Campaign 2010

Aug 31, 2011

The Heat is on Republicans as Outrage Grows

Over 3 weeks into recess, House Republicans continue to take heat from their constituents for their failed budget priorities and for choosing to protect millionaires and Big Oil instead of protecting Medicare and seniors. The temperature is rising for House Republicans as they try to defend the indefensible. 

NEW OH-01: Ohio congressman invites taping after controversy [Associated Press]

“Republican congressman hosted a boisterous, divided town hall meeting Monday evening, inviting videotaping a week after he drew controversy when cameras were taken from two Democratic activists at another session. About 250 people, some standing, packed into a community center on Cincinnati's west side to question and hear U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot.” [AP, 8/30/11]


NEW WA-03: No town halls with Herrera Beutler [The Columbian]

“Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has been back in her Southwest Washington district for most of the month of August, but the freshman Republican has scheduled no town hall meetings.

And some of her constituents are asking why. “I’d love to talk to her about the debt limit,” said Jan Watson, a high school teacher in Rochester. “I’d like to have her listen to people. In a town hall, when somebody asks a question and the person responds, you can get a real good fact check by the groans. That gives a real indication that your comment isn’t quite right or isn’t reflecting the community.” [The Columbian, 8/30/11]


NEW NH-02: Organized opposition dominates Bass town hall [CNN]

“Working-class anger bubbled over at a town hall hosted by Rep. Charlie Bass Saturday, when dozens of organized activists berated the Republican congressman for not helping the job market in his home state. […] Many in the audience - including an organized group that traveled by van to the event - tried to turn the meeting into a rowdy debate as they scoffed at Bass' answers and applauded each other's hostile questions. Bass stood at the podium with his sleeves rolled up and two bottles of water at hand, scribbling down questions on a sheet of paper as he called on even the most defiant questioners. ‘To what degree did working-class Americans contribute to this crisis?’ asked Tess George, a Democrat who said "Wall Street greed" and spending on foreign wars were to blame for the debt crisis.” [CNN, 8/29/11]


NEW IL-14: Hultgren Town Meeting Overflows with Opinions [The Beacon News]

“It’s hard to say if an hour with the local congressman Monday evening did more or less to assuage frustration with government that residents of the 14th District are feeling these days…Some came to the meeting with signs that said, “Tax Wall Street millionaires,” and “Jobs Now. No tax breaks for the wealthy.” One man told Hultgren he thought Republicans wanted to “balance the budget on the backs of the poor” while failing to “raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires.” [The Beacon News, 8/29/11]


NEW NY-25: Irondequoit rally urges Ann Marie Buerkle to support job creation [Democrat and Chronicle]

“There was a constant honk of car horns Saturday morning as motorists passed Irondequoit Town Hall. About three dozen people gathered along Titus Avenue, waving signs and flags, to encourage Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga, Onondaga County, to support the creation of jobs in the region, rather than a reduction of spending on federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare.” [Democrat and Chronicle, 8/28/11] 


NEW MI-11: Michigan Protesters Rally For Jobs Outside Thaddeus McCotter's Office [Huffington Post]

“The quiet suburban Main Street here burst into a political “flash mob” Friday when more than 100 protestors marched down the sidewalk outside the office of presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter’s (R-Mich.). The protestors chanted, “We want good jobs now!”The grassroots organizations We Are The People and Good Jobs Now, with support from American Federation of Government Employees, organized the protest to bring attention to concerns about Rep. McCotter’s legislative agenda and its impact on jobs.” [Huffington Post, 8/26/11]


NEW PA-15: Dent hears constituents' fears first hand [The Morning Call]

“U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent knocked on Phil Ritter's door and asked him if there's anything he needed. "Yeah, you can find me a job," Ritter said. With the afternoon sun beating down on the quiet neighborhood street in Macungie Thursday, Dent stood in Ritter's doorway for more than 10 minutes. Ritter, 56, told Dent that he'd worked for 10 years in furniture manufacturing and was laid off more than three years ago. Since then he's been out of work because he said no one will hire someone over 55. "I've got enough money for three more months, then this house will be the government's," Ritter said. Dent listened, he asked questions, but he didn't provide much policy insight.” [The Morning Call, 8/26/11]


