Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thousands Come Out To Speak To Pallone

When I arrived at the Red Bank Middle School at 5:40, the parking lot was almost full. I got one of the last spots on Harding Rd. There were already about 200 people on line to get into Congressman Frank Pallone's Community Forum on Health Care.

One man close to the front of the line was standing over his severely disabled daughter in a wheel chair holding a large yellow sign that said, OBAMA MAY KILL MY DAUGHTER. Several others where holding anti-ObamaCare signs. A few volunteers where handing out pro-ObamaCare materials and professionally printed signs that said THANK YOU.

By 6 PM there were easily 400 people on line with a steady flow of people coming from all directions. It seemed to be that 5-10% of those on line were pro-ObamaCare. They were wearing stickers and carrying to professionally printed signs. At 6:45 the doors where open and the first 500 people started to orderly enter the school auditorium, which thankfully was air conditioned. There was well over 1000 people on line by that time. The forum was to divided into two one hour sessions.

What impressed me about the crowd was how well behaved it was. 1000 people were patiently waiting online to speak to their congressman. There was no hostility present between those who held differing points of view.

Once inside, the crowd became more animated and vocal. Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna and Pallone walked to the front of the room to a loud mixture of cheers and jeers.

Pallone spoke for a few minutes about the virtues of the bill that he made clear he was a prime author of and sponsor of as Chairman of the Health Care sub-committee. He went out of his way to make his bill, HR 3200, sound benign and not a major change, except for those who do not have health insurance. The crowd knew better and wasn't buying it.

Tommy DeSeno was the first speaker from the public. Tom respectively informed the congressman that he read the bill, and an decades old statute that is 1500 pages long and concluded that despite President Obama's and Pallone's comments to the contrary, HR 3200 does not require coverage of pre-existing conditions. DeSeno presented Pallone with a column that he wrote that laid that out and asked Pallone to have legislative services check it out and correct the bill if Tom's analysis was accurate. Incredibly, Pallone's response was a bunch of double talk that affirmed DeSeno's analysis.

It didn't take long for Pallone to prove Jim Hogan right. Pallone does not care what his constituents think and he doesn't mind saying so.

A gentleman from Monmouth Beach was the third or fourth speaker. He told Pallone that he works for the people of the sixth congressional district and that it was his job to represent those residents, not the interests of Speaker Pallone (he meant Pelosi) and his fellow Democrats in Washington. The gentleman scolded Pallone for voting for the stimulus package without reading it, for his vote on "cap and trade" and his sponsorship of HR 3200.

Pallone arrogantly, yet calmly defended the stimulus package as working, to the jeers of the crowd. He declared himself an environmentalist and said that cap and trade was the most important environmental legislation he ever voted on. After the boos subsided, he said he believed the majority favors his health care reform and declared his friendship with and admiration for Chairman Henry Waxman and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He declared that he was there as a congressman, not a candidate, as if he was invulnerable to the will of those who elect him.

The crowd booed and jeered but didn't throw anything. The pro-ObamaCare people wearing the stickers started to leave. The two of the three pro-ObamaCare people who spoke were insulting to the crowd, one declaring her embarrassment that "this is democracy" and the other imploring Pallone not to be bullied. The third implored Pallone to jam the legislation through given the Democratic majority in Washington, regardless of the voices of the people.

As I left the meeting after an hour, there were another 1000-1200 people waiting to get into round two of Pallone not caring what they had to say.

Chris Fotache at Right In Jersey reports that round two of the community forum was a good deal rowdier than the first meeting I witnessed. Perhaps the two hours standing out in the heat had an effect. Chris also reports that a third meeting was held to accommodate those who didn't get into either of the first two.

Give Pallone credit for having the third meeting, despite the fact that he could have held the meeting in a location that could have handled the entire group. A reliable source informed me that Pallone was offered a 3000 person venue at Brookdale Community College for his forum and turned it down.


