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Rep. Mia Love criticized over rules for meeting with constituents

(KUTV) Rep. Mia Love is taking heat for her stance on meeting with members of her congressional district.

A group of her constituents says Love will only meet with them if they play by her rules.

Terry Mitchell, a realtor who lives in Love’s fourth congressional district, said she went to the congresswoman’s West Jordan office Friday to ask if Love would hold a town hall meeting. She wants Love to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act and about President Trump’s efforts to scale back the Dodd-Frank financial law.

“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask to be heard,” Mitchell said.

Love’s district director, Laurel Price, gave Mitchell an answer.

“I was told that we could do a meeting with four to five people at a time, in the office,” said Mitchell. She said Price also informed her no recording devices or media would be allowed.

Two other people in that meeting confirmed that account to 2News. They said Price continually repeated those guidelines and would not say when Love would hold any town hall meetings in the future.

“She said, we're throwing you a bone, you should just take it,” said Mitchell, adding that Price said “most people would just be grateful that they even get to meet Mia Love.”

Mitchell protested. So did Matt Nielsen, who was there, too.

“When there's no press -- there's no nothing, there's no audience -- she can pretty much say anything she wants to say,” said Nielsen, who lives in West Jordan. “She can dodge pretty much any question that she wants to dodge.”

Mitchell told 2News she “felt insulted” and was “incredibly frustrated” with Price’s responses.

2News asked Love's office multiple times to comment on that meeting. Her spokesman, Richard Piatt, would not. He did release a statement saying Love will hold town halls in the future, although he didn't say when.

“She welcomes elevated dialogue and reasonable conversations with her constituents,” Piatt said in the statement. “Representative Love has proven that she can have positive and forward-moving meetings with constituents who don't necessarily agree with her.”

Piatt added, “Shouting matches and verbal abuse are not what constitutes a Utah style civic dialogue.”

That's what happened last week when people packed Brighton High School to unload on Rep. Jason Chaffetz. People across the country are asking their members of Congress to hold town hall meetings.

But Mitchell and Nielsen both insist, they don’t want Love to face an out-of-control crowd or to deal with yelling and screaming.

“As a matter of fact, if I saw people doing that, I would stand in front of her,” said Mitchell. “I'm asking her to just allow us to have a conversation, and I don't think that's too much to ask.”

2News reached out to the offices of Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Mike Lee. Their spokesmen said the senators both plan to hold town halls in the future, although nothing was scheduled yet. Rep. Chaffetz and Rep. Chris Stewart also plan to hold future meetings, their offices said.

Rep. Rob Bishop’s office did not respond to repeated questions from 2News about whether the congressman would hold town hall meetings this year.

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