Last night Senator Steve Daines continued to avoid his constituents and hosted his 20th tele-town hall.
Here at the Cowgirl blog we are not a big fan of the tele-town halls. Especially when we haven’t seen Daines in Montana in months.
This tele-town hall was particularly farcical because Daines filibustered his own event.
Daines opened the call as always with one of his staff talking about how they are from Montana. Daines proceeded to speak for 5 minutes about how great the debt-busting tax bill is. It was difficult to understand Daines during this moment. With his lips firmly placed on the President’s keister it was difficult to make out the words.
Rather then get to questions from totally not pre-selected Montanans, Daines decided to go to a special guest. In order to avoid speaking to real Montanans Daines brought on Senator Rand Paul. What a guy from Kentucky is doing on a tele-town hall meeting is beyond me. Paul proceeded to continue Daines filibuster for 4 minutes. After Paul was finished it was finally time for some questions.
Except it wasn’t.
Daines resumed his butt-kissing and talked about the tax bill again.
By the end of the charade Daines was on the phone for about 50 minutes. He spent nearly a third of the time avoiding questions. When you throw in his “poll questions” Daines hosted a “town-hall” and took less than 10 questions.
In all, Daines occupied 48 minutes of Montanans time. He spent 15 in his intro. 4 minutes on his poll questions. And 3 minutes on his conclusion. That left about 20 minutes of Q&A. Montanans might be better off trying to run into Daines in security at the Bozeman airport for a substantive discussion.
This leaves us with the old philosophical question: If a Senator hosts a “town hall” but filibusters the thing does it really happen?