by Max Brantley
Neil Sealy with Arkansas Community Organizations sent the photo along with a note about a dozen Arkansans who drove to Bryant to greet U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin at a campaign fund-raiser at Luigi's.
The demonstrators want to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Griffin's vote for the House budget plan was a vote to dismantle the country's medical safety net for older and poorer Americans. Sealy said the demonstrators were unhappy that Griffin is not holding public meetings to hear their concerns. They also wanted him to oppose new Republican legislation by Rep. Pete Sessions to privatize Social Security. Griffin said in 2010 that he didn't support privatized Social Security, but since he's voted to privatize Medicare, demonstrators were interested in getting a new commitment on Social Security from the Republican congressman from Little Rock.
Sealy said David Arellanes, a retired Southwestern Bell employee living in Bryant, and Albany Bailey, president of the Steelworkers local for the Bryant area, went inside the fund-raiser to deliver a letter to Griffin that called on him to meet with all of the people in his district and to oppose efforts to weaken Social Security by raising the retirement age and creating private accounts. Said Sealy: "The two met with Mr. Griffin and a nervous staff member. They reported that Mr. Griffin said that he opposed the SAFE Act sponsored by Representative Sessions."
Write that down.
PS — Can't get enough beating down on Tim Grifin? You might want to tune into Pat Lynch's latest podcast on that very subject.