NEW PA-10: Protesters march outside Marino’s office [Williamsport Sun-Gazette]

“Led by a person portraying the Grim Reaper, a group of mostly union workers held a protest in the form of a funeral procession on Commerce Park Drive Thursday, mocking a federal legislator who they claim isn't voting on legislation to produce enough jobs. The procession walked in the rain at a slow dirge and made its way to the office of U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, shouting and acting rather peacefully, but issuing what they said was an urgent message to Marino. The marchers' main contention is Marino, who was not present for the event, has not fulfilled campaign promises he made to the 10th Congressional District to bring quality paying jobs here. Marino's aides watched and took down notes to give to the congressman.” [Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 8/26/11]


NEW TN-04: Protesters target Rep. Fleischmann’s job creation record [Times Free Press]

“[…] A grassroots group in Chattanooga said U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann has not done enough to create or to help his constituents find good-paying jobs. “This job thing’s going to hit us all, and we’re going to tell him,” said Ash-Lee Henderson, a board member for Chattanooga Organized for Action, which held a small protest Wednesday across from the Chattanooga Convention Center, where Fleischmann, R-Tenn., was attending a speech by Gov. Bill Haslam. In a mock trial outside the convention center, group members found Fleischmann “guilty” of five counts of failing to help Tennesseans get jobs.” [Times Free Press, 8/25/11]


NEW PA-11: Barletta defends decision to suspend his town halls [The Times Leader]

“U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta defended his position to suspend town meetings out of safety concerns, but he said Wednesday he has not ruled out holding them again. The freshman congressman said he has suspended the open town hall meeting public forum and now is using other formats to meet with constituents because of the disruption and near-violent outbursts. He blamed the political action group,, which has targeted his seat, for creating the need to change formats. “In the four town hall meetings I held, each one became a victim of targeted disruption by,” Barletta said. “Members of that organization were told what to do to interrupt the meetings. There were near fist fights between people in the audience and the protesters. The police had to remove people on two occasions.” Barletta, 54, who said this week he will seek a second term in Congress, has been criticized for discontinuing the town hall meetings. Barletta himself was critical of his 2010 opponent, Paul Kanjorski, when the 13-term Democrat refused to hold town hall meetings last fall.” [The Times Leader, 8/25/11]


NEW MI-01: Benishek: "Oil companies pay their fair share" [POLITICO]

“Count freshman Rep. Dan Benishek as the latest Republican to come out in defense of oil companies. According to The Petoskey News, the 1st District Michigan congressman told a public forum, "(Democrats) talk about raising the taxes on the oil companies. I think oil companies pay their fair share." "I can understand where the oil company wants to deduct the cost of drilling a well. That's one of the tax breaks for oil companies -- the subsidies -- they get to deduct the cost of the well the year you drill," he continued. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee wasted little time to seize on the statement. “Benishek is so out-of-touch that he’d rather cut spending by ending Medicare than by asking Big Oil companies making record profits to give up their outrageous $4 trillion in taxpayer subsidies. That might be fair for Dan Benishek but it isn’t fair for Michigan families,” said DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson.” [POLITICO, 8/25/11]

NEW WV-02: Protestors, pink pig outside Capito's office [The Charleston Gazette]

“More than 50 people gathered outside the Kanawha City office of Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., on Thursday afternoon, urging her and other members of Congress to "focus on job creation and funding Medicare, not Washington politics." Most people at the rally were members of the Service Employees International Union or the United Mine Workers. Kathy McCormick, a vice president of SEIU who works in West Virginia, said Capito "needs to stop playing politics in Washington. We want no Medicare or Medicaid cuts. "In West Virginia, there are thousands who receive food stamps who work 40 hours a week. We're fed up," McCormick said. "It's time to take our country back." [The Charleston Gazette, 8/25/11]


