A town hall meeting is an American term given to an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England.
Everybody in a town community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures.” (Wikipedia)
This is long, and probably boring to most. But if you lived in my district (Now PA-1 but formerly PA-8) during Representative Mike Fitzpartrick’s time, you’ll remember the “town hall controversy.” (The town hall log I reference is after this novella.)
It’s been a few years since this action, Tracking Town Halls: Do Unscripted Constituent Public Gatherings Matter?, ended. The log entries reveal a kind of naiveté and indignation that only the uninitiated exhibit. By the time this 29 month town hall blog ended, however, I was very schooled in the congressman’s subtle moves to try to derail someone he saw as a political combatant – me. I, on the other hand, saw myself as an advocate for the healthcare law, one who unwittingly unmasked a politician who was, as I saw it, faking it.
I supported the Affordable Care Act a.k.a Obamacare — and still do – as a start to addressing medical bankruptcies, the uninsured and under-insured, job-lock, the unquantifiable psychological trauma people experienced dealing with the US healthcare/health insurance system, and even the deaths attributable to those unable to access care. I wanted to attend town halls and take my turn at the microphone asking my congressman about his healthcare reform views. I also wanted to help shape the dialog for the benefit of the town hall attendees, as I am often moved by what others say. Town halls were (are?) an American institution, I thought.
I learned very quickly I was dealing with an operator. Mike Fitzpatrick was playing me and the entire district. He was having what I called“fake town halls.” I could not get good information from his staff about when town halls were happening. I thought I could just call and the staff would give me a list of town halls. But I never got a straight answer. Then I would read about his town hall appearances in the newspaper.
I was angry. I was being played. I thought about what to do. I decided to call the office. Every. Single. Day.
“Are there town halls today, tomorrow, or in the future?” The staff would have to tell me or lie. Most often they said something like, “I can tell you there is no town hall scheduled today.”
“What about tomorrow?” I’d ask. The staff could only give me information for one day, the day I was calling.
Major red flag. Who lives like that? No schedule? Venues needed to be booked. Arrangements needed to be made. I could not let Fitzpatrick get away with hoodwinking me and his constituents like this. What was he so afraid of? Why the overreaction to avoid constituents at town halls? Just tell the woman when the town halls are. What started out as an innocent request for town hall information turned into a two year ordeal of unmasking an elected official.
I concluded that my congressman had a phobic obsession with avoiding impromptu policy talk. He went to extraordinary lengths to control speech. He visited umpteen businesses and called them town halls. Who challenges a congressman at his or her job? These were not real town halls.
I was too busy for this. I was interviewing subjects for Art As Social Inquiry’s Healthcare in the US series. I launched the ASI How We Die painting series. I was working with PA Health Access Network, giving talks about the Affordable Care Act. And I still had to paint the paintings. I was doing stuff. The last thing I wanted or expected was to get into a cat-and-mouse game with my representative. The only way I could justify the effort was to record the calls in a daily log (below and here), and share it with others who wanted to go to town halls. By the end of the first year I was over it. But I gave myself daily pep talks to see this tap dance through to the end whatever that looked like. “He’s lying about the Affordable Care Act, and people are suffering, and some, dying. Carry on,” I thought.
Meanwhile, the Affordable Care Act had not been fully implemented. I had to continue the effort to push for town halls, and meaningful public discussion about the law, to counter the propaganda hurled at it, a lot of it from my congressman. I used social media, letters-to-the-editor, and presentations like Truth Tour 2012 Medicare: What’s at Stake? to press for public town halls to talk about healthcare.
My daily calling must have rattled some nerves at the congressman’s office. I was informed that no one was allowed to speak to me except the communications director. The problem was that she was not in the office very often. The situation morphed into me having her cell number and email address. I sent her emails, and when she did not respond, I called. I was sure the congressman would have town halls and not tell me if I did not keep asking. My representative doubled-down, stopped town halls altogether. He amped up his counter-offensive.
I learned very quickly I was dealing with a snake.
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick played head games like stopping by my house because he and his communications director were “driving by” one Saturday morning. (I wasn’t home.) It was creepy. I wasn’t buying into I’m a regular, friendly elected official just passin’ by your house to address your concerns. Yeah, sure. We’re buddies. See, we can talk. I have chosen YOU to visit… now shut up about the town halls? Is that the message here? I said I would prefer a meeting at the office.
Or the masterful way the staff tried to make me the problem. “The congressman will meet with you. You should set up an appointment.” Sure. Let’s do it. Somehow that got construed into the congressman wanting to meet with me, but I wouldn’t. Finally, I responded by saying that I would love to meet with the congressman – thank you very much. I wrote the communications director and cc’d a reporter saying the scheduler should set up a time, or stop pretending the congressman wanted a meeting, and making it like I didn’t. He did not.
Back in August 2011 – a year before I started this log and calls for town halls — I took a portrait to my first town hall. I did not know what to expect. I was nervous but determined. I wanted to start telling healthcare stories. I wanted to influence the dialog. The political pushback to the new healthcare law was powerful.
This particular town hall happened in August 2011, a year before I started this log, or had any idea that not having town halls would become a thing. (Mike Fitzpatrick was having town halls then. Why did he stop? This controversy never would have happened.)
I took my turn at the mic and told the story of an uninsured middle-aged woman who lost 85% of her vision in one eye because she could not get medical care. I talked about how the Affordable Care Act would have saved her vision. I was upset, inexperienced and showed it. After the meeting I was approached by one of Fitzpatrick’s staff. Next thing you know I’m ushered into a small room for a private meeting with the congressman. I fell for the special attention but not to point where I would give up my message or mission. Who populates the congressman’s world that they would believe someone would abandon her principles because a high-ranking official flattered her with a private meeting?
Oh, but I bit to a certain extent. I thought I had a great opportunity to lobby the congressman to back healthcare reform. I lobbied away telling him what a great position he was in to make a difference. Seems so silly and naïve now. I called a girlfriend on the drive home. I was so excited that I got a chance to personally lobby my congressman. Like I was going to change his mind. Me! Oh, what a joke. It didn’t take me long to realize I was being played.
My daily calling must have rattled some nerves at the congressman’s office. I was informed that no one was allowed to speak to me except the communications director.
By the time this project concluded in 2014, I had seen the congressman pull his PR stunts so many times. I was on to his phony ways. Once I got a tip from a stranger that the congressman was giving a talk at a church open to all. (The town hall issue was becoming so hot that informants were contacting me.) It was damn inconvenient to have to drop everything and drive the half hour…but, I was determined to confront his demagoguing on the healthcare law. I sat in the front row. When the congressman recognized me, I saw him pull the pastor aside and whisper something in his ear. Afterwards the pastor made an announcement that the meeting was for the benefit of the community. The gist of his message was, shut up troublemakers. Prejudicing the organizer was classic Fitzpatrick — brand people who care about the issues as political enemies, and try to shut them down in any way, ethical or not. After the talk, I approached a church leader to ask if we could arrange an informational session about the Affordable Care Act to counter Mike Fitzpatrick’s misstatements. And we did.
Two town halls happened that the Congressman’s staff did not tell me about — 8/2/2013 in Springtown, PA, and 8/4/2013 in Salford Twp., PA. Why would the congressman and his staff not share the info? Was it an honest mistake or deliberate lie? They played right into my hands. My son was getting married that weekend. I dutifully called Fitzpatrick’s office to find out if there were any town halls, but there was no way I was going to be able to go. Unfortunately, those relying on the log, who might have been able to go, did not get the info because I didn’t have it to post. Maybe that was the point?
I complained to my local newspaper that I could not get information about town halls. The newspaper put a well-respected, veteran reporter on the story. The article was not complimentary to Congressman Fitzpatrick. Within 24 hours the story was wiped clean from the internet. Why? The newspaper told me there were “inaccuracies.” No details. No corrections issued the next day. Wholesale deleting of an article. Why? I only discovered the article was wiped from the internet when I went to show it to my husband the day after it was printed in the newspaper. Tech gurus advised me the article might still be in the “cache,” and set out to retrieve it before it completely disappeared from the internet. Read the deleted article here.
A congressman lacking basic skills for genuinely interacting with constituents who need representation, however — not a yes-man for the party — was a loss for constituents.
“Inaccuracies,” I was told. The newspaper had video to prove it, I was told — video proving Congressman Fitzpatrick was having town halls thereby making the uncomplimentary article inaccurate? Let me guess. Don’t advertise there are town halls. Don’t let constituents know who want to go. Target a small group. Hope a few, targeted people show up. (Even send out emails to the “friendly” folks for good measure, maybe?) Get video of somebody holding the mic. Presto, evidence!
It was all very suspicious. If I could ask the congressman one question, it would be this. “Did you use your position to strong-arm our small town newspaper into deleting the uncomplimentary town hall article by threatening them with – maybe? – using your influence to get their big clients to withdraw their advertising?”
After the runaround I was getting, I came to so distrust my representative. I really understood why Congress was polling as less popular than cockroaches
In the end, Fitzpatrick “won.” If not having town halls, duping his constituents, and running a masterful PR game is winning, then he won. Enough of his constituents bought the charade to keep him in office. I saw the congressman as a puppet. And the Republican bosses were the puppet masters. I don’t know if he lacked the confidence to speak beyond talking points. Or he had no interest or grasp. In the end I think it was all just politics for him, a game to be won by any means necessary. Having real, informative town halls did not serve him politically, and maybe he thought he would dodge them for as long as he could. If any of that is true, then Mike Fitzpatrick “won.”
Lacking basic skills for genuinely interacting with constituents who need representation, however — not a yes-man for the party — was a loss for constituents.
Please note: Unfortunately, information about ALL town halls has not been forthcoming from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Bucks County office.
The list of town halls to-date that the congressman and his staff have not disclosed. Town hall info is requested daily.
