Florida Congressman Allen West held a town hall event in Fort Lauderdale this evening. It would have been a better show (by which I mean “authentic”), however it did start with some fireworks.
Upon arriving, everyone was given a card to fill out with standard info such as name, address, phone number, and email. We were also asked to fill out the question/concern we wanted West to address. Initially I assumed it was so they could gauge the temperature of the crowd. Ya know, take stock of general areas of interest and call people to the microphone accordingly. This isn’t unusual considering what most GOP congressman have faced at their respective town halls this week. If anything I figured they were hoping to avoid the Medicare voucher vote entirely.
This wasn’t the case it all. Instead of calling people down to voice their concerns, Allen West had 2 staffers allegedly read the questions to him. I know for a fact they threw aside most of genuine questions because they threw out at least 4 people who took issue with this Q & A format. One woman was taken into police custody.
Dave Weigel reports that a Wall Street front group is loading conservative activists with soft ball questions and packing them into GOP town halls. That was what I expected. Instead we have a Congressman totally ducking any questions and soft-balling himself.
With regard to the Debt Ceiling, West defined the terms under which he’ll vote to raise it: a constitutional “balanced budget” amendment”, a provision in the constitution that triggers automatic budget cuts when the federal budget nears the debt limit, deregulation and cutting corporate taxes to 20%.
**UPDATE** Turns out the woman who was arrested by Fort Lauderdale police was Air America’s own Nicole Sandler.