NEW TX-23: Protesters take fight over Medicare, budget to Canseco [San Antonio Express-News]

“About 70 local residents rallied in protest Wednesday against U.S. Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco as the Republican congressman railed against government spending in a speech to the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce in a downtown assembly hall. The protesters, many of them middle-class seniors, were upset over Canseco's staunch support for a budget plan approved by House Republicans in April that would reform Medicare, lower taxes on corporations and cut $4.4 trillion from the nation's deficit over the next decade. They claimed the protest was inspired by Canseco's refusal to meet with his working-class constituents.” [San Antonio Express-News, 8/25/11] 


NEW IA-04: Union members protest outside King's office [Sioux City Journal]

“Hoping to send the message that jobs are needed now, 15 members of AFSCME Iowa Council 61 staged a protest Thursday morning outside of 5th District Congressman Steve King's Sioux City office. Standing under the awning of the office, the protesters held signs which displayed a variety of messages, all with the same theme: jobs. King was not at the office at the time. Event organizer Brian Guillaume, 23, was pleased with the turnout and from the reaction of people passing by on Nebraska Street. "Jobs are the focus now," Guillaume said. "We need to make sure they are being created otherwise we are not going to have any work left in this country." [Sioux City Journal, 8/25/11]


NEW CA-03: Lungren Town Hall Meeting Gets Heated [Carmichael Patch]

“An estimated 350 people, both supporters and detractors, of U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, attended what became a heated town hall meeting Wednesday at Carmichael's La Sierra Community Center. […] ‘Just raise taxes on the rich,’ audience member Richard Seyman shouted at Lungren. Some cheered his words. […] Robert Longer is the vice president of the Communications Workers of America, Local 9421. He and 12 members of his union, some of whom work for AT&T on its land lines, protested against Lungren outside the center before the town hall meeting.  What brought CWA members and others in and out of unions to public protest was in part Lungren’s voting to reform Medicare, the federal program signed into law in 1965 to provide medical coverage to Americans 65 and older, by replacing it with proposed cash vouchers of $7,000 per year for seniors to buy health insurance in the marketplace. […] Ann Shaw, 72, is a Medicare recipient who lives in Carmichael. She calls for upper-income Americans to pay higher taxes to support Medicare.” [Carmichael Patch, 8/25/11]


NEW IL-10: Protesters Criticize Dold’s Position On Jobs [Lakeforest Patch]

“A group of more than 35 protesters gathered outside Rep. Robert Dold’s, R-Kenilworth, Manufacturers’ Roundtable to focus attention on the congressman's failure to support job growth and lack of accessibility to constituents Monday at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.  Organized by, the protesters thought Dold was holding a Town Hall meeting at the Lake Forest site. The event was an invitation-only discussion among local industrialists to discuss the use of exports to create jobs, according to Dold District Director Kelley Folino. […] People held signs reading “Congressman Dold, Please Support the Emergency Jobs Bill” and “Jobs not cuts.” [Lakeforest Patch, 8/24/11]


NEW WI-01: Protesters at Ryan's Kenosha office kept out of building [Journal Sentinel]

“On the fifth day of a sit-in at U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's Kenosha office Wednesday, police were called to prevent those participating from entering the building. Ryan spokesman Conor Sweeney said the Janesville Republican and the building's owner asked Kenosha police to keep the sit-in participants out of the building. There were no arrests, and the demonstrators protested outside on the public sidewalk. Sweeney said the protesters were disrupting the business of the Kenosha office and said a similar sit-in in Ryan's Racine office has been allowed to continue.

