taken a different approach to avoid a big protest or scene at a town hall: he hasn’t announced his full schedule. Although Casey plans more town halls in the coming days, his office hasn’t released a list.
“This August and throughout 2013 Senator Casey has traveled across Pennsylvania meeting with Pennsylvanians at public events to discuss his plans to create jobs and to hear directly from constituents about what’s going on in their communities,” Casey spokesman John Rizzo said.
Casey began his tour of Pa. two weeks ago, during which he travelled to Lycoming County, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers training camp in Latrobe, Johnstown and Luzerne County.
“In the last few weeks he’s attended a public picnic in Johnstown and met with small business owners, doctors, and medical researchers about ways Congress can work to create jobs. He is always looking for new ways to better represent his constituents and our office makes every effort to get input from his constituents. In the coming weeks, Senator Casey will continue his robust schedule and meet with constituents throughout the Commonwealth.”
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to reconvene in Washington on Sept. 6.
Here are the events on Toomey’s calendar:
Monday, August 26
The Pine Barn Inn
1 Pine Barn Place, Danville (Montour County)
Tuesday, August 27
Laporte Community Center on Muncy Street, Laporte (Sullivan County)
Wednesday, August 28
VFW Post 813
114 Fuller Street, DuBois (Clearfield County)
Thursday, August 29
One North Main Street, Coudersport (Potter County)