28 June 2008

Democrats' Town Hall, June 23

Jenna and I went to a town hall meeting last Monday, featuring Rep. Joel Judd, Democrat of the Colorado House (District 5), and Rep. Andrew Romanoff, the outgoing Speaker of the Colorado House (District 6). It was a predictably tame event, though a few folks did press the congressmen for answers about the Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on health care, and also on how much money funds treatment and studies for Colorado children with autism.

Romanoff, as the well-practiced speaker and ardent advocate of revamping the health care system, handled the first batch of questions pretty well. One thing he enjoys about being term-limited, and therefore not having a reelection campaign to consider, is that he can tell the truth without fearing the consequences that often accompany it. The system is broken, he said, and a complete overhaul is in order. He favors a single-payer system, and pointed to that as the only plan of the five proposals evaluated by the Governor's Blue Ribbon panel and examined by independent auditors that can offer coverage to all Coloradans without increasing prices (see here for the 208 Commission's final report).

Rep. Judd handled a question about autism with a little less savoir faire. Of course, Judd's own website reads "Not the noisiest guy at the Capital," so it's only fitting that he proved a bit less garrulous than the Speaker. Judd is the Chair of the Finance Committee and sits on the Appropriations Committee, so it may have been a little surprising, when the question came up about funding for autism research and treatment in Colorado, that he couldn't put a figure into play to try and answer the question. At the same time, Judd's easygoing lack of concern about not knowing came off, I think, rather well. Better a politician who will simply say those deceptively simple words "I don't know," than one who postures and blusters through a long answer amounting to about the same thing.

Also present at the meeting was Rep. Judd's Republican opponent.