"Efforts continue to be made to make sure their voices are heard and their opinions are shared and there's an ongoing dialogue," Sweeney said of the demonstrators. Sgt. James Heiring of the Kenosha Police Department said the demonstrators had complied with the order.” [Journal Sentinel, 8/24/11]


NEW MN-08: Protests Prompt Surprise Promise from Rep. Chip Cravaack [WDIO]

“A meeting between Congressman Chip Cravaack and businesspeople in Duluth Tuesday, didn't go as smoothly as planned.  Chanting from protestors and supporters outside Grandma's Restaurant in Canal Park, interrupted the meeting inside, prompting a surprise promise from the federal lawmaker. He offered to hold a town hall meeting at the airport on Wednesday afternoon. […] ‘He needs input from all sectors of the district, and duluth is certainly an important one that he's neglecting,’ David Reisenweber said, a protestor. […] Protestors said it's not enough. ‘Sure he's had town halls like in Deer River, but what about Duluth? We're the largest city in his district and he doesn't come,’ Heather Yun said, another protestor.” [WDIO, 8/23/11]


NEW MN-08: Cravaack to hold town-hall meeting in Duluth [Duluth News Tribune]

“U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack will hold a hastily called town hall forum at Duluth International Airport on Wednesday afternoon. […] On Tuesday, labor and other DFL-leaning leaders picketed a Cravaack luncheon at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill in Canal Park in Duluth, where Cravaack was speaking to members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which endorsed Cravaack.  Opponents said Cravaack, R-North Branch, was ignoring ‘regular Duluthians’ in favor of talking only to supporters or in other towns where crowds may be more conservative. They noted that Cravaack had talked to several business groups in the Duluth area recently and met with wealthy Republican donors last week in a Wayzata, Minn., fundraiser.” [Duluth News Tribune, 8/23/11]


NEW MN-08: Cravaack takes flak for town hall accessibility, avoiding constituency [MPR News]

“Responding to growing criticism that he has avoided his district's largest population and media center, U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack announced today that he will host an open town hall meeting Wednesday at the Duluth airport. […] Cravaack relented after encountering a group of about 50 protestors waiting in the rain […] The protestors chanted "jobs, not cuts." But their main demand was for an open and free public meeting in Duluth. […] During the August recess, Cravaack has repeatedly taken heat for refusing to hold a free and open-to-all meeting in Duluth. Critics have accused him of only allowing so-called "Pay-Per-View" events, where access is controlled and may require payment.” [MPR News, 8/23/11]


FL-24: Congresswoman gets an earful at Port Orange meeting. [Daytona Beach News-Journal]

“In a two-hour listening session before a packed house of about 70 at the Port Orange City Council chambers, Adams got an earful, both from her critics -- and those who were quick to argue with them. […] ‘It's easy to cherry pick facts,’ one man said. […] Diana Bardyn of New Smyrna Beach told Adams her use of politically charged terms liked ‘failed stimulus,’ ‘job-killing taxes,’ and ‘government takeover of health care’ only further the polarization in Washington -- and Port Orange. ‘This is not the kind of language we need from people in Congress if we are to get past (the divisiveness) in Washington,’ Bardyn said.” [Daytona Beach News-Journal, 8/19/11] 


OH-01: Senior citizen lunch turns into Chabot town hall [Cincinnati Inquirer]

“In front of a room full of senior citizens, U.S. Rep Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) defended his support of a federal budget that means dramatic changes to Medicare.  He stopped in to their group lunch at the St. Bernard municipal building Wednesday, armed with explanations. […] Some questions from the crowd: […] Show me the jobs that are being created from the tax breaks for corporations. Chabot’s response: ‘There are folks who are scamming the system. It’s outrageous. But it happens because the tax code is so convoluted. I’m hoping there’ll be a tax reform.’ […] There were also about a dozen or so protestors from groups such as the Ohio Alliance of Retired Americans, ProgressOhio and Fight for a Fair Economy. They held signs outside and inside the meeting, some reading: Hands off my Medicare and Chabot Shame.”[Cincinnati Inquirier, 8/17/11]