8/2/2013 Springtown, PA
8/4/2013 Salford Twp., PA
Rep. Fitzpatrick Office Phone: 215.579.8102
TOWN HALL LOG
|11 /4/2014||ELECTION DAY||VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE This entry formally ends the Tracking Town Halls: Do Unscripted Constituent Meetings Matter? Art As Social Inquiry art project. The election is a natural conclusion to this two year project.|
|10/31/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||?||?||Rep. Fitzpatrick’s communications director, Ms. Wandling, did not respond to my request for info regarding town halls|
|10/28/2014||KEVIN STROUSE TOWN HALL||X||Democratic candidate runnning against Mike Fitzpatrick had a REAL TOWN HALL last night. He took questions from the audience for 1 1/2 hrs. w/ no restrictions or pre-screened questions. Mr. Strouse promised many town halls if elected. He emphasized transparency and dialog.|
|10/24/2014||KEVIN STROUSE TOWN HALL||X||Kevin Strouse running against Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick for PA-8 congressional seat. The event is a real town hall. Folks can line up at the microphone and ask questions in their own words. MONDAY, OCT 27 7 PM VFW POST 6493645 Louis Dr. Warminster, PA 18974|
|10/24/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||Rep. Fitzpatrick’s communication director, Ms. Wandling, did not respond to my request for info regarding town halls. The congressman appeared at two debates with Kevin Strouse this past week. n.b. In Summer 2013, an uncomplimentary article about Rep. Fitzpatrick not having town halls was purged from the internet by the newspaper that published it. The article was accurate then and even more so in 2014. The congressman did not have one real town hall during August recess. The newspaper said the article contained “inaccuracies.” They had video proof. An open question remains. Did the congressman provide this video, and have a hand in getting the article deleted? Let’s see the video. The article, “Fitzpatrick Meeting Strategy Muzzles Critics” was retrieved and posted on ASI’s blog before it was scrubbed from the internet.|
|10/17/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||Email sent to Ms. Wandling (communication director) inquiring about upcoming town halls went unanswered. It appears that I will not be getting information about town hall appearances. At this point I don’t expect any town halls to happen since that has been the case for many months now. But I must ask for the record|
|10/10/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||Email inquiring about upcoming town halls to Congressman’s communications director, Ms. Wandling, went unanswered.It appears that I will not be getting information about town hall appearances. At this point, I don’t expect any town halls to happen since that has been the case for many months now. But I must ask for the record.|
|10/3/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||Email inquiring about upcoming town halls to Congressman’s communications director, Ms. Wandling, went unanswered.It appears that I will not be getting information about town hall appearances. At this point, I don’t expect any town halls to happen since that has been the case for many months now. But I must ask for the record.
n.b. Tuesday Oct. 7, 7 PM CONTROVERSIAL. Lin-Park Civic Association and Bucks County NAACP sponser this first debate at Linconia Tabernacle Christian Center, 2460 Paris Avenue in Trevose, PA KEVIN STROUSE WILL BE THERE. Rep. Fitzpatrick said he received “too little notice” to attend. Strouse Campaign Press Release spells out the controversy.
|10/2/2014||My replies to recent letters-to-the-Editor|
|9/26/2014||Town Hall Update||??||No reply to email request for town hall info from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director, Ms. Wandling|
|9/18/2014||Town Hall Update||??||No reply to email request for town hall info from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director, Ms. Wandling. The congressman has visited, “100 businesses in 100 days” and had zero town halls for regular folks.|
|9/12/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||No reply to email request and follow-up for town hall info from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office.|
|9/6/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick is not having any town halls next week as per his communications director.|
|8/29/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||????||No town hall information forthcoming from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office. Email request for info sent Wed. 8/27.|
|8/22/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick is not having any town halls next week as per his communications director.|
|8/8/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||NO town halls for the next TWO WEEKS as per Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director.|
|8/1/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick is not having town hall meetings next week as per his communications director.|
|7/23/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick is not having town hall meetings next week as per his communications director.|
|7/18/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||??||Two email requests to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communiciations director this week have gone unanswered.I have no information about town halls next week.|
|7/11/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||LATE EMAIL ON FRIDAY. No town halls next weekTwo email requests to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communiciations director have gone unanswered.I have no information about town halls next week.|
|7/2/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||No town halls next week as per Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director.|
|6/27/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||?||I received this response from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director to a request for next week’s town hall schedule.“Will let you know of course.” Since I did not get a yes or no, not sure if this means a town hall is in the works or not. No response to follow-up email requesting clarification.|
|6/20/2014||Town Hall Update||X||No town halls next week as per Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director.(I am weekly reminded that you can call the congressman’s office and schedule a private meeting. )|
|6/16/2014||Town Hall Update||X||No town halls this week as per email from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director.|
|6/13/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE NOT FORTHCOMING||??||Email sent 6/12 with a follow-up email sent 6/13 requesting town hall schedule update from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director.NO RESPONSE. Will try again on Monday.|
|5/30/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||There are no town halls in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s district for the next TWO WEEKS. If this changes the congressman’s communications director said she would notify me and the newspaper.(I think I can safely say that constituents appreciate this kind of transparency. With a little friendly arm-twisting, maybe we could make a town hall schedule on the congressman’s homepage a permanent fixture. I would love to see this town hall blog become redundant and therefore unnecessary.Advance notice is important!)|
|5/23/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||????||I am unable to give town hall information for the upcoming week. Two email requests to Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s communication director have gone unanswered.The Bucks County office would not give me any information. They took a message for the communications director.If anyone has town hall information, please comment in section below or email me at email@example.com|
|5/15/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X?||From Rep. Fitzpatrick’s communications director. No town halls next week…that she “knows of.”There you have it, friends…|
|5/2/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE for TWO WEEKS||X||No town halls for the upcoming 2 weeks as per an email from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications directorHappy Spring!…at last|
|4/25/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||No” good old-fashined town halls” coming up this week as per the congressman’s communications director.|
|4/21/2014||Letter-to-Editor||My LTE about town halls in The Intelligencer newspaper, Bucks County, PAThe letter is also on my blog.||LINKBLOG|
|4/18/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||No town halls (“as I define them,” I’m told) as per Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director.Here’s how Wikipedia defines town halls. I think it’s what most people think of when they think of town halls.|
|4/10/2014||Democratic Candidates DEBATE SCHEDULE Primary to be held on MAY 20.||Shaughnessy Naughton & Keven StrouseMonday, April 14, Linconia Tabernacle Christian Center, 2460 Paris Ave., Trevose 7-9 PM; Tuesday, April 15, Bucks County Community College, LOWER BUCKS CAMPUS. 1304 Veteran’s Lane Highway, Bristol. 12:15-1:30|
|4/9/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||“No Town Halls” is synonymous with “disappointment” this week. We are in April town hall season. The from the Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication director.”There are no town halls scheduled at this time in the coming week or two.”|
|4/8/2014||Another Edition of…SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
GRADE: “Fear Mongering with Medicare.” GUILTY as Charged, Congressman.
|Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s FB statement on Medicare Advantage: “The cuts to Medicare Advantage proposed in February by the Administration drew fire from seniors and members of both parties and would have left 38,000 Bucks and Montgomery county residents with increased costs for the medical attention they need.”
MY RESPONSE: Medicare Advantage was NEVER being “cut.” OVERPAYMENTS to PRIVATE insurance companies selling this product to seniors were being stopped. Here’s the real story. But first… Your demagoguery, Congressman, on the Medicare “cuts” is the most egregious bit of politicking you have ever engaged in because your misstatements SCARE seniors.
|3/28/2014||PA District 8 US House of Representatives DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES DEBATE.DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY is on MAY 20.||PLEASE NOTE: There is a debate between the Democratic candidates vying for Rep. Fitzpatricks’s seat in the US House of Representatives. Shaughnessy Naughton and Robert Strauss will debate at Bucks County Community College, LOWER BUCKS CAMPUS in Bristol.April 15, NOON|
|3/28/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||No upcoming in-person town halls as per email from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director.|
|3/21/2014|| Another edition of…
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
GRADE: Please Be Mindful. Seniors Are Not Political Pawns.
|The Congressman posted a picture of himself visiting seniors. Very thoughtful and no doubt sincere. (I mean that)SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM????My comment:
I know I am a broken record on this. And I would apologize except I feel I must speak on behalf of the seniors who might not know a couple of things.
(A link from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare explains how the law helps seniors.)
Politics is probably the hardest environment in which to square our words with our actions. I would plead with our congressman not to make seniors political pawns.
|3/20/3014||Another edition of… SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?GRADE: Please Be Mindful. Seniors Are Not Political Pawns.||SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?Congressman Fitzpatrick proclaims his undying support for seniors. He voted for the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act as proof.This bill offers a permanent “doc fix,” something that is badly needed. Medicare doctors are subject to automatic fee cuts if certain economic triggers happen.
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
What the Congressman FAILS TO TELL HIS CONSTITUENTS is that the fix, paid for by delaying the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, will leave 13 MILLION PEOPLE UNINSURED (as determined by the Congressional Budget Office.)
AND less people insured also means higher premiums for everybody.
A doc fix that weakens the Affordable Care Act and leaves 13 million uninsured, and you call that helping seniors?
Seniors have families that are benefiting from the healthcare law. They would be hurting their own families by supporting this particular doc fix.
You fail to mention this, Congressman.
So what are you really voting “for,” Congressman??
Is this a political vote under the guise of “helping seniors?”
GRADE: Please Be Mindful. Seniors Are Not Political Pawns.
|3/20/2014||TOWN HALL UPDATE||X||Town halls during the April recess not likely. A constituent emailed me. She called Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office asking about April recess town halls.Her words. “Apparently the Congressman is not considering any in-person town halls for April. It’s tele-town halls. I told Anthony that I would probably write a VENT (in the newspaper) in complaint. He said they are used to that…”Glad the office shared the info with the constituent; disappointed we won’t be seeing our representative at a town hall. But I’ll keep checking in case something changes.|
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Would the Congressman continue to vote against the Affordable Care Act if he knew doing so would harm this little girl he posed with in the picture? Congressman Fitzpatrick is a member of the Rare Disease Caucus. The congressman has voted 50 times to repeal the healthcare law.BUT the healthcare law BANS annual and lifetime limits that bankrupted many families AND gives insurance to many millions, thousands of whom may have rare diseases that might have gone untreated without the new law.
| Congressman Fitzpatrick is quoted in the article:
“Having Stephanie on the House floor with me put my call for TSC research funding beyond just words — it showed my colleagues on both sides of the aisle the face of a courageous young girl fighting this real life condition,” said Fitzpatrick, who is a member of the Rare Disease Caucus.
