Bonner fields calls, questions

Published 7:17 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By Staff
Jo Bonner sounded a bit like a radio host Tuesday night, fielding calls from constituents in five counties in his Congressional district.
And he was just as smooth in his first telephone town hall meeting of the year, which used new technology to call residents in the district and invite them to ask questions or simply listen in on a variety of topics from gas prices to the war in Iraq. Bonner sat in Washington for the town hall &#8220meeting,” while his office was able to call residents across the district.
Bonner joked that he knew he was competing with some popular TV shows.
But nearly 3,000 people stayed on the line, with up to 75 at one point waiting to ask Bonner questions.
Bonner was, as usual, gracious and personable throughout the call, moving from one question to another with ease. While most politicians have that ability to speak extemporaneously, Bonner is one of the few who are able to do it with sincerity.
Many of the callers asked questions Bonner simply couldn't answer or help much with, such as the resident who was concerned about high daycare costs. But he offered reassurance and stressed that his staff was available to help with constituents' problems.
A telephone town hall meeting can't quite replace a face-to-face meeting, but the unique technology is a great opportunity for residents to get their concerns heard by a congressman who cares.
Kerry Whipple Bean is publisher of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 251-867-4876 or by e-mail at

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