IL-14: Constituents at Sandwich town hall session press Rep. Hultgren to tax the rich.[Beacon News]
“A number of his constituents sent a clear message to U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren on Wednesday night — go ahead and raise taxes. ‘Stop coddling the mega-rich,’ said David Edelman, an Oswego resident, quoting America’s wealthiest taxpayer, Warren Buffett. ‘Everyone understands we have a problem, and the solution is shared sacrifice.’ […] Those who spoke said they didn’t think their voices were heard. ‘It just established for me that Randy Hultgren is fighting for the top 1 percent,’ said Edelman. ‘The vast majority of Americans want a shared sacrifice, but right now we’re not being asked to contribute much of anything.’” [The Beacon News, 8/17/11] 

NH-01: Guinta faces tough crowd in Greenland. [Portsmouth Herald]
“U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta met with a rancorous crowd Wednesday at a District Discussions meeting organized by the freshman Republican congressman. […] Civility was lost in a display of the public's frustration over the state of the country as people argued and interrupted each another and Guinta. Jobs were on the minds of many, including John Cochrane, of Barrington, who has been out of work for 3½ years. ‘I need desperate help,’ he said. ‘I want to be a good American again. I don't want to be a second-class American.’” [Seacoast Newspapers, 8/18/11] 

IL-15: Protest outside Rep. Johnson’s Office. [WICD]

“Their message is clear change the way politics is being done in Washington or risk being voted out. Dozens gathered outside representative Tim Johnson's Champaign office to protest. The group is made up of unemployed and middle class citizens frustrated with the unemployment rate and the tax cuts for big businesses and the wealthy. They say if you need proof Rep. Johnson is part of the problem look at his voting record.” [WICD, 8/15/11]


MN: Protest at $10,000 Republican Golf Outing in Wayzata. [Fox 9 News]

“Hundreds of protesters showed up at a $10,000 per ticket golf outing in Wayzata, Minnesota on Wednesday that featured House Speaker John Boehner and two Minnesota congressmen. […] Mark Ambroe was recently laid off from his book-keeping job at a small business, and he said he joined nearly 200 others to criticize the Republican Party for focusing more on protecting the rich than on creating and preserving jobs. […] ‘I think the tea party has hijacked the Republican Party,’ said one protestor.” [Fox 9 News, 8/17/11]

WI-06: Town hall talk turns heated. [Herald Times]
“Peter Fricke's voice rose to a shout Wednesday as he stood to make comments that were not well received by many attending U.S. Rep. Tom Petri's Town Hall gathering at City Hall. ‘Barack Obama has created more private jobs in the past two years than George Bush did … FDR was one of our best leaders … you have to raise revenue from the rich,’ Fricke said. The Two Rivers resident said he has four daughters. ‘I'm making $30,000 a year and just trying to get by … I'm not going to tolerate any more lies … watch what you say,’ he said.” [Herald Times, 8/18/11]  

MI-06: Protesters object to U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's performance in office near his Kalamazoo headquarters [Kalamazoo Gazette]  

“Protesters gathered at the corner of East Michigan Avenue and South Kalamazoo Mall on Wednesday morning to voice their concerns about U.S. Rep. Fred Upton's performance in office. […] ‘We're not here to cause havoc,’ Mure said. ‘We're here to ask the question, 'Where are the jobs?’ […] Upton began losing Mansberger's support last year, she said, when he was elected as chairman of the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Since then, she said she believes he has become increasingly conservative.  ‘I'm upset by the hard swing to the right," Mansberger said. "This doesn't represent the Michigan that I know.’” [Kalamazoo Gazette, 8/17/11]

NC-10: 'Agitated' crowd meets Rep. McHenry at Cleveland County town hall. [Shelby Star]
“One hundred ten people crowded into the Kings Mountain City Council chambers for a chance to hear what McHenry had to say to his constituents. […] Tempers flared more than once during the question-and-answer session as some town hall attendees questioned McHenry’s responses. […] They demanded different answers and more action from the congressman. Others walked out. […] [Robert] Hillman, a Vietnam War veteran, wanted new ideas. ‘What do you propose to do that you haven’t done in the last couple years to bring back jobs, make the economy better?’ Hillman asked the fourth-term U.S. congressman.” [Shelby Star, 8/18/11] 

