KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Fliers are appearing across East Tennessee claiming that Congressman Jimmy Duncan is missing from public.
The flier makes accusations concerning Duncan’s decision to not hold town hall meetings. A non-partisan group called Indivisible East Tennessee is behind the flier.
The group says, “despite constituent requests, [Duncan] refuses to hold a town hall, a basic part of our democratic heritage.”
The flier continues to say that congressmen across the country hold town hall meetings on a regular basis. The group is calling for photo or video evidence of the congressman being in public.
In March, Duncan told WATE 6 On Your Side that the town hall meetings “would very quickly turn into shouting opportunities for extremists, kooks and radicals.” The congressman said he prefers individual meetings.
“Over the years I’ve had hundreds of meetings and constituent days. I have met with thousands, many thousands, and of course every place I go people want to express opinions or ask for help. I mean they do that. They express those opinions to me at ball games, drug stores, gas stations, church, schools, civic clubs,” Duncan said.
There have been many demonstrations outside of his office since his decision.
“I don’t run into him at the grocery store, at the ball field, and we don’t go to the same church,” said Susan Sneed with Indivisible East Tennessee.
Sneed says some of the fliers that were put up around Maryville on Thursday are no longer there.
“The nature of representation really is, I think, at the heart of a lot of this. How do you feel represented? But if there’s a lack of back and forth and you close yourself in a bubble and are only communicating with the people you choose to communicate with, you are in danger with losing touch and this is not the time to be out of touch,” added Sneed.
Bob Gaither says he and others have reached out to lawmakers in the past, Congressman Duncan included.
“It doesn’t take long to get a response to the email. So I’ve been pretty happy with the contact,” he said.
Gaither said he wouldn’t have time to attend a town hall in Knoxville.
“It would just be if I was bored and had nothing to do. I don’t have trouble reaching his office,” he said.
Indivisible East Tennessee is hoping Congressman Duncan sees the fliers and it resonates.
“I would hope it would make him maybe take a step back and think, ‘Well, maybe I’m missing something by not talking to more people,'” said Sneed.
Congressman Duncan’s office said Friday he was not available for an interview and would not comment on the flier.
If you would like to reach out to Congressman Duncan’s office by email, phone, or setting up a meeting, you can visit his website.