Town hall meeting turns into circus

August 5, 2009 8:48:37 PM PDT
On paper, it was described as a town hall meeting in a local congressional district, but it turns out it was a bit difficult for Representative Gene Green to even get his message across. The congressman believes what happened Wednesday night was part of a national campaign to blur the issue on health care, evident he says by the scene that played out.

"He gets a half hour. We got a half hour," said one attendee.

Rep. Green responded, "This is our town hall meeting. We've done them and you've only been here once. I'm sorry. I try to speak for 15 minutes and have 45 for questions. If I have to stop for every time someone wants to boo, so maybe you ought to settle down and everybody should and we'll get going."

That was just one of the exchanges the congressman had with some of the participants. Many criticized him for supporting President Barack Obama's health care reform bill, and not willing to address their questions.

"He doesn't listen to us, he doesn't. I can guarantee that the majority of his constituents are against this legislation, but he won't vote against. He's going to vote for what he wants," said Alejandro Martinez.

Clay Sands also attended the meeting.

"I think these people are here with a political agenda and that's all it's about. They're here to create chaos so the message of reformed health care cannot get out to the people," said Sands.

The congressman fired back, accusing some of the audience members of being non-constituents, only there to disrupt the meeting.

"Town hall meetings are for an exchange, not for somebody to boo and clap and things like that. I love going to Texans and Astros games and that's where I can boo and clap all I want," said Rep. Green.

The congressman says this is his fourth town meeting on the issue. He has four more scheduled, with the next one on August 18, at the Hartman Community Center.

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