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Mcnerney's town hall meeting

Original post made by concerned citizen, Amador Valley High School, on Aug 7, 2009

Jerry Mcnerney is planning on having a town hall meeting next week over the phone. He will take questions on the health care reform. The Representative I talked to could not confirm the date or time of the meeting. I asked why he would not meet his constituents face to face. I was told this method is more effective. This may be true but ss jerry Mcnerney afraid of meeting face to face? Why not plan 5 or 10 townhall meetings along with and over the phone session? Wouldn't both types be the most effective? With Obama pressing for a vote on such a major issue, why are we not talking. I personally want a representative that can answer my questions face to face. Let me know what everyone thinks.

Comments (18)

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Posted by Not Surprised
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm

I find McNerney's arrogance breathtaking...consistent with the other Obama-ites. McNerney is "employed" by us - his constituents - yet HE is dictating to US what his meeting format will be?! He is OUR employee and we should state what reasonable format we want for such an important Town Meeting! I say it should be IN-PERSON so he can see our seriousness and we can see his reaction as well!

A phone meeting is a typical McNerney format of maximum "control" and limiting constituent input. If you haven't "attended" one of his "phone meetings" don't get your hopes up that your voice will be heard. These meetings are highly staged...with preplanned questions, only a few callers, well-rehearsed answers and may I add extremely verbose fillabusters to consume time. (Don't be surprised if the meeting starts late...but ends promptly on schedule too.)

His phone meetings are next to worthless, that is unless you are interested to experience the trainwreck of a process for yourself.

For him it is the easiest way to complete his checklist item of "conduct town meeting" (i.e. "to give my constituents the illusion that their input really matters").

Mr. McNerney...at least you are consistent. Consistently unimpressive in your interest to truly listen to and represent your constituents, not to mention your penchant for seriously damaging our healthcare, economy and our national defense even further, with your 95% party line democrat voting record.


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Posted by Dr.B
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Pretty pathetic. I stand amazed at the lack of character of our Congress people. If any employee of mine acted as they do, they would have been fired LONG ago. We are all adults here Mr. McNerney, just have some dignity and face YOUR people like a man and answer some questions. A phone Town Hall? Never heard of anything so absurd and insulting...Please just pick a place, time, and date and let us come ask you some questions. WE read the Health Care bill and we would simply like our Representatives to provide some answers. Is that so difficult?


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Posted by Law
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 7, 2009 at 8:19 pm

"Mcnerney's town hall meeting
State, National, International, posted by concerned citizen, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, 7 hours ago
Jerry Mcnerney is planning on having a town hall meeting next week over the phone. He will take questions on the health care reform. The Representative I talked to could not confirm the date or time of the meeting. I asked why he would not meet his constituents face to face. I was told this method is more effective. This may be true but ss jerry Mcnerney afraid of meeting face to face? Why not plan 5 or 10 townhall meetings along with and over the phone session? Wouldn't both types be the most effective? With Obama pressing for a vote on such a major issue, why are we not talking. I personally want a representative that can answer my questions face to face. Let me know what everyone thinks"

Because of security concerns. There have been death threats and violence at these town hall meetings. The safety of elected officials comes first.

Also, considering that those distrupting the meetings have no real facts and are only interested in HINDERING talks, whats the point of any town hall meeting?

Again, MAJOR Hypocricy from the WRONG Right!


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Posted by you're wrong
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

The overwhelming majority of citizens who go to these Town Hall meetings are civil and remain lawful. Many of them are seniors, as well.

The scenes of TownHall violence in the media have only occurred when the left (union and ACORN thugs) have attended these meeting to deliberately provoke fights. Remember their marching orders from Obama himself..."Get in their faces. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" is what he said.

Now who is a hypocrite?


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Posted by Fan of Democracy
a resident of another community
on Aug 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

You're Wrong, here's a little insight into the disruptions of town hall meetings held by Democrats:

Right-Wing Turncoat Gives the Inside Scoop on Why Conservatives Are Rampaging Town Halls

by Francis Schaeffer

The Republican Old Guard are in the fix an atheist would be in if Jesus showed up and raised his mother from the dead: Their world view has just been shattered. Obama's election has driven them over the edge. Consider Former Congressman Dick Armey. Several far right foundations and the multitrillion dollar health-insurance industry have teamed up with him to organize the far right foot soldiers of the Republican Party to intimidate people speaking on behalf of health-care reform. They are using my old shock troops -- given many of these folks were first energized by the Evangelical pro-life movement that my late father and I started in the 1970s. What we did to clinics they are now doing to congressmen and others speaking out for health care reform.

Having failed at the ballot box, having watched their Fox News-organized "tea parties" fizzle the intimidation tactics which the Republicans have embraced are being used in a well-financed, top-down orchestrated fake grass roots campaign by corporate interests to try and protect the profits of the insurance business. Armey's FreedomWorks is organizing against health care reform. Armey's lobbying firm represents pharmaceutical companies including Bristol-Myers Squibb. Armey's lobbying firm also represents the trade group for the life insurance industry. FreedomWorks is supporting the status quo at all costs. (They are also fans of fossil fuels. Armey's lobbying firm represents Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE, on energy related issues.)

