Knowing that the media all over America has been reporting that Congressman Brian Baird had to “cancel” plans to hold Town Hall meetings with constituents over a “death threat” allegedly faxed to Baird, it was a bit perplexing to be notified this morning of a call that went out to selected members of the WA Federation of State Employees Union, urging to show up to a “meeting” to be held in Cowlitz County, Thursday, Aug 13 from 2 PM to 4 PM, that would be a face-to-face with Congressman Baird.
Baird has said in regards to face-to-face town hall meeting with constituents, “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics,” and “There is this national movement in blogs and on the Internet to go to town hall meetings solely to attack people.” He went on to say, “live meetings will ‘probably resume’ in September or October,” in an interview with the Columbian.
Since Clark County constituents were treated to a hastily set up tele-conference Friday, August 7, with a very last minute notification going out to some, it piqued my interest to read of Union members being invited to meet with in a face-to-face meeting with a couple days notice.
I found it especially curious, as Representative Baird had indicated fear for his life due to the death threat allegedly faxed to him, but so far, it has been only Union thugs that have physically attacked and beaten people at town halls.
Searching for any announcement of the meeting, I was directed to the August 11 edition of the Longview Daily News and the article, Federal lawmakers to get report from Mount St. Helens panel which announces,
“Swanson said Friday he didn’t believe public comment would be taken at Thursday’s event, but it is open to the public. The meeting is only scheduled for one hour, making a public comment session unlikely.”
“Thursday’s meeting is at 2 p.m. in the Cowlitz County Expo and Conference Center, 1900 Seventh Ave., Longview.”
That certainly doesn’t sound like much of a meeting to stack it with supporters, especially with the email notifying those selected members saying,
“Spread the word & come if you can.... btw, this is NOT a health-care event (though it wouldn't surprise me if there was protesting going on). Come out in your green shirt & hear what your Congressman & Senators have to say!”
Looking around the WA Federation of State Employees web site I found,
A number of town hall meetings are scheduled in coming weeks. While Congress is home on vacation, make sure they hear from you about health care reform. Attend an event in your area with your Members of Congress to show that we need health care reform and we need it now. It would be very good to counter the anti-health care reform rhetoric at these Town Halls. To see the schedule in your area and to download resources you can use, go to www.wfse.org > Action Center.
You’ve seen the news reports showing the shouting matches at these town hall meetings, some from legitimate frustration, but a lot orchestrated by big business and the big insurance companies. You need to make your voice heard so the call for affordable health insurance isn’t drowned out by the greed of the insurance companies.
One important town hall meeting is set this Thursday in Longview.
Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell and Representative Baird are scheduled to be in Longview on Thursday to speak on local issues. This was not scheduled as a health care event, but opponents of health care reform are targeting this meeting as a platform for their message.
We need AFSCME health care reform ADVOCATES in the house. Please try to attend!
Mount St. Helens Citizen Advisory Committee Update
Thursday, August 13, 2009 / 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cowlitz County Expo Center, Loowit Meeting Room, 1900 7th Ave., Longview
But, didn’t the Union email just say it wasn’t about healthcare?
Looking around some more, I was even more surprised to discover on the official Obama website, Organizing For America,
Standing up for insurance reform in Longview, WA with Sen. Murray, Sen. Cantwell, And Rep. Baird (Health Care Public Event)
Our representatives are under attack by Washington insiders, insurance companies, and well-financed special interests who don't go a day without spreading lies and stirring up fear. We need to show that we're sick and tired of it, and that we're ready for real change, this year.
Please come to the Health Care event, and make sure that the most powerful voices in this debate are those calling for real reform.
Please try to arrive by noon; space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Time: Thursday, August 13 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Host: Organizing for America
Location: COWLITZ COUNTY EXPO CENTER (LONGVIEW, WA)
1900 7TH AVENUE LONGVIEW, WA 98632
This is the same location, same day and same time the Daily Times tells us the three will be in Cowlitz to receive a simple report, in a one-hour meeting. Surely they cannot be in more than one place at one time, so it appears the public announcement went out in the very bottom of a article filled with deflective words, possibly to discourage public attendance, seeing just another boring meeting over nothing too important.
Yet, OAF and WFSE are sending out invites to stack a town hall type event that all 3 will be at, showing any media invited how the citizens of southwest Washington support this healthcare reform when they televise it later on.
Baird champions himself as an advocate of his constituents, yet we are snubbed when it comes to meeting with him face-to-face to discuss such an important matter as totally revamping our healthcare industry under near complete government control. We that were lucky enough to get through last Friday were entitled to ask a question over the phone and only those fortunate enough to be listening in were able to hear the answers given.
And now we see that Baird, along with Murray, Cantwell, OAF and WFSE seem to be conspiring to hold a stealth townhall on healthcare that will most assuredly will be shown afterwards as a big win for Democrats, when voices of opposition will not be present, not knowing what was really going on.
If this is not a deliberate attempt to set-up a favorable town hall for display, then these people are inept and should not be trusted running out healthcare system.
This is not an “advocate of the people,” but a career politician ponying up to special interest money for support
I can’t really say I’m shocked, but clearly, Brian Baird needs to be replaced in November 2010.
With the challengers running, to replace Baird, he has shown a complete lack of regard for voters in Washington’s Third Congressional District with favoring special interests.
UPDATE: Congressman Baird, obviously under fire from many constituents, has cancelled the stealth townhall and is arranging town halls for constituents. Baird apologizes, announces meetings