We know where Minnesota Senator Al Franken stands on socialized health care. He ran as a frank supporter of it. What about Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar? She makes a moderate appearance and has been slightly more discreet than Franken. Apparently preferring not to face the voters directly on this issue, Senator Klobuchar had scheduled a pseudo townhall by teleconference. Reader Greg B. files this report, with a disarming personal twist:
I was selected to participate in my humble servant Senator Amy Klobuchar’s tele-townhall. I registered as instructed and received the following email from her office on Thursday: “Thank you for signing up to participate in a discussion on making health care more affordable. You will receive a reminder phone call this Friday, August 21st, and will be automatically called on Sunday, August 23rd at 7:00 PM to be joined to the call.” I was called on Friday to remind me to be on hand at 7:00 Sunday to be connected to the tele-town hall.
I was ready to ask a respectful yet tough question. Imagine my surprise when at precisely 7:00 on Sunday I received a recorded phone call from the Senator herself informing me that at 7:00 that evening she had hosted a discussion on health care with someone from Mayo and the biggest nurse in the land. Gee, she was sorry she missed me, but I can go to her Web site later tonight to hear a recording of it.
I think I just got a double biff from Senator Amy. First, she ditched me, then she lied about it…and she didn’t even care enough to make it a good lie (no pun intended).
I hate it when women do that to me.
Alluding to a regular feature on John Hinderaker’s Saturday radio show, Greg asks: “Can she be the loon of the week? I think she swims backwards.”
Checking out her site, incidentally, I find that Senator Klobuchar is still inviting constituents to sign up for her tele-townhall. She is also still keeping Mr. B waiting. She has posted this message: “Check back soon for a recording of Sen. Klobuchar’s statewide health care tele-town hall.”
UPDATE: There appears to be a lot of this going around. Reader Bill Keller comments:
I had much the same response from Congressman [Leonard] Boswell. I called his office to participate in a teleconference on Wednesday night August 19 at 6:30 p.m. I received a call at 6:30, answered with my name and was greeted by a recording of Congressman Boswell saying that he was sorry I wasn’t home and that he had missed. However, I could call his office, visit his Web site or sign up for his email newsletter. Then the recording hung up on me. Nice!
So, I did, indeed, call his office the next day. I shared with them my experience and some rather pointed thoughts on my treatment. I also reminded them that I had invited the good Congressman to our local town hall meeting to be held on the 20th to discuss health care reforms and concerns in general with our local hospital administrator, a community physician, an insurance agent and a local pharmacist.
I reminded them it would give the Congressman a chance to hear directly from local health care professionals in his district what their fears, concerns and thoughts were. I reminded him I had invited Congressman Boswell three times over the past week or so. And I assured them that everyone in the meeting would hear of Congressman Boswell’s treatment of a constituent.
We did hold a very successful 1 ½ hour meeting with about 40 local folks attending. We listened to our local health care providers, asked a number of questions – and simply did not miss Congressman Boswell at all. He, of course, did not show and neither did his local rep – a fellow who lives within 20 minutes of our community.
If you or any reader would be interested – there is a link to the night and the videos of our presenters and questioners here. I believe this is the next step in the evolution of town halls. We need to conduct them on our own, invite local experts in to chat about the health care issue (or any other issue of interest for that matter), tape them and offer them up for comment on the web.
This town hall did a lot to educate those attending on what is going on from the health care provider’s point of view, I believe it will generate pressure on local representatives and builds a solid grassroots effort to make our voices heard. Perhaps if we bombard the Internet with hundreds of town halls conducted with the representatives missing, they will get the message.
Another reader comments:
My wife signed up to participate. We got a reminder call on Saturday to be by the phone 7 pm on Sunday. The phone rang a minute before 7, my wife answered the call, got put on hold for about 15 minutes. Then Sen. Klobuchar got on and after about 4 minutes of listening, the line went dead, she was dropped.
That led to a rather scathing email back to Senator Klobuchar.
When calling in to complain this morning, my wife could hear other lines being answered in the background apologizing for the technical difficulties, that it wasn’t their fault.
Is this how government run healthcare is going to be like? Wait, wait, hello, click, we’re sorry, it’s not our fault.
One reader reports on Senator Klobuchar’s teleconference in the comments. It does not appear that many critics of Obamacare asked questions during the call. Perhaps they had Mr. B.’s number, so to speak.
MORE: Via Memeorandum, the Minnesota Independent reports (with links): “[Senator Klobuchar] rationed out 14 question-asking opportunities among more than 10,000 callers during her tele-town hall on health care reform Sunday. Her staff wouldn’t let the St. Paul Pioneer Press see exactly how the tele-death panels that chose the lucky questioners operated, but you can hear the results for yourself via The UpTake. Lefties felt she didn’t say the right things about the public option, while righties just felt left out.” And Gary Gross reports on the Klobuchar teleconference here.
HOW DID I MISS THIS? Fraters Libertas live blogs the heartache, as the all-seeing Ed Morrissey notes.