Last year, the Wall Street Journal exposed FreedomWorks for building "amateur-looking" websites to promote far right interests of Armey. FreedomWorks represents a top-down, corporate-friendly approach that's been the norm for conservative organizations for years. How do I know this is the norm? Because I used to have strategy meetings with the late Jack Kemp and Dick Army and the rest of the Republican gang about using their business ties to help finance the pro-life movement to defeat Democrats. I know this script. I helped write it.

Democratic members of Congress are being harassed by angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior at local town halls. It's the tactic we used to follow abortion providers around their neighborhoods. "Protesters" surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety. We used to do the same to Dr. Tiller... until someone killed him.

How Can The Right Stoop So Low?

I used to know Dick Armey quite well. One of my sons even worked for him as an intern. I knew Armey in the context of his being a fan of my late Evangelical Religious Right leader father Francis Schaeffer. (Back in the day when I was a right wing "pro-life" organizer who has long since quit the Republicans in disgust at their -- our -- descent into extremism and hate.) Armey was once a decent guy, whatever his political views. How could he stoop so low as to be organizing what amounts to America's Brown Shirts today?

I think I know what happened to him, Gingrich and the rest: They can't compute that their white man-led conservative revolution is dead. They can't reconcile their idea of themselves with the fact that white men like them don't run the country any more -- and never will again. To them the black president is leading a column of the "other" into their promised land. Gays, immigrants, blacks, progressives, even a female Hispanic appointed to the Supreme Court... for them this is the Apocalypse.

The last presidential election (to paraphrase Bart Simpson) "broke their brains." What else could explain their embrace of intimidation -- rather than discourse -- over the health care debate and such unsavory moments of madness as the Republicans accusing Obama and Judge Sonia Sotomayor of racism, knowing full well that they'd just destroyed their chances with the Hispanic community forever?

The "Scorched Earth Policy"

Dick Army and company have been driven mad by their reversal, not just of political fortunes but of seeing that they've wasted their lives. They now know they were wrong: about the country, the free market, war for fun and profit, and what the American people really want. They made their best case and were rejected by the American people -- and by history. Bush was their man and he turned out to be a fool. So now all the the Republican gurus have left is what the defeated Germans of World War Two had: a scorched earth policy. If they can't win then everyone must go down. Obama must fail! The country must fail!

The Lobbyist-run Groups "Americans for Prosperity " and "FreedomWorks/ Dick Armey-Orchestrated Memo:

Here is a leaked excerpt from the folks organizing the intimidation campaign:

- Artificially Inflate Your Numbers: "Spread out in the hall and try to be in the front half. The objective is to put the Rep on the defensive with your questions and follow-up. The Rep should be made to feel that a majority, and if not, a significant portion of at least the audience, opposes the socialist agenda of Washington."

- Be Disruptive Early And Often: "You need to rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation, Watch for an opportunity to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early."

- Try To "Rattle Him," Not Have An Intelligent Debate: "The goal is to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda. If he says something outrageous, stand up and shout out and sit right back down. Look for these opportunities before he even takes questions."

The Last Republican Tactic: Outright Lies

A barrage of outright lies, wherein the Democrats are being accused of wanting to launch a massive euthanasia program against the elderly, free abortions for everyone, and "a government takeover" of health-care is now being combined with physical intimidation that in several cases has required police escorts to protect pro health-care reform speakers surrounded by angry plants sent to disrupt public forums on the health-care issue. Demonstrators hung Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-MD) in effigy outside of his office. (Missing from the reporting of these stories -- with the notable exception of Rachel Maddow -- is the fact that much of these protests are coordinated by public relations firms and lobbyists who have a stake in opposing President Obama's reforms.

There is no daylight between the Republican Party, the health-care insurance industry, far right leaders like Dick Armey, the legion of insurance lobbyists, and now, a small army of thugs. All we're missing is actual uniforms, otherwise we now have a full blown American version of the Nazi Brown Shirts.

No, I don't believe that these people are about to take over the country. No, the sky is not falling. But the Republican Party is. It is now profoundly anti-American.

The health-insurance industry is run by very smart and very greedy people who have sunk to a new low. So has the Republican Party's leadership that will not stand up and denounce the likes of Dick Armey for helping organize roving bands of thugs trying to strip the rest of us of the ability to be heard when it comes to the popular will on reforming health care.

Conclusion: the Fascist Formula

Here's the emerging American version of the fascist's formula: combine millions of dollars of lobbyists' money with embittered troublemakers who have a small army of not terribly bright white angry people (collected over decades through pro-life mass mailing networks) at their beck and call, ever ready to believe any myth or lie circulated by the semi literate and completely and routinely misinformed right wing -- Evangelical religious underground. Then put his little mob together with the insurance companies' big bucks. That's how it works -- American Brown Shirts at the ready.

What's the results of the fascist formula for the rest of us? Well, think how this "method" worked against Dr. Tiller's abortion clinic and how that story ended. In this case a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save our economy from going bankrupt because of spiraling health care costs may be lost, not because of a better argument, but because of lies backed up by anti-democratic embittered thuggery. The motive? Revenge on America by the Old White Guys of the far right, and greed by the insurance industry.

