I don’t know Dr. Tom Taylor.

But I understand his situation when he decided to attend Republican Congressman Tom Reed’s town hall this morning in Ithaca, NY, where I work at Cornell Law School. In case you were unaware, Ithaca is like Berkeley, California, only smaller.

Ithaca is in the NY-23 District. Reed has won in landslides the last two elections against Democratic challengers backed by national money. While no one is a sure thing, he is in a very strong position in this mostly conservative district.

Ithaca is an anomaly in the District. In fact, Reed twice ran campaigns lambasting “Extreme Ithaca Liberals.” This ad against Martha Robertson in 2014 irked many Ithaca progressives:

So when Reed comes to Ithaca, it’s not seeking votes. He says it’s because he wants to hear all voices in the District, but a part of me thinks he just wants to prove he’s not afraid to take the heat from “extreme Ithaca liberals.”

You may recall my report from February 24, 2017, regarding an earlier group of Reed town halls in the western part of the vast NY-23 district. Those town halls were hours from Ithaca, yet many from Ithaca went to those distant town halls for the purpose of disruption, as I documented in Here’s how liberal activists astroturfed town hall protests against Rep. Tom Reed (#NY23).

Reed, who has done over 200 town halls in the district in the past several years (according to him), scheduled another round of town halls today, with the first one being in Ithaca starting at 8 a.m. Not surprisingly, several hundred people turned up, with many not being able to gain admission for lack of room.

The town hall went pretty much as you would expect. You can view the entire live stream at the Facebook page of The Ithaca Voice. Most of the chants, shouts, signs and “questions” were about Obamacare and the Republican effort to repeal and replace. There were many pre-printed signs stating “Disagree.”

There also was a lot of pontificating and speechifying by the crowd. Often questions were more like statements and declarations.

Reed is a Pro at this. He seems to love engaging with a hostile audience, something I noticed when I saw him at a town hall at Cornell in 2013, where he was targeted by Democratic activists and operatives.

There was, however, one voice of dissent in the crowd, the aforementioned Dr. Tom Taylor, a Reed supporter who says he didn’t vote for Trump, but liked Reed’s Trump-supportive platform on Obamacare and other issues.

The Ithaca Voice interviewed Dr Taylor:

But Dr. Tom Taylor was among the first few hundred people in line and he has a different message for Reed.

“…Do not forget the people who got you elected on the basis of your promises and the agenda you promised to enact. You do not lose elections by keeping your promises. You lose the election by breaking your promises,” he said.

Taylor is among the 149,779 people who re-elected Reed to public office in November.

“As a doctor, I’ve seen the direct results of Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, and it has been an unmitigated disaster,” he said.

He said that while some people have been helped by the ACA, he has seen that most people’s healthcare plans have changed in undesirable ways, such as through higher costs or fewer choices.

But he’s also not in full support of new proposals for healthcare announced by the Trump administration this week. He said he wants to see market reforms and more competition in health care.

He said, “I was promised by the president and by Congressman Reed that we would repeal Obama Care, not substitute something which is Obama Care Light.”

Dr. Taylor attended the town hall with a red hat that saying “Make America Great Again.” He may not have voted for Trump, but he certainly seems like a Trump supporter now.

Dr.Taylor tried to ask a question, but was heckled so badly he had trouble getting it out. He finally ended up asking Reed to hold true to his campaign promises.

Welcome to my world.

Update 3-15-2017: After this post ran, Dr. Taylor contacted me to clarify that while he didn’t vote for Trump in the primary, he did vote for Trump in the general election. He also reminded me that we once met briefly after a speech I gave to a Tea Party group in Horseheads (NY) several years ago.

[Featured Image Credit: Alyvia Covert/The Ithaca Voice]


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.