Town Hall fiasco
August 20, 2009
If you don’t think the Town Hall meetings are rigged, think again.
When I heard I could put my name in a lottery to receive two tickets for the recent Town Hall meeting in Grand Junction I signed up immediately on the whitehouse.gov website. I called my friend Jim and invited him to go if I got lucky. I encouraged him to do the same. Jim was “unaffiliated” in Pitkin County. I have been a registered Republican forever. We got two tickets.
Jim got the call; pick up the tickets that day in Grand Junction, in person, at a secret location.
The following day we set out for Grand Junction. We checked into a hotel and swapped stories with the owner about obtaining the tickets and had a few laughs. The owner told us about how her mom tried to get tickets and was immediately asked her political affiliation. Republicans were not being granted tickets according to the person on the other end. An uncle also tried to get tickets and was also denied.
Jim and I were on our way to Central High School, but no clear directions for arrival detoured us a time or two. We arrived at 3:05 p.m. Hundreds of supporters and demonstrators filled the field across the street and dozens joined us in our confident approach toward the entrance. When we arrived we were told that they were no longer allowing entry.
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“But we have tickets, we drove for hours, we got a hotel.”
We struck up conversation with a Mesa County Sheriff deputy, trying to figure out why we were denied entry. Law enforcement was taking instructions directly from the White House and they were told to “shut it down.” There were even people who got in, but were later escorted out because of the over-attendance.
There were counterfeit tickets, which resulted in too many people. Local legislators received extra tickets, which resulted in too many people. Busloads of out-of-towners with tickets arrived very early in the day, which resulted in too many people. Did the people on those buses have to pick up their tickets at a secret location the day before?
Jim and I took our restrained anger and left, but not before we let some of the Health Care Reform supporters know how we felt about being turned away.
I held up my ticket in front of scores of people and told them essentially that this ticket has as much validity as the health care they are so mistakenly supporting. Then I pointed at the Black Hawk helicopter, high in the sky, nose tilted forward, guarding the limousine that carried the President. I said, “Do you see that helicopter? That’s my son up there. He and his crew are right now ensuring the safety and well-being of their commander in chief. Don’t expect to get the government to run a health care system with anywhere near the level of professionalism, efficiency and loyalty you see up there.”