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More politicians join the fray in questioning Bush SS "town halls"

Repub Senator Wayne Allard (CO) and Dem Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ) join 6 members of Colorado Congressional Delegation and Rep. Henry Waxman in questioning Bush's exclusionary tactics.

Points:

  • How much taxpayer money is going to these events?
  • Is it legal to use federal tax dollars for partisan events?
  • It appears that the exclusion of non GOP- hardliners at these "open" events is WH policy - not "overzealous volunteers."

The Rocky Mountain News Reports:


Rep. Sen. Wayne Allard on Thursday became the seventh member of the Colorado congressional delegation to say that people should not be removed from a presidential event for a bumper sticker - as happened March 21 in Denver....

Allard also said he disagreed with pulling someone from a presidential appearance because of a belief he might disrupt it.
Allard has had 700 town hall meetings in his career and all have been open to everyone..

History:

Citizens are being excluded from  Bush "town halls"  for partisan reasons.

Calls for GAO investigation and legal investigations put the President's "road show" under increased scrutiny.

In Denver, Tucson, and Fargo:

  • Steven Gerner in Tucson, AZ wore a t-shirt which said "Young Democrats" - and was denied access even though he offered to change his shirt.
  • Three people in Denver, CO were excluded becaause one of them had a car with a bumper sticker which said "No more blood for oil."
  • Linda Coates,  Fargo, ND City commissioner was denied access (blacklisted, presumably for progressive beliefs)

During these events, The White house has used pre-rehearsed "questions" from supporters. Also,  there is evidence that GOP party members are notified well in advance, while public announcement has been last-minute, making it hard  for ordinary people without strong republican party affiliation to attend.

In Colorado, Senator Salazar has asked Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to figure out who was the person who ejected the "Denver 3" - The man who "looked like" a member of the Secret Service, -  though the secret service claims he was not one of theirs http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~115~2802414,00.html

Also the Arizona Daily Wildcat reports:

Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, and Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., sent a letter to the Committee on Government Reform asking for an official investigation into why UAYD's Steven Gerner and others in Colorado and North Dakota were not allowed into public forums on Social Security hosted by President George W. Bush.

Josh Marshall sums it up  in 4/8 op-ed at thehill.com

"Public forums are not a place for thought police"

... let's face facts. This is White House policy -- to ban American citizens from taxpayer-funded public forums on the basis of their political beliefs.

They're doing it because they think they can get away with it.

Which makes sense -- because so far they have.

What will Bush do?: (WE all know he cant tolerate real people with real questions)

One snark at dkos suggested the logical next step is to use robots instead of people

My bet? He'll scrap the town hall approach and resort to preaching to his base on Talk-radio (As he has compelled the Treasury Sec'y to do)

What can we do?  Keep up the pressure. If Bush comes to your town, plan to attend. Peacably, and wearing democratic (or Green? Libertarian?) attire.

As diared here

If you get news Bush is coming to town, call your local Senator and Rep's offices and ask for tickets - or call in advance and ask to be put on a waiting list now!

Let's force these "town halls" to really be *town halls* - or make Bush retreat from the safety of his false performance of a "man of the people."

Update [2005-4-8 17:30:45 by biscobosco]: See Dan Froomkin washingtonpost.com 4/7

"House Appropriations Committee Republicans have quietly asked the administration for an accounting of its '60 Stops in 60 Days' [Social Security] blitz
Update [2005-4-20 21:17:53 by biscobosco]: Rocky Mountain News Udall still persues the story. US Rep Tom Trancedo(R-CO) spokesperson says:
Kicking someone out for (sic) an event with the president should be decided by Secret Service on a case-by-case basis on who poses a threat. We encourage the opposition to come to listen and be heard at Tancredo events, as long as they don't disrupt the event."

Originally posted to biscobosco on Fri Apr 08, 2005 at 01:33 PM PDT.

Poll

When the pressure gets to great, Bush will

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