Thursday, August 20, 2009


Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre announced today that he will be hosting an “Open to All Townhall” meeting on Wednesday August 26th at 5:30 pm at the Middletown Arts Center to discuss the controversial healthcare reforms being debated throughout the country. Congressman Rush Holt is scheduled to hold a townhall meeting the same evening at 7:00 pm inside the Arts Center. Mayor Halfacre’s forum will be held outside the Arts Center, before the Holt gathering, weather permitting.

Halfacre said his event was designed make sure that people who oppose Obamacare get a chance to speak their minds.

“After the intial blowback of the first townhalls, you now have lawmakers intentionally scheduling these meetings in small rooms, you have lawmakers packing the room with supporters bused in from outside the district to ensure that everyday people aren’t given their full chance to speak. I want to make sure that people have a chance to speak their minds without worrying whether or not they get into Rush Holt’s meeting, or depending on Holt staffers to call on them.”

Halfacre, who is running against Holt in 2010 for Holt’s 12th Congressional District seat, said he would say a few words at the beginning of the program and then open up the floor to questions or people who simply wanted to make statements about Obamacare.

“We’ll have a copy of the bill there, sitting on a table. I’ll be glad to answer anyone’s questions about the bill as best I can, and if there are people who support the single-payer or the public option, they’ll get a chance to speak too. That’s why we’re calling it Open to All. We want to have a dialogue, not a cheerleading session, and we don’t want anyone shut out.

Halfacre said he expected the gathering to be passionate but civil.

“There is a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction out there, not only over healthcare reform, but the general direction the country has taken on a number of issues. People are starting to have serious buyer’s remorse with President Obama. I am hopeful that this townhall will give people an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction in a forceful but civil way and let our elected officials know that there is significant opposition to the government taking over one-sixth of the economy and intruding into people’s personal health decisions.”

The meeting will take place on the side of the Middletown Arts Center adjacent to the 9/11 Memorial, across from the Middletown train station. Light refreshments will be served.

Attendees seeking more information can email Grace Cangemi at

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