Tim Walberg, in his own words: "I don't support democracy." He said that on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at a town hall in Temperance, MI, which was not publicly announced. The only constituents who were notified were Walberg's supporters, who were mailed invitations (exhibit below, from House mass comms disclosure).
On Friday, April 30, 2021, Walberg called into WKHM radio (link to audio below), and told host, Greg O'Connor how excited he was about the GOP retreat that weekend in Florida, especially because of the lax COVID safety measures. At the end of the call, Walberg said that he would be having a couple town halls in the District next week, but he did not mention any details about them.
Audio (10:40 mark): https://www.wkhm.com/episode/area-congressman-tim-walberg-7/
On Monday morning, May 3, 2021, I called the District office, and asked the staffer for details about the town halls that Walberg talked about on the radio on Friday. The staffer asked me where I lived, and then they only told me the details about the town hall in Temperance (Monroe County), on Tuesday. I asked about the other town halls, because Walberg said on the radio that there would be a "couple". The staffer refused to tell me any more. So I shared the details about what I knew online, and to The Monroe News, and I asked them to record the event, which they did. That same day, one of my friends in Eaton County called the district office, and asked about town halls near them, and the staffer said that there would not be any town halls in Eaton County. On Friday, May 7, 2021, Walberg did have a town hall in Charlotte (Eaton County), so Walberg's staff lied to that constituent, and shut them out of that town hall.
That same Monday, another constituent who lives right near the border of Jackson and Washtenaw Counties called with the same question about town halls nearby to them, and the staffer told them no. On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, Walberg did have a town hall in Grass Lake, which is right near the border of Jackson and Washtenaw Counties, near that constituent. That constituent shared that account with Eclectablog, here: https://www.eclectablog.com/2021/05/why-is-gop-congressman-tim-walberg-hiding-from-his-constituents.html
Since I was able to spread the word about that town hall on May 4, there were some attendees there who asked Walberg tough questions. One of them was Paul (featured in the video), who asked Walberg about not announcing his town halls. Walberg claimed it was due to safety, which is doubtful because moments later that day, Walberg made jokes about the security around the Capitol, and members being, "allegedly vaccinated" to Bedford Township Supervisor, Paul Pirrone (exhibit below):
Video Source: https://fb.watch/5rVjYLe7Jv/
Also, if Walberg cared about following safety protocols, then he would properly wear a mask in airports, which he has routinely been caught not doing (exhibit below).
Walberg's Michigan GOP Congress member colleague, Lisa McClain (MI-10), has publicly announced town halls this year, widely in Press Releases, with a full week's advance notice (exhibit below).
Lastly, if Walberg actually did enjoy doing town halls, and safety was his only concern, then there would be no issue with:
- Announcing his telephone town halls in advance.
- Publicly live-streaming those.
- And publicly archiving the audio of those too, so that anyone could listen into those later, who might have missed the event live.
I had long wondered if Timmy is fundamentally dishonest or just not very smart. After stalking his town halls a couple of years ago, it became clear to me that both are true. These comments are a nice microcosm supporting this finding:ReplyDelete
"I don't support democracy. I support the republic."
Definition of democracy
1a : government by the people especially : rule of the majority
b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
Definition of republic
(1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law
(2) : a political unit (such as a nation) having such a form of government
These are very similar although republic is usually used for the political unit and democracy for the type of government. Either way, by their very definitions, one cannot support one and not the other without splitting very fine hairs (maybe at best).
But also in that town hall, he did say the voters were duped on props 2 and 3 so maybe he thinks voters are not smart enough to participate at all. So maybe direct democracy is what he opposes as it is most often expressed via ballot initiative. Either way, he is clearly not fit for office or to represent any of us in any way. He must go ASAP!
In this situation, the thing that I find most striking doesn't have much to do with intelligence or dishonesty, as much as Walberg's insecurity and combativeness. Throughout that event, notice how Walberg would let certain people ramble on and on, and not challenge them at all. But as soon as Paul stepped up to ask a question, Walberg instantly got defensive, and started interrupting and saying snarky put-downs about Paul. Walberg saw Paul as a threat, and was being hyper-defensive. Notice, Paul's question was about the accessibility of Walberg's town halls. It wasn't about Walberg's stance on democracy - small-D democracy, not direct democracy. It was about the general sense that Walberg's whole job is to represent the people of this district, so why is Walberg shutting the constituents of this District out of his town halls? Walberg is threatened by really addressing that question, so he just flailed around for something to latch onto and deflect away from that question. So, he latched onto that word, "democracy" to avoid addressing what Paul was really asking about.Delete