To: Interested Parties
From: Colin Reed, Campaign Manager
Date: August 6, 2014
Re: Why Won't Jeanne Shaheen Hold A Town Hall Meeting?
Since entering the race, Scott Brown has been criss-crossing New Hampshire and engaging directly with the people of New Hampshire and members of the media. In recent weeks, he has participated in five editorial board meetings, and has conducted numerous radio and television interviews, both in New Hampshire and nationally.
This week, the campaign launched a series of "New Hampshire Speaks" town hall meetings to give voters a chance to ask Scott Brown whatever is on their mind. The first one was last night in Salem, and focused on illegal immigration. More are planned for the coming weeks.
Brown’s open and accessible style of campaigning stands in stark contrast with Senator Shaheen. As an incumbent senator, Shaheen has adopted a Washington-centric Rose Garden strategy. Shaheen is largely invisible to both the people of New Hampshire and members of the media, outside of a few tightly-controlled news conferences. She is infrequently seen on the campaign trail, and her main form of contact with voters is via staff-written press releases issued from her office in Washington.
Furthermore, as a candidate, Shaheen has yet to hold a town hall meeting this election cycle, which has been a staple of New Hampshire campaigns past and present. Now that Congress is in summer recess, this would be the perfect time for Senator Shaheen to schedule a town hall meeting, as other legislators have done. But all indications are that she won't do one at all.
As a result, Senator Shaheen has separated herself from voters and their concerns -- about health care, the weak economy and President Obama's failed leadership. Senator Shaheen's consultants and pollsters want to keep the focus off her and her record in the Senate but this "No Town Hall policy" does a disservice to the New Hampshire tradition of answering questions and making yourself accessible.
Let’s take a look at some of the issues that Senator Shaheen is avoiding with her Rose Garden strategy:
- In six years, Shaheen has been a remarkably ineffective senator, passing just one of the 67 bills she has sponsored;
- After pledging to be an independent voice for New Hampshire, Shaheen has turned into a reliable rubberstamp for President Obama, voting with him 99 percent of the time. Even Senator Shaheen admits "no one is right 99% of the time," and yet in light of that statement she has never answered why it is then she votes the way she does;
- Despite making it a campaign priority in 2008, Shaheen has failed to bring a full service VA hospital to New Hampshire, the only state in the lower 48 without one, despite being home to the fifth largest veteran population in the country;
- Shaheen has also contributed to the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border by supporting President Obama’s pro-amnesty policies, which have encouraged more and more people to enter our country illegally.
- As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen has supported President Obama's disastrous foreign policy which has weakened us around the world, emboldening our foes and worrying our allies.
Unfortunately for Jeanne Shaheen, her Rose Garden strategy is bound to fail. The people of New Hampshire expect their candidates to work hard to earn their support. In the remaining 90 days until Election Day, Scott Brown plans to continue meeting with voters where they live and work, holding town hall meetings and making himself accessible to the public. Jeanne Shaheen's strategy of avoiding the issues of the day invites voter backlash because it is disrespectful to her constituents and the process.