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Weekly highlights from LEGISTORM
Posted by Nate Hoffman on Dec. 15, 2014
Republican members of Congress have participated in nearly twice as many town hall events with constituents than their Democratic counterparts this year.
Federal lawmakers have held more than 2,700 town halls so far in 2014, according to LegiStorm's tracking of such events that members take part in directly, either in person or via phone or video.
Republican town halls consistently outnumber events hosted by Democrats, with 1,712 by Republicans and 977 by Democrats in 2014. The overall number of town halls since the start of August, 1,078, was lower in the election period compared to the same time frame last year when both parties hosted 1,578. LegiStorm began tracking town halls in August 2013.
Since August this year, Democrats hosted 327 of the events compared to 738 for Republicans. Republicans also hosted double the number of town halls in the August-December period of 2013, with 1,075 compared to 492. 
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) participated in the most town halls in 2014 with 81 events, most of which were conducted weekly on the radio, with the opportunity for constituents to call in to talk to him. In the Senate, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) led the pack with 68 town hall events mostly during his "Kansas Listening Tour."
For the Democrats, Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley participated in the most with 37 and 32, respectively. Outgoing Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) led House Democrats with 31 events in 2014.
The lower numbers in the second part of this year came as members hit the campaign trail during the midterm season. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who was in a heated race with former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), was called out by one New Hampshire voter for not hosting enough town halls. Since Aug. 2013, she has held five events, four of which were conducted over the telephone.
Shaheen defended her decision by saying that out-of-state interest groups have taken over events that are planned for state residents.
Some people and organizations who "caught our eye" last week:
Trending Staffers› learn more
Hill Hires
Hill Departures
  • Robin C. Colwell, now Chief of Staff/Legal Adviser to the Commissioner for Federal Communications Commission, formerly Counsel to Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Tourism, Competitiveness, and Innovation Subcommittee Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)
  • JoDee L. Winterhof, now with Human Rights Campaign, formerly Chief of Staff to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Hill Moves and Promotions
  • Lynn Yen Tran, now Senior Counsel for Senate Select Committee on Ethics
    (formerly Counsel)
  • Sara E. Decker, now Legislative Director for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)
    (formerly Legislative Assistant)
  • John Patrick Donnelly, now Chief of Staff for Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA)
    (formerly Deputy Chief of Staff/Communications Director)
  • Joseph Francis Barresi (Joe),
    Lobbies for: Camstoll Group LLC
    Most recent congressional employment: Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
  • Sage Dylan Eastman,
    Lobbies for: Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen Bingel and Thomas
    Most recent congressional employment: House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI)
Top hashtags of the week
  • #cromnibus(677 mentions)
  • #obamacare(220 mentions)
  • #torturereport(118 mentions)
  • #gruber(112 mentions)
  • #senate(105 mentions)
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