March 23, 2023
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Thousands view Kinzinger's first online town hall

IL-16 Facebook Live Townhall

Thank you to everyone who joined in yesterday during our first IL-16 Facebook Live Townhall. Appreciate you taking the time and I enjoyed answering your questions. For those who were unable to join live, the video is available below. I look forward to doing this again soon.

Posted by Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Town halls — a longstanding American tradition — have brought elected representatives face-to-face with their constituents for them to voice concerns.
On Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger added an innovative wrinkle to the process.
The Channahon Republican hosted a Facebook Live Town Hall meeting, which attracted more than 5,000 views and dozens of shares.
During the event, Kinzinger placed blame on the recent failure of the House to replace Obamacare entirely on the House Freedom Caucus.
"Now, as I see it, we have two choices: We watch Obamacare fail or we work with the Democrats willing to fix it," said Kinzinger, who favored the GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. "Yes, repeal and replace is the best, but if we can't do that, we have to work with the other party."
Kinzinger waded through nearly 1,000 questions and comments in 36 minutes — responding to a couple dozen or so questions in the time allowed — using a computer tablet.
During the live interactive broadcast from his D.C. offices, Kinzinger fielded questions on topics, which included Obamacare, President Donald Trump, Social Security and U.S. military expenditures, among other topics. The congressman read aloud snide comments about his "true political affiliation" and his refusal to host traditional town hall gatherings in his district.
At one point, Kinzinger was asked about his views on potential mining or oil drilling on public lands, including portions of national parks.
"I am a big supporter of the National Park Service and I believe it should be funded appropriately. However, when the federal government owns than land where such resources can be utilized, it should be considered."
The ability for anyone watching to post a live comment added a unique aspect to the event.
Local environmental activist Kendall Cramer, of Ottawa, immediately posted his reaction online.
"I am listening to Rep. Kinzinger's Live Facebook town hall. It sounds like he supports drilling and mining in our national parks! He specifically mentioned that Yellowstone has oil. Wow. Just terrible. The current group of Republicans in Congress has to be the most anti-conservation and anti-environment party in American history. We must protect our national lands for future generations to enjoy."
Diane Muntz-Oldenburg, of Streator, posted: "Oh boy. I found the congressman to be condescending and, at times, arrogant. Seemed to side step the questions and his comments or rather his non-comments on (President Trump's advisor), Steve Bannon, bothered me. Party over people."
Ron Dittmer, also of Streator, said: "I think it was an attempt to try and say he had a town meeting, I found Kinzinger to be cherry picking the questions and he never answered the hard questions."
Carla Margis, of La Salle, disagreed with those takes.
"I found it to be informative and quite frankly some of the questions were out of line," Margis said. "He answered the questions honestly as far as I could tell."
Following the live video, Kathy Despain. of Peru, said she saw the last 20 minutes and her feed was breaking up, so she did not hear his entire response to several questions.
"What I did hear was often avoidance of answering questions. He should hold a real town hall meeting in a central location so that citizens can ask direct questions with followup questions thus having an opportunity to interact directly with voters. This type of town hall meeting is disappointing."
Since Republicans took control of the House six years ago — buoyed by ugly, loud and viral town halls that embarrassed Democratic incumbents — public meetings have become rarer and online appearances, such as the online town hall by Kinzinger have become more common.
Kinzinger and other GOP House members have said they would not indulge disruptive protesters by hosting a public event where the discussions have, on more than one occasion, devolved into shouting matches.
The congressman considered the event a success.
"I really enjoyed the opportunity to reach more constituents across IL16. I thought the questions were great overall and honestly, it was fun to address the questions that came in as they came in," Kinzinger said in a statement sent to The Times shortly after the event.
Go to to view a replay of the entire online presentation.