Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Congressman Fleischmann's Town Hall Meeting in Oak Ridge - Rowdy!

I have never been in the same room with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann so when I got a facebook status to my blackberry this afternoon from Terry Frank that the Congressman would be having a town hall meeting in Oak Ridge, I decided to attend.

I still have NEVER personally talked with Congressman Fleischmann. I went to observe and report here on Shock And Awe how the town hall went and to observe and get a feel for what kind of Representative Fleischmann is. In the Republican Primary, I was supportive of Robin Smith because I have worked with Robin and have a personal acquaintance with her. So, this was my effort to give Fleischmann an opportunity.

The town hall meeting of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann was getting ready to start. The Congressman's Chief of Staff Chip Saltsman is seated in the front on the wall. Wearing the blue shirt, khaki pants.

Congressman Fleischmann presented a 20 minute presentation on the US debt crisis. He was interrupted once by a man on the front row wanting to know about defense spending.  

Here the man that interrupted the Congressman about defense spending asked the first question. Actually it was not a question, it was a bizarre statement and then he said that he wanted National Health care. Some of his comrades clapped. When the Congressman explained how he disagreed, the other half of the crowd clapped over he and his comrades. Which caused this man to scream out "SHAME" at the crowd.

This gentleman asked about the Congressman had signed the Grover Norquist pledge not to raise taxes. He asked if the Congressman would ever reconsider that pledge. Another war? Anything? The Congressman said NO! He believes that America should grow jobs in order to grow revenue.  

This lady is the President of the newly formed Anderson County Republican Women Club. She presented the Congressman with a pin from 1976. She asked the Congressman how old he was in 1976. He calculated and determined he was 14.

This lady is the face of extremist liberal. She was confrontational, she was lacked any form of civility. She was simply there to incite a riot and fire up her comrades.

Here Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan is trying to restore some civility to the uncivilized lady with Congressman Fleischmann. The problem is about half of the crowd were not the civilized kind.

Here my friend Richard Esparza asked the Congressman about his campaign pledge to vote to abolish the Patriot Act. But when he became the Congressman he voted to extend the act. The Congressman attempted to explain that he looked at both side and came down on the side of not allowing the terrorists to win. Mr. Esparza followed up with a question if the Congressman had read the entire 1,000 page Patriot Act. The Congressman said he had not. What is interesting about that is that prior to Mr. Esparza getting there, during the Congressman's presentation he made a statement that he couldn't believe that Congress would vote for a bill to find out what is in the bill.  

The gentleman in the black shirt asked the Congressman about his 2010 campaign. In that campaign the Congressman did not appear at any debates with his Republican opponents. He asked the Congressman to pledge to debate his Republican and his General Election (Democrat) opponents in next years election. The Congressman did not pledge to debate any opponents.

I have not concluded what my thoughts are on Congressman Fleischmann. I am past step one in evaluating him and his abilities as the Representative for the Third Congressional District of Tennessee.


Anonymous said...

This is an awesome report Brian! Sure wish the Yellow colored paper would do some real reporting! Good job!

Olaf Storaasli said...

I was there between the obnoxious man and screaming woman - they were uncivil rabble rousers not there to learn but incite as you mention. I thought Fleischmann did a fine job and told him so after along with asking an energy- related question of my own. I was impressed by his knowledge and response. I suggest next time you take the time to discuss questions with him in more detail as I did. He impressed me as representing us well in these tough economic times.

Anonymous said...

I also attended and enjoyed reading your summary. I stayed after to ask our congressman an energy question. I was impressed with his knowledge and first-hand-experience demonstrated in his answer. I encourage you and others to talk to him 1-1. Overall, in this town hall meeting and his frequent Facebook communications it seems he represents our District well, so far. However, as you saw from the CBO charts he showed, we need to reel in our government spending