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Town Hall Talk: Recap of Growing Unrest

Here's a flavor of the latest bites taken at congressmen for their positions on health-care reform and a rundown of upcoming town hall meetings to monitor:

McMinnville, Ore. -- Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) held the first of four town halls this week on Monday evening, and if the meeting is any indication of future events, Wu should prepare his defenses. Protesters lined the streets with signs outside the event and "peppered [Wu] with mostly hostile questions at a packed town hall...that brought a political circus to this" town, according to a report by The Oregonian. The newspaper reported that people lined up outside three hours before the event started.

Towson, Md. -- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) received 1,200 RSVP's for his town hall Monday evening in a room set up to hold only 500 people. The Washington Post's David Montgomery reports that, "gusts of displeasure rumbled almost immediately from the crowd. Folks wanted to interrogate the senator right away."

Sen. Cardin had trouble answering questions without being drowned out by shouts and outbursts from the crowd.

Lebanon, Pa. -- Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) came face to face with a questioner during his town hall who told Sen. Specter "I am going to speak my mind before I leave here because your people told me I could."

The Washington Post's Philip Rucker reports that "frustrated voters...booed and jeered him over his party's plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system." Rucker also reports that while there were 300 people inside the building, there were hundreds of protesters and supports of the health-care plan, camped outside.

Town Hall Meetings Today

Santa Cruz, Ca. -- Rep. Sam Farr holds a meeting at the First Congregational Church at 6:00 p.m. PST

Alhambra, Ca. -- Rep. Adam Schiff holds a town hall at 7:00 p.m. PST at the Alhambra Library

Hillsborough, N.J. -- Rep. Leonard Lance will hold a town hall at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Hickory, N.C. -- Rep. Patrick McHenry will hold a town hall at Hickory City Hall at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Charlottesville, Va. -- Rep. Tom Perriello will hold a town hall at 6:00 p.m. ET at Charlottesville High-MLK Performing Arts Center.

Clarkesville, Ga. --
Rep. Paul Broun will hold a town hall at North Georgia Technical College Clegg Auditorium at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Rocky Mount, N.C. -- Rep. G.K. Butterfield will hold a town hall at J. W. Parker Middle School at 6:00 p.m. ET.

Palisades Park, N.J. -- Rep. Steven Rothman will hold a town hall at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Municipal Complex.

By  |  August 11, 2009; 2:42 PM ET
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Next: Town Hall Talk: Disruption in Mo., Pa.


It would be helpful if you noted what party these Congressmen belonged to. It could be newsworthy to see who is braving their constituents.

Posted by: mspencerellsworth | August 12, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

The K Street crowd that have lined up with the President and legislators, or more correctly are leading the President and legislators, with this convoluted mess they call health care reform, have been reckless and blatant in their greed.
It is transparent to everyone that the Presidents plan has been designed to produce profits for the health care industry at a horrible expense to the people that will be forced to pay for and use it.
AARP has sold me and millions of other members out with the convoluted mess that they are supporting for health care reform.
No one, including AARP, will allow true reform to be discussed in the health care debate and we are being rail roaded into an extortionists plot to use government mussel to force us to purchase questionable insurance to pay exorbitant prices to a system that is failing to serve so many of us.
We are being royally mistreated by our financial, energy, and health care systems that appear to be colluding with the legislators and regulators who are supposed to protect us, enough is enough.
Delivering all government funded health care through government owned hospitals and clinics, operated by government employed doctors and care providers would save hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
Best Care Anywhere, Why VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours, written by Phillip Longman should be required reading for President Obama and every legislator.
A dual, public/private system, offering dual choices for everyone to select, either free public care, or unlimited choice private pay private care, could serve every need and interest.
Independent private health care should be unfettered by government mandates.
For seniors care and medications at public facilities would be free, no more doughnut holes and no insurance or co pays required.
This solves the Medicare, Medicaid and all other government funded cost control problems that no one will talk about, while giving seniors an infinitely better deal than AARP is trying to pawn off on us as being good reform.
Businesses large and small choosing the public care option could also free themselves from all financial burdens, or any involvement in any way for the health services their employees receive.
Government needs to become the basic necessities no frills provider of health care.
Going back and forth between free public care, paid for by a national sales tax, and user purchased private care, may suit some people, and it would provide unlimited choices, ultimate freedom, and always free public care would be available when it is needed or desired to everyone who asks for it, no restrictions period.

Posted by: BillWatson1 | August 12, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

You can sure tell when Americans have a lot of time on their hands!

