Editorials

Palazzo should answer the call of constituents

Congressman Steven Palazzo visits with constituents before the 2011 grand opening of his new district office in downtown Gulfport. Some Coast constituents say connecting with the congressman is nearly impossible.
Congressman Steven Palazzo visits with constituents before the 2011 grand opening of his new district office in downtown Gulfport. Some Coast constituents say connecting with the congressman is nearly impossible. amccoy@sunherald.com File

Rep. Steven Palazzo, your constituents are calling.

You’ve been invited to a public town hall meeting at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the USM Gulf Park Fleming Education Center auditorium in Long Beach. That’s a short drive down the beach from your Biloxi office.

We believe you should RSVP, saying you’ll be happy to meet with the people you serve.

We know other congressmen have run into rowdy crowds when they have had town halls. We know you have said you don’t like to do them.

We urge the crowd in Long Beach to be respectful and allow the congressman a chance to answer questions.

The people of the district want to know about the plan to abolish the EPA, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, to staff the Department of Veterans Affairs in the wake of a hiring freeze. These are all legitimate questions. The congressman should have answers. He’s a co-sponsor of the bill to end the EPA. He has been talking about repeal and replace for years. He says he’s a champion of veterans.

He owes the people of the district, Republicans and Democrats, his answers.

These are contentious times. And contentious times beg for a leader to step forward and become a uniter.

A uniter would welcome the opportunity to talk to the people of his district and search for common ground on health care, veterans care and the protection of the environment — the backbone of the tourism industry on the Coast.

This is, in other words, an opportunity to show true leadership.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

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