A "Deficit" Town Hall meeting by Gabrielle Giffords' staff went out of its way to censor those constituents advocating for a comprehensive, substantive health care plan.Alison McLeod, the Southern Arizona Field Organizer for PDA, attended the meeting last night and sent out the following report:
The Honorable David Walker -- founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative and former Comptroller General of the United States
Robert Bixby -- Executive Director of the Concord Coalition and member of the bipartisan Domenici-Rivlin Debt Reduction Task Force.No stranger to the phony left/right paradigm evident in Giffords' political career, Dick Kaiser, SPNOW member and advocate for a single payer health care system, shares his assessment:
"The two speakers who have been invited to 'educate' Tucsonans at the event are both advocates for reducing both social security and medicare. They are accolytes of Peter Peterson, billionaire hedge fund owner.Kaiser later breaks it down succintly:
I'm hoping this event is both well-attended and recorded. The Congresswoman's staff is doing a disservice to her constituents by not having a balanced presentation at the least. Some other actions are probably in order as well."
"GIFFORDS voted FOR the bank bailout, increasing OUR DEBT astronomically.
GIFFORDS voted FOR war funding at every opportunity, at least once on an off-budget basis, increasing OUR DEBT astronomically.
GIFFORDS voted FOR homeland security appropriations, increasing OUR DEBT.
Now, GIFFORDS thinks the American People should be responsible for the deficit and debt by surrendering their past payments into Medicare and Social Security to reduce a debt created by greedy, criminal bankers and greedy, immoral Congress members?"
"HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE, LOVE PROTECT IMPROVE MEDICARE, and TAX WALL STREET signs: Giffords’ staff told us we could not bring them inside, so they were festooned along the walls outside the event.
HEALTHCARE NOT WARFARE STICKERS : a popular item and almost everyone took one when offered. The exception was the men in dark suits, who turned out to be the speakers of the event. They did not want a Healthcare Not Warfare sticker.
GIFFORDS STAFF STARRING ROB MCLEOD (no known relation of Alison McLeod): Asked Alison McLeod to stop distributing Healthcare Not Warfare stickers so close to check-in table lest people would think she was one of Giffords staff.
CONNECT THE DOTS, PEOPLE’S BUDGET and NURSES’ MAIN STREET CONTRACT flyers : Casually distributed at each table.
MEN IN DARK SUITS: Gave presentation full of charts with diagrams and circles and graphs and lots of incomprehensible wordy sentences formulated to convince the hoi poloi that all this budget stuff was so complex it should be left to the experts and if we didn’t the world as we know it will surely end.
ALISON MCLEOD, RN: Raised her hand at beginning of question-and answer session and kept her hand up entire time as circulators ignored her and passed microphone to other audience members; then two people walked up to circulator and asked to let nurse speak, circulator assured them she was second to speak, then when it came her turn circulator said, 'Whoops, sorry - time’s up.'
AND THEN IT HAPPENED.
What happened next was recorded on video if my cohort managed to press the right buttons, but if he didn’t, Pam Powers, who was sitting in the front row, did.
Please forward this preliminary report to all interested parties."
We have little understanding about Gabrielle Giffords' capacity to function in her role as a congressional representative. A kind assessment of this situation is that her staff has run amok.
The Intercept will post the video recorded last night once it is made available.