Posted by: tonyholst | August 12, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Brodhead to attend David Wu's Seaside Oregon Townhall

Brodhead for Congress will attend the David Wu Seaside Health Care Townhall

Brodhead would like to ask Mr. Wu these simple questions!

Our current Congress rammed through "The stimulus Bill". They rammed through 'Cap and Trade"! They are attempting to ram a "Health Care" down our throats without meaningful dialogue. While the Congressional Budget Office or CBO puts 2009 federal hard revenue forecasts at $2.12 trillion, Federal spending is well over $4.00 trillion. David Wu wants to add hundreds of billions additional to the 2009 fiscal deficit of $1.84 trillion.

Treasury Sectretary Geithner states that Social Ssecurity and Medicare are still solvent even while we have a 1.84 trillion dollar deficit and his making repeated trips to China, in addition, to asking congress to allow the National debt ceiling to eclipse $12 Trillion. The federal government is on track to double the $9 trillion national debt under George Bush to $20 trillion by 2012 under the Obama administration. It is likely to double again to $40 trillion by 2016 with Obama and Wu at the helm.

In order for Oregonians and Americans to pay for Obam/Wu government and massive deficit spending, taxation will have to be doubled on every tax paying citizen. Then we must look at 5 million baby boomers leaving the work force for fullride entitlements every year for the next 20 years which our children will have to pay for at a 2.5 to 1 ratio. Why does Wu insist on passing legislation that is counter to fiscal common sense during a recession?. Why does he insist on borrowing the money from other nations instead of rolling back government spending to something like that of the Bill Clinton years.? Instead of adding massive debt, shouldnt we roll back government, reduce our world presence, and ensurie that Social Security is solvent? Shouldnt we make medicare more cost effective? If Nationl Health Care is passed, will the federal government tap into it as a revenue source as they do Social Security? Or better yet is national Health Care just smoke and mirrors for more taxation? Is the reason why Wu and Pelosi want to stuff Health care down our throats by October is so they have time to vote on a massive tax increase for 2009 and make it retroactive back to January 1st 2009? We gave you Health Care now we want to double taxation? And finally, isnt it more important to slow down and really look at inexpensive Health Care options like Oregon state Senator Chris Telfer's Oregon Senate Bill 862 at the State level?

Stephan Andrew Brodhead is an Iraq War Veteran, retired Air Force Reserve Aviator, and Real Estat.For more information see his website at

Posted by: StephanAndrew | August 12, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It takes a lot of guts for these Democratic lawmakers to stand in front of an anticipated hostile mob and attempt to address them.

During the last Bush years the GOP wimps only gave town hall tickets to their own crotch lickers.

Posted by: hayden1 | August 12, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I force myself to spend some time watching the evening lineup on MSNBC. I find it pays to keep up with what the enemy is saying, but my tolerence level is quickly exceeded. Take last night for instance, when that paragon of reportage, Rachel Maddow, took forever listing all the organizations she insisted were fomenting the town hall commotion. The desperation of her intent left little doubt that she, and her liberal masters, are scared s---less. To what depths of hypocrisy will the Democrats sink in trying to marginalize and dismiss the outpouring of genuine discontent over the administrations efforts to remake our health care system? Maybe for once she could have been honest and listed all the liberal organizations supporting Obama's plans. Maybe she's leaving that task to Olbermann. Every poll indicates the plan - when it achieves final status - will never receive popular approval. So the Democrats will ram something through (reconciliation?) and declare victory...without bi-partisan support. I pray they do just that. That will spell the end of Obama, and the Democratic majority, before he/they really get started.

Posted by: ddnfla | August 12, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I want everybody to take note of the comment posted by "hayden1". In typical liberal fashion, he found it impossible to state his opinion without resorting to crude language. Any effort to elevate the conversation is wasted on a person like that. This is why I'm going to take great pleasure when we take back the majority by 2014...if not sooner. I encourage all conservatives to refrain from hayden1's brand of junior highschool discourse.

Posted by: ddnfla | August 12, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

People are outraged because they're learning just what a big government fiasco this health care blivet is.

Big Brother will decide who gets what sevices, who is discharged and/orreadmitted to hospitals, what personal data of yours they want the IRS to have, what is reasonable cost, and reasonable service. The Commissioner and the HHS secretary will be all powerful and much of this turd filled load of garbage will be exempt from judicial review.

These greedy louses ought to be run out of town on a rail.

Posted by: LarryG62 | August 12, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse

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