'Watch List' of Progressive Activists Issued for Alan Grayson's Successor

This blog post originally appeared at Hullabaloo.

Townhall Report

So it's another hot August and another round of hot Q&As at congressional townhalls around the country:

This time it was the liberals who were angry about what's happening in Washington.

Two years ago, angry protesters disrupted town hall meetings across the land to oppose President Barack Obama's health care overhaul plan, and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum heard passionate speeches from both sides at a public hearing in St. Paul.

On Tuesday night, McCollum's fellow Democrats packed a music recital hall at St. Catherine University to give the six-term congresswoman an earful about their disappointment with Obama and his economic and military policies.

The crowd of about 150 was largely friendly and civil, but they were passionate about their opposition to the conservative policies flowing from the Republican-controlled Congress and what they consider an all-too-conciliatory White House.

John from St. Paul wanted to know why Obama has moved to the right. "Whose side is he on?" he asked. "What are progressives telling him?"

McCollum, who voted against the bill to raise the debt ceiling crafted by Obama and GOP congressional leaders, defended the president, contending he negotiated the best deal he could get. She did say, however, that Obama "could be clearer" about insisting that tax increases on the wealthy be part of future deficit-reduction legislation.

So this is it? Democrats are going to run on demanding tip money from the wealthy as their contribution to (unnecessary and counterproductive)"shared sacrifice." Very inspiring. I sure hope nobody asks about those Bush tax cuts expiring, though, because they have quite a bit of egg on their faces after promising that they were going to make sure they expired during the last two election cycles. But I'm sure this time they mean it.

Meanwhile at GOP Townhalls they're passing out "watch lists" with pictures of constituents who've asked questions in the past.

This one

's on behalf of Daniel Webster, the only marginally sane religious fanatic who beat Alan Grayson:

Each person featured in the watch list is a resident of Webster’s Florida district, several hundred miles from Griffin’s Arkansas district. This reporter was able to confirm that none of the persons featured in the watch list have attended town halls outside of Central Florida. In fact, they did not even attend Webster town halls on the same dates; their attendance was spread across several of Webster’s town halls from April through June.

Although the watch list insinuates that these Florida constituents are professional political operatives, only one works in politics as field organizers for Organize Now, a Florida-based community activist group, not high-level masterminds. A handout instructs attendees to demand that the media ask each of these activists barbed questions, such as whether each one worked for the 2008 Obama campaign. None did.

The watch list suggests that the media ask Reinaldo Vasquez, “Are you or have you ever been, a leader, or a member, or a supporter of OrganizeNow.org, OrganizeFlorida.org, or Moveon.org (sic) or any other Progressive Left group?”

It even suggests that the media ask armed-services veteran Ron Parsell (named in the handout as Don Parsell) about his military service. Parsell’s appearance at a spring town hall made local TV news when he identified himself as a veteran and asked Webster tough questions. The watch list suggests the following questions for Parsell: “Are you a military veteran who served in Viet Nam? If yes, what branch of the Services, what military unit and where specifically in Viet Nam did you serve?”

The "are you now or have you ever been" question format is a very nice touch. Kind of old school, homey.

You can see the flyers, here.

At least we aren't arguing about mosques this year.

Hullabaloo / By Digby | Sourced from

Posted at August 11, 2011, 11:24am

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