Jim Sensenbrenner

Have Gavel, Will Travel
Wisconsin’s Jim Sensenbrenner has held the most town halls this year

Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner hosts a town hall meeting in his district in February. (Courtesy Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s office)

Congressional recess was dominated by news of angry constituents in town hall meetings around the country, seemingly more and more disgruntled with what they’re hearing from their representatives.

Some members of Congress have refused to hold such events while others have imposed new rules on attendance and conduct.

Town Hall Winners and Losers So Far
If lawmakers can’t meet with constituents, why do they have a job?

Voters don’t always need to be agreed with, but they always want to be heard — and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., delivered on that, Patricia Murphy writes. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re halfway through the Presidents Day recess, the first during President Donald Trump’s first term in office. Coming after early stumbles from Trump, and with major legislative changes looming for health care and immigration, and the ascendance of a national effort to protest the president’s agenda, it’s no surprise that town halls would become a focal point for the anger swirling on the left. 

[It’s Not “AstroTurf” if the anger is real]

Report Shows ‘Untapped Power’ of Constituent Advocacy
Showing the local effects of legislation can better influence lawmakers

People react to Rep. Jason Chaffetz as he speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Hundreds of people lined up early for the town hall with Chaffetz on Thursday evening, many holding signs criticizing the congressman's push to repeal the newly-named Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Sensenbrenner Admonishes Town Hall Audience To Be Respectful
Also hints at possible punishment for national security adviser

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., told one angry woman that she could go out in the hallway if she wouldn't be respectful. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Rep. Jim Sensnenbrenner, R-Wis., urged his constituents to be respectful during heated exchanges at town hall meetings in Pewaukee and Elm Grove over the weekend.

Sensenbrenner frequently scolded the audience that included Democratic activists, and banged a gavel to bring the town hall to order, WITI-TV in Milwaukee reported.

Cramer Gets Closer to Constituents on the Radio
North Dakota Republican held the most town halls in 2016

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer goes on the air multiple times a week to hear from his constituents. (Courtesy Rep. Kevin Cramer’s office)

North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer held the most town halls among members of Congress in 2016 — 164 to be exact.

Cramer has held 412 since August 2013, when LegiStorm started tracking town halls,  a little short of double the amount of the second place-holder, Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Republican Members Hear from Obamacare Supporters
Democrats hold rallies to defend Obama’s signature law

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., called a swarm of Obamacare supporters at a constituent event "partisan activists." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican members of Congress heard from constituents supportive of the Affordable Care Act over the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend as they take steps to repeal the law.

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., saw hundreds of people at a constituent meeting event at a library in Aurora, according to one eyewitness account to 9News.

Ron Johnson on Going It Alone in 2016
Wisconsin Republican was written off as a certain loser

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, fresh off his re-election to a second term, is looking forward to working closely with the incoming Trump administration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Johnson is entering his second Senate term as something of a free agent.

Other than Sen. Mark S. Kirk in neighboring Illinois who lost his re-election bid, the Wisconsin Republican was the incumbent most of the GOP establishment had written off as a lost cause. Polls, as late as October, found Johnson’s opponent, former Sen. Russ Feingold, up by as much as a dozen points. And while campaign money did pour in late, Johnson seemed to spend much of the cycle in the wilderness.

Voting Rights Groups Brace for Election Day ‘Chaos‘
Reports of disenfranchisement already cropping up during early voting

Voting rights advocates are preparing for the first presidential election since 1964 without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voting rights advocates are preparing for a “perfect storm of chaos” on Election Day — and not just because a hurricane has already affected registrations in some key battleground states.

Reports of voter disenfranchisement have already cropped up during early voting, the advocates say. Some Texas election officials are implementing a voter ID law that a federal appeals court struck down as discriminatory. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he fears the election will be rigged and urged voters to “go out and watch the polls,” prompting fears of voter intimidation among minorities, particularly.

Fear and Loathing Among Latinos in the 2016 Campaign
Losing swing states with growing Hispanic populations makes electoral math tough for GOP

Groups of protesters, including Code Pink, demonstrate outside of the National Republican Senatorial Committee during a May meeting between Donald Trump and GOP leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo0

(First published in CQ Magazine on April 11, 2016.)

It’s hard to believe now that there was a time in the not-so-distant past when Republicans made a serious and successful play for the Hispanic vote.

How a Museum Struggled to Overcome Years of Gridlock
Story behind newest Smithsonian museum echoes African-American struggle

The Museum of African American History and Culture, over a century in the making, opens to the public on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s a long and convoluted creation story for most important civic institutions, but the tale behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture is in a category of its own.

This backstory is easy to read as a metaphor for the very narrative the newest part of the Smithsonian wants to tell, because the museum’s progress toward its triumphant opening has been set back so often by enervating experiences familiar to black Americans: Passive aggression, overt discrimination, willful ignorance, simple neglect, ethnocentrism, broken promises, financial shape-shifting and political pandering, to name a few.