I wanted to make the complete videos available here. Videos by Jerry Schmidt.
Town Hall Meta (May 4, 2012)
Vicky Hartzler rats out Showmeprogress crew! (May 5, 2012)
On May 4, 2012 Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) held town halls in Buffalo, Versailles and California, Missouri. We attended all three and photographed and recorded audio and video at each event.
We’ve noted at the town halls that we’ve attended this Spring that the number of people who show up is relatively miniscule when compared to the number of people who live in and actually vote in the district.
The town hall in California, Missouri was held in the new city building. Other than two
of us from Show Me Progress there was only one other media representative present (from the local paper).
Representative Hartzler (r) working the room in Buffalo, Missouri before her presentation and the question and answer session.
Power point slides as part of the presentation in Buffalo. We’ve seen many of these before.
In Buffalo, Missouri, a response to a paranoid question about an executive order signed on March 16th by President Obama to “take over everything” in a declared emergency (Gee, where have we seen that before?):
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): ….and this president has done more executive orders than any other president, although it is, has been a tool that’s been used by every president since George Washington….
Au contraire, from the National Archives:
The Disposition Tables list the status of Executive Orders from:
January 8, 1937 – May 2, 2012
Barack Obama (2009-Present)
EO’s 13489 – 13607
George W. Bush (2001-2009)
William J. Clinton (1993-2001)
George Bush (1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)
Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Do the math. That’s 118 by President Obama, 290 by George W. Bush, 363 by Bill Clinton, 165 by George H. W. Bush, 380 by Ronald Reagan, 319 by Jimmy Carter, 168 by Gerald Ford, 345 by Richard Nixon, 323 by Lyndon Johnson, 213 by John Kennedy, 481 by Dwight Eisenhower, 893 by Harry Truman, 3,466 by FDR, and 995 by Herbert Hoover.
“…and this president has done more executive orders than any other president…”
Not even close.
There were six different members of Representative Hartzler’s (r) staff in attendance at different stages of the three May 4th town halls.
In Buffalo, Missouri.
Working the room before her presentation and the question and answer session in Versailles, Missouri:
Taking questions in Versailles, Missouri:
Working the room in California, Missouri:
Taking questions in California:
This Spring Representative Hartzler (r) did close to twenty town halls and “meet and greets”. For the events we attended the difference in format between the two was mostly a matter of length and, sometimes, the slide presentation was absent from the meet and greet. At each location Representative Hartzler’s staff set up a sign-in table. On her arrival Representative Hartzler greets everyone in the room individually, taking time to speak briefly with them. She may nod to the bloggers, if they’ve been at a number of her town halls. A staffer sometimes accompanies her, taking photos. Representative Hartzler then does a presentation (lasting up to twenty or so minutes), then takes questions for the remainder of the event. At the close of the event she takes time to talk with those who wish to visit.
The attendance at the events we’ve covered this Spring has been relatively sparse. We’ve noted that there has been a definite ideological mix of people showing up, from obvious libertarians (by their questions), to teabaggers (by their t-shirts), to true believers, to corporatist republicans (by their introductions), to Democrats (by their questions and t-shirts).
Representative Hartzler (r) sometimes avoids calling on obvious Democrats (either because she knows them or because they’re wearing t-shirts identifying them as such), though she’s not always successful in avoiding them. To be fair, when she can’t avoid it, she does take questions from the obvious Democrats. Interestingly, the most painfully embarrassing questions and/or statements appear to come from the lunatic fringe right wingnuts in attendance.
Meta. Here’s a tip for folks in public life who are new to this Internets and blogging thing – if you did or said something that attracted a lot of attention, remember, you were the one who did or said it.
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) presented three town halls in the 4th Congressional District today in the towns of Buffalo, Versailles and California. We were there.
Under the constituent sign-in table at Representative Vicky Hartzler’s (r) town hall in Buffalo, Missouri – May 4, 2012.
For anyone who has attended one of Representative Hartzler’s town halls this is funny and ironic on so many levels.
Before the start of the Buffalo town hall one of Representative Hartzler’s staffers approached us as we had finished setting up and I had started taking stills of people signing in for the town hall. The conversation (paraphrased):
Staffer: Are you taking video?
Me: No, he does video [pointing to Jerry Schmidt]. I take stills. [There was a slight pause in the conversation]
Staffer: I would prefer that you not. People attending don’t want to be on video or pictures, their privacy…
Me: This is a public meeting. Have we ever done anything in the past other than present everything in its entirety?
Staffer: I could ask you all day and I suppose the answer would be the same.
Me: This is a public meeting.
There were six different staff in attendance at different stages of the three town halls.
In Versailles, Missouri. That’s a staffer on the right with a camera.
Wait, that’s a staffer with a camera taking pictures of Representative Hartzler interacting with constituents at a town hall? We do that, too. We also do meticulous transcripts of the proceedings so anyone can read what went on.
Part of the response to a question by a constituent at the Versailles, Missouri town hall about Representative Hartzler’s worth as reported in her personal financial disclosure report:
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): ….So those reports are written by people who don’t like me, who don’t want me reelected. They’re here, we’ve got people been following me around. They take my pictures, they’re video recording me so they can defeat me this November. Uh, anyway, that’s a part of it. So, you know, But it’s out there and, uh, anyway, so….
“…they’re video recording me so they can defeat me this November…”
“…if you did or said something that attracted a lot of attention, remember, you were the one who did or said it…”
Uh, we cover politics and government in Missouri. We post that information (photographs, video, transcripts, public reports) on our blog so that anyone who may be interested can access it. You know, it’s called reporting.
In Versailles. Same staffer, same camera, same member of Congress, different constituent.
In California, Missouri. Same staffer, same camera, same member of Congress, different constituents, different town.
The lack of respect for people’s privacy at public events is just beyond the pale.