I can't tell you how many times I've tried to write this post. I wanted to keep it simple, but there were always too many details that got in the way of a proper explanation. Then I had an exchange on Facebook and it all came out. Here then is the crux of that exchange regarding a video I posted on You Tube:
Gerry: "...You communicate with someone and tell them what your concerns are and they respond back with a reply. That's not a town hall that is personal communications. Try it sometime."
Me: "Gerry, I don't know you and it's becoming evident from your posts that you know little about me. Please allow me to bring you up to speed.
"This is not a video of my first contact with McCotter's office nor even the first phone call. This all began in 2007 when I sent an email and got a response that was curt and dismissive but more importantly, it did not answer my question. I got the same exact message on a paper letter, so I went into his office to ask when he would be available to speak with me. What followed was a year long odyssey involving hundreds of phone calls to district directors, communications directors and a parade of schedulers that resulted in a phone conversation with McCotter's chief of staff, Andrew Anuzis. He patiently listened to my questions and promised me answers in writing which still have not arrived.
"After a month without a response, I decided to take the next step and run against him as the Green Party candidate, hoping I would finally get a chance to meet him in a forum or debate. Instead, he was a no show for the LWV, State Farm and CCCA candidate forums (forae? fora? I didn't take Latin). I thought this was unusual when it happened, but it turns out to be standard operating procedure. That became clear when the health care reform debate began.
"Which brings us to the video in question. It begins with McCotter saying that representatives would go back to their districts to get an earful from constituents. This, you will remember, came after Democrats held town hall meetings in which people from outside of the district came in to disrupt the event and shout profanities. I began an effort to have McCotter hold a town hall meeting to discuss health care reform, not to scream profanities but to discuss the chart you see behind him that he seems so eager to show everyone. I circulated a petition and went up the chain of command until I spoke with his latest scheduler, Melissa Garcia who told me they do not accept requests for town hall meetings from constituents, choosing instead to do them over the phone where they select who will participate and his staff screens the questions before he answers them. I asked to be called. I was not. My best friend, who doesn't even live in the district, was called. During that town hall, McCotter, told participants that the health care reform would cause cuts to medicare. I don't receive medicare, My best friend does. This was not a town hall. This was an infomercial.
"If you are still reading this, Gerry or if you just skipped to the bottom, you should know this. I seek out people in my district who disagree with me to have a civil and reasonable discussion with them about important issues. It's a hobby of mine. I don't get paid to do this, but McCotter does. It's his job. He is well paid to do just this and he's not doing it."
And that, in a nutshell, is our story so far.