To the Editor: Latta scolded for his telephone town hall meeting
Written by Eileen C. Cherry-Chandler   
Wednesday, 19 August 2009 08:30
Did you know that Congressman Bob Latta had a town hall meeting with his "constituents" in the 5th Congressional District on Thursday night?
Well, I found out when I happened to contact his Washington office to express my support for health care reform and to ask what he was planning to do to ease the tyranny of the insurance industry over those of us who may have skyrocketing premiums or preexisting conditions that could potentially ruin us physically, emotionally and financially?
Right now. I don't feel that the contempt health insurers have for working people is a bipartisan issue. Health insecurity is a way of life in Wood County with people keeping their stress and desperation politely to themselves.
So I made the effort to stop by his local office to "sign up" for his teleconference and to drop off my letter of concern just in case I didn't get a chance to express my views not only to him, but to the rest of my fellow citizens in the district. I did not want him to return to Washington without hearing views from district residents that may differ from his own. I was told in no uncertain terms by his staffers that he did not support health care reform.
In my opinion, Latta's telephone "town hall" was so rigged, I could have driven it down Interstate 75. I didn't expect to be heard, but I certainly didn't count on only hearing comments and questions that corresponded so neatly with what I know to be the Republican talking points on the issue.
It's a fact that a high percentage of the voters did not support him in the last election. Nonetheless we are still his constituents.
Instead of the "shout down" we've been seeing on the media, legitimate expressions of support for President Obama's initiatives were simply smothered by a very limited format which lasted only one hour.
 I listened carefully as he accepted calls from throughout the district - with every voice in lock step with his point of view.
Congressman Latta, what do you fear? You complained that the Democrats in the House weren't interested in bipartisanism, but you shut 40% of your constituents out of this most significant national discussion. If you cannot agree with me don't look for sneaky ways to shut me out. Am I not entitled to representation?
I do work hard to provide you with health care security so that you can do the work of our district. Is this the way we are suppose to do things in this country?
Eileen C. Cherry-Chandler
Bowling Green


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