# Town-hall Meetings

Year in review: Iowa politics in 2009 (part 2)

Following up on my review of news from the first half of last year, I've posted links to Bleeding Heartland's coverage of Iowa politics from July through December 2009 after the jump.

Hot topics on this blog during the second half of the year included the governor's race, the special election in Iowa House district 90, candidates announcing plans to run for the state legislature next year, the growing number of Republicans ready to challenge Representative Leonard Boswell, state budget constraints, and a scandal involving the tax credit for film-making.

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Look how Grassley repays Obama's compliments (updated)

At yesterday's town-hall meeting in New Hampshire, President Barack Obama had nice things to say about Senator Chuck Grassley:

"Now, I think that there are some of my Republican friends on Capitol Hill who are sincerely trying to figure out if they can find a health care bill that works - Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Olympia Snowe from Maine have been - yes, I got to admit I like Olympia, too. They are diligently working to see if they can come up with a plan that could get both Republican and Democratic support."

In addition, Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register noticed that Organizing for America is not mobilizing Obama's supporters to show up at Grassley's town-hall meetings in Iowa. Instead, Organizing for America is trying to drive turnout to events hosted by Iowa's Democrats in Congress.

Grassley's holding four public events today, and @iahealthreform is helpfully liveblogging them on Twitter. Look at how Grassley talks about health care reform and tell me whether Obama should praise Grassley's efforts.

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Seeking good quotes and footage from town-hall meetings

Yesterday I posted information about some of the town-hall meetings that Iowans in Congress will hold during the next two weeks. You can also find Representative Steve King’s town-hall meeting schedule here and Representative Tom Latham’s schedule here.

If you attend any of these meetings, please take detailed notes and/or record the event if you can. Although local media will cover the story, journalists may not highlight every noteworthy comment. Senator Chuck Grassley’s infamous advice to a constituent seeking affordable health care was a sensation on YouTube and various political blogs before Iowa newspapers reported the story. I noticed that Daily Kos user clammyc used part of that clip in a video about the need for health care reform:

This diary by Daily Kos user ShadowSD contains lots of good links and talking points for you to use at town-hall meetings. Whether or not you get to ask a question, please consider posting a diary here with your impressions of the event. First-person accounts are usually a good read.

In general, I’d like to see more Bleeding Heartland readers writing diaries for this blog. Pieces with news or substantive analysis may be promoted to the front page.

Final note about this month’s town-halls: Rarely do I agree with Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn, but it is lame that Leonard Boswell hasn’t scheduled a health care public meeting in Polk County this month, or in any town that’s part of the Des Moines media market. If any Bleeding Heartland readers do attend Boswell’s scheduled “listening post” in Sigourney on August 13, please ask some specific questions about the kind of public health insurance option he supports. You might also want to note that rural Iowans would particularly benefit from a public option.

LATE UPDATE: I was wrong to criticize Boswell for not scheduling a health care event in the Des Moines area this month. On August 13 his office announced a town-hall on health care to be held on August 23 from 3 pm to 4 pm at the AIB College of Business Activities Center, 2280 Bell Avenue in Des Moines. RSVP by calling Congressman Boswell’s Des Moines office at 515-282-1909, or emailing boswellrsvp@mail.house.gov.  

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