Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bill Rogers Shuts Public Out of His Meeting

Republican Bill Rogers is having a legislative meeting in Livingston County on job creation, but he probably doesn't want you to come.

Rogers sent out an email this week about the House Republican Jobs Taskforce meeting on Friday, August 21, at 9 a.m. at the Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA)
Main Conference Room, at 1425 W. Grand River Ave. in Howell.

But the email stresses that the task force only wants to hear from local business owners. The invitation reads, "If you own a business and would like to join the House Republican Taskforce next Friday to share your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions on how to create more jobs here in Michigan," then you may contact Rogers.

Thinking about starting a business? Stay home. You don't count. Rogers and his Republican buddies don't want to hear from you, even though you might have some legitimate suggestions about how to make starting a business easier in Michigan.

What are the Republicans afraid of?


Crossfire said...

I don't see any Democratic having meeting to get input from business owners on their ideas! I am sure Representative Rogers would never turn away someone looking to start a business at this meeting. If this is all you can find to point fingers at him, you guys are scraping the bottom of the barrel and are in danger of getting major splinters!!!!!

kevins said...

I have to agree. This is a pretty weak complaint.

I realize this is a partisan site, and I make allowances for that. But really. He wants to make it easy for businessmen to provide some input, and you turn it into a negative.

You make yourself look weak with such silliness. Why not go out and find a billboard you can complain about? Oh, wait. You already did that.

Judy said...

And I imagine there would be no Republican complaints if only teachers were invited to a meeting on improving public schools.

kevins said...

Judy...I think there probably have been such meetings with teachers and school improvements. Besides, are you saying that there are no Republican teachers?

So your justification is an imagined complaint for a non-existment meeting? Be careful. You are starting to sound a little like Rush Limbaugh with that line of reasoning.

Look. You strain so hard to find fault with anything done by a Republican or a Rogers that you remind me of an old joke. Mike Rogers was seen walking across a river and Judy said that only proves he doesn't know how to swim.

For gosh sakes, with all that's going on, this is what you choose to complain about? And then you justify it with a hypothetical reaction to a non-existent meeting?

Weak and lame.

Jordan said...

There are Republican teachers, just as there are Democratic business owners. But the standard is that business owners are Republican (since they want less government involvement in what they do) and teachers are Democratic (since they work for a government department).

I think Judy's analogy is fair. I also think that those meetings do occur. And I think a public school meeting with only teachers would provide a narrow view, just as Rep. Rogers' meeting will provide a limited view.

Those results can be beneficial. But a more broad-based approach would often be thought of as the better option when dealing with public policy, no matter what the topic is.

kevins said...

Sorry, Jordan, but the analogy carries no weight. She wasn't comparing mostly Republican businessman to mostly Democratic teachers (if that's true).

She was justifying her initial criticism by inventing criticism that never happened for a meeting that never occurred.

If, indeed, a Democrat hosted a meeting about education reform and only invited teachers AND Republicans complained about it, then Judy would have an analogy. But that never, ever happened.

She criticized Bill Rogers for having a meeting with business people to talk about the state's problems. What in the world could be wrong with such a meeting? It's targeting businesspeople -- Republicans or Democrats or independents or socialists for that matter. Is she saying every meeting he has must invite every known person in the district?

He does have office hours, open meetings to all in the district and the like. But this meeting is targeted toward businesspeople. Nothing wrong with that. Just like there would be nothing wrong with inviting teachers to talk about education reform. That would be a good idea, actually.

My point is that Judy is swinging wildly just to find a reason to criticize a Rogers. If Bill Rogers saved a child from drowning, she'd criticize him for dripping water on the living room carpet.

It was a ridiculous criticism. Just accept it and move on. I have to say you Democrats will stoop to any level and spin around a million times rather than admit that, yeah, maybe that argument didn't make much sense.

Jordan said...

It was clearly hypothetical, as most analogies are. That is irrelevant though for the question at hand - should politicians hold a meeting where the audience is limited in scope? Occasionally, sure, but as a general rule, no.

I would say that there is little downside to hearing more points of view (as long as they are based on logic & reason). In a meeting that limits the participants to a similar background, there will be fewer types of opinions to hear, and some great ideas can be absent. Opening up the meeting to a wider range of people will foster a wider range of ideas.

If a 'limited audience' meeting is held, then it should be purely for constituents' ideas & temperature. Decisions should not be made during such meetings. And additional meetings should be held that limit the audience to other groups not included in the first meeting, so their voices are heard as well. It would seem though to be more efficient to just hold one meeting with everyone invited.

I'm not saying that what Rep. Rogers is doing is wrong, instead I am arguing the theory of such meetings.

kevins said...

Sorry Jordan, but most analogies are not hypothetical. Just the opposite. They compare similarities of real things. For example, someone may try to make an analogy between the workings of a brain and the workings of a computer. Some analogies try to show similarities between two things that at first glance seem totally different. Or an analogy may compare a subset of similar features from two diffent objects. But they are not hypothetical.

But now I'm nitpicking. The point is that Bill Rogers is doing nothing wrong by asking businessmen to come to a session to talk about concerns with state government.

There will not be any decisions made; those are made in the Legislature. I sincerely doubt that anyone will be turned away.

But can you and Judy at least admit that it's not a high crime to invite people of a similar background to attend a meeting to share ideas? How else can you find out what people are thinking? Should he have similar meetings for other folks, depending on the topic? Sure.

There is nothing wrong with Bill's meeting. I hope it is well attended, but usually it isn't.

These guys often hold open hours where, in fact, everyone in the district is invited to show up. Hardly anyone does.

This was an empty complaint by Judy. Why not concede that and move on? Instead, you guys have to defend to the last letter every silly thing one of you says.

kevins said...

Funny. I saw a news story about the Rogers meeting and it said the public was invited. So how do you "shut out" the public from a meeting in which the public is invited?

Who, if anyone, showed up and was not allowed admittance?

Did any of you who criticized the so-called closed meeting attend? Or was you goal really only to find a reason to complain?

Can we expect an apology or at least an acknoledgement that you were wrong?