David McKalip says Bill Nelson's office is stiffing him

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St. Petersburg neurosurgeon and anti health care reform activist David McKalip says that U.S. Senator Bill Nelson canceled a scheduled meeting with him Wednesday morning, after previously announcing that the Senator's office said they would meet with him.

McKalip sent this announcement to members of the media a short time ago:

Regional Director of Senator Bill Nelson - Shahra Anderson - Contacted Dr. David McKalip to advise him that due to “Scheduling Conflicts”, that a meeting scheduled with leaders of local concerned citizens on Health system reform (12/16) is being cancelled.   Dr. McKalip first contacted Senator Nelson’s office this morning after about 9 am and requested a meeting with The Senator’s office with any staff member available any time in the next week. The Staff member, Elizabeth Borders advised that Only Shahra Anderson could meet with us and she called to confirm a time with the Director.  At about 9:50 am on 12/15 he received a call advising that a meeting would be arranged at 9:30 am the following morning.  He thanked the office and issued a call for attendees.  At 11:34 he was called and asked to move the meeting to 10:30 am so that a Senate Legislative Aid from D.C. could call in to participate.  He called back to confirm with the office at about Noon and received confirmation (Second confirmation of time). Several follow-up phone calls were made to confirm the Senator’s position on the Medicare advantage amendment that protects South Florida at which “Dedna” advised that the meeting tomorrow at 10:30 will answer the questions (third confirmation).

When asked why the meeting is being cancelled after three confirmations, Shahra Anderson denied that such confirmations were given and stated Dr. McKalip would be “lying” if he advised the press that such confirmations were given.  The Doctor offered to meet by conference call solely with the D.C. legislative aid who had forced the rescheduling to 10:30.  That was not seen as acceptable to Shahra Anderson.

Clearly, the Office of Senator Bill Nelson prefers not to address this issue head on.  Local leaders will discuss whether it is worth the time to show up at the Senator’s office for a press conference. It is clear that when serious and specific questions are asked, that the availability of the Senator and his staff changes for responding to such questions.

A call to the Senator's Tampa office re-directed us to his Washington office.  That's where a voice mail message informed us to leave a message.

McKalip had earlier in the day sent out two previous press releases discussing the meeting and a subsequent news conference he had scheduled afterwards.

CL has no idea what's truth or fiction here, but the fact that McKalip sent out a previous press release that listed 28(!) separate questions he hoped to ask Nelson's office could make one question how sincere he was about getting the answers to those questions, particularly from a staffer in a half hour (his earlier press release said the meeting would begin at 10:30 a.m., yet he was prepared to hold a press conference at 11:15 a.m.)

(Correction:  McKalip was not requesting that Nelson's aides answer his questions at the proposed meeting, but the Senator himself when his schedule permits).

McKalip you may recall, said earlier this year that he would take himself out of the limelight after he was busted for emailing a racist photo of President Obama.   However, he appeared at a 9/12 Tea Party in Lakeland on 9/12, where he was engaged back in the process of criticizing the efforts at changing health care as we know it.

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