Recess Roastings: Grayson Roasts Himself With Phony Venue

August 19, 2009

Grayson Roasts Himself With Phony Venue

The Smell of Burnt Astroturf: Orlando’s One and Only Healthcare Town Hall Pre-loaded with Democrats

Democrat Leaders Encourage Party to Play Offense to Sell Their Government Healthcare Takeover to Constituents:

“Faced with sagging approval for Democrats’ health care plans heading into the August recess, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that his party will have a more focused message buoyed by deals emerging from both the House and Senate….’We’re going to be on the air, we’re going to be in neighborhoods,’ he said. ‘We’re going to have a lot of help.’” (Steven T. Dennis, “Hoyer Says Democrats Going on Offense Over August,” Roll Call, 07/30/09)


Recess Roasting: “Town hall, or Orange County Democratic Party meeting?” Grayson Packs the Hall in His Favor:

How random was the choosing of the IBEW hall for Congressman Alan Grayson’s town hall meeting Monday?


The Orange County Democratic Party meets every third Monday of the month at the Union Hall on Virginia Drive. The calendar on their website shows they’ve held meetings there for many months before the town hall, and many months to come. And though Monday’s meeting is listed as canceled on their website, it was held.


Congressman Grayson seemed to think it was a town hall when he arrived at 7 – 45 minutes before the scheduled town hall. Afterwards, less than half of those at the 7 o’clock meeting gave up their seats to those waiting outside. No one from the Orange County Democratic Party returned our phone calls. (Zach Stein, “Town hall, or Orange County Democratic Party meeting?,” WDBO Radio, 08/19/2009)




Duane Coffey didn’t like what he was hearing from Alan Grayson. So he let him know.


“Boooooooo!!” he repeated a few minutes later, louder and longer.


Coffey sounded angry. He looked mad.


And yet, moments after Orlando’s one and only health-care town-hall meeting disbanded, the 43-year-old father of three and critic of Barack Obama’s health-care plans looked happy as a clam.


“I’m glad Grayson had this,” he said with a smile. “I think he needed to hear what people think. And tonight, he did.”


Oh, Coffey still had his objections — both to the plan and to the way the Democratic congressman stacked the room in his favor. (Think of a deck of cards where three out of every four cards was an ace … in Grayson’s pocket.)


But the result was a “town hall” meeting unlike most of what we have seen in the rest of America — rational and with meaningful discussion — even though most of the questions came from critics.


As such, you probably won’t see much about it on Fox or CNN.


The 24-hour media, after all, have no more interest in covering rational discussions than the public has in watching them….

Grayson loaded the dice. For some people, this overshadowed everything else. And I can see why. Grayson pre-loaded the venue with Democrats, so that less than half the seats were even available to rank-and-file citizens. That move was transparent and tainted things from the get-go….

The venue choice. Come on, a union hall that seats 125 people? Too small and too partisan. It’s understandable that Grayson wanted a space manageable enough to allow actual discussions. But when you’re only letting about 45 regular folks in, that doesn’t pass the smell test….

The repeated child references. Grayson brought three of his children to the meeting and then repeatedly cited their presence in an effort to thwart objections from the crowd or as his excuse for needing to wrap up. It was unseemly. (Scott Maxwell, “A flawed forum, but talk was real,” Orlando Sentinel, August 19, 2009)

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