My father sent me this article which deals with a recent town-hall meeting that he attended in New Hampshire, featuring newly-minted senator Kelly Ayotte. Ms. Ayotte was taken to task for her recent vote against strengthening the background check system for gun purchases. The centerpiece of the article is the rather startling exchange between the senator and the daughter of Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary school, who died during the mass shooting in December. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Ayotte comes off as a bit of a tool in the exchange.
As interesting as this is, close readers of the article will also notice the following bit:
At town halls, Ayotte typically receives notecards with the name of each questioner and their pre-submitted topic of interest. A selected moderator chooses and reads them. This time, though, that caused a stir. Right before Erica Lafferty spoke in Warren, Eric Knuffke, of Wentworth, N.H., stood and demanded to be allowed a question.
"You can't deny people the right to speak because they haven't filled out a card. I have a question," Knuffke shouted.
This article from a Washington Post political blog also describes a part of the exchange:
But the format angered Eric Knuffke, 74, from nearby Wentworth, who stood up and asked to be heard after failing to be called upon by raising his hand.
“I do every town hall meeting this way and have a process and we’ll get to as many questions as I can,” Ayotte told him.
“You like to regulate that, but you don’t want to regulate guns?” he shouted.
The room burst into applause. Several people screamed at Knuffke to sit down and shut up. He told them to do the same.
The "paper of record" also gets in on the act (though they give him back two years of his life).
Eric Knuffke is a mild-mannered grandfather, who lives in a log cabin on the side of a mountain. If the senator can't field questions from him on the fly, I'm not exactly sure what she gets paid to do. Perhaps she should consider a different job all together. I think NRA lobbyist might suit her well.