Ayotte forum avoided the issue

To the editor:

I was hopeful at the announcement of the Fitzwilliam Town Hall Meeting that there would be an opportunity to ask Sen. Ayotte about her recent voting record with respect to firearms.

Unfortunately, I found the event all too carefully staged.

While she did acknowledge the fact that many of the people who came out to meet her in the middle of a work day were there on account of the gun issue, she missed an opportunity to really hear from constituents, and to respond sufficiently to their concerns.

Rather than asking people to check off a topic on a piece of paper before the meeting and then (randomly or not) pulling them, she just as easily could have asked for a show of hands about which issue was at the top of the minds of those present. She then could have spent more time on whatever issue concerned her constituents most, and it would have been transparent.

As it was, the format (30 minutes of preemptively defending her record, then cherry-picking the questioners, two of whom did not bother to ask questions and instead complimented her in a fawning manner), left her exposed to the suspicion that she perhaps did not really “want to answer” (her words) the questions we wanted to ask.

If the purpose of holding such a meeting is to advance democracy and to hold elected officials accountable to their constituents in a transparent manner, then I suggest that she reconsider the format.

I felt that my time had been wasted.

William J.H. Chapman


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