Greg Gianforte To Hold a “Congressional Hearing” Where the Public Can’t Speak

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Aside from a violent assault followed by an insincere apology or someone blocking access to a stream and blaming the state for it, this might be the most Greg Gianforte story of all time.

Montana’s sole Congressman Greg Gianforte, despite his well-known fear of constituents, will be holding what his office bills a “Congressional hearing” on wildfires managements on Tuesday in Hamilton.

The catch? While members of the public will be allowed to attend the event, they won’t be permitted to speak. From the Ravalli Republic:

Burrows was told that each of the three would have five minutes to testify and then respond to questions afterward. While the hearing will be open to the public, Burrows said there will not be an opportunity for public comment.

Worse yet, despite knowing that the event will likely draw a number of people, the Ravalli County commissioners are holding the event in a room that can only hold between “40-50 people.”

In the broadest sense of the term, Congressman Gianforte will be “hearing” from three people his office invited, three people who have ample opportunity to express their views to the Congressman, but he won’t be hearing from the people of our state who he avoids at every opportunity.

What Congressman Gianforte seems unwilling or unable to understand is that his job is to represent the people of Montana and there is no way to do that without listening to them. Another carefully orchestrated event, designed to get press attention without the bother of interacting with the people he’s supposed to represent, isn’t any way to conduct a hearing nor any way to listen.

Is Greg Gianforte so afraid of Montanans and our views? Or does he simply have contempt for us and what we believe?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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