The Ithaca Voice newspaper has offered to sponsor a Town Hall that would be lived-streamed. Rep. Reed’s communication director rejected the offer, citing that they have planned to be in Tompkins County “in the spring”, and that Reed does not participate in sponsored Town Halls.
The Ithaca Voice article about the offer the details of what the paper offered: the length of the Town Hall (One hour and 15 minutes), the reporters who would ask the questions, 20 minutes of questions from the audience, that Reed could have a staff member to “fact check” information, and more. It sounds like it is a well thought out plan.
You can read the article here.
What really caught me was when Reed’s communication director reported that Reed does not do sponsored Town Halls. Why? Because I attended a Tom Reed Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Yates County Tea Party in 2011. Yes, his Town Hall meeting at the Benton Fire Department was a Tea Party meeting opened to the public.
Not only did we say the Pledge of Alliance, we sat through the Tea Party ritual of a prayer and the reading of the Tea Party values were recited before the meeting. Although if was open to the public here were some raffles and a basket was passed for a donation. You could also buy coffee.
You can read the article that was in the Chronicle Express about the meeting including the topics that were discussed. The big item was the government’s credit ceiling. You can guess Reed’s stand on supporting increasing it. Besides what was listed, the Tea Party members brought up the need to have all voters carry identification cards because of the number of “illegal voters”. Remember, this was early 2011. That was first time I heard anything about voter suppression. Rep. Reed did not disagree with the Tea Party’s accusation. I thought that would be a passing fad; boy was I wrong.
I wonder what would happen if a local SCOPE organization made an offer like the Ithaca Voice. Would Reed’s team turn it down? How about the Salamanca Press?
Another “fact” that inquiring minds might have picked up on–Does the Reed team have their Town Halls planned for the whole year? The communication director knows that they will do a Town Hall in Tompkins County in the spring. I wonder if they will give us a “tentative” Town Hall schedule.