Rep. Reed’s Secretive Town Hall Meetings

Rep. Tom Reed
April 20 at 11:25am ·
I am holding a town hall meeting tonight in Chemung County.
6:00 – 7:00 PM, Southport Town Hall, 1139 Pennsylvania Ave, Elmira
I hope you will be able to join me to discuss our efforts to protect Social Security.

Rep. Tom Reed’s Town Hall Meetings have changed.  Since his re-election to Congress last November many of these events have been themed. It started with his February 19 meeting in Owego—it was billed as a meeting to discuss his Defense of Property Rights Act.

The next day’s he spent an 75 of his 90 minute Penn Yan meeting discussing Foreign Policy, especially Syria and ISIS. There was no mention of his Property Rights proposal.

The next “themed” Town Hall Meeting was the one announced above in Southport (Elmira) with “Social Security” being the topic of the day. The announcement was placed on his Facebook page zipitless than 7 hours before the event! Even the Elmira Star Gazette gave its readers a less than one day notice of this meeting:

Reed holds Southport town hall meeting today 

I have been told that Rep. Reed’s staff sends post cards out to those who live near the location of the meeting will be held. I don’t know who receives the post cards– I hope everyone in the Town is informed about the meeting and is invited to attend–not just registered voters or worse, only those who voted in 2014.

In previous years Rep. Reed had Press Releases to inform the Press and constituents a few days in advance of the meeting. (They were usually sent out on the Tuesday before his Saturday meetings.) According to Rep. Reed’s website the last Press Release to announce a Town Hall Meeting was January 30 when he announced :

Notice he gave one day’s notice for these events, too.

His website has be revamped and the Town Hall Announcements have their own sub-menu spot. You go to his site. You then find “How Can I Help” on the vertical menu banner, and “Town Hall Events” appears on the drop-down menu. If there are any scheduled meetings, they would be listed there. Clicking on Events Archive takes you to the list of previous meetings. The Southport event isn’t listed.

What our congressman says at these meetings is news. It gives his constituents information about what is happening in Washington, and our representative’s opinion on those events. Why would a politician wants to limit who attends these meetings?

Seldom are journalists present to report on what the audience asks and how our Representative responded. The exceptions seem to be that city newspapers, especially Olean, Elmira, and Ithaca, are able to cover the meetings. Other Town Hall Meeting are occasionally covered by smaller papers.

Sometimes NewNY23rd readers attend Town Hall Meetings and report their findings either with full articles or they offer us their notes from the meetings. Some comment to Facebook or Blog articles if  its particular topic was discussed at the meeting. Two recent comments, one to a blog article, and one to a Facebook posting tells of Rep. Reed’s response to questions concerning the minimum wage problem:

In response to “SAFE Act, Fracking Ban, and now Common Core”:

Thank you for shedding light on this slick, clever politician. I recently attended one of his town halls and went away almost delirious with frustration. The room was a cheering section for Reed as he spewed misinformation and dog-whistled loathing for the disadvantaged. Get this: according to our congressman, a person on public assistance makes $43,000 a year (if s/he takes advantage of everything available). As for the minimum wage keeping people in our region in poverty, not a problem. We have too many jobs, and people just won’t take them. According to Reed (and his bobble-headed local posse) welders make $60,000/yr, but nobody wants to be a welder, and too many of our children are going to college. All that was in answer to the minimum wage question. There is no minimum wage problem. Just a lot of lazy, over-educated riffraff.

Facebook response:

In town hall meeting in Allegany Mr Reed stated that he would vote for the TPP stating that NAFTA has brought up wages in Mexico, when I asked about good old American wages and the min wage he said that he’s aganist rasing the min wage Made sense to me NOT ???

Calling constituents lazy, over-educated riffraff and praising increasing Mexican wages but not United States’ might not go over well if they were reported in every newspaper in the district.

Consider attending his meetings. Contact us, we are always interested in what goes on there.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in 2016, Congress, Constituents, Media, Town Hall Meeting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Rep. Reed’s Secretive Town Hall Meetings

  1. Anne says:

    Here’s one (and I wanted to write this up, but the exchange was so convoluted and baffling, that there was no good way to report it): at Reed’s Atlanta TH several weeks ago, the question of net neutrality came up…Reed immediately launched into pro-corporate mode, claiming he’s against it. I interjected that I’d received a letter from his office stating his full support for the cause (my pointing this out on his campaign facebook page is what got me banned from commenting there). Reed and his handler first exchanged glances–I guess they recognized who I was at that point–and then Reed launched into a word salad that would have done Sarah Palin proud….there was no way to follow the logic, the words, or make any sense of what he was saying at all, though the upshot was, and he finished by saying, that when activists use the phrase “net neutrality” they mean one thing, but when HE uses the phrase, he means something else, and therefore, that was the thing he always meant he was supporting. At this point my companion and I were exchanging glances of our own–just how stupid does this guy think we are?–but at least his response does confirm my theory that on the Tom Planet, it’s always Opposite Day.


  2. Deb Meeker says:

    Well that helps us understand other Reedisms, such as:
    Agreeing that our “lawless” Islamic – loving President Obama ( who has been terribly wrong on all other policies) should be the sole decider for the American people on the TPP and therefore eliminate Congress’ Constitutional duty to make sure the trade agreement is in the interests of the American people.

    Agreeing that gun enthusiasts should simultaneously ignore the NYS SAFE Act ( the 2nd Amendment is *the* most important one to America’s freedoms) while “not breaking the law”.