Here is my response to the Congressman’s Facebook post:
Keep in mind that children with rare diseases often reached annual and lifetime limits on their health insurance. The Affordable Care Act outlawed this practice. Every vote to attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act is a vote to bring back health insurance practices that would bankrupt the families of children with rare diseases. Medical bills accounted for all or in part for over 60% of bankruptcies in this country.
Caring is only one part of the equation. I would hope, Congressman, you would square your caring with the impact of your votes. Have a nice day.
|3/18/2014|| Something ends; something beginsPrivate Event Tracking ENDS. New series BEGINS
“SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM??”
I will be examining what my elected official, Congressman Fitzpatrick (PA-8) says vs. what he does.
|X||This social art project is shifting. I will no longer be tracking my congressman’s private appearances and press events. It has become very clear that the congressman has time for many events – just none of them include town halls.
In addition to town-hall tracking — (There are never any REAL town halls)– I will now be posting info about my congressman’s votes, actions, etc. vs. his rhetoric. I’m finding a disconnect. After 5 months of looking at the Congressman’s private appearances, I believe more than ever that the Congressman is solely in the business of building an image and not so much about substantive governing.WHY?In this Midweek Wire letter-to-the-editor, I explained why I believe my congressman’s image-making comes first — comes before real governing and meeting regular folks at unscripted town halls.
The Congressman has a diverse district, a problem for somebody trying to deliver a message to get reelected. Here is a quote from the LTE:
“I believe our congressman’s answer to this political conundrum is image. Appear to be accessible by making many private appearances where challenges are less likely; avoid being challenged in public on the issues where substantive answers are required; and hope this strategy wins enough moderate voters to win an election.
Unfortunately, it seems that serving as US congressman for PA-8 in the House of Representatives has become one long press junket to keep a congressional seat.”)
(I hope Congressman Fitpatrick proves me wrong.)
This is what I wrote in October 2013 about my congressman’s public appearances, which are fine by themselves. But when juxtaposed next to his record of almost ZERO real town halls, these public appearances are suspect.
OCTOBER 2013: It has been pointed out to me by Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communication’s director that the Congressman is “accessible.” He keeps a very busy schedule, I am told, meeting with constituents and groups at private gatherings and public appearances such as expos, ribbon cuttings, community events. I am happy to post those on this log as well. I contend, however, that these gatherings, while commendably serving those involved, do not exempt the congressman from having many, well publicized town halls where his votes and positions are challenged for the benefit of all to hear. Without opportunities for ALL constituents to be heard in healthy public discourse , these community service appearances could be construed as PR events from a representative who is always campaigning.
|3/15/2014||Private Constituent Meeting this past week||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick met with Miss Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teen 2014, and her mother to talk about funding for cancer research.||LINK|
|3/14/2014||Private Tour of Capitol this week||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick showed the kids from Buckingham Friends School around the Capitol||LINK|
|3/11/2014||Private Event, undated photo on FB.||Congressman Fitzpatrick attended Penn State Cooperative Extension-Bucks County’s Annual Meeting||LINK|
|3/10/2014||Private Meeting last week||Congressman Fitzpatrick met with representatives from the American Osteopathic Association.||LINK|
|3/8/2014||Private Meeting this past week.||Congressman Fitzpatrick met with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW in Washington DC. (One in ten vets will get access to insurance through the Affordable Care Act which the Congressman has wholeheartedly opposed and voted unsuccessfully to repeal over 50 times.)||LINK|
|3/7/2014||Private Meeting posted on FB 3/6/2014||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick spoke with members of Bucks County’s Jewish community who were in the nation’s capital with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.||LINK|
|3/1/2014||Ceremony||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick attended the commissioning of the USS Somerset in Philadelphia.||LINK|
|2/27/2014||email from communications director||X||No in-person town halls as per an email from the congressman’s communications director. The congressman is in Washington DC|
|2/27/2014||April 2013 Event||X||The congressman is posting that in April 2013 he participated in CB South’s lacrosse team’s Pinwheels for Prevention which recognizes those in Bucks Co. who work to save children from abuse.||LINK|
|2/25/2014||Private Event||X||HealthLink Medical Center and the United Way of Bucks County for organizing the 1st Annual Community Health Roundtable at which Congressman Fitzpatrick made an appearance.||LINK|
|2/20/2014||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick helped dedicate and officially open Delaware Valley College’s new Life Sciences building.||LINK|
|2/20/2014||2/20 email with communications director||X|| No town halls scheduled.
FYI: Apparently the congressman held a “tele-town hall” yesterday at 3 PM. I am told seniors were frigthened by his talk about Medicare Advantage plans being “cut” by the healthcare law. This is a gross mispresentation. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies. The healthcare law requires Med. Ad. plans to be HIGH QUALITY plans if they want the bonus payments that had been receiving. Read more here.
|2/18/2014||Private Event||X||The congressman met with Lt. Fionna Boyle of Yardley. She was recognized for her service to our nation during Operation Enduring Freedom.||LINK|
|1/2014||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick joined the kids and families of the #BucksCo Chapter of Jack & Jill Inc. to talk about the need to encourage and mobilize the next generation of community leaders.||LINK|
|2/2014||CADCA’s National Leadership forum in Washington DC.||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick spoke to leading anti-drug advocates in the nation’s capital.||LINK|
|2/7/2014||$35 fee to attend event||X||The Bucks Chamber of Commerce invited Congressman Fitzpatrick to deliver his ‘State of the Nation’ address. (Attendance for non-members cost $35)||LINK|
|2/8/2014||2/6 email with communications director||???||Request for upcoming in-person town halls info. No response as of 2/8.(Snow and ice this week. Probability of town halls very low. Nevertheless, one can never be sure without asking.)|
|1/31/2014||1/29 email with communications director||X||Weekly email to communications director (as per her instructions) to inquire about upcoming town halls. Sent 1/29. Prompt response: “None that I know of”(One could ask who would know for sure then? Is there anyone in the office who is authorized to give a straight up “yes” or “no” to the question?)||LINK|
|1/26/2014||NOTICE IN SUNDAY’S 1/26 INTELLIGENCER NEWSPAPER||??||MONDAY, Jan. 27, Congressman Fitzpatrick will be at the Bristol Township Senior Center from 9:30AM-noon. Address here. For info call 215-785-6322. I received no notice of this event when I asked the congressman’s communications director about town halls this week.So this is not a town hall?The Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare by making it more solvent, providing free preventive care, closing the “doughnut hole” and more. Here is info from The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.This event might be a good time to bring up these points and ask how exactly the congressman is helping seniors by voting over 40 times (unsuccessfully) to repeal the Affordable Care Act?UPDATE: The director of the senior center said the notice of the congressman’s appearance at the senior center was a misprint in the newspaper|
|1/24/2014||Television Show||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick was a guest on ‘It’s Your Call’ with Lynn Doyle.|
|1/23/2014||Private Event||X||The Congressman spoke at the Bucks County Long Term Care Consortium||LINK|
|1/23/2014||Private Event||X||Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (R-8) addressed the Langhorne Rotary|
|1/23/2014||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick joins the members of PA-8’s 2014 Service Academy Nomination Class last night in Doylestown.|
|1/22/2014||email with communications director||X||I am asked to email communications director (as per her instructions) weekly to inquire about upcoming town halls. No response as of 1/24. The House of Representatives is not in session in Washington DC until Mon. 1/27. Here is the congressional calendar.|
|1/20/2014||Private Event||X||The congressman spoke to those who attended CB Care’s 11th MLK Day of Service in Doylestown.
