Now before you start picturing scenes from other town halls across the country where angry constituents ask tough questions and Congressional Democrats dance, dodge, and dis their constituents, Hunky's town hall will be different. Despite being billed as "another town hall meeting on the critical issue of health care reform with constituents in the First Congressional District,"(heinrich.hose.gov) Democrats are determined to limit Heinrich's opportunities to prove his constituents right by limiting the number of questions he has to answer.
Their first ploy was to hold his "town hall" on a train... yes, a train. What better way to limit public exposure than to have a limited number of people in a confined space speeding down a track (at a harrowing 40 MPH) in a diesel locomotive belching CO2 into the atmosphere? Well one way would be to have a panel discussion and call it a "town hall."
That's what Hunky's got up his sleeve for this Saturday. The Heinrich folks aren't really talking about it but they've assembled a panel of "experts" to do Hunky's talking for him. Our Eyes tell us that the Rio Grande Foundation's Paul Guessing was included on the panel Tuesday, but the other members are sure to be Hunky's Handpicked Helpers.
Here's the problem... The "town hall" is only 90 minutes. Even if Heinrich's folks have put together a balanced panel of experts, the Congressman himself won't be answering many questions.
There's little doubt that "[t]he event will bring together New Mexicans" to ask questions, but don't be surprised if they don't get to ask many of them and don't be shocked if Hunky doesn't do a lot of answering. Democrats are determined not to have Heinrich open his mouth and prove everyone right and they really couldn't hide Hunky completely, so they've done the next best thing which is hiding him behind a panel. Make no mistake - Hunky's town hall is a hoax because the town won't be participating in the hall.
"The event will bring together New Mexicans from across the district to ask questions as Representative Heinrich works to address the health care crisis in our country."
----- You Should Know -----
If you plan on heading down to UNM's Continuing Ed to attend Heinrich's Town Hall Hoax, you'll need to get there well before 3pm. There are a number of rumors that the timing of the "town hall" was designed to coincide with the end of another event that would take advantage of a large number of Heinrich "friendlies" who would already be in the building. Or that Democrats are planning on busing in ACORN or union members as they've done at other town halls across the country.
We don't know whether either rumor is true, but there are a lot of folks that want to be heard. We'd suggest getting there well before 2:30pm.