Friday night while driving home I heard Mark Levin say that Harry Teague was on the fence on voting for the cap and trade and asked his consituents to contact him. As soon as I got home, I tried. I tried the main switchboard, I tried his direct office line in Washington and I finally had to resort to e-mailing him my opposition to this terrible bill. Welllllllllllllll...............
We sat in front of our TV Friday and watched our representatives vote this country into poverty (more so than they already had). Seven Republicans - SEVEN! Shame on all of you and I will work diligently to help you find the door come 2010. I told my husband that I knew our Rep, Harry Teague voted yes on the bill. He asked me if I was sure. I got on line and found the roll call. Not only did he vote "yes" in the final bill, he voted "yes" in the test vote. The best part about the internet is that yes, you can find things pretty darn fast, much to the chagrin of our representatives in Washington, I'm sure.
It just so happened that Saturday morning we ran into someone who is actively involved in the tea parties and he informed us that Harry would be in town for a "townhall meeting" at 2 pm at a local restaurant. We decided to go to hear what he said and to see if we could voice our opposition to his vote.
So, we pulled into the parking lot and commented on all the pick-up trucks in the parking lot - the FULL parking log. I was very nervous about this. How do I confront a man about a vote and would I even be able to. I had been to John McCain's town hall meeting when he came to town and he stood in the middle of a room with all of us around him. He took questions from anyone who raised their hands. That is what we expected - boy were we wrong.
We walked in to a restaurant. Nothing was out of the ordinary. There were empty tables in places, but pretty much all tables had at least one person. So, we sat down with a friend and we decided that there was no way he would show his face, not that day. But about 15 minutes later, one of his staffers came in and told us that if we wanted to talk to Mr. Teague we would need to sign up. WHAT????? You heard me. He didn't want to talk to us as a group, he wanted to talk to us individually. He didn't want to let others hear what he was saying. He didn't want to be held accountable to the whole group. He showed up shortly beaming from ear to ear, eager to meet his happy constituents. Boy was he wrong. I would say there was approximately 60 people in that restaurant - maybe 6 were there to pat him on the back. The restaurant quickly filled up, with lots of people standing up because there were no more seats. The staffer called people up by name and put them all in a row. My husband got called so he stood up and got in line. Two other people at our table got called up. While they were standing in line, someone who had run in our local elections walked in holding a sign that said "Cap and Trade = Big taxes". The crowd started cheering and yelling. Teague totally ignored the man.
My friend from the tea party then stood up right in front of Teague and asked him in a loud voice to account for his vote. She requested he stand up and give us all an answer, not hide behind a quiet little one on one meeting. We were all there for the same thing. WHY???? This was his response. He told us that he was an oil man, would always be an oil man and that he had put an amendment in the bill to protect the people of NM by exempting the small refineries from the cap and trade tax. He said it would save everyone who drove a vehicle in NM app. 20-45 cents a gallon on taxes. When he was questioned on the actual cost to individuals or house holds he said it would be the cost of a postage stamp. We all know how well the government runs the post office - it's in the red constantly, but that's a whole 'nother ball of wax.
He voted yes because he was protecting his oil buddies in the eastern part of the state, plain and simple.
He voted ye because they were going to pass the bill anyway, so what did it matter if he voted yes? (Yes, that was one of his responses) and finally.........
Did he read the darn bill? The answer Yes...................well, sort of but not really. See, he has staffers that read the ENTIRE bill for him and then gave him a synopsis. He told the crowd that yes, he had read the bill, but he told my husband that no he had not. His. staffers. did.
What's wrong with this picture??
There were many angry people there. There were people telling us to get out because the townhall wasn't for us, but for them, his supporters. REALLY?? REALLY???? I may not have voted for the man, but I did vote. Therefore, I have the RIGHT to be at the meeting and hold my representative or representatives in Washington accountable for their actions, especially when it affects me. It doesn't just affect his happy followers, it affects all of us. We were told that the few that supported him wanted us out because we didn't vote for him. Now, if I hadn't voted, I might be able to see their point, but when you vote, regardless of who you vote for, it is up to you to make sure that your voice is heard.
I learned that it really doesn't matter what we want. That the parties have already decided for us what is best for us. I have learned that our voices are lost. The people we put in office don't represent us - they represent themselves and their own best interests.
I have learned that I need to become more active in politics - I may not be able to run, but I can support those whose beliefs I agree with. I learned that Washington changes people and not for the better, unfortunately.
I learned that our freedom is precious and we better stand up and speak up, or we will lose what little freedome we have left.
Are you listening Mr. Teague???