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February 16, 2017

Pat Toomey's 'tele-town hall' got broadcast by a Temple University emergency phone

Politics Universities
02162017_Temple_call_box_GM Google/StreetView

When U.S. Senator Pat Toomey called, this Temple University police emergency phone at 15th and Jefferson street picked up. The Code Blue phone broadcast a portion of the senator's Thursday afternoon "tele-townhall" with constituents, the Temple News reported.

Sen. Pat Toomey finally elected on Thursday to have an open conversation with the dissatisfied constituents who have been calling him non-stop and protesting outside of his offices.

A recap of that hastily improvised 45-minute event, as well as the full audio, can be found here.

But if you happened to be minding your business on this cold winter day at Temple University, you might have thought the end times had arrived and the world had been taken over by Pat Toomey.

At around 2:30 p.m., a Temple Police Code Blue Emergency Phone at 15th and Jefferson streets began piping out a broadcast of Toomey's conversation with the people, according to The Temple News. Toomey was in the middle of answering a question about Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

To organize the "tele-town hall," the vendor managing the event for Toomey randomly dialed thousands of random phone numbers across the state. One of them, evidently, was the blue phone on Temple's campus.

Charlie Leone, executive director of campus safety at Temple, told the student newspaper that the university upgraded more than 60 Code Blue emergency phones over the course of the fall semester and winter break.

“The good thing is that these work well, the voice is clear,” Leone said.