PA-08: Constituents' frustration evident at town hall [The Morning Call]

“Under an outdoor pavilion on a mild Monday evening, a middle-aged homemaker stood up in the back of the crowd and told her congressman she doesn't feel she's being represented in Washington.  A Republican, she expressed frustration because most of the decision-making during the health care debate happened behind closed doors. She'd hoped it would be different when her party took control of the U.S. House, but said meetings on big issues remain out of public view. […] Hufford wasn't alone. Nearly 150 constituents lined park benches in upper Bucks County for a 90-minute public forum with Fitzpatrick, who represents Bucks and part of Montgomery County. Many issues were discussed — health care, student loans, Social Security — but what motivated each speaker was the same: frustration. […] Jim Ziegenfuss, 67, held photocopies of a handwritten 11-point list for Fitzpatrick that included: ‘Stop All $ Going to Oil Co's’ and ‘Provide Healthcare for All!’” [The Morning Call, 8/16/11]


MI-06: Congressman Fred Upton faces disruptive crowd during senior issues forum [The Kalamazoo Gazette]

“The St. Joseph Republican spoke to a crowd of close to 200 people at a meeting of the Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues at the Coover Senior Center. About another 150 people were not allowed in due to space reasons, while some demonstrated outside against Upton and policies he supports. […] Upton was continually interrupted by people in the audience. Most shouted comments and questions about growing jobs in Michigan and what Upton plans to do.  About 20 people who appeared to be in an organized group sometimes broke into chants. They declined to identify who they were with, with one woman telling a photographer her name is ‘I am jobs.’ At one point, as Upton was talking about reducing the cost of Medicare and ensuring its solvency, a man shouted, ‘Where are the jobs on your chart?’” [The Kalamazoo Gazette, 8/16/11]


NC-10: Upheaval in D.C. arouses discontent close to home [Charlotte Observer]

“U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, a Cherryville Republican who is one of President Barack Obama's staunchest conservative opponents, packed a community-college auditorium with more than 240 constituents. […] This one came with passions still roiling from the bitter debate over the debt ceiling, high unemployment and the plummeting stock market. […] ‘Can you tell me why I shouldn't work to have you defeated in the next election?’ asked Marc Bechtol, 37, a student at Catawba Valley Community College who chided McHenry for voting to increase the debt ceiling. ‘You don't pay your bills with your Visa card, then pay your Visa with your MasterCard.’ […] And another: ‘Please explain how your voting record has in any way helped the working people in this room.’” [Charlotte Observer, 8/16/11]


MD-01: Rep. Andy Harris Defends Debt ‘No’ Vote; Social Security to be Part of “Larger Discussion” on Budget [The Cecil Times]

“Harris has been traveling throughout the Eastern Shore during the current congressional recess, meeting with local citizens, business owners and watermen to hear their concerns. […] During telechats with constituents shortly before the debt limit crisis was averted, there was a palpable fear in the voices of some callers to Harris, especially from older people. […] But the same day, things were a bit noisier in Salisbury, where a group of protesters—including the Democratic mayor of Salisbury—staged a protest at the congressman’s office against his fiscal policies. A handful of protesters, and an organizer from the national Democratic group, held handmade signs, such as ‘jobs, not balanced budget amendment.’” [The Cecil Times, 8/15/11]

ND-AL: Rick Berg town hall meeting in Fargo tense [Inforum]

“Divided economic philosophies enflamed a tense town hall meeting Thursday night with North Dakota Republican Rep. Rick Berg.  Some 200 area residents gathered to hear Berg answer for his political positions in Congress and to voice their own opinions on how to fix the nation’s fiscal situation. […] However, several residents criticized Berg’s position, saying the amendment won’t solve immediate problems – like getting unemployed Americans back to work.  ‘The balanced budget amendment is like trying to drain a lake to save a drowning person,’ West Fargo resident Darrel Lund said. ‘People are in trouble now.’ […] Several residents grilled Berg for signing the pledge and for his refusal to consider tax increases, specifically for the wealthiest Americans, like him.  ‘You work for North Dakota residents, not some guy from another state,’ West Fargo resident Don Frost said. […] Unlike Berg’s first town hall in Fargo last spring, Thursday’s event had a much less-organized feel – as many residents opted to shout out their comments, rather than wait for a turn at the microphone. […] The Fargo event drew, by far, the largest crowd, but it also had the same tension as events in Bismarck and Grand Forks this week.” [Inforum, 8/12/11]