|1/19/2014||Private Event sometime over the weekend||X||The congressman spoke to a group at Temple Ohev Shalom Men’s Club .|
|1/19/2014||Private Event||X||The congressman speaks to the Fairless Hills Volunteer Fire Department|
|1/17/2014||email with communications director||X||In a 1.15.2014 email, Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director confirmed there are no town halls in the offing.|
|1/13/2014||Private Event||X||The congressman met with Rabbi Delcau from Temple Judea of Bucks County and Religious Action Committee students Monday in the Rayburn Room of the Capitol.|
|1/17 – 1/16 2014||Congressional Calendar||The House of Representatives is in session in Washington DC|
|1/12/2014||Letter-to-the-EditorBlog Post on Art As Social InquiryLinks to letters, articles, etc are on the blog post||A LTE to address photo of Theresa printed on front pages of the Intelligencer and Courier Timesnewspapers that gives the impression that the congressman had town halls in 2013. Theresa’s response to the omitted portion of the letter-to-the-editor.|
|1/2/2014||email with communications director||Sent email requesting info about any town halls being held in Jan. Also asked to be notified if there will be any. Received assurances from communications director that I will be notified.|
|12/30/2013||Private Event||The congressman attends Shared Meals dinner at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Yardley.|
|12/20/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman addressed the annual Bucks County Eagle Scout Award Breakfast earlier this week.|
|12/17/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman addressed the economics and government students at CB South.|
|12/17/2013||Follow-up email to the Congressman’s communication director||X||Sent a follow-up email to the 12/10 email inquiring about town halls during the holiday break and asking to be notified if one is scheduled.No response as of 12/18|
|12/17/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman visited the Pennridge Political Discussion Club.|
|12/16/2013||Private Event||Congressman Fitzpatrick was a judge for ‘Founding Father Scholarship’ presentations at Bucks County Community College.||LINKBLOG|
|12/12/2013||Letter-to-the-Editor Midweek Wire Newspaper||X||The Midweek Wire recently published my LTE about town halls and representation in PA’s 8th congressional district.|
|12/10/2013||email to Congressman’s communication director||X||Pat W. says there are no town halls on the schedule “as of today.” I will continue to check throughout the congressional holiday break.|
|12/11/2013||“Tele-Town Hall”||X||A constituent emailed me and said a “tele-town hall” with Congressman Fitzpatrick was in progress. (I have requested to be on all call lists. I did not get the call.)For the record, I do not consider “tele-town halls” to be real town halls. They allow a representative to insulate himself from the public.|
|12/11/2013||Private Event sometime over the weekend||X||The congressman spoke to a group at Temple Ohev Shalom Men’s Club .|
|12/11/2013||Private Event||X||Last week the congressman spoke at the Richland Township holiday party|
|12/7/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman stops by the 8th annual Bensalem Twp. Dodgeball Tournament yesterday. The event benefited underprivileged kids in the community|
|12/6/2013||Letter-to-the-EditorThe Intelligencer Newspaper, Bucks County, PA||The newspaper printed my rebuttal.Unfortunately, the original guest opinion which I rebutted has been removed by the newspaper? Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick posted Dr. Mass’ guest opinion on his Facebook page and the front page of his website.(Hmmm, easier to get propaganda on the front page of the site but not a simple schedule of when real town halls are taking place.)|
|12/6/2013||Private Event||On Facebook, the congressman recounts an event he spoke at in September.“In September, I addressed the Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Seminar in Philadelphia and talked about the efforts in our area and in Washington.”|
|12/2/2013||Private Event||Congressman Fitzpatrick speaks at Wesley Enhanced Living. They celebrated their 125th anniversary.|
|12/2/2013||Congressional Calendar||The House of Representatives is in session in Washington DC from Dec. 2 through Dec. 13. email sent to the Congressman’s communications director asking about town halls over the weekend and holiday season.|
|11/22/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick speaks to residents of Ashland Manor in Bensalem.|
|11/21/2013||director for town hall info 11/22 – ??||X||According to the congressman’s communication director, there are no town halls on the schedule as of today.The House of Representatives is in recess through December 1. Without a definitive “None” to the question of town halls through Dec. 1, one cannot be completely sure there won’t be one. I can only ask.|
|11/12/2013||Private Event||X||On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick visited Delaware Valley to meet with military and veteran students.|
|11/12/2013||Private Event||X||Politics PA posted an article about Congressman Fitzpatrick being “followed” into an event at a high school. I don’t understand the congressman’s indignation.If the congressman is speaking why is it so secret? Why are there never any town halls where folks can engage the congressman?Doesn’t the indignation belong to the constituents?|
|11/12-11/21 2013||Congressional Calendar and 10/31 email||The House of Representative is in session from 11/12 through 11/21. No town halls on the schedule as per 10/31 email from the congressman’s communications director.|
|11/6/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman visited the Quakertown Food Pantry– a volunteer-run food cupboard.||LINKBLOG|
|11/7/2013||Private Event||Congressman Fitzpatrick spoke with members of the Feasterville Business Association last night about working toward common goals – strengthening our economy and growing American jobs.|
|11/6/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman spoke with students from Quakertown and Souderton schools today about the issues that are most important to them.|
|11/7/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman visited Arlington National Cemetery with some Bucks County World War II veterans. They were in Washington DC as part of Honor Flight over the weekend.|
|11/3/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman recognizes the service of some men and women at the ‘Bucks Co. Forty under 40’ awards.|
|11/3/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick visits the Salvation Army of Lower Bucks and speaks with JulieAnn Ody about the great work they are doing for the Levittown community.|
|11/2/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick met with some of PA-8 district’s WWII veterans who visited Washington, D.C. with Honor Flight.|
|11/2/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick joined veterans in Langhorne for Dedication Day to thank them for their service and help them get signed up for the Bucks Co. Veterans ID program.|
|11/1/2013||10/31/2013 Email to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s communications director||X||Pat W. confirms there are no town halls on the schedule.|
|10/27/2013||Private Event||X||Congressman Fitzpatrick welcomes home U.S. Army Captain Spencer Garrison following his nine month deployment in Afghanistan.|
|10/27/2013||Congressional Calendar||X||The congressman helps out by attending a fundraiser Type 1 Diabetes Cure. Facebook post.|
|10/25/2013||Private Event||X||Ribbon cutting for a senior center. Facebook post|
|10/26/2013||director for town hall info 11/22 – ??||X||The congressman helps out at a Bucks and Montgomery Counties drug take-back day event.From Facebook|
|10/26/2013||Private Event||X||Rededication of Warminster Community Park Facebook post|
|10/27/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman shows his support for the Bristol Wardogs football team. Facebook Post|
|10/27/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman is at the Senior Expo.|
|10/25/2013||Private Event||X||The congressman speaks at to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Facebook Post.||LINKBLOG|
|10/25/2013||email confirmation||X||Pat W., the congressman’s communications director, confirmed that there are no town halls on the schedule. The House of Representatives is not in session from Oct. 31 through Nov. 31. Look for updates about possible town halls.|
|10/23/2013||NEW FEATURE: Sharing the congressman’s Facebook posts about where he does speak These events are private. If I get advance notice of private events, I will post them here. Some of you may have the opportunity to attend.||X||FITZPATRICK TALKS FOREIGN AFFAIRS, BUDGET IMPASSE WITH LOCAL JEWISH MEN’S GROUP”Beth El Men’s Club of Yardley was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to discuss the issues of the day with Congressman Fitzpatrick on Sunday, October 20. State Representative Steve Santarsiero (D-31) also spoke at this event.|
|10/21/2013||Call to the congressman’s Bucks County Office.||X||House of Representatives in not in session today. House is in session Tuesday through Friday of this week.10:55 AM Called Bucks County Office — no answer Wrote an email to my “contact,” Pat asking about town halls today and in the future especially during the Congressional break from Oct. 31 – Nov. 11.11:30 AM Spoke to Andrea who took message and said someone will get back to me12:10 PM Spoke to Kyle who said that the office will pass message along and somebody will get back to me. I’m guessing they mean “Pat.”HEADS UP: The House of Representatives is NOT in session OCT 31 through NOV. 11. This would be a good time for a real town hall. Stay tuned…. trying to get info in advance. (Don’t understand why a straight “yes” or “no” from the staff is not possible but there you have it. I must keep asking because experience tells me I won’t get the town hall info if I don’t ask. And even when I do ask, there is no guarantee I’ll get the info in a timely manner or even at all.)Pat from Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s office confirmed there are no town halls this week. Thank you! Will let you all know about the weekend and the long stretch when the House is not in session.Thank you!!|
|10/17/2013||Private Event sometime over the weekend||X||WELCOME BACK STAFF! Gov’t shutdown is over. Everybody is back to work.No town halls this weekend as per Sam.|
|10/14/2013||Calls to Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s go unanswered.||X||GOV’T STILL SHUT DOWN NO TOWN HALL INFO TO REPORTThe phones at Congressman Fitzpatrick’s offices go unmanned. Phone machines pick up at the Bucks County and Washington DC offices.If you would like to voice an opinion about the shut-down, please do so on the Congressman’s Facebook page. Daily posts appear there.https://www.facebook.com/RepFitzpatrickThe Associated Press covered the affects of the gov’t shutdown on Rep. Fitzpatrick’s reelection hopes.|
|10/9/2013||Calls to Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s go unanswered. Phone machine picks up.||X||No town hall info to report. Information is unavailable. If you would like to weigh in about Congressman Fitzpatrick’s conduct during this gov’t shut-down, please go to his Facebook page.|
|10/7/2013-10/8/2013||Calls to Congressman’s Fitzpatrick’s go unanswered.||X||No town hall info to report.The House of Representatives is in session this week. The gov’t is “shut down.” A phone machine answers calls.Some staff must be working because the congressman’s Facebook posts keep appearing.The Republicans are linking the defunding of the healthcare law to a resolution to continue funding of the gov’t. Many of us are calling for the de-coupling of the healthcare law from the continuing resolution.It’s extortion. The healthcare law’s funding is not affected by this resolution. The Affordable Care Act is being rolled out with or without funding the gov’t. Gov’t funding and the healthcare should not be linked.IF SOME WISH TO OVERTURN THE HEALTHCARE LAW, there is a mechanism in place. AMEND THE CONSTITUTION. Get started. It takes a vote by 3/4 of the state legislatures. Extortion by causing a shutdown is not an option. From USA Today:“Obamacare is a permanent entitlement that isn’t subject to annual funding by Congress. “Many of the core parts of the health care law are funded through mandatory appropriations and wouldn’t be affected,” Gary Cohen, the Health and Human Services Department official overseeing the health care rollout, said last week.”Here is a good Q & A|
|9/30/2013-10/3/2013||12:30 PM||Congressional calendar.||X||The congressional calendar shows that Rep. Fitzpatrick is in Washington DC this week.(Getting information about town from the congressman’s staff has been very difficult. One might go so far as to say obstructionist tactics have been used to NOT give me town hall info. The congressional calendar will be our guide this week. The House of Representatives is in session in Washington DC through Oct. 3.)The GOP is threatening to shut down the gov’t by not passing a funding bill unless Obamacare is defunded. Shutdown commences at midnight tonight.|
