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Meek to brave real, live town hall crowd

While some of his colleagues in Congress (Democrats Ron Klein, Debbie Wasserman Schultz) have recently preferred to interact with constituents over the phone, and others (Republican Mel Martinez) are organizing forums with handpicked audiences, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek is hosting a real-live, open-to-the-public town hall meeting on healthcare Thursday.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Lehman Theatre at Miami-Dade College's north campus, which seats 500 people. First come, first served.

Wasserman Schultz and Klein said tele-town hall meetings allow more constituents to participate. Wasserman Schultz's office said 3,528 people were on the call with the congresswoman last night, and Klein's office said he addressed 6,350 over the phone last week.

Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings, who joined Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler at a ticket-only town hall in Delray Beach a couple of weeks ago, is slated to face the public again from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Palm Beach Government Center. Basically, the Palm Beach Republican Party dared Hastings to appear at a forum with two Republican congressional candidates and lo and behold, he agreed.