A preemptive mailer, presumably sent to thousands of Utah homes, notifies Utahns of a “Telephone Town Hall Meeting” with Congressman Rob Bishop, R-District 1. “Congressman Bishop may be calling you soon to hear your opinions and answer your questions,” it reads. There is no indication regarding the timing of the call, other than the direction “…if you do get a call soon from Rob Bishop, don’t hang up! Just follow the instructions to join the meeting and listen in.” Bishop’s Chief of Staff, Scott Parker, admits it is relatively new technology. “It is a good way to connect. First, this will never replace the traditional, in-person town halls that Rob does all the time. He gets to Cache County pretty frequently and does in-person town hall meetings and those are the ones with a set time and place. Everyone is invited to attend those.” Parker admits the telephone town hall format is a bit different. “We use a telephone technology company to place out-bound calls. We use the list of registered voters. They will get an out-bound call with a chance to opt in to the telephone town hall meeting with the Congressman.” He said these telephone town hall events are generally done from Washington, DC. “It’s based on floor schedule in the House of Representatives,” said Parker. “We schedule them roughly, but not exactly, if that makes sense. The one for Cache County will probably be for Thursday night of this week, most likely, as soon as the House finishes its business for the week.” Parker said there have been “quite a few” telephone town hall meetings over the last couple of years, including ones for Cache County. “We’ve had thousands of folks participate and it’s just been a nice supplement to what Rob already does. It’s a good way for Rob to get instant feedback from hundreds, if not thousands, of constituents.”
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