|9/27/2013||3:15 PM||Waiting for Pat to call as per her suggestion she call me on Fridays with information about town halls||??||??||As of 3:15 I have not heard from Pat, the person who is supposed to call on Fridays (as per her suggestion)with information about town halls for the weekend. Why is it so hard to get a “yes” or “no” about town halls?|
|9/25/2013– 9/26/2013||10:10 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today and tomorrow as per Pat.Please note: Spoke to Andrea and asked to talk to someone about getting a return call from Pat. Explained to Aaron that this system of waiting for a call from Pat isn’t working. When calls are not returned, I cannot get information. Should I be calling Pat directly? I have no interest in calling the congressman’s staff if they are not able to provide information. I want information. Am I entitled to it or not?And if so, what is the most efficient way to get it?This is the business of democracy. Let’s get a system for conveying information and be done with it. 10:45 AM Received a return call from Pat. Thank you. Also discussed a system for getting information without going through the congressman’s office. Thank you. Let’s see if this works. From my first call to the congressman’s office to the final return call from Pat, 3 people died because they could not access healthcare.I am not playing political games. If the congressman is having town halls we have a right to know about them and to attend. He is accountable for his votes and positions.|
|9/24/2013||1:45 PM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||??||??||Nicholas took a message for Pat. No other staff will speak to me.Pat did not return the call (as of 5:50PM). No town hall info to report today because I can’t get it. My hope was to get confirmation about this week’s (and month’s) town hall schedule since the House of Representatives is in recess this week. My fear is that if I don’t call, a real town hall will happen and I will have missed my opportunity to challenge my congressman on his misstatements on Obamacare.Three people die every hour because they cannot access healthcare. I want to hear how he squares that with his votes in Congress and the policies he advocates. I’d like to publicly address my congressman at a town hall where the questions are from real people and the dialog is unscripted.That is why I keep this log. I keep it for Billy Koehler who died slumped over the steering wheel of his car because he lost his insurance and needed care. I do it for Courtney Leigh Huber who cut back on her insulin trying to save a little money because she was uninsured. She went into a diabetic coma and died. I do it for my children and pray to God they never find themselves in such dire circumstances. And if they ever did, I pray somebody will speak for them.It may be a game to the congressman’s staff to take my phone number and politely say they will pass the message to Pat. And then Pat never returns my call because her job is, after all, as a radio talk show host . And why should she bother returning this constituent’s call? And this radio talk show host is now representing the congressman and his staff to the constituents of PA-8?I’ll keep asking because if I stop, there will be a town hall and I will have missed the opportunity to hold my representative accountable.This log is becoming a record of the extent to which a congressman will go to marginalize a constituent. And that behavior is unworthy of the office of a congressman.|
|9/23/2013||9:20 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||??||??||Left a message with Andrea for Pat who is the one I must speak to. No return call. No town hall info to report today because I can’t get it.|
|9/23/2013||Rep. Fitzpatrick meets with small targeted groups to discuss what’s happening in the nation.||??||??||From Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Facebook page:“Earlier today, I met with members of the Ukranian Selfreliance Credit Union and local Ukrainians at St. Anne’s in Warrington to talk about what’s happening in the nation’s capital and take questions.”||FacebookLink|
|9/18/2013||Rep. Fitzpatrick writes a blog for No Labels called “Town Hall on Civility“||The congressman discusses civility in politics.The Intelligencer prints a blog entitled “Fitzpatrick’s call for Civility Rings Hollow.“||Rep. Fitzpatrick’s blogIntelligencer blog|
|9/20/2013||Call to office: 9/19/2013 10:40 AM||??||??||NO TOWN HALL INFO PROVIDED Spoke to Chris on Thursday. Left a message for Pat (my contact in the office) hoping to get a return call on Thursday or Friday about town hall info for the upcoming week. No return call.PLEASE NOTE: The House of Representatives in NOT in session next week. Possible opportunities for town halls.|
|9/20/2013||Guest Opinion published in The Intelligencer, Bucks County, PA||Yours Truly has a guest opinion piece in our local paper rebutting PA-8 representative Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s ideas about reforming healthcare.||Guest Opinion|
|9/15/2013||Facebook post on 9/15||This log keeps track of our congressman’s Facebook posts in an effort to catch info pertinent to this log.Happened to see this today.The congressman met with a private group. They were fortunate to be able to talk about local and national issues.Not a town hall, so unfortunately the general public could not participate in those discussions of local and national issues.Facebook post:“Appreciate the opportunity to address the Doylestown Pilots Association earlier today. In addition to aviation, we covered other local and national issues from energy to national security.”|
|9/12/2013–9/20/2013||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Pat from the congressman’s office confirmed that there are no town halls Friday, Saturday Sunday or Monday. The congressman will be in Washington DC the following week through 9/20|
|9/6/2013 –9/12/2013||House of Representatives is back in session in DC||According to the congressional calendar, the House is back in session Mon-Thurs. My own common sense tells me the congressman will be in Washington DC (voting up or down on Syria), and probably will not be holding town halls.Requests for information from the congressman’s staff is not always forthcoming. (Phone calls not returned). Letting the congressional calendar be our guide this week. Have a great week, everyone.I hope we can look forward to many well-publicized town halls in the future where we can discuss Syria, Obamacare and the congressman’s votes.What would you like to discuss at a town hall? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
|9/5/2013 – 9/8/2013||Call to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Bucks County office on 9/5||??||??||10:50 AM on 9/5 NO INFORMATION forthcoming about town halls today, for the weekend or in the future. Pat, the communications director, is the only one to whom I can speak about town hall information. Apparently no one else in the office will help me.Posting this at 11:30 PM on 9/5. Left message with staff at 10:50 AM this morning. No return call from Pat. No information given about town halls for the weekend.|
|9/3/2013||TOWN HALL NOTIFICATIONS SUSPENDED UNTIL THE WEEKEND||I am suspending notification of town halls for the week because I do not wish to call the congressman’s office everyday when I know Congress is in the middle of very serious discussions of retaliatory attacks against Syria for it’s use of chemical weapons on its own people.The congressman’s staff tells me I can only talk to Pat and then Pat never returns my call. It seems respectful and right to let Congress do its job this week. And it makes sense that there will not be town halls this week nor should there be. Therefore I suspend my inquiry about town halls until the weekend.4:15 PM. Heard from Pat who confirmed that there are no town halls this week.|
|9/3/2013||9:30 AM||Call to Congressman Fitzpatrick’s Bucks County office.||??||??||NO INFORMATION forthcoming about town halls today or in the future. Spoke to Amelia who checked with staff. I must wait for Pat to return my call. This notice posted at 10:40 AM. No return call n.b. One assumes there will be no town halls since Congress is back in session and an important vote on Syria will take place. Nevertheless, the staff appears to be wholly uncooperative in providing town hall information such as “no town halls for this week” or no town halls for the month of September.” Unfortunately, I have no choice but to call daily. Constituents rely on town halls and if one should happen in Sept., we have no way of knowing based on prior experience. Only targeted groups are notified. It would be helpful if the staff posted a notice about town halls on the homepage of the congressman’s website.|
|8/30/2013||9:45 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||??||??||NO INFORMATION forthcoming about town halls today or in the future as of 9:45 AM. Spoke to Jan who checked with staff. I must wait for Pat to return my call. This notice posted on this log at 10:30 AM. FYI: I’m receiving private messages from people from other states who are following the free flow (or lack) of information in PA-8. Apparently, from what I’m hearing from those who are reaching out, a civil liberties issue may be in play.10:35 AM Clare’s comment on today’s Facebook post about town halls. “Since there was “no information” I called Fitzpatrick’s office. After putting me on hold, Matt said there are no town halls TODAY. I asked about the weekend; he said he did not have the information. I requested he ask the ‘scheduler,’ he simply repeated.. no information!”10:40 AM Spoke to Pat. No town halls for the weekend.|
|8/27-29 2013||REMINDER||X||NO TOWN HALLS FOR THE REST OF THE week as per Pat on 8/26.|
|8/26/2013||9:40 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County officeAnother constituent, Clare, is given information about town halls from the congressman’s staff.||??||??||As of 11:27 AM, the time of this log update, no town hall information is forthcoming from Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office. I spoke to Matt in the district office at 9:30 AM this morning. I was told I would have to speak to Pat. Pat was not in the office. I left my phone number. No one was available in the office to tell me if there is a town hall today or in the future. I called Pat’s number twice between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM in an effort to get timely info about town halls for the log today. No answer.I apologize to followers of this log for information. None provided today. A fellow constituent (Clare) posted on ASI’s FB page. She is a follower of this log. She called the congressman’s office in the afternoon about another matter, and also asked if there is a town hall today. The staff was able to give her the town hall information that they were unable to provide to another constituent (me) earlier this morning. Clare’s Facebook post: ” As for Town Halls: After being put on hold, I was told there are none, today. My name, address, and phone number were taken…”3:35 PM. No return call from Pat. No way for me to get information about daily town halls.I have to talk to Pat. Give my phone number. Then Pat never calls.4:15 PM. Happy to report I spoke to Pat. NO TOWN HALLS for the rest of the week.Have a great week everyone!|
|8/24/2013||2012 Video of Constituents asking Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick for town halls||The first video is of Rep. Fitzpatrick being ask directly in 2012 if he will have town halls.These videos date from Nov. 2012. Constituents have been calling for well-publicized town halls for a very long time. The congressman has not honored that request.|
|8/23/2013||9:20 AM and 10:05 AM12:45 PM||???||????||As of 10 AM this morning, Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office was unable to provide information about town halls happening today or in the future.(Sorry folks, I was told I need to speak to Pat and she was unavailable. My phone number was taken by Nicholas. )Oooops, Forgot to call to get the schedule for the weekend. Staff says no but to double check with Pat. Left message. I will go out on a limb and say not to expect town halls this weekend. Enjoy the weekend, everyone!|
|8/22/2013||Recent LTEs and Guest Opinions that reference town halls||8/4/2013 LTE from Tom 8/9/2013 LTE from Karl8/11/2013 LTE from Mary8/12/2013 LTE from Rick8/15/2015 from Barb S.8/20/2013 LTE from Yours Truly8/22/2013 Guest Opinion from Eleanor G. 8/29/2013 Vent from Lynda M.||
|8/22/2013||10:20 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls as per Sam.|
|8/21/2103||9:30 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today as per Athan. No information on future town halls was given.|
|8/20/2013||9:20 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today as per Nicholas. No information on future town halls.|
