Tea Party Mob Blocks Congressman From Helping Veterans, Seniors

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Of course, I would also argue that Rep. Brad Ellsworth - who is a blue dog and someone I wrote positively of in the past - helped to create this problem by dithering on health care reform.

Here’s how the program worked. Ellsworth would peridocally station himself at a public place in his district — at a grocery store, for instance — to answer questions from constituents, such as seniors and veterans wrestling with bureaucracy. Ellsworth was set to do this tomorrow.

But he concluded that Tea Party activists were likely to hijack the event by shouting about health care, so he cancelled the public appearance. ‘Our concern was that some of these same groups that have been disrupting other public events would also prevent these constituent events from taking place,’ Ellsworth spokesperson Liz Farrar tells me.