Courtesy of Right in Jersey
Joe Schilp attended Frank Pallone's Monday townhall in Piscataway. Here's his story from the event:
This evening I had the distinct pleasure of attending the townhall meeting of my Congressman, Frank Pallone, Esq. The event was scheduled to go from 7pm to 9pm at the Piscataway Municipal Building, which is a very small building that holds about 100 people.
I arrived at 6pm to queue up and was stunned to see a Coach USA bus pulling out of the parking lot; that's right, folks, while the president, Congress and media claim that angry right-wing mobs are organized and taking over these events, the people I saw bused in were carrying professionally printed Pro-healthcare signs complete with the Obama logo on them.
So I parked and got on line with about 75 people in front of me.
The main topic of the forum was expected to be healthcare, though any topic could be discussed. The doors opened at 6:55 and people began filing in. At 7:15, the meeting began. (How can a gov't that cannot even start a simple meeting on time be trusted with healthcare?)
First to speak was Piscataway's illustrious mayor, my opponent in last year's election, Brian Wahler. The very first words that came out of Wahler's mouth, I kid you not, were that the "rules of engagement are as follows." That's right, he started the evening using war terminology. Rules of engagement? UGH! Then he proceeded to announce that we'd get an hour, the room would be evacuated, and the people still outside would be allowed in to get an hour.
Wahler talked for 5 minutes, then bragged about putting solar panels on the senior housing building. The funny thing is that almost a year ago to this very date, Wahler ridiculed my campaign promise to investigate the installation of solar panels on township buildings because "that would void the warantty on the roofs of all the buildings." Hooo-boy.
Anyhow, Pallone took the mic at 7:20 and spoke for exactly 13 minutes before opening the meeting to a Q & A. His staff announced that they'd randomly select people starting in the front of the room and work their way toward the back. Obviously, not everyone would get a chance to speak. Since the first people to enter were the bused people, 5 of the first 6 people who spoke were pro-gov't healthcare. But as the mic worked it's way to the back, 6 of the next 10 people were against it. In all, just 17 people got to ask questions.
Some of my favorite Pallone quotes of the evening were:
"We, federal employees, would be treated just like Wal-Mart (employees)," response to a question is Congress would take the same healthcare as the rest of us. This statement was met with hearty laughter.
"I always vote to have government funding of abortion." That's right, folks, he's proud to spend your hard-earned money paying to kill babies.
"I support Nancy Pelosi. Actually, Nancy is one of my favorite people."
Anyhow, I did not get a chance to speak on mic, but I did approach Pallone when my group was leaving I told him that the spending had to stop, that $9 trillion in deficit is irresponsible, that the auto bailouts failed horrendously and that all these taxes take away my ability to create jobs. He had no response, choosing to turn away to take a picture with a supporter.
I then left to see at least 300 people queued-up outside and I knew that at least half of them would not even get in the door.
If you are going to see him tomorrow, know this, they will try to take your name on a sign-up sheet; I chose not to sign-up. Get there early. Grab a pro-Obama sign even if you are not a supporter as it may help you get the microphone and people will be there handing them out. And say hello to Col. Rash. He was there this evening and, I suspect, will be in Red Bank tomorrow.