On the morning of April 7th, 2015, Sean Duffy had his annual town hall meeting at Perkins restaurant in Superior. It was the standard hour long meeting where he speaks about topics of current relevance and leaves the remaining time open for questions to those that signed up before hand. I had entered slip with just the words ‘John Boehner’ on it.
I could see that the questions where being grouped together and wondered if I was even going to have an opportunity. Then the event host read my slip last, in a most belittling tone. ‘It just says John Boehner...(muddled other words)’, making me look like a chum.
Anyway, it kind of set me off a bit and I rose up and said ‘I was going to ask Sean about John Boehner, but instead I’d like to ask it of the audience’. Without pausing I focused on the crowd and said ‘How many here support John Boehner’s leadership and his agenda?’ I had suspected it would be a low number, but only two people rose their hands. Two out of 40 people present! Only 5% supported his boss, the Speaker of the House.
Then I said to Sean, ‘that’s a big problem’ and he said, ‘well three’ raising his hand also. To which I said ‘that’s even a bigger problem’.
Then his answer of ambiguous reasoning started to flow out, mostly standard talking point dribble. He had asked ‘more specifically about what’ and I said ‘Obamacare’. So he started taking that on a tangent that few cared about. Knowing that time was short, I tried to interject more specifically about ‘the House funding Obamacare’. Since all government funding originates in the House and to which Sean Duffy has voted for numerous bills that fund Obamacare. That was a big mistake and pretty much the end of the town hall, as Congressman Duffy took the remaining time to chastise me for trying to talk over him and then recited a rehearsed lengthy script on how he provides these opportunities for his constituents and how there needs to be a cordial and orderly interaction.
This is and should be extremely disturbing to everyone that expects representation from their Congressman. Instead, Sean Duffy chose to follow a strategy and agenda of House Speaker John Boehner which barely applied any resistance to any of President Obama’s agenda. Now it will be Paul Ryan’s turn as House Speaker, but so far I see little change.
I will add that there were 4 video cameras set up in the back of the room and a reporter from WPR/NPR floating around for sound bites. Two cameras belonging to local NBC and FOX affiliates (KBJR and FOX21) and the others likely to be Sean Duffy’s office and the WI Democrat party. So there is available documentation, but I suppose it would only be shared if it served a politicial purpose or possible financial gain. Disheartening and disappointing to say the least.