Here is a summary of the Listening Session held on August 23, 2017 in Howey-in-the-Hills:


This Listening Session was not posted on Webster’s website, and, apparently, it was not announced in the local papers.  However, the Lake County Republican Party knew about this session as early as August 15th and sent an email blast about it to Republican voters. 


The Listening Session started at 8 a.m.  Webster explained that he was here to listen, that everyone would get a chance to talk, and that he would answer questions at the end.  He placed no time limit on any individual speaker.  However, at 8:20 a.m., his aide announced that the listening portion of Webster’s visit would end in eight minutes.  Everyone who wanted to speak did so, but the last few speakers spoke hurriedly.


In addition to five uniformed policemen, about 30 people attended and about 20 people spoke.  A microphone was passed up and down the rows of seated attendees.  All of the attendees were civil, except for one attendee who asked, “When will we lock her up?” 


As expected, given the make-up of the audience, most of the comments were supportive of Trump or the conservative agenda.  Here are some of them:  Republican Congressmen need to support Trump and work together; Obamacare and government health care is bad; we need to weaken unions; we should not tax or regulate the sale of gadgets that suppress gun noise; and people out of work should not get foodstamps.  However, six people made progressive comments: we need Medicare for all; don’t send more troops to Afganistan; don’t slash the EPA budget; and please represent everyone, not just the wealthy corporations.


During the comments from the attendees, Webster took no notes and made no reply.  At 8:32, he gave a speech about the services his four offices provide to individual constituents, and made these policy statements:


He supports Trump’s agenda: Repeal and replace Obamacare, Tax Reform, and Infrastructure.  Replacing Obamacare and lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 10% will improve our budget and give us the money to make infrastructure improvements.


Government services are driving up the national debt.  To balance the budget, we must cut spending.


Under the House bill to replace Obamacare, no Floridians would lose Medicaid.  Only people in states where Medicaid was expanded will lose coverage.  Obamacare is imploding. 


He wants a health care bill that provides affordable care, that allows you to choose your own doctor, and that allows individuals and corporations to choose not to buy insurance.  Under his plan, only those people that choose not to buy insurance will be uncovered.


The session ended at 8:55 a.m. Webster gave the audience no opportunity to question his statements. 



Photo from the Lady Lake Listening Session in April 2017

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Have you ever wondered what a “Listening Session” is like with Daniel Webster, the Republican Congressman serving Florida District 11?

2 thoughts on “Have you ever wondered what a “Listening Session” is like with Daniel Webster, the Republican Congressman serving Florida District 11?

  • August 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    This man is a less-charismatic Paul Ryan. His agenda is hateful and seeks to harm the most vulnerable among us, many of whom (seniors) comprise a significant portion of his constituency. FL-11 voters will wise up and vote for a progressive democrat, unbeholden to corporate interests and wealthy donors, to send the career politician Mr. Webster to his retirement.

  • August 26, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Greetings from Citrus County. I volunteer with the Citrus Dems and with Indivisible Citrus County FL. I’ve been to two of Webster’s “listening sessions” and the account given here is typical of what he does.

    1. By speaking last and cherry-picking which comments to address, he can ignore constituent input. Furthermore, he gives constituents no chance to respond to *his* statements.
    2. He effectively turns his “listening session” into a stump speech.
    In addition:
    3. By giving little advance notice, he limits attendees to people who can afford to attend those sessions without adverse impact on their livelihoods. (I received the email invitation from his office less than 72 hours prior to his recent “listening session” in Beverly Hills.) Webster therefore discounts a segment of his constituency that cannot take time off from work, people who have issues that are not being addressed.

    At the Beverly Hills event, I asked him whether he would be willing to join the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus (in particular their health care working group). His “answer” was filled with inaccuracies. Since his format left no room for rebuttal, I made this video:

    I made this shorter video after the “listening session” I attended in Inverness back in April, to challenge his assertion that he never uses his “chicken button” (that story is one of his chestnuts; I assume attendees at the Howie-in-the-Hills event have heard that one):

    Here’s hoping we can send him packing next year.


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