UPDATE: Janel Causey, Director of Communications for the NM GOP, emailed the following information. Evidently, as usual, the GOP was misquoted.
“…What we actually said last night for the news was:
A few months ago Democrats thought dissent to be the highest form of patriotism. Now they are attempting to deny citizens their right to petition their government by vilifying their attendance at town hall meetings. It is the position of the Republican Party that elected officials are accountable to the people they represent and we encourage all citizens to participate in the democratic process to ensure that their voices are heard.”
It appears that neither Harry Teague nor Jeff Bingaman care about the free speech rights of Republicans in New Mexico.
The Pink Flamingo has been waiting for a response from Harry Teague about his stance on Health Care Reform. That has finally arrived, prompted no doubt by an afternoon phone call to his DC office asking him to defend his constituents against Barack Obama’s demands that those of use who oppose him be reported to the White House.
Golly, NO ONE in Harry Teague’s office knew anything about firstname.lastname@example.org and Obama’s requirement that anyone who does not support him be reported. Even when I pointed out that the story has been in the news for several days, they drew a blank.
I called Senator Jeff Bingaman’s office. Got the same response. I guess these guys don’t really care that Obama is doing something that was ruled unconstitutional during Nixon. It is quite obvious those of us who live in NM aren’t going to get any help from our elected officials when it comes to defending OUR right to oppose them.
So much for freedom of speech.
Funny how neither Harry Teague and Jeff Bingaman don’t care about the Constitution and the fact that Barack Obama is violating MY rights by demanding the name of anyone who is opposing him. What Barack Obama is doing is violating free speech.
Why don’t Teague and Bingaman care about free speech?
Or, is free speech only for Democrats?
I’ve learned via local news that Binghaman is too gutless to hold town halls. So is Harry Teague. Tom Udall appears to have the courage to do so, but the dates have not been announced.
You might want to note this:
“...Teague, from the southern 2nd District, will shake hands and answer questions during his “Harry in your hometown tour.” No dates or locations are set yet.
Delegation spokespeople all said the congressmen will continue to discuss the hard issues regardless of any outburst.
Nationally the Republican Party has been accused of orchestrating some of the hostile encounters, a charge the party has denied.
The New Mexico Republican Party said it is not organizing a group to attend any of the congressmen’s events although they do encourage members to go and raise their concerns. The state AFL-CIO said it is urging union members to turn out in support of health-care reform.”
HARRY TEAGUE’S EMAIL ABOUT HEALTH CARE REFORM
“August 6, 2009
Thank you for contacting me about reforming our troubled health insurance system. I have spent over 30 years working to build prosperity and opportunity in Southern New Mexico, and I appreciate having the benefit of your views as I continue that work in the United States Congress.
Many constituents have contacted me to share their thoughts on the health insurance reform legislation currently being worked on in Congress. Many are happy with the coverage they have today and do not want to see that changed and an equal number either do not have coverage or are struggling to provide insurance for their families or their employees. Regardless of their situation, it is clear that there is wide spread agreement that our health insurance system is broken and needs reform.
Our current healthcare system is overly bureaucratic, it costs way too much, it covers too few, it hurts small businesses, and it undermines our nation’s economic competitiveness and strength. In New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional district alone, 154,000 people are uninsured, 660 bankruptcies occurred because of health care related costs, health providers were not compensated for $104 million in care, and the average individual pays over $4,000 a year in health costs.
Health care spending has spiraled out of control, piling costs on businesses, local governments, families and individuals. In 2008, national health expenditures rose almost 7 percent – two times the rate of inflation. Total health care spending now accounts for a staggering 17 percent of America’s economy activity and, without reform, is expected to continue increasing over the next decade until costs reach $4.3 trillion in 2017, or 20 percent of our total economic activity.
Without reform costs will continue to spiral out of control. This will make our economic recovery and achieving balanced budgets even more difficult – access to affordable healthcare insurance will become more elusive, and businesses and families will be crushed at every turn by rising costs.
Any reform, however, is no substitute for the right reform. As both Congress and the American people consider different proposals for health insurance reform, I will be looking for a plan that does the following:
o Brings health care spending under control, so we can decrease our skyrocketing budget deficit and enable economic recovery;
o Protects small businesses and those that create jobs and wealth in our country from unnecessary tax increases;
o Offers every American more choice in health care coverage options, including the choice to keep their current plans and their current doctors if they want;
o Reduces the health insurance burden on American business to enable job creation and economic growth;
o Provides more quality and affordable health insurance coverage for Americans than our current system.
As a small business owner, I had to work very hard to provide health insurance for our employees. I know how important but also difficult that is to do. I also know what it is to not have access to health care, and I have experienced the economic hardship that accompanies not having health insurance. Health insurance reform must reduce spiraling health care costs, give Americans access to quality and affordable coverage, and limit the burden on American business. I hope to work with my colleagues in the House to make sure any healthcare legislation we pass in Congress fits this description.
Thanks again, SJ, for contacting me about this important issue. As a newly elected Member of Congress, I have been working hard to open several offices around the district so I can provide you with the highest possible level of access and service. I am happy to announce that these district offices are up and running, and for your convenience, I have included their contact information along with this correspondence. Please do not hesitate to pay my offices a visit or be in touch if I can be of assistance. Please watch out for coming announcements and I hope to see you in Glencoe or any office that is convenient for you someday soon.
Member of Congress”