Congressman John Kline has scheduled a town hall meeting on Friday, February 19, in Faribault. Not one of those tele-town hall meetings, a live in person meeting. It is a rare opportunity for CD2 constituents to see their representative.
The meeting is in the Michael J. Hanson Auditorium at Faribault High School, 330 9th Ave SW. Enter the school through the main entrance, doors open at 6:00 pm.
I will not be able to attend. I will be enjoying the weekend at Breezy Point where one of my sons will be participating in a hockey tournament. But I have a couple suggestions for you if you plan to attend based on previous town hall meetings.
Get there early. I’m not sure how this meeting is being communicated to constituents, but it will be heavily attended by Kline supporters, which I think is organized via phone, not by published media. At a previous town hall meeting I attended in Lakeville a couple years ago, I got the impression from an older woman I walked into the meeting with that there was an organized effort to control the meeting by his supporters. She made an assumption that I was a Kline supporter, I assume it was based on my arrival in a nice Buick like hers and the button-down shirt and dress pants I was wearing. We talked as we walked in until she made an insulting comment about some protesters. I said something to the effect that it was a free country and they have the right to their opinion, which made her confirm I was there to support Kline, I said no to. We didn’t talk much after that.
Push your way to the front to be sure you get a prime spot in the auditorium if you don’t get there early.
Sit on the aisle. If you can get an aisle seat, it is much more likely you will get noticed to ask your question, or make a comment.
Pay attention to the rules. At previous meetings there have been rules about when you can make a comment and when you can ask a question. There have even been rules about subjects you can ask about, so pay attention. It is inevitable that a person will ask a good question that many people want the answer to, but it is at a time when Kline won’t answer it.
Plan your question or comment ahead of time so that you have an intelligent well thought out statement. Don’t insult Congressman Kline as part of your question. Make the question short and concise. Don’t use tons of stats, and don’t take up a whole page writing your question.
Try and get others to go with you. The fact is that GOPers are much more willing to attend this sort of event. It is great if there are more DFLers in the crowd, but they don’t have to be DFLers. I think an independent voter viewing the occasional rabid displays of affection by his supporters is a good first step in turning them off to him.
Don’t go to heckle. It is disrespectful. Congressman Kline is an elected official and deserves respect. If you don’t want to have to respect him, you need to work harder to get somebody else elected.
After you go, feel free to send me your observations, maybe I can post them here.