Saturday, August 15, 2009

The "Secret" Town Hall Meeting

As we said earlier this week, the "Town Hall" meeting organized by Congressman Scott Murphy in Nassau on August 10 had nothing to do with informing the public and everything to do with orchestrating Democratic support for the nationalized medicine that has caused the President to plummet in the polls.

The Congressional Town Halls are supposed to serve as occasions to inform the public on important federal issues and allow for give and take between citizens and their federal representative. But the overwhelming negative reception to the Town Halls caused Team Murphy to run for the hills – literally the hills, in this case, the hills of southern Rensselaer County and hastily scheduling a "Town Hall" meeting near the Nassau-Stephentown border.

Instead of first informing the public and the press about the "Town Hall", Team Murphy only called the Nassau Democratic chairman to organize the event and allow for Democrats to be informed and organized a strong turnout. Members of the public and the media were given just hours of notice before the event. Hardly open government.

The Murphy Nassau "Town Hall" was also the setting where the Democrat legislative ticket in District 4 came together with Murphy for a photo op endorsing the nationalized health care deal. Murphy was joined by candidates including Legislator Flora Fasoldt, liberal blogger Linda Underwood and Norm Young, who does not even live in the district and instead calls Stephentown home. You may wonder if the Murphy event was held close to the Nassau-Stephentown border to cut down on Norm's commute.

The e-mail sent out by the Nassau Democrat Chairman shows there is hardly anything open or inclusive about the recent Murphy Nassau "Town Hall". The event was really just an opportunity for silly political posturing on an important issue that deserves real debate and real discussion. Instead of real debate, we got a staged photo op that catered only to Democrats. Residents deserve better and more open representation. Here's the e-mail:

--- On Sun, 8/9/09, Mark Berger> wrote:

From: Mark Berger
Subject: Scott Murphy is coming to Nassau this Monday, tomorrow at
5;00 - Midweek Moment of Politics
Date: Sunday, August 9, 2009, 9:56 AM
Midweek Moment of Politics
(August 8, 2009)

Hi all,

Here is something you'll have to add to your "to do" list, because it's too late to add to your calendar. Tomorrow, Monday, Congressman Scott Murphy is coming to Nassau. He will be at Roaster's Whim Café at 1750 Rte 43 at 5:00 pm. He wants to hear what's on your mind. So show up with questions for him. Also, plan on showing up a little early. I'm sorry I am giving you such late notice, but here's what happened.

On Friday, about 4:30 pm, I was at my desk working on our home business when the phone rang. It was Scott Murphy's regional director Rob Scholz. He asked me if I could organize a Congressman on your Corner meeting somewhere in Nassau for this Monday, August 10, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. He apologized for the short notice.

I told him to give me 15 minutes. I sat for a minute and thought about what was available in our town and that's when I flashed on Fred Cashmere's Roaster's Whim Café. I thought that would be the ideal location: it is large enough, it is the center of our fight to keep our town's rural residential character, and it is a little closer to
home for Scott.

I called Fred , and great guy that he is, he agreed immediately. He said, "This place was built as a community center. This is what it's for." He even said he would supply the coffee. So I called Rob Scholz back and the deal was done. I really hope all of you who can come will come to hear what Congressman Murphy has to say and to tell him what's on your mind. He is doing a great job and he is gaining respect as an independent voice in the House of Representatives.

Rob asked me to put together a list of concerns and I did. It includes: keeping our rural residential character, stopping inappropriate industries from locating here, finding a way to fund a capital program for the highway department, supporting local agriculture and a couple of other things.

Since this is not billed as a forum to discuss the medical insurance plans being discussed in Congress, I am hoping that the people who have been trying to bully our government into inaction will stay away.

If you want to know more about what Scott Murphy has been up to, just go to his site:

Thanks for listening,

Town of Nassau Democratic Committee, PO Box 237, East Nassau, 12062