Rod Blum

Blum

Eastern Iowa Democratic activists are so confident that Iowa 1st District Rep. Rod Blum won’t show up at their town hall meeting Saturday that they’re planning to have a cardboard cutout of the Republican congressman stand in to hear their grievances.

A new poll shows that a majority of 1st District voters polled oppose Blum’s vote for tax reform legislation.

The poll, conducted for NotOnePenny.org by the Democratic-leaning polling firm Public Policy Polling and posted on social media by former Hillary Clinton aide Jesse Ferguson, found that 54 percent of those polled in the 1st District opposed the House-passed plan while 44 percent approved.

That legislation, which critics say would erode health coverage and raise taxes on many working families, would be one topic of discussion at the Progress Iowa event.

“Run Away Rod Blum keeps ducking town halls and dodging responsibility,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa. The votes of the two-term congressman “to take away health coverage and raise taxes on his hardworking constituents are out of step with Iowa values.”

Blum, a Dubuque businessman, hasn’t had a town hall meeting since May when he conducted four question-and-answer sessions around the district that drew about 4,000 people.

Blum spokesman John Ferland said the congressman “was happy to accommodate” earlier requests for town hall meetings, “but many didn’t think they were very productive or respectful of others in attendance who actually wanted a dialogue.

He said Blum plans no town halls for the rest of the year and will not “participate in or provide official comment in the future on coordinated political media stunts.”

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