Proud Veteran said...

I tried to get in the meeting but by the time I arrived, you would have to park your car 2 miles away. The bottom line is correct; Pallone does not give a damn about what the people he supposedly represents actually want. You know he's a "LAWYER" and much smarter than the rest of us working stiffs.
I have written this guy letters, sent email, faxed and called many times over the years. I always get a letter back that thanks me for my comments but tells me I am wrong about the issue with some crappy talking points. I remember when he would not support the bill to fund our troops in Iraq, but now spends trillions like small change. He fully supports all of the most damaging aspects of the Obama agenda. He is a statist that is hell bent on killing the private sector by regulating it into oblivion.
We really need to wake up and start a grass roots campaign to get rid of Pallone and his buddy Holt in the next congressional election, along with the fake republicans like LoBiando and Smith who voted for the Cap and Tax bill.
I know Pallone has been there for years, but if just 10% of the people at the town halls would really get out the vote against him we could get him defeated. Pallone is toxic to the continued survival of our great republic.
I didn't put on a uniform and serve my country so jerks like Pallone could wreck it. I am going to walk the streets of my town for anyone who runs against him.

frankcott said...

I think it was good for Pallone to have the 3rd meeting but I don't think it is good he lied about illegals getting coverage, he lied about the private option still be available and made no mention H.R. 3200 will make it harder for private insurers and force them out of business. He made no mention of discrimination of services to men but mentioned discriminstion toward women, he ignores that women cost more to insure and instead has has the liberal view that this should bed paid by male subscribers; in other words women can't pay their share because it's discriminator but men can pay women's share of needing more medical treatment. It's a PC and political bias we now will face in healthcare like we do in our marriages, schools, jobs, and the rest of our social lives.
Pallone made no mention of why the government needs to have healthcare czars and a big audit department and I asked him, "why can't you just leave this big government out of this and pay the medical bills, he gave no answer to my question, smiled and talked how health reform is needed.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but this man is a disgrace. He is quoted in the Asbury Park Depressed newspaper saying he would listen to everyone & he didn't. I was in the second group & we had about an hour to speak. I was on line & he said thats it, time for the next group. I almost lost it. He said I can leave my questions & he would answer them. I sent him questions in November of 2005, still have not gotten an answer. I gave him the questions again at a meeting in August 2007, still no answers. I left him my list but doubt I will get answers. I did ask him as I was being escorted out if he & his family would be using this insurance. He said yes everyone will be in this system. I asked why he will not listen to his constituents & would vote for this bill, he said it was close in votes for and against. The meeting last night was about 95% against, 5% for. When he said he trys to read the bills before he votes on them, I wanted to pull what little hair I have left on my head out. I hope this person is voted out in 2010. Andrew Bane

Grace Cangemi said...

I am hopeful that last night's meeting has shown people who may never have seen Pallone in action for what he is - a liberal puppet of the Democratic party who has no interest in the opinions or needs of his constituents. Proud Veteran is absolutely correct - the folks at this meeting need to reach out to their friends and work toward getting him out of office.

Among the most memorable moments last night - a woman asking Pallone if he would support term limits - the comic highlight of the first meeting - as the crowd roared with laughter both at the question and at Pallone's inevitable "no" response. Pallone's refusal to answer the question when asked if he supported forcing health care providers to perform procedures that went against moral and religious beliefs. Pallone's assertion (again met with laughter and jeers) that this bill would offset what it costs "all of us" when people go to the Emergency Room for health care because they don't have insurance and how HR3200 would offset this - an assertion that 95% of the room recognized as opening the door to covering illegal aliens.

Pallone had an awful lot of "I'll have to look into that" answers for a guy who sponsored this bill. Perhaps his pat answer should have been, "I'll have to look into how best to shove my liberal redistribution, socialist agenda down your throats." Well Frank, a spoonful of sugar isn't going to help this medicine go down.

See you tonight in Middletown!