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Town Hall Talk: 'Not the New Hampshire Way'

By Sarah Lovenheim
UPDATED: 10:35 a.m.
Of the town hall meetings on health-care reform over the weekend, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's (D-N.H.) two events in New Hampshire on Saturday seemed to generate the most buzz. People of Portsmouth started lining up as early as 8 a.m. in the rain for a 2 p.m. meeting, according to the SeaCoast Online's Lara Bicker.

The New Hampshire Union Leader's Garry Rayno and Trent Spiner said "anger and hostility caught up" with the congresswoman as protesters held signs in opposition to her push for health-care reform.

One early morning protester held a picture of a milk carton paired with an image of Shea-Porter, "with a caption that stated she was missing," Bicker wrote. Ahead of the Portsmouth meeting, a local TV netowrk said an officer warned the audience, "act crazy" and you'll "go outside."

Security was tight. A half dozen police reportedly stood by the entrance of the building throughout the meeting.

Some people were prevented from attending Shea-Porter's town hall in Manchester. The meeting was "limited to 100 people, leaving some left out in the rain," reported WMUR-9. One man was taken out of the town hall "after continually asking questions out of turn."

Shea-Porter said of the disruptions, "This is not the New Hampshire way."

Watch a clip of the event in Portsmouth:

Here's a rundown of some of today's town hall meetings (all times local):

Kansas City, Mo. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) hold a closed door meeting, hosted by Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

Big Flats, N.Y. -- Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) meets with constituents at Big Flats Community Center at 5:30 p.m.

Appomattox, Va. -- Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) meets with constituents at Appomattox Community Center at 6:00 p.m.

If you know of other town hall meetings happening nationwide, e-mail us at

By Washington Post editors  |  August 31, 2009; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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The clip above is from the Manchester Town Hall Meeting, not Portsmouth.

Posted by: flowerpowr | August 31, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You know, this write up is really hilarious.

First, Porter stacked the hall with paid people who came from out of state.
Second, she would not let her opponent in.
Third, how ironic that when Porter was a mere 'activist' she used to enter and DISRUPT other town hall meetings, which even resulted in her being FROG MARCHED out of one of them!

So if you want to get the truth, read what really happened here:
It might give you a bit more credibility!

Posted by: username | August 31, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps we read different "write ups" this piece said she encountered considerable opposition inside and outside. So "what" are you saying the opposition was "paid" to disrupt.
Let her opponent hold his own "healthcare" meeting. Why is he trying to "push" his way into her meeting so he can "score" political points. Get a hall and have his own meeting.
Disruption only keeps people from having a "real" debate. People yellin' others down is "frankly" ridiculous especially for people old enough to know better. These people don't know what the final bill will consist of. They're angry because their Party lost the election. Frankly, I'm Tea Partied, birther, anti health care saturated. Next month they'll start on something else.

Posted by: yvonneweston | September 1, 2009 4:44 AM | Report abuse

The New Hampshire/New England way of yore was for the politician to give specific answers to specific questions. The town hall meetings had "guests of honor" who were not allowed to get away with spouting nonsense, but their feet were held to the fire until they proved their facts. New Englanders were never swayed by anything but facts and truths--family name, power, and $$ were irrelevant. Oh, for the good old days. Lest we forget, however, WE THE PEOPLE keep electing the worthless. We can't depend on others to tell us for whom to vote--we must educate ourselves--read and watch, and CHECK FOR FACTS.

Posted by: coffic | September 1, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Y'all missed the really interesting (Rep. Susan Davis) Town Hall in San Diego's Spring Valley, an east county area known for an abundance of hyper conservatives.
A group calling themselves "Billionaires for Wealthcare" showed up and just confused the crap out of the collection of birthers, deathers and wingnuts on hand.
photos & more here:

Posted by: dougbob | September 1, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Disruptions like this serve no purpose but to enhance the negative image of the "Party of No". I'm convinced that this and other town hall meetings were packed by people influenced by misrepresentations and outright lies. I'm equally convinced that this pattern was planned and executed by the Health Care Industry.

Posted by: Mathmn | September 1, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to Northern Massachusetts, the article was so unbalanced. How about telling how Ms Seah-Porter BUILT HER REPUTATION and liberal lapdogs by doing the exact same thing as the retired police officer who was escorted out, once while wearing a fake Nazi uniform. Now "dissent" is un-American since the liberals are in charge. Half a truth is not the same as the truth.

Posted by: Mikey12 | September 1, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

You probably read the wrong articles because you're reading only the liberal papers and watching MSNBC.

Posted by: Mikey12 | September 1, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Mikey Opines "You probably read the wrong articles"

So to hold your opinion you have to read only a subset of the available information and disregard everything else that's reported?

See, this makes sense because back when you guys had control of the country the rest of us were constantly scratching our heads wondering "what are they thinking? It's like conservatives live in a different reality."
Turns out, that's true.

Posted by: dijetlo | September 1, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Once again yvonneweston has her facts wrong:

The only reason Porter held a town hall was that her opponent was already planning one, before she did!

If this is so much of a disruption, why was she herself MARCHED OUT LIKE A FROG in 2005 or 2006 when SHE HERSELF disrupted a town hall?

Finally, Pelosi says she LOVES disrupters and is one herself.

Stop being hypocrites.

No we are not as much upset that 'we lost' as we are with what the biggest loser in the WH is doing to this country.

And we have every right to protest socialism.

Posted by: username | September 1, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

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