|8/19/2013||Local newspaper, The Bucks County Courier Times and The Intelligencer cover the issue of town halls….AND THEN REMOVE THE ARTICLE FROM THEIR WEBSITE.||Town halls — newspaper article and VIDEO LINK UPDATE: Apparently the article and video have been removed from the newspaper’s website? Inquiries have been sent.UPDATE TO THE UPDATE. Please see my blog on the matter. Calkin Media REMOVED the article from the website after it was printed in the Bucks County Courier Times and reposted just the video. They never printed the story in The Intelligencer.Here is the missing article.||LINK: The Missing NewspaperArticle Critical of Congressman Fitzpatrick’s lack of town halls.|
|8/19/2013||9:25 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||The information that Matt has for today is that there are no town halls.|
|8/16/2013||9:15AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today or over the weekend as per Matt who checked with staff.|
|8/15/2013||9:55 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||“X?”||Jen in the congressman’s office said there is a town hall today at K’nex in Montgomery County that she thinks is open to the public. I asked Athan yesterday about future town halls and was not told about this morning’s town hall. I did not have enough advance notice to get to the event or to let the followers of this log know. So this one gets filed under “NO” town hall. The congressman clearly did not want the public to have advance notice of this gathering. Or have us believe that he did not know yesterday at 9:30 AM that he would be having a town hall at 10AM the following morning. Hence, this log becomes a record of the town halls the congressman does NOT want his constituents know about. Or perhaps this town hall isn’t really open to the public?Why not post the town hall schedule on the homepage of his website?|
|8/14/2013||9:30 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today as per Athan. No information about future town halls given|
|8/13/2013||10:25 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today as per Amelia who checked with staff.|
|8/12/2013||9:30 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||Stacey reported that the congressman is at an “employee town hall” at a private business today. The name of the business was not given. (My intention was to call them to ask if I could attend the town hall if the business was hosting a real town hall open to everyone.)It appears that this is a private meeting at a business. The question remains, will the congressman advertise this private meeting as a town hall when he is actually giving talks at private businesses?Giving a talk with Q&A at a private business is all well and good. But calling them “town halls” is misleading when the congressman does not hold a series of well publicized town halls for all to attend.|
|8/9/2013||9:50 AM||Call to the Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No town halls today or over the weekend as per Athan.At a recent town hall in NorthCarolina 270 people showed up and others were turned away due to lack of room. This is what a town hall looks like. We want well publicized advance notice of town halls. Town halls are a bedrock of freedom of expression we all value. Free speech transcends politics. Letting constituents know about town halls — not targeting areas so some know and others don’t — isn’t the American way. It may be convenient for the congressman but it isn’t right. Remember, if one constituent’s voice can be muzzled, so can yours in the future. I and others have the right to attend every single town hall in our district as does everyone.|
|8/8/2013||10AM 3PM-ish||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County officeFOLLOW-UP to the question of why information about two town halls was not provided by the staff||X? *||No in-person town halls today as per Matt who checked with Jen, one of the schedulers.No one was available to speak to me about the town halls held in Springtown and Salford that were not disclosed when information was requested for those dates.FOLLOW-UP Athan, in the congressman’s office, said he “did not know what happened” when asked about why information about two town halls was not provided.|
|8/4/2013||UNDISCLOSED TOWN HALL||THE CONGRESSMAN HELD A TOWN HALL IN SALFORD,PA. ON SUNDAY NIGHT. THIS INFORMATION WAS NOT SHARED WHEN I CALLED FOR THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKEND.I sincerely hope this log does not become a record of information about town halls that the congressman is deliberately withholding from his constituents.|
|8/7/2013||3:30 PM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||Asked Nicolas if I could speak to one of the schedulers about why I was not given the Aug. 2 Springtown town hall information when I called on Aug. 2. Was put on hold then told the schedulers were out of the office.|
|8/7/2013||10 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Emily who checked with staff.(The congressman’s staff confirmed that there are no town halls today, and staff at Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce confirmed that their membership meeting luncheon today is NOT a town hall.)|
|8/2/2013AND8/4/2013||UNDISCLOSED TOWN HALLUNDISCLOSED TOWN HALL||XX||THE CONGRESSMAN HELD A 2 TOWN HALLs One IN SPRINGTOWN ON FRIDAY, AUG.2 and the other on SUN. Aug. 4 in Salford Twp. THE STAFF DID NOT INFORM ME WHEN I called to get the schedule for the day. I APOLOGIZE FOR SUPPLYING INCOMPLETE INFORMATION ON THIS LOG. I must rely on the congressman and his staff to supply good information to pass along. If any of you receive emails about town halls, please let me know and I will try to confirm them with the congressman’s staff. As experience is showing, there is no guarantee I will get accurate information.I sincerely hope this log does not become a record of information about town halls that the congressman is deliberately withholding from his constituents.|
|8/8/2013||Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce, PA||X||A Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick event that is NOT A TOWN HALL.…However, if you are a business owner in Lower Bucks County, the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce is hosting the congressman at their monthly meeting. Staff at the chamber told me this event is NOT a town hall. The link to register is below.THURSDAY, AUGUST 8 at 8 AMThe congressman will speak for about 20 minutes. I’m guessing Obamacare will be discussed. Considering his politics, the congressman will not explain the great benefits of Obamacare for small businesses. (On a personal note, I told the receptionist, that I would not attend the event and challenge the congressman’s statements about the healthcare law because this event is NOT a town hall. But I would follow-up with her to suggest a speaker who will explain exactly what is in Obamacare regarding business.)|
|8/7/2013||Terry at Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce, Telford, PA||Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is speaking at the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon today, Aug. 7 at 11 AMI confirmed with the chamber that this is NOT A TOWN HALL. But if you wish to go to the luncheon, the cost is $35. Please call them at 215-723-9472 if you wish to attend. (They need advance notice to order lunch.)|
|8/6/2013||10:55||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today. They are not aware of the rest of the schedule as per Dan who checked with staff.|
|8/5/2013||9:55 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in person town halls today as per Jen.|
|8/2/2013||10:15 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X??||TOWN HALL ON SATURDAY Aug. 3 10 am at Bucks Community College, LOWER BUCKS CAMPUS.1304 Veterans Highway (formerly New Rodgers Road) Bristol, PA 19007Postscript: The congressman’s staff billed this event as a “town hall.” It was really a public appearance with the group, No Labels. Folks could not line up at a microphone as ask questions||LINK|
|8/1/2013||9:30 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Emily who checked with staff. Thank you!|
|7/31/2013||10AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Emily. Thanks to the congressman’s staff for continuing to provide town hall info!|
|7/30/2013||9:45 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||For the constituents of Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s PA 8th district, there are no in-person town halls today as per Stacey.Have a wonderful day today. Have questions for the congressman? Write them down. August recess is upon us — the time our representatives generally have town halls. Speak up!|
|7/29/2013||9:30||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||????X||As per town halls, Stacey in the congressman’s office said, “Nothing can be confirmed” for today.(Folks, my reading is that there may be a town hall today. I apologize for not being able to get solid information today. I will try later in the day to see if a town hall has been confirmed.)UPDATE. I was able to confirm that there are no in-person town halls today.|
|7/26/2013||3:45 PM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||Sam from the Congressman’s office confirmed that there are no town halls for the weekend.|
|7/26/2013||11:15 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Emily who checked with staff. “They have no further information” for the weekend.|
|7/22/2013||9:40 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls for the entire week as per Megan who checked with staff. The Congressman is in Washington DC this week.|
|7/19/2013||9:40 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend that “they are aware of” as per Emily who checked with staff.|
|7/16/2013||9:55 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office||X||No in-person town halls today or for the rest of the week as per Emily who checked the schedule. The congressman in is Washington D.C.|
|7/15/2013||9:45 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office.||X||No in-person town halls today. The schedule is in flux. The schedule for the in-person town halls for the rest of the week cannot be confirmed. Will kepp you all posted….|
|7/12/2013||9:50 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office.||?||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend “as far as they know” as per Nicholas who checked with staff.(The purpose of this log is to publish the town hall schedule for people who might want to attend just as one might consult a train schedule to catch a train. “As far as they know” connotes that a town hall could happen but they don’t know about it? I could not get more clarification. My only reason for calling is to get information. I can only share what is given me.)|
|7/10/2013||1:45 PM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office.||X||No in-person town halls today, Thursday or Friday morning as per Stacey.|
|7.8.2013||10 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office.||X||No in-person town halls through Wed. as per Stacey.|
|7.5.2013||10 AM||Call to Congressman’s Bucks County office.||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per Branden who checked with staff.|
|7.1.2013||9:40 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls for the ENTIRE WEEK as per Nicholas who checked with staff.Make this week a good one, everybody. Do your co-workers a favor and leave your cranky self at the door. You have off Thursday! Happy July 4th!!!!|
|6.28.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls this weekend as per Emily who checked with staff.|
|6.24.2013||9:45||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls scheduled for the ENTIRE WEEK. The congressman is in D.C. this week as per Meghan who checked with staff.|
|6.21.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls this weekend as per Kevin who checked with staff.If you are not smiling right now, START. We in PA’s 8th district are in store for a gorgeous weekend.|
|6.17.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls for the ENTIRE WEEK. The congressman is in D.C. this week as per Meghan who checked with staff.(For “tele-town halls” see below.)Have a great week! Get along with everyone this week….|
|6.14.2013||10AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Stacey. For the weekend”nothing is planned” as of today.|
|6.13.2013||10:35 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No town halls today or tomorrow as per Stacey|
|6.11.2011||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or tomorrow as per Jen.|
|6.10.2013||LETTER TO EDITOR||Fred Haas writes a letter to the editor regarding this log in response to my LTE on 6.5.2013||Letter to Editor|
|6.10.2013||11:20 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Jen.|
|6.7.2013||10:10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per Anthony who checked with staff. No town halls scheduled “at this time.”|
|6.5.2013||LETTER TO EDITOR||My Letter to the Editor in the Intelligencer asking whether the meeting on 6.2.2013 was a town hall or not.||Letter to Editor|
|6.2.2013||???||WAS THERE A TOWN HALL? OR WAS THIS A PRIVATE MEETING? The congressman’s staff told me there were NO town halls this weekend. This was posted on the congressman’s FB page. “Much appreciation to the residents of the Villages of Flowers Mill, Langhorne for the invitation to participate in the VFM Community Town Hall this afternoon.”|
|5.31.2013||10:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per Jen.|
