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Critics look to make presence known at Isakson town hall

If Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was hoping to be greeted by a low-key crowd next week at his first in-person town hall of the year, that may be wishful thinking.

A local chapter of the progressive group Indivisible indicated it’s planning to make its presence known when the Republican takes the stage at Kennesaw State University on Monday evening.

“THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN TRAINING FOR!!!” read the description of the Facebook event inviting members of Indivisible Sea Change, the 6th Congressional District chapter of the Trump resistance group, to the town hall.

It's not clear what the group's exact plans are for the event -- the page's organizer did not respond to a request for comment yesterday. But the national group's guide to public town hall events advises its members to stick to a prepared list of "sharp," "fact-based questions" and not give up microphones until they're satisfied with the answers from the lawmaker at hand.

If the event is anything like U.S. Rep. Doug Collins' town hall in Gainesville last night, things could get hairy. Here's a scene from the Republican's Q&A session:

Left-leaning groups have been pressuring members of Georgia's congressional delegation to hold in-person town hall events since Donald Trump was inaugurated. Many GOP lawmakers have instead shied away from the spotlight, especially after a constituent service day with congressional staffers turned rowdy back in February.

Some have opted to meet with invite-only crowds. Others have utilized the more controlled telephone town hall format. Isakson held three of those this spring and summer, all of which were generally polite affairs. But some critics have criticized the strategy as a way of shutting out critics.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.