Updated with video – see below:
Tonight we went to the League of Women Voters Candidate’s Forum at Grayslake Central High School. The auditorium was packed and people had to have tickets to get in. Tickets were limited to 400. We arrived about 20 minutes before tickets were due to be handed out and when we got there the line went around the side of the building.
A bit later someone came by with tickets and handed them out to people in line. Shortly after that the line started moving and we were able to go inside. It took a while for all the people to get into the auditorium and be seated. Once that happened candidates for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District Melissa Bean (incumbent D) and Bill Scheurer (Green) came onstage. There was a smattering of applause. Then Joe Walsh (R) walked out and the crowd went wild.
Students from Grayslake Central High School’s AP Government class planned and sponsored the debate. They served as timers and questioners, ushers and ticket takers. I commend the students and their teachers for a well run program.
The woman from the League of Women Voters moderated and before the debate got underway she told us the rules. No cameras, no talking, questions will be written down on index cards and a student will take the card to the teachers who will vet the cards for relevance, tone, and appropriateness. Then the question might be read out by one of the questioners on stage. Just before the start, someone in the audience asked if the Pledge of Allegiance would be said (there was a flag on stage). The woman from the LWV said no. It wasn’t something that was done. Some members of the audience then stood and started saying the Pledge. Pretty much the rest of the audience then rose and said the Pledge as well.
Update video: You can actually hear my voice saying the Pledge near the end of the video. I was right next to the camera this was filmed from.
Back to the regular post:
The woman from the LWV was upset. She said that the audience had disrespected her. She said she was “forced” to say the Pledge and that it had “obviously been planned”. As if we all decided in line to say the Pledge of Allegiance anyway if refused. I hadn’t even thought that the Pledge might not be said. This was a political candidate’s forum and the three candidates on stage were hoping to be elected to represent us in the Federal Government. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance at a political event in America should be a no-brainer.
I live-tweeted the event and reproduce the tweets below the fold (later comments in italics):
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There wasn’t supposed to be the pledge, audience members spontaneously. League rep was upset and thought it was planned. Wrong.
League rep gave bean extra time because audience could be heard on stage. (People were mumbling through Melissa Bean’s introductory statement. Apparently the mumbling could be heard from the stage. Melissa Bean read her introductory statement from a piece of paper – no teleprompters in the auditorium 🙂 )
Bean thinks dept of ed is great.
Bean proud of record on tax cuts.
Health care: right or privilege? Bean voted for obamacare said she was voting as constituents wanted. Wrong!!!!!
Beam is spouting Obama talking points. Brought up the breast cancer/acne anecdote that’s been debunked
Cap & trade bean proud of voting for it.
Bean proud of votes for cap and trade. Not a single business in il8th would be hit by cap she says.
Cap &trade and obamacare will bankrupt us Melissa.
We need to cut spending not just you paygo. (Melissa Bean said that she’d voted against some billions in pork. She said paygo was the way to go. Of course she said nothing about how Congress gets around its paygo rule by declaring everything emergency spending. Hell, since there still isn’t a budget there might not be an end to it.)
Melissa Bean keeps asking to have questions repeated. Recovery act funding to stabilize state finances would help education.
College costs wouldn’t be so high if the gov’t hadn’t gotten so involved & guaranteeing loans. (this was my comment)
Term limits: Bean says no term limits.
Closing statements were like the opening statements. Melissa Bean spouted talking points. Joe Walsh was last and when he finished the crowd went wild.
More at Tuesday After!