Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bedlam at FL town meeting (video)


Maybe this is why premium wine enthusiast Paul Ryan doesn't want to hold any town hall meetings during the August recess.

As the video makes quite clear, a lot of Floridians aren't too pleased with freshman GOP Rep. Dan Webster. He thinks it's a good idea to savagely cut government spending when the economy is struggling and unemployment is rising. But Floridians have already gotten a taste of austerity. Once Gov. Pink Slip Rick Scott's "Jobs Budget," took effect, the state's shallow economic recovery went into reverse. Florida lost 22,100 jobs in July, about half of them government jobs.

But what's especially nasty about Rep. Ryan is that he created a dossier on his constituents who had spoken at previous town halls. And then he shared it with other members of Congress.

Reports the Orlando Sentinel, the material shared included
...a watch list of six Central Floridians — with names and multiple photographs — who spoke at Webster town halls earlier this year. It listed their ties, some accurate and some not, to progressive activist groups, and in one case questioned a speaker's service in Vietnam.
"I think it's pretty weird. Someone asks a legitimate question, and all of the sudden somebody's got a dossier on you," said Orlando resident Ron Parsell, 66, one of the six named. "It's the type of thing they'd do in old Russia.
Webster's documents came to light when staff to U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark., circulated them at recent town-hall meetings in his home state, and The Huffington Post posted them online.
The documents include names and pictures of six Central Floridians — including Tamecka Pierce, head of the progressive Florida group Organize Now — as well as an internal document from another liberal organization,, that spells out how to get attention at town hall meetings. 
Turns your stomach.