CEDAR RAPIDS — Eastern Iowa Democratic activists are so confident 1st District Rep. Rod Blum won’t show up at their town hall meeting Saturday they’re planning to have a cardboard cutout of the Republican congressman stand in to hear their grievances.

A new poll shows a majority of 1st District voters polled oppose Blum’s vote for tax reform legislation.

The poll, conducted for NotOnePenny.org by the Democratic-leaning polling firm Public Policy Polling and posted on social media by former Hillary Clinton aide Jesse Ferguson, found 54 percent of those polled in the 1st District opposed the House-passed plan while 44 percent approved.

That legislation, which critics say would erode health coverage and raise taxes on many working families, would be one topic of discussion at the Progress Iowa event.

“Run Away Rod Blum keeps ducking town halls and dodging responsibility,” said Matt Sinovic of Progress Iowa. The votes of the two-term congressman “to take away health coverage and raise taxes on his hardworking constituents are out of step with Iowa values.”

Blum, a Dubuque businessman, hasn’t had a town hall meeting since May when he conducted four question-and-answer sessions around the district that drew about 4,000 people.

Blum spokesman John Ferland said the congressman “was happy to accommodate” earlier requests for town hall meetings, “but many didn’t think they were very productive or respectful of others in attendance who actually wanted a dialogue.”

He said Blum plans no town halls for the rest of the year and will not “participate in or provide official comment in the future on coordinated political media stunts.”

Progress Iowa’s event will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at Kirkwood Community College’s KTOS Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha.

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Statehouse reporter for The Courier

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