Senator Shaheen not liking public response

By James B Schlessinger Jr

August 07, 2009

Public discussions about health care reform have soured amid protests.  Senator Jeanne Shaheen has had three such events affected by large numbers of individuals who voiced disapproval with the current legislation in Washington D.C.  Sen. Shaheen put out a press release yesterday calling the protests a “disgrace” and insisting that good people had their “rights trampled on.”  The Senator’s press release also states, “Protesters were present at office hours held today in Grafton and yesterday in Hampstead.”

“These are not town hall meetings but rather office hours that we host in Town Halls across the state in order to make our caseworkers available to New Hampshire citizens who need help,” said Shaheen.  After visiting Sen. Shaheen’s website most of the “office hours” are listed as “Town Hall” lending the impression that they are meetings to be held in a public place.

This was not the case in Keene today as Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s constituents gathered on the second floor of the City Hall for a chance to speak with Keene City Councilor Pamela Slack, Ward 2, who was there on behalf of the Senator.  The individuals were taken in for one on one conversations with Councilor Slack who would not allow any cameras into the room.

Sam Dodson, a resident of Keene, placed a call to the Senator’s office and was asked by the staff if he was calling from the Ridley Report, a daily internet news service.  The Ridley Report captured the crowd at the Grafton Town Hall held yesterday and summarized it as such.  “Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s representative tries to limit videotaping and limit expected “town hall meeting” to a few people at a time. Apparently there was a general miscommunication to the public regarding the nature of the event…Shaheen operatives say it was not supposed to be a town hall meeting.”

Shaheen’s press release also stated, “The organizations that staged these protests knew these weren’t town hall meetings because we called them to tell them so.  I recognize the right of people on both sides of the aisle to protest, but impeding the ability of New Hampshire citizens to get the help they need is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.  They should be ashamed.”

“It was heard advertised on the radio that this was open to the public,” said Ian Freeman, who was in line to speak with Councilor Slack.  “First Pam Slack said she was here to meet constituents, then she shut down the meeting.  She’s also afraid of cameras – what are you hiding, Pam?”

Angry crowd blocked from “Obama-care event” – 1/4 – Ridley Report

Footage from Grafton meeting

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