The northwest suburban swing district of U.S. Rep. Melissa Bean is emerging as hotly contested ground in the national health care debate.
And that means Bean - a moderate Democrat - is taking all kinds of grief from her constituents, is facing enormous pressure from party officials, and is the focus of intense scrutiny from the media and both sides of the blogosphere.
It also explains why, like many other elected officials, she hasn't been willing to hold a town hall meeting. NSFW.
Ruberry tried, without success, to get his name added to the phone list for one of Bean's closely-held teleconference calls on health care last night - her alternative to holding a town hall.
On the phone, apparently. With about 4,400 people.
That's how many folks were able to listen in on the first of two such calls last night, according to the Daily Herald.
Bean took questions from about a dozen of those on the line and, most notably, said she was open to the so-called public option but hadn't made up her mind on how she would vote once a final bill is determined.
"The reality is there isn't yet a bill to support or not support," she said.
Meanwhile, national conservative pundit/blogger Michelle Malkin, who currently has the top book on the New York Times Best Sellers list, handed Bean a Cone of Shame Award this morning for apparently scheduling a $25 "town hall breakfast" while only being willing to talk about health care at no charge on the phone.
A Scone of Shame might be more appropriate. But buy plenty to go around.
Steve Rhodes is the proprietor ofThe Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.