Democracy for America, True Majority Action, MoveOn and other groups have been encouraging citizens to hold public forums with their representives on the Iraq Occupation. This week saw one such meeting attempted in Columbia with an empty chair where Kenny Hulshof should have been.
Despite being given the opportunity to pick his own date, time and venue Kenny Hulshof refused to meet with his constituents at an Iraq War Forum sponsored by ProVote, which reluctantly took place without him.
In the 3 weeks before the event, when it seemed that Rep Hulshof would not come, ProVote and Democracy for Missouri asked folks to call Kenny’s office to encourage his attendance. The message from Kenny and his staff was that the Iraq War is only important to Columbia. The rest of the district, according to them, does not care about the occupation of Iraq.
The 150 or so in attendance at the Forum gave lie to the idea that the Iraq War is off the radar in the 9th District. There were folks present from Fulton, Jefferson City, Moberly, Sturgeon and other towns outside “Liberal Columbia”. Even if the only people present had been from Columbia, is not Hulshof Columbia’s Representative as well? Is Kenny just that afraid of any but Bush Neocon views?
The Forum was ably moderated by radio host Darren Hellwegge and included a panel of speakers including Glenn Rehn representing students, Rev Maureeen Dickmann (pastor of Rockbridge Christian Church), Monta Welch of the Columbia Climate Change Coalition, and Stacey Hafley of Military Families Speak Out.
It is a shame that Kenny Hulshof was absent. Not only was he unable to hear the petitions and opinions of his constituents, but his entourage were not present to offer dissenting views. All those who spoke were for supporting the men and women of the armed services by bringing them home from an unjustified war and supporting them in their post traumatic health and mental care. If other constituents had differing opinions…they did not attend or did not speak up.
Pictures of this event are in the DfMO Image Gallery
It is high time that the 9th District is represented by someone willing to meet with his or her constituents. Lets round up a good progressive winning candidate and rally round that person to send Kenny back to his Southwest MO show farm.