NRCC Asks Edwards "Why So Afraid?"

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Chet Edwards: What Are You So Afraid Of?

Aug 25, 2009

Chet Edwards: What Are You So Afraid Of?

Texas Congressman Will Censor Crowd at Town Hall

Washington- With Dems’ on the receiving end of heated town halls, Texas Democrat Chet Edwards is taking matters into his own hands. Rather than listening to all of his constituents concerns, he will have a third party intervene to “select” the crowd as well as the questions they will be allowed to ask and attendees will not be permitted to bring signs, electronic or recording devices. The question is: What is Chet Edwards so afraid of?

“It’s pathetic that Chet Edwards continues to run from his constituents,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Not only was he reluctant to hold town halls until his constituents pressured him into doing so, but he is now ‘preselecting’ his audience and making sure they can’t catch the proceedings on film. It’s obvious he knows Democrats’ hopes to takeover healthcare will just be another policy flop full of empty promise and void of substantive change. Texans won’t stand for another tax-hiking job-killing bill introduced by Democrats eager to balloon the federal deficit and expand the federal government beyond repair.”

Edwards wouldn’t censor his audience by prohibiting signs and recording devices if he wasn’t concerned about Texans being unconvinced that a Democrat takeover of healthcare will work:

“Questions for the town hall will be selected at random by an independent third party in a lottery system. District 17 Constituents who want to ask questions will fill out cards as they come in, and they will be called on randomly to ask their question. No printed signs, electronic or recording devices will be permitted.” (“KBTX.com to Stream Edwards’ Healthcare Town Hall LIVE,” KBTX, 8/24/2009)

After Texans had to pressure Edwards into holding town halls, he continues to keep them out of the healthcare debate:

“After protesters held rallies outside his district offices last week demanding in-person town hall meetings on health care issues, Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Texas) on Monday announced that he would participate in a series of forums over the next few weeks” (Falcone “Chet Edwards changes course, adds town halls,” Politico, 8/18/2009)

By “preselecting” his constituents, Chet Edwards went back on his promise to “have their voices heard”:

“The overriding principle for me is to allow district constituents the opportunity to ask questions, have their voices heard, and participate in an honest dialogue on health care.”

“I intend to spend the next three weeks carefully listening to health care providers and everyday citizens in our district about what the proposed health care reforms would mean for them and their families…

“That is why I made it clear earlier this month that I would not support a vote on health care in the U.S. House before Members of Congress had a chance to carefully review the legislation and to listen to constituents.” (Falcone “Chet Edwards changes course, adds town halls,” Politico, 8/18/2009)

Unfortunately for Chet Edwards, his reckoning day will come and Texans will wonder what their Congressman is so afraid of.

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