Aug 31, 2009

Get to the Peters townhall before the ‘tea baggers’ and ‘birthers’

There can be no doubt that the extremist rightwing Washington, D.C. lobbying groups behind the fake, Astroturf and misnamed “tea parties” are the same people scripting the disrupting of the townhall meetings of Democratic Congressman.

Republicans are promoting a pair of townhall meetings in Oakland County this week; one they plan to disrupt and one they don’t. The first one is actually tonight, Monday Aug. 31. The “health care townhall” is set for 7-9 p.m. at the Mott High School Performing Arts Center, 1151 Scott Lake Rd. in Waterford 48328 hosted by Freshman State Rep. Gail Haines, R-Waterford. Yes, you heard right; a state Representative.

Apparently, the meeting is for residents of Waterford, Lake Angelus and West Bloomfield Township, and photo ID is required. Can you imagine if a Democrat asked for an ID the fake outrage we would hear from the right? The ad also says, “Please no fliers, handouts or political signs on the school’s premises.”

Now, if they said none of those things that we saw at Democratic townhalls were not allowed inside I could understand, but they are not even allowed outside? Come on.

The first question I would like to ask Rep. Haines is what the heck is a state lawmaker doing hosting a townhall meeting about federal legislation? I know the answer, but I would like to hear her answer. The reason is that Republicans see defeating the President on health care reform is a way to get power back on both the state and federal level.

These farces are apparently taking place in Oakland County, and they bring in speakers who are against health care reform. Extreme right-wingers Reps. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, and Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, recently held one of these farces, and Knollenberg said if there were seats left after all the residents of his district were seated others could attend. He reneged on that promise.

The other townhall meeting is actually being hosted by a U.S. Congressman: U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township. The townhall is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sep. 1 at West Bloomfield High School, 4925 Orchard Lake Rd. in West Bloomfield, 48323.

You need to get there at least a half hour early because the tea baggers have been pushing this hard, and you can bet they will disrupt it so they can get on the local news and on Faux “news.”


Chetly Zarko said...

For the record, everyone in line at the Knollenberg event was allowed in so your statement that some promise (there was no promise either but that's a secondary lie) was "reneged" on is patently false and repetition of a factual libel by Bruce Fealk (whose own story contradicts itself in two different places, proving my point). Those not in the district were allowed in after the event started - albeit not at the pace of Bruce Fealk's liking - they were all allowed into to the event.

As you note, these events were for residents of the representatives districts and that is whom they serve. I'd have no problem with Gary Peters restricting the event to his constituents - indeed, Peters had to turn away 300 people at the door and it would be better if he had checked ID and turned away non-residents. The farce tonight for Peters was that the Dem Party advertised far and wide to "beat" the "tea partiers" to the event and try to stack the audience. If you're so confident of the issue - or so confident of Gary Peters strength or personality - why even bother trying to stack the deck or avoid additional hard questions or possible hecklers?

And if you really "oppose astroturf" campaigns, why would you object to Marty Knollenberg's decision to check ID to ENSURE LOCAL PARTICIPATION. And what IRONY that the only people delayed at Marty's event were out-of-district "astroturfers" whom were weighted to the pro-federalization-of-health care side (actually, I know a few anti-federalization-of-health care folks were in that line too)? I raise it only because its ironic and shows both sides, at best, have some astroturf -- and there's nothing really wrong in a Democracy with a First Amendment with "astroturf" participation. The issue affects everyone - hence everyone has the right to try to participate - and hence even State Representatives have the right to raise federal issues of such great importance, particularly when their Congressman won't have the townhall. I commend Peters for finally holding a townhall - concede it took some courage for him to do so (even though he tried to stack the deck and the organization of the event imperfect) - and would suggest McMillin and Knollenberg get credit for spurring the townhall Peters held. It's clear these little state reps had an impact, and for that they deserve credit.

And, as always for disclosure, I work for Knollenberg and was involved in the events last Wednesday night, though I make comments always based on my own perspective and opinion.

ka_Dargo_Hussein said...

Chet, you are assuming the teabaggers can form a "hard question", as opposed to the talking points based upon lies they are armed with.

And in regards to this...there's nothing really wrong in a Democracy with a First Amendment with "astroturf" are absolutely right. Too bad the astroturfers do not have the strength of their convictions to describe their actions appropriately, instead of misleading the public into believing their efforts are "grassroots".

Communications guru said...

Please forgive me, Mr. Zarko, if I’m just a bit skeptical of your claim of who got in and who didn’t. However, I’m still scratching my head on why a state Representative is holding a townhall meeting on federal legislation. To me, that trumps all your blather about Rep. Peter’s checking ID cars or not; because his votes affects everyone regardless of where they live. In your case, Knollenberg's vote did not affect anyone, not even the people you carded to get in.

First, the Peter’s event was not a “farce,” and I don’t believe “the Dem Party advertised” for it. I, and other liberal bloggers sure as hell did, and that was because we are no longer going to allow you tea baggers to hijack and disrupt the meetings. That’s why we attempted to “stack the deck.”

An Astroturf campaign that you guys are involved in is one where rightwing lobbying groups working for the insurance industry and stirring people up and putting out a script on how to disrupt the meetings. The only Astroturfing is coming from your side, and yes, there is “nothing really wrong in a Democracy with a First Amendment with "Astroturf" participation.” But stop lying and trying to pass it off as a grassroots, spontaneous demonstration when it is not. And as for the 1st Amendment you claim you care about, it’s the tea baggers trying to drown out people trying to speak and hear.

“Even State Representatives have the right to raise federal issues of such great importance.” If that’s your excuse for your, McMillan and this Haines farce it is a lame one. They were campaign rallies, pure and simple, and it borders on illegal that you used state funds to do it.

I’m aware you work for Knollenberg, and I’ll bet you were on the clock at last Wednesday’s campaign rally. However, that kind of disclosure is not required of a blogger. We are well aware of your bias. I work for Sen. Ray Basham, but that’s irrelevant because its my opinion.

Johnny C said...

I wish the Republicans end the act they these people showing up to town halls are "concerned" citizens not sickos who get their marching orders from the health care industry and the right wing media. Most progressive blogs and shows like Rachel Maddow exposed memos from groups like "Freedom works" that instruct these protesters what to do and what to say.

Speaking of Fox News explain how come they only show dates for Democratic town halls? If they didn't want their nutty followers to go down there to cause trouble.

Communications guru said...

It’s an undisputed fact that the townhalls are being disrupted by scripts provided by the two rightwing DC lobbying groups that are also responsible for the fake, Astroturf “tea parties.”