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January 19, 2019

Say Cheesy!
Indiana's 5th District Congressman Dan Burton and members of his staff staged a Town Hall Meeting in Shelbyville on Saturday.

I thought the meeting might deliver a firsthand account about what's going on in Washington. I also hoped it would provide some cheap entertainment. I wasn't totally disappointed.

I arrived at the Shelbyville Middle School at 12:15 p.m., approximately 15 minutes before the event was scheduled to begin. My timing was perfect because Dan Burton's van arrived at precisely the same time. As I was walking toward the school entrance, the congressman hopped from the passenger side of his vehicle, slipped on his suit jacket and approached me in a caffeinated campaign mode displaying a broad, toothy smile with his right arm fully extended. We exchanged a hearty handshake, introduced ourselves and engaged in chit-chat as we entered the building. "What a congenial, likable guy," I thought to myself, "no wonder he's been re-elected to Congress so many times!"

Then the meeting started.

I'll leave it to Ron Hamilton, a writer from The Shelbyville News, to give you a complete, unbiased report of Burton's Town Hall Meeting. Because I'm incapable of doing that.

However, I will give you an introduction and some snippets from the meeting.

Saturday's Shelbyville Town Hall Event was one of ten similar events Burton scheduled to attend between now and April 17. So it looks like the congressman plans to be in his home state for a few hours on at least six calendar days prior to the May 4th primary. It's difficult for Dan Burton to find time to visit with Hoosier constituents because the man is convinced that he must spend practically every waking minute in the nation's capital in order to prevent President Obama from advancing an evil socialist agenda.

In fact, when asked why he is running for another term in Congress, Burton replied, "Because I know the rules. I know how Washington works. I know how to stop the Obama steamroller!"

When asked if he would participate in debates with his Republican opponents before the primary election, Burton said his town hall meetings were a much better forum for voters to learn about his accomplishments in Congress. He added that he was not afraid to debate. "I debate every day! That's my job! As a matter of fact, I recently debated Barney Frank!", he said.

The 50-minute town hall meeting consisted of a 25-minute powerpoint presentation of congressional updates on the status of the Health Care Bill; another segment with charts and graphs on what Burton calls, the Historic Spending of the current administration; a discussion of Cap & Tax (actually the Cap & Trade Bill); and National Security, including a discussion of Guantanamo detainees, terrorism and the joys of waterboarding.

A 25-minute Question and Answer session followed the presentation. The congressman responded to about eight questions from an audience of roughly 30 people. The questions asked were about health care, the deficit, auditing the Federal Reserve and President Obama's birth certificate. (Sigh).

Here's what I learned from Burton's responses. He co-sponsored H.R. 3400, titled "Empowering Patients First Act" with 52 other Republican representatives. The bill has been languishing in a subcommittee since October. Burton thinks citizens should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines and he's a proponent of health savings accounts. He says Social Security is not "going away" for people nearing retirement age but long run solutions are needed, "like George W. Bush's plan to allow individuals to invest their retirement funds in the stock market," he suggested.

The congressman said President Obama's stimulus programs are a failure and have not produced any significant employment. However, in response to an audience question, the congressman admitted he was not aware how many stimulus dollars had come to Indiana or Shelby County. Burton claims the only solution to the nation's economic woes is to do exactly what Ronald Reagan did in 1980: "Cut taxes!" Burton maintains that Reagan's tax cuts led to 20 years of economic prosperity.

What else? Oh yes! Congressman Burton believes that "President Obama is a socialist" and that "everything in his past, in his background and in his education proves that Obama believes in European-style socialism." Burton implored the audience to "Read the facts!"

The town hall meeting ended at about 1:20 p.m. because Congressman Burton had to catch a plane back to Washington, D.C.

Overall, Burton's tawdry town hall meeting was cheesy. I realize cheesiness is subjective but I can't think of a better word to describe the event. In addition, there are very few issues where I would find myself in agreement with Dan Burton. And he had virtually nothing to say about what he was doing for the citizens of his Indiana District. It was all about Washington. So I found it strange that I seemed to like the guy. Maybe that's because I like genuine characters. And maybe that explains why the kookie congressman has won so damned many elections.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, February 26, 2010
Article comment by: Trow da bums out!

We must vote out all incumbents. They have proven over and over that their parties are more important to them than the very people who put them in office. It won't take long for them to get the picture when they have to find a real job and pay for their own medical insurance.

Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Article comment by: throw them out

Burton is a piss poor exscuse for a congress man and Messer doesnt care about regular people he works for the rich. I wish a independant or even a democrat would run!

Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Article comment by: Messer is just as bad...if not worse

Yeah, Messer will be so interested in helping his constituents instead of his lobbyist buddies. He'll be worse than Burton could ever dream of being.

Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Article comment by: Messer4Congress

Burton will be told "no" by Republican voters when Luke wins the primary!

Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010
Article comment by: Just Say No

Burton's time has past the Republican party of NO needs to tell him NO

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