|5.28.2013||10:20 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or for the rest of the week as per Joe.|
|5.24.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend. “Nothing in the works” as per Jen.Enjoy the holiday weekend!|
|5.20.2013||10:45 AM||X||NO in-person town halls today or for the rest of the week as per Jen. The congressman will be in Washington DC.(For “tele-town halls” see below.)|
|5.15.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls for the rest of the week and for the weekend as per Jen. The congressman is in Washington DC.|
|5.13.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or tomorrow as per Stacey. Will confirm the rest of the week on Wed. The congressman is in Washington DC until 5/17. Here is a great TED talk by Lawrence Lessig: “There is a corruption at the heart of American politics, caused by the dependence of Congressional candidates on funding from the tiniest percentage of citizens”|
|5.10.2013||10:10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per Joe.|
|5.6.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||The congressman is in Washington DC. No in-person town halls for today or the rest of the week. What is a town hall? (from Wikipedia) A town hall meeting is an American term given to an informal public meeting, function, or event derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Typically open to everybody in a town community and held at the local municipal building, attendees generally may voice their opinions and ask questions of the public figures, elected officials, or political candidates at the town hall.|
|5.6.2013||X||The congressman’s office clarified that the event in Feasterville on 5/5 was a PRIVATE event and not a real town hall.From the Congressman’s Facebook page. “Addressed veterans at a Veterans Meet & Greet and town hall this afternoon in Feasterville. Appreciate the opportunity to thank our veterans for their service and to remind constituents in need of assistance with VA issues to please contact my Langhorne District Office at 215 579 8102.”||LINK TO FACEBOOKPAGE|
|5.3.2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today and none for the weekend as per Aaron.(Light blue for the gorgeous blue sky we have today. I’m calling the sky a cerulean blue mixed with a touch of titanium white.)|
|4.30.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today and none scheduled for the week as per Chris who checked with staff.|
|4.29.2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Katie who checked with staff. Congress is in recess this week. When asked if there were any town halls scheduled for the week Katie said “No.” Just to be sure, since this is a recess week, I asked if anyone else in the office could tell me if there are town halls scheduled for the week. “No.”I would welcome advance notice of scheduled town halls. This blog would simply be a re-posting of a town hall schedule that the congressman could post on his own website.|
|4.26.2103||9:35 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||No in-person town halls today and none this weekend as per Stacey.As for next week, the staff is “not that far ahead.”|
|4.22.2013||9:40 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today and none for the week. The Congressman is in Washington DC as per Kay who checked with staff.|
|4.19.2013||11 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per John.None are planned for next week that John “is aware of.”|
|4.16.2013||9:55 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||No in-person town halls are scheduled for today as per James who checked with staff.There are also NONE FOR THE WEEK. (I thank the congressman’s office for this info.)|
|4.15.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Stacey.None planned for the week that she is “aware of.”|
|4.12.2013||10:20 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per John.|
|4.11.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Aaron who checked with staff. When asked about town halls scheduled for the rest of the week Aaron relayed the message, “The congressman is in Washington DC for the rest of the week.”|
|4.10.2013||10:40 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Stacey. As per town halls being planned this week, none were “to her knowledge.”|
|4.9.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Athan. The congressman is headed to Washington DC. I asked if any town halls were planned for the week. Athan said he did not know. I asked that he bring up the subject at the next staff meeting. Why can’t we know in advance when town halls are scheduled even just a day in advance? Common sense dictates that venues need notice to book their facilities. Why can’t the public also know in advance? I hope to get an answer from the congressman via his staff, or an explanation why the request is unreasonable.|
|4.8.2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No town halls today or over the weekend. Athan does not believe there are town halls being organized for next week. The congressman will be in Washington D.C.|
|4.4.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||2-3 PM Warminster Township, 401 Gibson Avenue, Warminster, PA|
|4.3.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Aaron.|
|4/2/2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per James who checked with staff.|
|4/1/2013||10:10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Stacey.|
|3.29.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today or over the weekend as per Chris who checked with staff.|
|3.28.2103||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Joe.|
|3.27.2013||10 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per Joe.|
|3.26.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No in-person town halls today as per James who checked with staff.|
|2.24.2013||Courier Times, Bucks County||X||Editorial in the Courier times about town halls.||Editorial|
|2.22.2013||9:40 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Anthony. No town halls today. For the weekend, “None to his knowledge.”|
|2.21.2013||The Intelligencer||X||The Bucks County newspaper discusses Congressman’s town halls in “Our View.”||Articlein Newspaper|
|2.21.2013||9:35 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Kay. She checked with staff. No town halls today.|
|2.20.2013||11:25 AM||Joe confirmed.Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X|| Congressman Fitzpatrick is holding a TOWN HALL TONIGHT at 7:30 at NORTON AVE. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH in Bristol.1230 Norton Ave Bristol, PA 19007
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.
10/2014 As I near the end of this project, I am filling in the log with my personal notes: Before the congressman spoke, he pulled the pastor aside. The pastor then went to the mic to admonish anyone who might want to be a “troublemaker.” Hmmm, I think that’s interesting. This congressman is really afraid of speaking to people who disagree with him. I ask about letting Medicare negotiate drug prices. I don’t feel I am in a public forum, but rather a guest at the Church. This isn’t a real town hall. But fine. Right after congressman’s talk, I approach someone from the church and ask if they would like a real presentation about the ACA. I team up with PA Health Access Network, and we schedule a presentation
|VIDEOArticle in newspaper about event|
|2.20.2013||From the article: “Tuesday’s meeting in Sellersville Borough Hall was attended by veterans, nearly all of them seniors, who received automated calls by Fitzpatrick, R-8, for the mid-afternoon event.”||X||Apparently there was a town hall on the 19th. I was not given good information when I called the congressman’s office. Was I deliberately misled? I requested a meeting w/ the congressman’s staff so we can come to a meeting of the minds about town hall notifications.||Article aboult a town hal|
|2.19.2013||10:35 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||James, after speaking to his supervisors, said there are no town halls today. He qualified the information with “not to his knowledge” I explained that I wanted to post good information on a public blog for the benefit of the constituents of PA’s 8th district. I am no longer able to confirm with certainty whether or not there is a town all today.|
|2.18.2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||?||Phone machine. Office closed for federal holiday.|
|2.18.2013||Guest Opinion in Courier Times||X||Brenda M. writes a guest opinion about Rep. Fitzpatrick and town halls||Guest Opinion by Brenda M.|
|2.15.2013||9:35 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||Spoke to Anthony (staff). Congressman in is DC today. No town halls today or over the weekend.|
|2.14.2013||9:55 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke with James. He checked with his supervisors. No town halls today.|
|2.13.2013||Eleanor G’s letter to the editor||This letter is so right-on that I must highlight it in the log. What do town halls mean for ordinary citizens? Eleanor G. explains.||LTE by Eleanor G|
|2.13.2013||9:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Joe. No town halls today. The congressman is in Washington DC|
|2.12.2013||9:36 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Steve. He checked with the Congressman’s staff. No town halls today — telephone or in-person.|
|2.8.2013||Steve sent this to me||X?||From Steve: I got back from walking Kongo this afternoon and a message was on my answering machine from our beloved Congressman. I was invited to a phone-based town hall, but there was no info on how to get to it. The message seemed to imply that if I had answered the phone I would have been given contact info: better luck next time!|
|2.11.2013||11:45 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Clare’s spoke with Kate who told her that the call she missed on Friday (2-8-13) was a telephone town hall. No in-person town halls scheduled. She suggested that at least tele-town halls be announced. Kate said she would make the suggestion.|
|2.11.2013||11:25AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||?||Spoke to Kay. “To the best of her knowledge” there were no town halls today. I asked to speak to someone who could tell me for sure. I was posting the info on a public blog and needed good information. I got incorrect information on Friday.There was no one who could speak to me. I pointed out that if we can’t call the Congressman’s office and get good information what else were we supposed to do?I said I would like to set up an appointment with the Congressman (most likely his staff) to talk about this issue of town halls so we can resolve it once and for all.|
|2.11.2013||10:12 AM||Call to Congressman’s Washington DC officeI must mark “?” in the yes/no town hall column because I cannot get a definite answer from the Congressman’s office.||?||Spoke to Stephen. Explained that there was a tele-town hall on Friday but the Bucks County office said there were no town halls. Did they schedule the town halls from the DC office? Stephen said that there is no rhyme or reason to the scheduling of the tele-town halls. It depends on the Congressman’s busy schedule. I pointed out that even if they know an hour before a town hall, they could post it on Facebook.He said the newspapers are notified the day before an in-person town hall. I pressed about letting the people know in advance by using social media such as Facebook.|
|2.11.2013||9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||?||Spoke to Kay. Explained that I called on Friday to ask about town halls and was told there were none. I wanted info for today. She said everybody was at a meeting and she would take my name and number and somebody would call me back. I said that I have been told that in the past and nobody calls. I would call back in an hour or so to get the information.|
|2.7.2013||Response to 2/1/2013 PhillyBurbs.com article||X|| This piece ran in the Intelligencer (PA).
||My Guest Opinion|
|2.8.2013||4:30 PM||RECORDED MESSAGE ON PHONE||X||RECEIVED A RECORDED MESSAGE ON PHONE AT 4:30 PM ON THIS FRIDAY FROM CONGRESSMAN FITZPATRICK “SORRY I MISSED” THE TELE-TOWN HALL. THIS MORNING HIS OFFICE SAID THERE WERE NO TELE-TOWN HALLS.No notice and tightly controlled.|
|2.8.2013||Rebuttal to newspaper article||X||Clare writes a letter to the editor re: 2/1 newspaper article. She explains that her repeated attempts to engage the congressman were continually thwarted.||LTE|
|1.28.2013||Noon||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Clare called. Spoke with Joe.” He suggested I just keep calling because they usually do not know until a few days in advance about town halls. I mentioned that every time I call someone else answers. He said that everyone who works there has to answer the phone, because they get a lot of calls. I suggested that if they published on the web page they would not get so many calls. He said he has no authority over that.”|
|1.28.2013||11:20 PM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||?||Paraphrasing the conversation with Kay who answered the phone.
I’m not even sure I got to asking about a town hall today because Kay was willing to have a conversation with me.
