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By Roz Rogoff

Swalwell's Town Hall call?

Uploaded: Feb 27, 2014

On February 25th I received an email from Congressman Eric Swalwell. At least it was an email with his name on it. Here's the text of the email.

"Dear Friend,

Please join me for a Telephone Town Hall on Thursday, February 27 at 10 AM PST. I will answer your questions about the issues affecting you and your family, and provide an update on what is going on in Congress.
Please sign up for my free telephone town hall here.

The telephone town hall lasts approximately one hour, and you are welcome to stay on the line and listen for as long as you can. Instructions will be given to callers who would like to ask a question, and I do my best to take as many questions as possible.
Federal communication laws only permit us to call constituents who have signed up with a land line phone number, so please remember to sign up using a land line.

As always, it is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress. To stay in touch, please connect with me on Twitter @RepSwalwell and on Facebook. If you have not done so already, please SIGN UP to continue receiving my e-newsletter.

Eric Swalwell
Member of Congress"

I clicked the link above and signed up for the "Free Town Hall." I'm not sure why it said "Free." Do other Congress persons charge for Town Hall phone calls to constituents, or only deep pocket supporters?

Anyway I signed up for it because I wanted to know what he was going to talk about. I have already been critical of some of his mailers, which looked a lot like political puff pieces paid for by our tax money. One of them even has a photo from iStockphoto. I couldn't find an exact match to the photo in Swalwell's latest mailer, but I think this is the same guy.

At least the photos with Swalwell talking to people in the District include real constituents.

I have questions and serious concerns about Social Security and Medicare. I don't want my Medicare Advantage plan that I like very much to be taken away or increased in cost with reduced benefits. I wanted to know what he and fellow Democrats are doing about that.

So I woke up early on Wednesday to be up and ready for the phone call. For me anything before 10 am is early. I tend to stay up late at night working on my computer, either answering students' questions or writing my blogs. Often I don't go to bed before 2 am. Since I don't need to be at an office by 8 am, I don't need to wake up earlier than 10.

No call came, so I checked the original invitation, which was sent to my Embarcadero Publishing email address. Swalwell's Press Relations person had that address from my last, not-so-friendly blog on Swalwell. I had the day wrong. It was Thursday, today, at 10 am. OK, I goofed.

So I set my alarm for 9:20 again this morning. At 9:45 I was getting coffee, so I would be reasonably alert when the call came at 10. I went into my office to prepare for Swalwell's call and NO CALL.

I checked my email again and there was a message from Eric Swalwell on the Mytrainingdept email, which was the one I registered with. It was received at 9:43 am with the Subject "Time Change."

"Dear Friend,

Due to a change in the Congressional vote schedule, my telephone town hall will begin today at 9:45 AM PST. You will receive a call at that time asking you to participate. I hope you can join.


Eric Swalwell
Member of Congress"

When I saw the message it was a little after 9:45 am. There was a phone number on my caller ID at 9:43 am with a 478 area code and the name "INS BENEFITS." That's one of the typical junk calls I get and don't answer. Either Swalwell's call came in at the same time and received a busy signal, or the call will be rescheduled again.

Who changes a phone call to an earlier time two minutes before it is going to be made, and 15 minutes before it was originally scheduled? Eric Swalwell I guess.

I have not been a fan of Eric Swalwell since he was elected. I was hoping to give him a chance to answer questions and do his job for constituents, of which I am one. So I'm writing this right after either missing his rescheduled Town Hall phone call, or him not being able to reach me at that time, or possibly not holding the Town Hall at all.

Does anyone know? Did anyone reading this get the call? What did he talk about? Was it useful or just more of Swalwell 's self-inflation. How do you feel about the time change and how this was done? And please, trolls are not welcome here. I'm mad enough as it is, and I'm not going to put up with any juvenile nonsense.

This is our Representative in Congress. I wanted to give Congressman Swalwell a second chance to prove he deserves to be there. Unless there really was a Town Hall phone call and someone reading this blog thought it was worthwhile, I'm done with Swalwell for good now.