I attended Sen. Chris Murphy's town hall lecture March 9 anticipating a good exchange of thoughts and ideas. When I entered the room I was instructed to write my question on paper and give it to an aide. This is not what I expected.
A "town hall style meeting" is supposed to be an exchange of ideas, a back and forth, an opportunity to respond to answers to the questions. This did not happen. Murphy opened the "meeting" with a few Democratic talking points. Some of his statements were not accurate, but, because of the format, no one could voice disagreement. After the introduction, the aide began to read questions. When some attendees voiced disagreement with the answers given by the senator, they were tagged as "activists" and talked over.
Of the many questions I saw submitted, only about 10 were read. The senator's answers were lengthy and sometimes did not answer the question. I wanted to stand up and ask the senator if he could be more concise so that more questions could be asked, but the format did not allow this. About halfway through the presentation, attendees started to leave.
This was an excellent chance to exchange ideas, but the opportunity was wasted.