    Demanding FREEDOM ring and parents should make all decisions for their families – except women.

    That states rights are imperative – no one should be forced into being prepared with healthcare insurance – but federal law MUST be allowed to override any state law that prevents pollution and promotes the health of the state’s residents..


  3. BOB McGILL says:

    you mean you then launched into a word salad that would have done Sarah Palin proud….there was no way to follow the logic, the words, or make any sense of what I was saying at all, 🙂


  4. whungerford says:

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less.”–Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll


  5. BOB McGILL says:

    you said, “Get this: according to our congressman, a person on public assistance makes $43,000 a year (if s/he takes advantage of everything available). ”
    Actually it’s $ 42,910.40 if you do the math.
    AND ” According to Reed (and his bobble-headed local posse) welders make $60,000/yr, but nobody wants to be a welder, and too many of our children are going to college. ” is accurate, if you believe your democratic governor and the NY DEPT. of LABOR.‎
    Welder I Salaries. View Welder I Hourly Wages. Alternate Job Titles: Welder I,
    Entry Level Welder. What is the average annual salary for Welder I? The annual …

    ‎80K–$100K – ‎100K – ‎50K–$80K – ‎Welder III Salary


  6. BOB McGILL says:

    ” Humpty Dumpty said ” is 3 words ! 🙂


  7. pystew says:

    Bob, I’m glad that you are holding Rep. Reed accountable for the numbers he uses. He was off by less than 0.2%. when he talked about hope much someone could make if they took all public assistance possible. Most people would accept that the representative could round to the nearest thousand dollars. Where did you get your figure from? I would like to see where that money is coming from.

    You also are pointing out how irresponsible Rep. Reed is when he doesn’t know that beginning welders make $80K instead of $60,000!

    You could get a job of a Fact-Checker! 🙂

    What do you think about the article and the our congressman is not promoting his important Town Hall Meetings?


  8. pystew says:

    No, Bob, Anne was reporting about Rep. Reed. You need to read more closely.


  9. whungerford says:

    Why Tom holds so many TH meetings is a mystery. He doesn’t often welcome feedback–Anne didn’t mention that he showed any interest in her view of net neutrality. Speaking to small groups seems like an ineffective way to get his message out–he hasn’t written an op ed since last June, his web site has yet to be updated for the 114th Congress. Could it be merely for bragging rights, having held more meetings than any other?


  10. Anne says:

    Bob still has the training wheels on.


  11. BOB McGILL says:

    beginning welders make $80K instead of $60,000! that’s a national average in New York it may be $60. We are at the bottom of the barrel YA KNOW 🙂


  12. BOB McGILL says:

    Where did I get my figure from? the internet, same place you get your info from 🙂


  13. pystew says:

    That’s a great answer, Bob. 😦 Do you really think everything on the Internet is true?


  14. Poverty is a political construct. Congressman Reed’s political rhetoric can only be described as Social Darwinism, the belief that if you are poor, you are morally defective and are lazy. Furthermore, the figure touted as living off the high jog on “$43,000” fails to include the fact that it likely includes a family of four with at least one person who is working.

    In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.

    What is so discerning is that the congressman loathes those who are low waged and who need supplemental benefits while also degrading the solution to poverty…raising the minimum wage.

    The average American family making $50,000 annually pays approximately $36 per year towards public assistance and $6,000 a year in tax subsidies to corporations, some of it to pick up the slack in the lack of revenue that would be collected on those corporations who pay no taxes.

    Frankly, Congressman Reed would rather you buy into his dog whistles than focus on the “other” welfare that goes to his campaign contributors.


  15. Lee Marcus says:

    Oops. Correction, please. “lazy, over-educated riffraff” was not a quote. My words, not Tom Reed’s.


  16. Marcia Johnson says:

    Bob McGill, Please let me know where you got your data. According to the link you posted, which is, not a government site, Welder I has a salary range of $27,608 to $47,242 with a median income of $36,409. The NYS DOL states welders average $37,380, no where near Ree’d figures. The US DOL says the median income for welders is $37,420. So none of your or Reed’s figures are accurate. Now if you have better sources, please provide them. Or I would suggest both you and Rep. reed stop lying.


  17. pystew says:

    You can not trust McGill. I have caught him leaving words out of quotes and messes up the link so it can’t be found. He’s earned a loft from FOX News.


  18. BOB McGILLl says:

    Actually, you can’t believe anything you say on the internet, so the answer is NO 😛
    And I will bet Reed has some college kid working in his office and that is why things are the way you tell it. Ya know the incompetent screw ups you think should be getting $15.00 an hour.


  19. BOB McGILLl says:

    Yearly Welding Pay Statistics in Geneva, New York

    Average Yearly Welding Salary in New York
    $41,970 – $62,956

    Starting Yearly Welding Salary in New York
    $34,564 – $51,846

    Top Yearly Welding Salary in New York
    $49,377 – $74,065

    Monthly Welding Pay Statistics in Geneva, New York


  20. BOB McGILLl says:

    ” Employer Type

    The type of employer a welder worked for also affected his average salary range in September 2009. Self-employed welders earned the highest salaries at $90,300, but at $24,630 the starting salary was one of the lowest. Publicly traded companies paid one of the highest starting salaries at $31,099. One of the lowest paying employers of welders was the federal government, which paid workers an average of between $24,417 and $48,079.”

    Read more :


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