McConnell refuses to listen to Danville constituents

Published 7:20 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, July 18, I traveled with four friends to Bowling Green to visit the offices of our two United States senators to communicate our opinions about the health care bill to them. We chose Bowling Green, because it is the only place in the state where Senator Paul maintains an office. Throughout the spring we have tried, to no avail, to set up meetings, repeatedly inviting both of our senators to hold public meetings or forums in Danville to hear their constituents’ concerns about health care and other important issues. Several of us had previously visited the Bowling Green offices, as well as Sen. McConnell’s offices in Lexington and Louisville and have tried to communicate with the senators via phonecalls, emails, postcards and faxes.

When we arrived at Sen. McConnell’s office, we were met by two unfriendly U.S. Marshals. Before letting us pass through the metal detector, one Marshal abruptly asked what we wanted; he then went into the senator’s office, which was located immediately inside the metal detector. He returned and informed us that we would be admitted two at a time. As we had planned to conduct our business as a group, we requested that a staff member step out to meet with the entire group. The Marshal replied that he wasn’t carrying any messages, thus blocking further opportunity for communicating with the senator’s staff inside.

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I don’t know if this man was instructed by McConnell or his staff to act like this, or if he chose to treat constituents so rudely; either way, it was inappropriate and quite frustrating. Eventually, two of us chose to enter individually to deliver our messages and were given questionable reasons (including the lack of chairs) why five people could not enter together.

When I returned home that night, I was particularly surprised to read the op-ed by Sen. McConnell in the Advocate. In this piece, McConnell described his travels around Kentucky to “hear directly from Kentuckians.” As far as I know, he has refused to have any meetings with constituents, except perhaps with Republican donors, in Boyle County this year. Sen. McConnell also stated: “For years, I’ve attended health care forums” with one of the most discussed issues being the “failing state of Obamacare.” These statements are evidence that he steadfastly refuses to meet with or listen to anyone who doesn’t agree with him, as I and my friends have been trying to tell him the exact opposite!

Charlotta Bright Norby