Diana DeGette is ambushed -- effectively -- in telephone town hall

Last month, Congresswoman Diana DeGette was dinged by in-limbo Face the State for announcing just one town hall about healthcare reform -- to be conducted over the telephone. DeGette subsequently scheduled a slew of face-to-face get-togethers, but she went ahead with the teleconference yesterday, during which she was immediately hit with an unexpected question that had nothing to do with Obamacare. The caller, who identifies himself on his YouTube profile as a Ron Paul booster, wanted to know why DeGette hadn't signed on to Paul's Federal Reserve Transparency Act legislation, which has 282 co-sponsors, including every other U.S. House representative from Colorado -- Republicans and Democrats alike. DeGette politely said that she wasn't familiar with the legislation but said it sounded like a good idea to her and quickly moved on.

The YouTube video above isn't wholly accurate. Although DeGette's online schedule proves she's now meeting the people about healthcare, the clip insists she only does teleconferences, because the method allows callers to be screened (he got past the blockade by saying he wanted to discuss something else). But he's right that the Federal Reserve Transparency Act has been widely covered; its Wikipedia page features 52 linked articles, and there are plenty more where those came from. DeGette's ignorance of it doesn't constitute her best moment.

And her staff was probably most concerned about dealing with angry anti-reformists....

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts