Utah Stories

A Cardboard Cut-Out of Congresswoman Mia Love Could be the Weirdest Town Hall in the Country

At cardboard Mia Love town hall, advocates optimistic conservative congresswoman will listen.


Clare Coonan speaks at a Utah Indivisble town hall featuring a cardboard cutout of Rep. Mia Love. Coonan is a Utahn who organized the event in similar fashion to the Utahns Speak Out’s Town Hall for All, by Utahns Speak Out. (KUTV2)

Utah’s congressional district 4 may have seen the lowest voter turnout for any U.S. House of Representatives race. That doesn’t mean its congresswoman, Mia Love, doesn’t have a whole bunch of questions from constituents to deal with.

Utah’s Town Hall for All on Feb. 24 saw resistance groups to President Donald Trump, including Utah Indivisible, organize an event that commented on a lack of town halls by the state’s federal delegation. Cardboard cutouts of the six senators and representatives were there.

They hold out such hope even though Love herself refused to work with volunteer organizers on putting together a town hall where the questions were asked, according to an organizer who said she is running against Love in 2018.

In similar fashion, Utah Indivisible, organized by locals, continued that approach March 11 at a West Jordan middle school. It’s part of its plans to hold similar meetings monthly. The event saw a cardboard cutout of Love, where seven panelists took questions from Love’s constituents.

Approximately 27 questions were posed in not even 90 minutes. Utah Indivisible said the inquiries would be given to Love.

Moderators, panelists and attendees alike were optimistic that Love will entertain them.

“The imitation of Love was featured after Utah Indivisible organized the town hall. That happened after Love refused to allow volunteer organization members to organize the town hall with Love,” Director Laurel Price, Utah Indivisible volunteer Marla Mott-Smith said. Mott-Smith met twice with Price and other Love staffers, Mott-Smith said. The second time, members “said (they) had a town hall organized and offered to work with Laurel to sage it,” Mott-Smith said.

“Mia refused, so we proceeded without her,” added Mott-Smith, who said during the town hall that she is running for Love’s seat, open next year. Mott-Smith later told the author she is running as a Democrat and completing paperwork now.

“I can say something very factual: in an hour-and-a-half meeting on health care, the name of the president didn’t come up once. I think that is how they would like to have it,” Utah Health Policy Project Education and Communications Director Jason Stevenson added of his visit with Love’s staff. “Trump has a limited influence on policy matters for now. Dealing with (Love) directly is something she wants to talk about. I think the policy side is where you can engage, but you won’t get far in discussing the presidency.”

Panelists also responded to questions and statements on the Obamacare replacement percolating in the U.S. Congress, the congresswoman’s plans on tackling the environment, reports that refugees were afraid of attending the town hall and the need to make that public and alleged corruption by the Trump administration.

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