Friday, August 21, 2009

Democrats Host Few Traditional Town Halls During August Recess: Henry Waxman Holds 'Secret' Climate Change Forum at UCLA

The video clip was just uploaded from Representative Henry Waxman's cap-and-trade town hall at UCLA today. At about 30 seconds, you'll see my friend Jonathan Wilson speaking into the camera:

But check this out: Just as Fox News reports that "Democrats Host Few Traditional Town Hall Meetings During August Recess," Representative Waxman has come under fire for holding a "secret" climate-change forum and for cancelling a town hall event.

The event announcement is a bit restricted, "
Climate Change Forum: Creating Security & Prosperity for the 21st Century":

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED: Seating will be limited only to those who registered via the UCLA RSVP site and received a confirmation or wait-list notice will be admitted. Individuals on the waitlist or walk-ups can not be guaranteed seats. This is a UCLA-sponsored event only. Only those who have registered with UCLA will be admitted.
Here's UCLA's press release, "US Rep. Waxman, state Sen. Pavley plan climate change forum at UCLA": "The event is at capacity and there is limited seating for news media. R.S.V.P. required." (Or, "general public keep out"!)

And as
Ari David notes in, "A Funny Thing Happened On My Way To a Town Hall Meeting":

I found out that one had to RSVP to the event to reserve a space ... I called his office and asked to be put on the list. A staffer told me about the ticketing process, and lo and behold the reservation system was not even being handled by Henry Waxman’s office but out of California State Senator, Fran Pavley’s website. How odd, the headliner, Waxman, is keeping access to the event focusing on his landmark energy bill hidden behind the opening act of a rather anonymous State Senator. I wonder why? ...

Next, I went to Senator Pavley’s website to follow the RSVP instructions for the event and instead of just having an online page to confirm that I am coming, the page took an “application” for the event and requested certain data about me in the “required fields” such as name, email address, organization, position in the organization and (not required) phone number.

I filled this all in and the page gave me a message that my application was being processed and I would hear back from them shortly.

Ok, so minus salary information and my SS# this was equal to the amount of information I gave on my first credit card application ....

There are many issues at play here. One is that the most powerful elected official from the LA area is either afraid of or smart enough not to face his voters after doing his best to wreck their lives with his two latest pieces of legislation. Another is transparency. When the Democrats took over Congress after the 2006 elections, Nancy Pelosi promised to “drain the swamp” of the culture of corruption. This theme was repeated when Obama took office and promised a “new age of transparency and government accountability.”

Some accountability this is.

Passing thousand page bills in the middle of the night that no one has or could read, rushing the bills through by claiming how urgent they are and then taking a couple days vacation to find the right photo opportunity for the signing… If anything this is the least transparent and most opaque government American’s have had in generations. We have no idea what the Cap and Trade and the health care bills will actually contain once they are written – other than a bunch of horrible things that will make our lives harder and cost us more money.
Plus, it turns out another event was planned for this evening. See, "Citizens to Host Town-Hall Meeting in Lieu of Representatives, Senators":

A group of young people will host a citizen-based town hall meeting Friday at 7:00PM at UCLA, in Bruin Plaza. The southern California based pro-life group, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, was planning a protest for Henry Waxman's town hall set for Friday evening.

However, Rep. Waxman canceled the event for fear of disruption.

"The meeting was canceled almost as soon as it was announced," said Charles Cox, a representative of Survivors. "If our elected officials are too afraid to hold an honest town hall meeting then we will gladly hold one for them."

The group has recently launched a campaign against tax-funded abortion. As part of the campaign they attended another town hall meeting in Alhambra lead by Rep. Adam Schiff last week. After learning that the questions were pre-screened, the Survivors shouted their concerns to the panel. A video of the Survivors at the meeting is available at

"HR 3200 contains provisions that are unacceptable to the majority of Americans," said Timmerie Millington, a volunteer with Survivors. "it provides a mandate for abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers through the Public Option."
This is pretty common nationwide, of course. See, "Officials avoiding town hall-style health care forums, " and "Lawmakers’ priority during recess: avoid town halls."

And recall Michelle Malkin's post, "
Phoning it in."