Kay said the town halls are on the website. “Really, when did that start to happen? I’ve been asking for that for months.”
She couldn’t tell me a lot because she was new.
She said she really didn’t understand why I would call so much. If I had something specific to talk about I could make an appointment.
I made the point that the congressman is using the press to give the appearance that he is having town halls. He gets his name in the paper for doing so. But it seems the notification process is designed to keep people from actually attending them. Real town halls are not being held for the benefit of ALL the constituents, it seemed.
I said “tele-town halls” were a sham and just another way control the dialog.
I explained that I want to ask very specific questions for the benefit of the public. Public, spontaneous exchanges are helpful to everyone. I said I think the congressman is very uncomfortable going off script. And he is trying to control public discourse. One starts to draw conclusions about the congressman’s motives. Why is this so hard — finding out about town halls?
I was asked several times what my issue was and I could make an appointment.
What is my issue?
This has become a First Amendment issue — one which I never expected or wanted, and I wish would just go away by having the congressman’s office publicize the town halls.
Why can’t we know about town halls in advance? Put the information on the homepage of the website in a timely manner and be done with it?
I asked Kay:
“Do I have the right to attend town halls?”
“Do I have the right to know about the town halls in advance so I can attend?”
“Yes”, she thought so.
I suggested that the congressman not have the town halls at all and take the heat for it if he wants.
She said she was new. She asked to take my number. I told her that I would appreciate somebody getting back to me. I pointed out that she took my number before and said somebody would get back to me and nobody ever did.
|1-23-13||Report of a “tele- town hall” (if they count)||Sort||of?|| Report from Helen:I got a call from Fitz to hold on for conference town hall. One question asked was why don’t you talk to Gingrich ? Fitz replied funny I just had breakfast with him. Next caller , I’m a doctor and I’m telling my son who is in Medical School not to be one -Obamacare , no money , Medicare reimbursement etc. Fitz says he talks to many Dr’s that feel the same way. Caller asks why can’t everyone get the same insurance as Congress has? Fitz says he doesn’t get government insurance, gets private insurance. Fitz- I want a pay freeze, caller- but your money will be held for you. There was a poll : do you want the constitution changed to balance budget? over 70% yes the rest no or I don’t know. I called his Washington office on 1-24 around 1pm and asked when will there be a town hall “Its on the web site” I said I haven’t seen any ” He said ” There hasn’t been any.” Eleanor
|1.25.2013||10:50 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Jen confirmed that there are no town halls today. Congressman will be back in town next week.|
|1.24.2013||2:37 PM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||Jen confirmed that there are no town halls tonight.|
|1.24.2013||Short reader comment in the newspaper||Town halls by “invitation only”||“Vent”|
|1.23.2013||1:30 PM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Theresa called. Stacey confirmed that the congressman is still in Washington DC. “Nothing scheduled at the moment.” I said I would continue to call but I was hoping we could work out a better system like notice on the homepage of website.|
|1.22.2013 1.22.2013||4:40 PM 9:30 AM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County OfficeCall to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Theresa spoke to Joe. He confirmed the Congressman is still in Washington. No town halls.Barb talked to Joe. She asked when the Congressman would be in town and if there will be any town halls. He said the Congressman would be home next week, but he didn’t know what day as he had “no access to the calendar. That is reserved for senior staff.” She asked if she could speak to a senior staff. She was put on hold and then told the person she needed to talk to was on the phone. Someone would call her back. She never got a call back.|
||INAUGURATION DAY||X||Notice on Facebook the congressman will be in Washington DC.|
|1.18.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||Steve called and asked when the next town hall would be. He asked if the office could send out an email or post on the website? He was told they do call or email some people. Would he like to be on the list?|
|1.18.2013||3:30||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Friend called. Robin was told the office only contacts people in the surrounding area where the town hall will be held. Robin wished to be notified of all the town halls because she considers the entire area her district.|
|1.16.2013||Letter to the Editor||X||Town Halls||Letter to the Editor|
|1.16.2013||3:15 PM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||No town hall. None scheduled as of today. I asked about Thursday and Friday possibly being scheduled last minute. The town halls don’t get scheduled that quickly|
|1.16.2013||1:50 PM||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Phalen. Jen the scheduler was at a meeting. Phalen did not know when the town halls were. She took my phone number. I shared that there was a letter to the editor from me in the newspaper today. I’m pressing the point of town hall notification. I said that this town hall thing has become a First Amendment issue. I said I would call back late in the day when Jen the scheduler might be available. I would just need a “yes” or “no” about the town halls.|
|1.15.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Anthony answered the phone. I asked if there were town halls today. I would like to be notified. Anthony explained they notify the residents in the area of the town halls by letter or phone calls. I asked to be on all the lists. Anthony asked if there was something in particular I wanted to talk about. At this point I had been trying to find out about town halls for months. The congressman had ZERO town halls during 2012 congressional summer recess. I told Anthony that this business of town halls has become an issue about the democratic process. I asked if he thought I had the right to attend any town hall. He said I did.I asked if I had the right to know about them. Anthony said the scheduler was out to lunch and he didn’t know when she would be back. He added that Congress was in session and there were no town halls”to his knowledge.” I said that if we can’t call the congressman’s office and know with certainty then who could we call. I told Anthony I would have to call a lot because I had no other way of finding out for sure.|
|1.14.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Friends who share my frustration are joining the effort to know when town halls are. Barb called and was told that there are no town halls scheduled until March. Halls are “very expensive to rent.” Their “budget was cut.” Notification can be no more than 1-2 days in advance. Barb said that wasn’t enough time. The retort, “To get a protest organized?”|
|1.14.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Clare, a friend, listened to my frustration about not being able to find out in advance when town halls were being held. I suggested we call every day since we had no other way of finding out about town halls (that we knew of). Clare decided to call as well. Here is her report:I called the Langhorne office on Monday 1-14-13 and spoke with Anthony about town Halls.My reference was the town halls Fitz’s eNewsletter reported having in Moncto for new constituents and in Quakertown. Anthony said that whenever they are going to be in an area, they make calls and/or send letters to people in the area. I emphasized my belief that public announcements should be made because, 1) the meeting at least in Quakertown was of universal interest and 2) there have not been town halls down our way is a long time. Anthony said he would pass my request on to the scheduler…..|
|1.14.2013||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Spoke to Kay in the congressman’s office. I asked if there were any town halls. I asked to be put on every robo-call list in the county. I asked when the next town hall was scheduled. She did not know. I asked to be notified in advance. She said she would find out and call me back. She never did. I suggested the congressman post notices on the homepage of his website.|
|Jan. 2013||Town Halls||X||Apparently there were town hall meetings in Sounderton, Quakertown and Telford, PA. I had previously asked to be put on ALL the robo-call lists for notification of town halls. I was not notified. I found out about the town hall after the fact.||Article about town hall|
|12.6.2012||Letter to the Editor||Cited things I would say to Mike if he held a real town hall.||Letter to Editor|
|11.8.2012||Outside the congressman’s Bucks County office||X||A group of concerned citizens pressed the congressman to commit to well-publicized town halls||VIDEO|
|8.29.12||TRUTH TOUR 2012 Medicare: What’s at Stake?||X||Art As Social Inquiry joined forces with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Penn Action. We took the portraits to four stops in Bucks County to talk about Medicare, access to healthcare. We called for our congressman to have well-publicized town hall meetings to openly discuss his positions.||Pictures|
|8.14.2012||A “vent,” short comment from readers”, is published in one, sometimes both Bucks County newspapers. PhillyBurbs.com is the online presence for the Intelligencer and the Courier Times.)||X||Asked the congressman to post his town hall schedule on the homepage of his website.||“Vent”|
|8.13.2012||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Still inquiring about the 2012 August summer recess town halls. Albert told me they are still working on the town halls. It is now mid-August. I was told they would call me to let me know when they are. No one ever called.|
|8.7.2012||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Still inquiring about the 2012 August summer recess town halls. I was told they usually do them last minute. It really depends on the Congressman. Told me about the “tele-town halls.” (I got the robo-calls which I have criticized as a way for the congressman to distance himself from the public and control the dialog. Complete waste of time.)|
|8.4.2012||Doylestown Republican Headquarters||X||Stood outside with a healthcare portrait to confront and challenge my congressman about his false campaign ad targeting seniors to frighten them about “cuts” to Medicare due to the healthcare law. We did||VIDEO|
|8.2.2012||Call to congressman’s Bucks County Office||X||Asked for the August summer recess schedule of town hall meetings. The staff could not tell me.|
|7.30.2012||Stood with portrait at Bucks County office.||X||Attended a Pennsylvania Health Access rally at the congressman’s office to mark the 47th anniversary of Medicare.|
|7.26.2012||Call to congressman’s Bucks County office||X||Spoke to Rob to request that Mike’s town hall schedule be posted online|
|7.16.2012||Letter to the Editor published in one, sometimes both Bucks County newspapers. PhillyBurbs.com is the online presence for the Intelligencer and the Courier Times.)||X||Open letter to the Congressman to notify the entire public when town-halls happen||Letter to Editor|
|6.25.2012||Meeting in Congressman’s Washington DC office||X||Met with the congressman’s senior legislative assistant, Katie Wise, as part of a group from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. We expressed great concern over the Paul Ryan budget cuts.|
|5.31.2012||1:30 PM||Meeting in Congressman’s Washington DC office.||X||Met with Mike’s legislative director at the time, Mr. Kyle Whatley. We had a good conversation about young people needing insurance. I submitted 3 questions for the congressman and was told I would get answers. I never did.|
|Jan-May 2012||Outside US Capitol, Washington DC standing with portraits||X||Ran into Mike 3 times as he was coming down the steps of the US Capitol. He stopped once to talk. He extolled the virtues of small business accessing insurance through chambers of commerce. He invited me to make an appointment.|
|8.15.2011||Upper Bucks County, PA||X||Told congressman story of life that could have been saved by Obamacare||AUDIO|
|8.5.2011||Morrisville, PA||X||Asked congressman to support ACA||VIDEO|