What Can Be Done?

It's time that this whole shabby (and insane) business be exposed, vilified in run out of town on a rail by whatever responsible Republicans -- if any -- that are still in the party and who want to see the fortunes of their party revived. Republican leaders taking insurance industry money via lobbying firms and using it to organize what amounts to roving bands of thugs not only need to be exposed but thrown out of the public debate forever. They should become absolute pariahs.

It's time to give this garbage in name: insurance industry funded fascism.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.

Web Link


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Posted by !!!
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Dear Fan of Democracy:
Your post above is best read with "Twighlight Zone" music in the background.


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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm


A Townhall meeting over the phone, by any other name, is a conference call. Has to be set up in advance and participation approved.

Doesn't sound like a Townhall meeting to me.

A Townhall meeting, I think, would be held at Amador Theatre, or the Veterans Hall.. maybe even City Council chambers.. with the police in attendance to preserve order.

Since it could be done reasonably and without disruption, I'm inclined to believe those who say McNerney's made up his [party] mind and doesn't want anyone to have 'their' contrary opinion heard.

..or maybe he's just too busy reading the 4 different 1,000 page bills! NOT!!

unclehomerr..


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Posted by Lee
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2009 at 1:44 pm

McNerney is doing the right thing. Now he can answer REAL questions, instead of having a bunch of right-wing nutjobs yelling and screaming.


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Posted by Top Cop
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 8:16 am

Penche Way,

Thas a DIRECT THREAT and your IP and identity with reach the authorities!


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Posted by Billie
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 9, 2009 at 9:45 am

Wow, whoever thought that racism and predjudice wasn't alive and well in little old Pleasanton hasn't read the TownSquare Forum lately.

From subtle threats and commentary to blatant ones like PW above, this Forum seems to have become THE place in Pleasanton for anonymous posters to show the true colors of their bigotry - all while righteously wrapping themselves in the mantle of free speech.

It doesn't really matter where your politics fall; racism, predjudice and bigotry must NEVER be tolerated.


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Posted by ??
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm

what did penche way say?


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Posted by Top Cop
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I am not going to repeat waht was posted word for word. A direct death threat with a racist innuendo, involving a woman and her children, directed at a woman who posted
in the thread. Authorities are working on it.


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Posted by concered citizen
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 10, 2009 at 9:15 am

Its sad to see how such a simple thread can turn into this. If Pleasanton can not have a civil debate how is the rest of the world supposed to do it..


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Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 10, 2009 at 9:19 pm

How do you even know it is Jerry McNerney on the other end of the line? It could be one of those voice-over actors from South Park. This is much like Obama holding townhall meetings and only allowing one network to cover it and planting questions in the audience to match the answsers that were already loaded into his teleprompter. (Cholo...please don't report me...I'm innocent)

Reply to LAW, Downtown: In an interview several weeks ago, Obama responded to a specific question about the bill circulating in congress with the comment "I'm not familiar with that section". For you to assume that townhall attendees haven't read part or all of what is available on the Internet and are incapable of asking specific questions of our legislators is an arrogant position on your part. I'd venture to bet that if constituents hadn't started reading the bill and asking specific questions, the legislators would still be relying on their aides' interpretations and summaries rather than on direct knowledge gleened from personal reading of the bill.


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Posted by Roll on
a resident of Valencia
on Aug 12, 2009 at 11:29 am

I have an idea why he is having a town hall meeting over the phone. Think of travel expenses to fly from DC to Pleasanton, California. Many of you would be up in arms at "the exorbitant fees taxpayers are being forced to pay." If this was a full on tour of town hall meetings, then yes, the plane flight might be worth it. But if, as I believe is the case, this meeting is for Pleasanton alone, then the cost of flying out, accommodation, etc. is simply not worth it for a town of 60,000. I think he is making the smart decision to save us, as the taxpayers, money.


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Posted by Never Forget
a resident of Canyon Creek
on Aug 12, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Roll on, you have no idea what you are talking about. Representative McNerney is back home in Pleasanton. He is scared to death to face his employees, We The People. He would like this entire topic to dissappear. Remember this day when it comes to the next election.


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Posted by Larry Sudweeks
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm


Mc Nerney is pure and simple, a coward, a cock roach that can't stand the light of day of a simple town hall meeting to face his constituents.
He is backing the radical addenda of Obama and we the people will remove him from office.

He is pathetic at best.

Larry Sudweeks


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Posted by Pete
a resident of Danville
on Aug 22, 2009 at 5:51 pm

The sooner we get McNerney, a mini-me of Pelosi, out of office the better. He is a coward for now facing his constituents. He should do the right thing and resign along with all of the other Spendocrats that rubber stamped these massive spending bills without so much as bothering to read them. They tried to do it again with health care. Congratulations to the American citizens who are standing up for our Country and what is left of the Constitution. Happiness will be seeing Pelosi leaving the House with Dodd and Frank under each arm. 2010 cannot come soon enough.


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