August Flashbacks: Dems Face Downpour of Criticism Over Healthcare Vote Back Home

April 5, 2010

August Flashbacks: Dems Face Downpour of

Criticism Over Healthcare Vote Back Home

Democrats Return Home to More of the Frustration and Backlash

that Made Last Summer’s Town Halls So Memorable


Protestors in Show Low say ‘no’ to health care bill” (White Mountain Independent): “Protestors last Friday said they would not support the bill under its current status and if passed called on state lawmakers to get on the nullification bandwagon to keep it from coming to Arizona … Carrying signs saying ‘Kill the Bill’ and asking motorists to honk if they agree, opponents numbering about 50 to 60 strong lined the highway at the entrance to city hall off of the Deuce… Smart Girl Politics’ Karen MacKean organized the protest and said she did it to send a message to the president that Smart Girl Politics and White Mountain Conservatives oppose ‘Obamacare’ and urge people to keep voicing their opposition…‘They are irresponsible idiots in Washington,’ she said. ‘And we elected them and they are all out, they’re out, they’re getting their pink slips in the mail in 2010. This is a message to our liar-in-chief, not now, not ever.’…  Immediately following the protest on the Deuce of Clubs both sides went into city hall and asked Kirkpatrick’s Show Low representative to speak to them which met with the reply she would be available to meet on a one-to-one basis in her office, but not in the lobby.” (Mike Leiby, “Protestors in Show Low say ‘no’ to health care bill,” White Mountain Independent, 03/26/2010)


“Denver Tea Party rally draws hundreds” (KWGN): Passion. Anger. Excitement. Those were just some of the emotions brewing at the Tea Party Express III rally at the Colorado State Capitol Wednesday. ‘It’s very frustrating and it’s frustrating to watch how some of this stuff has come down,’ said one Tea Party member, standing at the curb holding a sign that criticized the federal government. The anti-tax movement drew a large crowd: about 500 people. It’s not as large as the previous rally with 2,000 people, but they were just as fired up–this time for change in November. The group’s mantra is ‘Just Vote Them Out.’ They’re talking about politicians they say don’t represent the people because of ‘yes’ votes on health care reform, deficit spending and bailouts. ‘There’s a strong movement to have a replacement for Rep. Markey. Rep. Perlmutter, Rep. Salazar. Rep. Polis,’ says Tea Party Organizer Lu Busse.” (Tammy Vigil, “Denver Tea Party rally draws hundreds,” KWGN, 03/31/2010)

“Tea Party Express rolls through Denver, Grand Junction,” (Denver Post): “Hundreds of Coloradans ready to send Washington a message turned out Wednesday at separate Tea Party Express gatherings in Grand Junction and Denver. Bob McConnell, a Steamboat Springs rancher and ski patroller who is running to unseat U.S. Rep. John Salazar, said, ‘There is a wall of arrogance in Washington.’ ‘And on Nov. 2, we’re going to march around that wall, a trumpet is going to come down, our voices will be heard in our votes and that wall of arrogance is going to come down,” McConnell said at the Grand Junction rally. In Denver, Terry Gray of Henderson carried a homemade sign aimed at two Colorado Democrats, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey. One side said, ‘Bye bye Mike’; the other, ‘Recall Betsy Markey.'” (Lynn Bartels and Nancy Lofholm, “Tea Party Express rolls through Denver, Grand Junction,” Denver Post, 04/01/2010)


“Himes challenged at health care reform Q&A” (Stamford Advocate): “Fresh from his vote in favor of the historic health-care reform bill, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes on Thursday came home to answer to his constituents, some who weren’t particularly happy with the result of the months-long political debate. Himes was at The Nathaniel Witherell nursing home to explain how the legislation will affect seniors, and answer questions about the reform in general…. Some in the audience challenged Himes over some aspects of the bill. Town resident Joan Pankosky, who is in her 70s, told Himes that she resented that the legislation requires people to purchase health insurance… ‘I want to make the comparison between my experience and the experience I think many Americans are going to have to go through.’… ‘I see your point,’ Pankosky told Himes, ‘but I don’t agree with it.'” (Lisa Chamoff, “Himes challenged at health care reform Q&A,” Stamford Advocate, 04/01/2010)

