Saturday, April 11, 2015

#NoRePete: Sessions censors First Amendment

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."
Ephesians 5:11

[Author's note: We began the audio recording approximately 5 minutes after 7. To find the relevant section of the audio recording, subtract five minutes from the time listed below. Anything in the 8pm hour will appear after the 1 hour mark.]

Highland Park -- On Thursday night, we attended Congressman Pete Sessions' town-hall meeting in Dallas County.

We arrived around 6:30 for the scheduled 7pm event.  We spoke with several members of Congressman Sessions' staff.  After explaining we were with Agendawise, the Congressman's staff suggested a good location to set up our camera and that was that.

Approximately 15 minutes later, we returned with the camera and set it up without incident; we then kept to ourselves for another five minutes.

Around 6:50, we spotted Joseph Wade Miller, a personal friend who works with Heritage Action.  Joesph is a well known critic of Congressman Sessions.  This is when things got more interesting.

After we had spoken with Joseph for a couple minutes, Congressman Sessions press secretary Caroline Boothe (who had been extremely helpful a few minutes earlier) informed this author that it was "against office policy" for anyone to film the town-hall except for members of the Congressman's staff.

Think about that.  The Congressman's staff first suggested a location from which to film, then left us alone for several minutes after the camera had been setup.  They only attempted to shut down filming after they realized that this author was friends with one of their prominent critics.

In a move we shortly came to regret, we decided to play nice and not film.  While the first amendment gives us that right, we weren't in the mood to make a big deal out of it.  Also, we were uncertain if the Texas Open Meetings Act applies to Federal officials.

Shortly after the town-hall began, it became obvious why Congressman Sessions' staff didn't want his boorish, condescending behavior captured for posterity.

Sessions began the town-hall by filibustering over the alleged "student success act" they'll be voting on in D.C. next week.  Sessions attempted to brag about how the bill would consolidate dozens of Federal agencies into one but failed to make a convincing argument when challenged about eliminating the agencies under consideration.  Alice Linahan addresses the federal "student success act" here.

At 7:39, a woman asked Sessions why, given Sessions' record on funding Obamacare and amnesty, he could be trusted to reduce the Federal role in education.  Sessions responded by browbeating the woman over where she'd find funding for a couple of obscure "disability" programs.  The crowd wasn't buying it.

At 8:01, Sessions attempted to cast Bohener's re-election as speaker as old news; in an unintentionally prophetic moment, he mentioned that there would be another election in 2017.
At 8:21, local activist (and friend of this website) Ken Emmanuelson asked Sessions another question about Obamacare.  Sessions grew testy while overselling the alleged benefits of sequestration.  He even attempted to claim you couldn't defund Obamacare:
After Emmanuelson's question, Sessions was asked about the Export-Import bank; while Sessions made several excuses for the 'work' of the bank, he agreed to defer to whatever (documented Ex-Im opponent) Jeb Hensarling decides.

After an hour and a half of this rigmarole, we grew tired and hungry and had stopped paying attention when another flare-up occurred over procedural rules:
Boorish condescension is an unattractive trait in an elected official.  At his town-hall meeting Thursday night, Congressman Pete Sessions demonstrated it in abundance.  No wonder his staff didn't let us film the meeting.

1 comment:

  1. Pete, from all this crap that you and your staff are doing, I believe that this is your LAST session in Congress. WE NEED GOOD PEOPLE IN CONGRESS, and you do not fit that bill. As more proof piles up, more of your constituents, and actually more Texans are becoming aware that you are NOT the person to represent ANYONE in Texas. The age of crappy government representatives is ENDING. Step down, or be removed. And good riddance, whether voluntarily or against your will.


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