This week Senator Claire McCaskill (D) held a series of events and town halls across Missouri. We attended three of the town halls – in Columbia, Kansas City, and Higginsville. The format for these open town halls has become familiar. Senator McCaskill’s staff provides cards for attendees to write their questions. The questions are placed in a basket. Senator McCaskill makes brief opening remarks, asks for someone “who would never vote for me” to volunteer to staff the basket and pull the questions, then she proceeds to take questions one after the other for an hour. Sometimes there’s give and take with the audience – for clarification of a question or to follow up.
The audience at these events can vary as can the type and scope of questions. Interestingly, at the three town halls we witnessed medical and recreational marijuana were the subject of a number of questions, Obamacare/Affordable Care Act not so much. The subjects submitted in questions included immigration reform, the NSA, coal, the Keystone pipeline, Common Core, campaign finance reform, the status of the Status of Forces Agreement with Afghanistan, GMOs, auditing the Fed, unemployment benefits, veterans’ issues, the minimum wage, the farm bill, food stamps, gay marriage, among several other issues.
We attended two town halls yesterday – in Kansas City and Higginsville.
In Kansas City:
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) speaking at an open town hall on the campus of UMKC in Kansas City – March 19, 2014.
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) speaking at an open town hall at the Higginsville Community Center – March 19, 2014.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): showing up is more than half the battle (March 17, 2014)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): press Q and A – March 17, 2014 (March 18, 2014)