Archive (2008)

Town Hall Office Hours

Reader Elmer sends the Corning Leader article [pdf] announcing Randy Kuhl's Town Hall Office Hours.  Kuhl has changed the format of his town hall appearances to private meetings with constituents.  In the press release announcing the new set of meetings, Kuhl says that the reason for the change was that his office received complaints that the meetings were "too impersonal" and constituents felt that they "couldn't voice their opinions".

As anyone who's been paying attention knows, the real reason that Kuhl changed the meeting format was that some of the meetings had turned into raucous confrontations between Kuhl and dissatisfied constituents.   Kuhl had tried the technique of calling the meetings "listening opportunities" where he refused to answer questions from constituents, but that went over poorly.   So now meetings with Kuhl are by appointment only.

The Monroe County meetings I attended last year were packed.  If the meetings attract the same number of constituents this year, there's no chance that Kuhl will be able to meet with even a fraction of those who want to talk to him.  The Massa campaign has already alleged that the meetings are for core constituents only, but it really doesn't matter who Kuhl talks with for 5 or 10 minutes.  Kuhl's format change has transformed these meetings into a non-event.

I imagine the same groups who demonstrated inside the meetings last year will demonstrate outside this year, and my guess is that they'll still get some media time in the Rochester market, so I don't see how this change helps Kuhl politically. My experience was that a good number of constituents who showed up at these meetings with an honest interest in what Kuhl had to say, and no matter what you thought of Kuhl's positions, his willingness to answer some pretty tough questions would probably have garnered a vote or two among those in attendance.

Gannett Employment Details

Rochesterturning somehow got early news that I'm going to work for Gannett, specifically developing new web properties for the D&C.  Here's a little more information on the projects I'll be starting to revolutionize the use of the Internet in Monroe County:

  • To compete with outlets like Craiglist, which provide a high-quality dating service, we will be launching a dating service for men,  This site will be targeted at the 34-50 year-old male population, who are currently underrepresented on most dating sites.
  • Our research shows that "non-family sites" seem to have a large following on the Internet.  To tap into this fresh, new dynamic, we will be launching and the subsidiary RocPorn properties.  The first site in the group will be, which will target the growing boomer retiree demographic.
  • The startling success of has led us to the logical follow-on site:  Later this year, we'll be sponsoring a Furry Con, and plan to be able to provide live coverage without going undercover.