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CD11: McNerney will host telephone town hall

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Monday, December 14th, 2009 at 10:47 am in congressional district 11.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, will host a telephone town hall on Wednesday at 6:10 p.m., one of those electronic events where constituents can participate via the phone lines.

A computer-generated program will put out a call blast to McNerney’s constituents prior to the hour-long call but residents may also sign up in advance to receive an invitation-to-participate call.

To sign up, contact McNerney’s  Stockton office can be reached at 209-476-8552 or Pleasanton office at 925-737-0727. The deadline is Wednesday at 5 p.m.

McNerney will take and answer questions on the call. But keep in mind that hundreds of people often seek to ask questions and his staff will decide who gets to ask the questions.

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  • Elwood

    Gee, you don’t suppose Jerry is afraid to meet his constituents up close and personal, now do you?

  • Ralph Hoffmann, Guest Columnist

    No, I don’t think Jerry is afraid, Elwood. The purpose of a telephone town hall is to allow more people to participate. It’s been shown that applause, cheers, boos, etc., take up over 15% of time, and may violate fire code restrictions if audience size is high. It’s a case of respect, not fear, that’s involved.

  • AJ

    Nice excuse there Ralph, but your excuse still does not excuse him for not having any personal town halls this year. Sure once in a while a telephone town hall is fine but a face to face is much better to get to know his constituents. You can escape the notion that it does seem McNerney is hiding from some of his angry constituents like me. How about taking even the tough ugly unfriendly questions instead of picking the soft toss ones!

  • Common Tater

    So Jerry is so efficient that he won’t give up 15% of his time to audience overhead. He also doesn’t seem to have support staff knowledgeable enough to count people as they go in the door to ensure fire regulations are obeyed.

    As far as allowing more people to participate, I would dare say that more people would rather attend a town hall meeting in person than to listen to some canned and planned “feel good” presentation. You can count on the McNerney flappers to prevent real questions from reaching the phone line. They are knowledgeable enough to do that, even if they can’t count.

  • John W

    AJ says “…does not excuse him for not having any personal town halls this year.”

    Sorry AJ, but I attended one of his personal town halls at the Dougherty Station public library in San Ramon just a couple of months ago. It was very well attended by supporters and foes alike. Most of the foes were polite; a few not so much. To make it even more personal, he broke it down into several meetings of smaller groups of 20 or so. That meant everybody got a chance to introduce himself or herself to McNerney and to the group. Everybody got to ask a question. AJ, you’re entitled to your opinions, but how about getting your facts straight? I’m a Democrat but do not necessarily agree with McNerney on every position he takes. However, I find him very down to earth, very straight-forward and not full of himself. He also did not suck up to the group and was not afraid to tell people things they did not necessarily want to hear.

  • Elwood

    Re: #2

    I’m sure the danger of possibly violating fire code restrictions was uppermost in Jerry’s mind when he decided to have the telephone town hall where all calls could be screened by loyal staffers.

    That is one of the more ludicrous propositions I’ve ever seen on here.

  • AJ

    Thanks for the clarification John W. If McNerny had such a good experience with the one you spoke of, why not have another one in person? So that I could ask him a question or two in person. Perhaps I can find out for myself that he is down to earth like you did. I would like the opportunity to find out if he’ll be straight with my questions. And of course he is not going to suck up to me cause I’m against his policies.

  • John W

    I’m sure he will have more meetings like that, but nothing wrong with doing the conference calls too. Practically speaking, they can be arranged more frequently; and more people can participate. In my opinion, what was good about the small-group format I described is that it avoided the staged mob anger of the summer town hall meetings. For the most part, people were well-mannered. It’s harder to be a jerk after everybody has had to introduce themselves. While waiting for our group to be called, I had a nice one-on-one conversation with another guy, whose views clearly didn’t match mine.