(IL-17) HARE

Discussion about health care reform in Quincy” (KHQA): “Healthcare reform was a hot topic in Quincy Thursday, April 1st. Congressman Phil Hare (D – IL) has been holding discussions on the newly enacted health care reform bill. He was at the Quincy Senior and Family Resource center Thursday to go over the benefits of the bill, but the crowd didn’t see it that way… Congressman Phil Hare has been facing scrutiny after a healthcare discussion in Quincy Thursday. At the Quincy Family and Resource Center Thursday afternoon the democrat was faced with tough questions and plenty of criticism as he talked about the newly enacted healthcare reform bill. Some video from this meeting has been posted on you tube claiming Congressman Hare doesn’t care about the constitution” (Jarod Wells, “Discussion about health care reform in Quincy,” KHQA, 04/01/2010)


“Kosmas gets an earful during a tele town hall on health care” (WDBO): “Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas took some heat from callers for her health care reform vote during a telephone town hall on the issue Wednesday night. More than 4,000 people called into the event, and many of them let her know they didn’t like her yes vote. Most of the callers were civil. ‘What did you do about tort reform?’ asked one man. ‘I don’t see anything in the bill.’ But a few callers like this man from Port Orange didn’t hide their disgust. ‘How can a Congressperson that has been elected by the people just ignore the will of the people and allow their party to buy and bribe and extort votes to pass a bill that nearly 70 percent of the American public did not want?’ he asked. He ended his call by saying he didn’t want to put Kosmas on the spot, but she changed her vote.” (Marva Hinton, “Kosmas gets an earful during a tele town hall on health care,” WDBO, 03/25/2010)


“Spring forecast: Incivility with a chance of rage” (Politico): “If the experience of this state’s two Democratic House members is any indication, the raw emotion and mistrust emanating from last summer’s congressional town halls never really went away. Instead, the unrest simmered over the ensuing months, only to return to a boil when Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for U.S. Senate, returned home to meet with their constituents here during the first week of the Easter recess. Their public events provided a bracing reminder to Democrats that the political pivot from health care to economic and financial issues is going to be much more arduous than they expected… While the new landmark health care reform law is driving much of the hostility, at a handful of events here in the week after passage, voters expressed profound cynicism and suspicion not just about the legislation, but about Washington, government and virtually everything that came out of their legislators’ mouths… For her part, at back-to-back town hall meetings in Bedford and Merrimack, Shea-Porter faced consistent boos, heckles and catcalls after almost every point she rattled off in defense of her vote… When she told the crowd the obvious — that they had the chance to oust her in seven months — the notion prompted claps and a promise from one man who thundered, ‘And we will.'” (David Cantanese, “Spring forecast: Incivility with a chance of rage,” Politico, 04/04/2010)


“Murphy meets his critics” (Glens Falls Post-Star): “From Rocky in Ballston, to Chris in Lake Luzerne, to Greg in Chestertown, they came armed with comments and opinions more than actual questions for Congressman Scott Murphy. There were more than 100 in attendance at the ski lodge at West Mountain on Friday as Murphy faced the music for his ‘yes’ vote on health care reform. This was the Internet incarnated with faces supplanting user names and actual shouting instead of the ALL CAPS comments that so often go with cyber anonymity. These were exclamation points in real time as person after person took their turn trying to nail Murphy’s hide to the wall with facts that often weren’t often true facts. You’ve got to give the guy credit for standing up to the 90-minute barrage. It was fierce at times and relentless and he articulated his position calmly and respectfully, even when those in front of him were essentially saying he was a liar, a crook or both.” (Ken Tingley, “Murphy meets his critics,” Glens Falls Post-Star, 04/04/2010)