In the mythical creature-land of Bon Temps, Louisiana as set out in the HBO series True Blood, there are hard and fast rules for vampires. Vampires can't enter a human's home without being invited. Vampires are subject to the laws set forth by their sheriffs, who in turn owe allegiance to their king or queen. You have to do some pretty badass stuff to become a vampire king or queen, such as vanquishing an all-powerful Evan Rachel Wood so she can go off and play Kate Winslet's viper of a daughter in Mildred Pierce. But as badass as vampires in leadership roles are in this fictional universe, they're one hell of a lot more accessible to their subjects than Paul Ryan is:
In what appears to be an effort to avoid the free-for-all town halls that have plagued recent contentious congressional recesses, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and other Republican members of Congress have chosen to charge admission to their home-district appearances.
Ryan will speak September 6 to the Whitnall Park Rotary Club in Greenfield, Wisc. Admission to the event is $15 per person and includes lunch.
Ryan has no free public town hall appearances scheduled during the recess.
The last time he held a free town hall, in Milton, Wisc. in April, Ryan was booed while trying to explain his proposal for the federal budget, which included drastic cuts to entitlement and benefit programs. Other Republicans around the country were on the receiving end of similar heat from their constituents. Ryan even had police remove one heckler from a town hall event in Racine, Wisc.
Considering the backlash that Ryan, the chairman of the Budget Committee, faced for proposed financial legislation this spring, it's no surprise to some that he is avoiding open public events during the continued turmoil of the debt ceiling crisis.
Yes, folks, this isn't Bon Temps. When a Congressman faces a high level of public outrage at his legislative proposals, he doesn't have to listen anymore. All he has to do is charge admission to make sure that only those who agree with him are allowed in his presence.