The Austin Obama ’08 campaign called me tonight to tell me they had moved tomorrow’s Town Hall Meeting to a bigger room in the Austin Convention Center, and, more importantly, that they had 2 tickets for me. I was on the waiting list after being turned down for tickets this afternoon. Realistically, I thought there was no chance.
The friendly folks at Obama headquarters seemed unsure of how attendees would be allowed to submit questions, but I thought I’d get a head start, and take some typed out already, in the hopes that would increase my chances of actually getting to address him.
I was originally thinking about asking him whether he would consider using the bully pulpit of the presidency to speak out against lengthy – as in decades long – sentences for low level drug offenders.
I looked at the tickets, however, and noticed that they say: A Town Hall Meeting to discuss strengthening America’s Economy. So I figure I need to at least tilt any proposed question to the economy. I suppose I could ask whether he would consider using the bully pulpit of the presidency to educate the American people about how much incarcerating folks is costing them in tax dollars, but I’m not sure they would select that. Yes, I’m bucking for a good question, but also one I think they will ‘like’.
Basically, I’m asking for suggestions, and here’s what I’ve got planned so far. I got the basic premise of the question from my wife. (The initial sycophancy is my idea.)
I’m a criminal defense attorney here in Texas, and I’m an admirer of the legislation you spearheaded in Illinois to help ensure that innocent people not be given the death penalty. Since this meeting is about economics, could you talk a little about how expensive death penalty litigation by the State is, and whether or not America as a whole might consider abandoning it entirely?
I’ve got to work on that, I know. Feel free to comment, and help me tweak it. Or suggest something entirely different – but I would like to focus on criminal defense, and I think the topic of the meeting means I need to focus on the economic aspects of some of this too.