Tag Archives: sen. John Albers

Town Hall Meetings & Why You Shouldn’t Go to Them

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Town Hall Meeting”?? Democracy? Voicing your opinion? One-on-one time with your representative? Nope. Not me. I think…”Re-election”.

It may just be me, but I think that town hall meetings (here on forward referred to as THM) are becoming more and more popular, or maybe we’re just hearing about them more in a vile attempt on our representatives parts to reach us, the constituent, “the people”. It seems like everyone from Barack Obama to Rep. Gabby Giffords to our glorified city councilmen & women (a.k.a. State Senators) are hosting them.

Have you every been to one? Luckily, I have, so I can share my experience with you. As someone with an interest in North Fulton County, I attended a town hall meeting hosted by Senator John Albers. It was formally arranged with a venue, newsletter invitation and a decorous start time. I was greeted by about 5 other constituents and about 15 volunteers from the Albers campaign team (this I know because I was one of them). People were scattered around seats like a 3pm viewing of the new Fast & Furious movie. The Senator was then “introduced” (wait, I thought this was supposed to be some community get-together, not an event to honor a celebrity?) . He began talking to at the crowd few constituents that braved the event and there was a question and answer session to follow (brief, because whats to talk about?) Then we left.

Not much was accomplished, not much was established…just a little gloating on the part of a local politician. The same one that is “one of us” and “wants to hear from us”. I can say with confidence that 5 people don’t represent the greater population of Roswell. But BOY OH BOY would you think they did. Of course this event (yes, we went from THM to event) was highly publicized–with photos–and let me tell you, from the angle the photo was taken, you would have thought that house was PACKED!

That leads me to the why. Why do politicians host town hall meetings? They aren’t to sway an elected officials’ opinion on a topic. They may be for constituents to present ideas for officials to work on legislation for…but I’m not convinced. They may be an opportunity for constituents to complain about legislation that was passed during session (like, maybe about a bike law that was passed in such a vague fashion it makes you want to cringe because you know that a 5 year old could pick out the issues with the contents (or lack there of) of the bill) but the legislation is already passed, so there isn’t really much action that can be taken. That really only leaves one thing: re-election.

Town hall meetings aren’t about the people, they are about the politician. They are about looking like they are constantly out in the public, talking, mingling, etc. They are an image thing. It’s all about staying in the public eye. Thankfully, voters are wising up. Stepping up to the plate and doing their research and realizing that image isn’t everything and it’s more about what legislators can actually do for the community and its’ people.

Thumbs up, Geraldo!!

I had originally planned to discuss the recent fabrication by Senator John Albers (R-56) that he had something to do with the implementation of child identification kits in the community (Falsely, seeing as though they were not his idea, nor did he have any larger role in implementing them than any other member of the Alpharetta Public Safety Foundation), but given the events of the last 3 hours (and the fact that Senator Albers needs minimal press due to the fact that he galavants around town tooting his own horn anyways), I felt it was necessary to address the Osama Bin Laden “victory” instead.

I had just finished watching The Real Housewives of Orange County when Andy Cohen started his show ‘Watch What Happens Live!’ with “Where were you when you found out Osama bin Laden was dead?” Hmm, I don’t know. I didn’t think it happend yet?? Oh, but it had! Curious, I changed the channel to Fox News. I don’t always particularly care for them but, hey-it was better than CNN or CBS. Geraldo was on. He always adds a painfully, yet usually unnecesary, emotional spin to things. Multitasking, I thought I heard him say “Obama is dead.” No way. Rewind. Yep, he said it. If you YouTube “Geraldo Obama Osama slip up” you will see not only the nice footage but that this isn’t Geraldos first Obama/Osama slip up.

Irritated with the nonsense, I switched to my Facebook to see what others were saying…sadly, I was met with more nonsense. “Yes we can! Change is here y’all!!”, “It took a Democrat to do it!” and complaints of Obama being referred to as “Mr Obama” instead of “President Obama” flooded my News Feed. Is this really happening??

It may sound extreme, but seeing all the outrageous postings, media and text messages, I really considered throwing my TV, computer and cell phone right off my balcony.

The fact of the matter is….right now our country is more vulnerable than before. Killing Osama bin Laden is not the end of the road, merely a fork. While a figure head, OBL really is no more than that. It seems like a bold statement, but did OBL personally carry out any of the attacks? In fact, he personally never took credit for any of them…Who did? His followers. The intricate web of al-Qaeda ties spread throughout the world is no different than deciphering how you know friend #646 on Facebook. Worried yet?

Right winger, liberal progressive, anti-government tyrant or conspiracy theorist, it really doesn’t matter. You should be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed enough to understand that al-Qaeda is not done. Sleeper cells will wake. Our people have taken to the streets to celebrate. Our leaderS are thrilled. But soon this will fizzle some. The US government will in turn make suggestions about what we should do next. And with suggestions, come legislation. (**It would behoove the American people to pay close attention to legislation in the coming months. The US has a tendancy to lose liberties in times of tragedy, urgency and most importantly, when people are “rallying ’round the flag”, so to speak. The greatest example: the USA PATRIOT Act**)

All of this leaves me with some pretty deep questions. In terms of power plays, this is a victory for the US, a ‘plus one’ on the scoreboard, but at what cost? If you so believe everything the government has told you in the last 10 years (without doing any independent research on your own) then why are you making this political? And why are you not thanking the troops? Why are you sleeping more soundly tonight than you did last night? And most importantly, do you really understand what’s next for our country?