Letter To The Editor: Daniel Webster's sham Town Hall

Your View: Letters To The EditorDear Representative Daniel Webster,
Re: Listening Session August 10, 2017 10-11 AM, 1 Civic Circle, Beverly Hills, FL 34465

I received notice of this event on Facebook from a friend on August 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM.  I never received any other notice of this meeting until the Citrus County Chronicle (pg. A12) posted a 50-word blurb on August 10, 2017!

Not wishing to eat up a lot of your precious time, Mr. Webster, I posited a single question at this event that required less than a minute of the event’s time and required only a Yes or No answer from you.

Here was my question:

“This is a Yes or No Question.  Since you refuse to answer questions at these meetings and the fact that you do answer questions at the Chamber of Congress (for which I spent $20 to attend) and the fact that you can schedule Chamber meetings well in advance, and that your voting constituents feel so disenchanted when you do not answer our questions and do not even send out emails to notify your voting constituents of the sessions in a timely manner, wouldn’t you feel disenfranchised?”

It would have been fabulous, had you answered the constituent's questions directly, Congressman. If you allotted 2 of your precious hours during a Chamber of Commerce Luncheon in April, well in advance of the event, then I assume you could extend the same courtesy to your non-paying constituents during your "Listening (but not answering) Sessions.  You continue to profess that people will take control of the mic and others would not have the opportunity to ask their questions, but you took Questions and you Answered questions at the Chamber event! Are your non-paying constituents less worthy of that same opportunity? I asked you a Yes or No answer, to which you refused to answer, Mr. Webster. I did not "hog the mic" and my question may have taken a minute of the group's time. Please answer now.

Rep. Webster, my questions are many and my patience is waning.  The following is a list of questions I request that you answer directly to me in an email or in a corresponding Letter to the Editor.  Please spare me the indignity of a generic response to these questions as you have in the past; I need definitive responses from you.

1.  Why do you refuse your voting constituents the opportunity to obtain answers to their numerous and repeated questions at your “Listening Sessions” and then never answer them directly?

2. Why do you not email, call or post (on your Congressional website & Facebook page) your “Listening Session” schedules for your voting constituents, regardless of how many times you have obtained their email addresses in response to your weekly surveys, hundreds of email exchanges with your staff members, and hundreds of phone calls to your offices?  Your voting constituents request that your staff prepare a database of your constituent’s names, phone numbers and emails for your District 11 constituents and provide the dates, times and locations of all listening sessions with adequate advance notice via email or phone call.

3. Why do you not post ALL your “Listening Sessions” so that your voting constituents from District 11 can attend one in another location if they have a conflict with the venue you ASSIGN to them?  Stop restricting our civil rights to attend sessions of our choosing.  Your constituents are not paid protestors from out of State and it is your duty to hear and respond to the questions your constituents ask.

4. Why did you schedule the time for this “Listening Session” at 10:00 AM on the first day of school in Citrus County? We request that your staff coordinate with each County prior to setting up events, in order to avoid conflicts that may affect constituents’ rights to attend  meetings that affect them.

5. Why did you not create a link to the ‘RSVP Today!’ section on the Flyers you made for this “Listening Session”?  Please provide live links to future events in emails, your website and Facebook pages.

6. Why do you answer questions at meetings with the Chamber of Commerce (at the cost of $20.00 per person; who may not, necessarily be your constituents) but refuse to answer questions at your “Listening Sessions”, which are free to your voting constituents? “Pay to Play” is not in your constituents’ best interests; your constituents deserve answers.

7. Regarding health care, we’ve heard what your three principles entail: “Care that’s needed at an affordable price with doctors who patients choose.”  I’m sure none of your constituents would give a hoot about “a doctor who patients choose” in an emergency or if they’re in pain and need someone to care for them!  Please remove that restriction on OUR health care needs!


8. Will you commit to answering in the affirmative that you will vote:

a. for accessible and affordable Health Care and improving and not destroying the ACA;
b. that Medicaid will not be reduced in FL;
c. that Social Security will not be reduced nationwide;
d. that Environmental protections will not be violated in FL and the entire nation;
e. that the privacy of our citizens will not be violated by the Secretaries of State’s demands for personal information;
f. to remain vigilant against Russian interference in our country;
g. that you will adequately fund the Departments of: Education, EPA, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the Census Bureau;
h. against cuts in programs that feed our elderly and school children;
i. to provide ample funding for affordable housing;
j. that women’s healthcare options will not be diminished due to
non-funding of Planned Parenthood?

In addition, will you:

a. provide ample notice of future TOWN HALLS in lieu of “Listening Sessions” in the future;
b. provide your voting constituents with direct feedback during future Town Hall meetings?

Your voting constituent,

Lynn Garrison,
Founder, Indivisible Citrus County FL
Homosassa FL 34448