Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conspiracy Buff Disrupts Area Town Meeting

Police nervously checked their sidearms when a Barrington conspiracy theorist began shouting about "corruption at the federal level" at Saturday's Town Hall Meeting featuring the area's Congressional delegation at McHenry County College.

Both Senator Mark Kirk and U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh had earlier referred to the Tucson massacre only two weeks previous where a deranged shooter killed 19 persons and left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords hospitalized with brain damage.

The woman unfurled a banner promoting a self-published book she'd written about the conspiracy and eventually subsided as U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo kept insisting the meeting format only allowed 90 seconds for each question. By then there was a cop at her elbow to enforce the point.

There were about 300 residents at the meeting and the rest of the session's Q and A was more normal.  Algonquin resident Jim Taylor said he'd heard the feds were going to give General Motors $540 million to keep a plant open in Janesville, WI, which would create 500 new jobs except they'd all be in Mexico.  Kirk confirmed that was true adding, "That's why it's wrong to have the government involved in business in this way."

All politics, famously, is local and one question from McHenry County where mistreated or abandoned horses have abounded lately proved it:  Isn't it time to take another look at (effectively banned in 2007) horse slaughterhouses?  Strangely, none of the delegation had an answer there.

Andrew Biggs of the conservative American Enterprise Institute was also on hand at the meeting with a cautionary message.  Biggs recapped a study he'd done of 100 attempts around the world to balance government budgets.  Was it better to do it by raising taxes or cutting spending?  He said his study found cutting spending was the way to go.  However, he also admitted 80 percent of the time neither approach did a bit of good.

In the pic:  Police stood by as a local conspiracy theorist tried to promote her ideas and self-published book at Saturday's Town Hall Meeting at MCC.

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