FL-02: Southerland keynote speaker at chamber luncheon [WJHG]

“The representative has taken quite some heat from both Democrats and Republicans after recently voting against the Budget Control Act that passed Friday.  The newly elected congressman hasn't been a fan-favorite from really both parties the past couple of weeks and Tuesday the representative explained why he made that decision that he continues to stand by. […] Representative Steve Southerland was only one of just 21 Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling bill that passed last week - telling residents that he refused to vote on a plan that would not save the nation's credit rating.” [WJHG, 8/10/11]


WI-01: Protesters meet Congressman Paul Ryan at Kenosha luncheon [Fox 6 News]
“Protesters showed up to ask Congressman Ryan where the jobs are and Ryan told us he's concerned about the same issue. […] Protester Shanon Molina says, ‘He's cutting programs that people are depending on right now while this recession is kicking in, and we're just wondering when they're going to finally start listening to us and help us out.’ Protester Mike Peltier says, ‘Money that could be used to develop individual skills of people who are unemployed being given away to corporations and what we see with that process is some of the companies are just taking their money and running.’” [Fox 6 News, 8/12/11]  

AL-05: Audience blasts Big Oil tax cuts [Times Daily]

“Thursday’s town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, reflected the political mood of the country: deeply divided. […] His stances won approval from some in the audience, but most had questions about how to reduce the deficit and lower the debt without eroding entitlement programs that affect a wide spectrum of people. […] Several in the audience criticized tax breaks for big oil, which for years has been raking in record profits while prices at the pump continue to go up. […] While many agreed that the debt must be reduced, they wanted to see taxes increased on the wealthiest Americans and corporations, some of whom pay virtually noting to state and federal governments.” [Times Daily, 8/12/11]


MN-08: Rep. Cravaack Visits Duluth Entrepreneurs, Denies Town Hall Meeting [Fox 21 News]

“Dozens of ralliers shouted outside a Duluth labor temple, 'Where's Chip?' on Thursday afternoon.  That's U.S. Representative Chip Cravaack (R-Minnesota) who has yet to hold a town hall style meeting in Duluth: the largest city in his district.  ‘I'm lead to believe that he might think it would get too contentious,’ one rally attendee said.  ‘Right now, I don't think [our] voices are heard,’ fellow rallier Mike Kuitu said. […] But, demonstrators, many in labor, say they want an audience.  ‘I'm out of work as are a lot of my brothers and sisters in the building trades. I'm a heavy equipment operator,’ Kuitu said.” [Fox 21 News, 8/11/11]


OH-01: Protest Over Jobs, Economy at Chabot's Office [Local 12]

“The battle over jobs and our economy comes to a local Congressman's front door today.  Union groups and other activists demonstrated in front of representative Steve Chabot's office downtown this afternoon.  The protesters wanted to ask Chabot about Ohio jobs.  Rally organizers claim that Hamilton and Butler counties lost 57,000 jobs this past year. We made calls to both the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services. They say that number is incorrect and that the entire state lost 35,000 jobs.” [Local 12, 8/11/11]  

NM-02: Pearce talk draws fire in Silver [Silver City Sun-News]

“A woman stormed out of Congressman Steve Pearce's town hall meeting Tuesday night at the Silver City Senior Center, after calling Pearce a liar and saying ‘You're just (BSing) everyone and we don't buy it.’ […] Pearce answered perhaps a dozen questions before Nitopi's hand went up. […] ‘The polls show that a majority of the people want a balanced approach, yet you have taken a vow that you will never raise taxes,’ she said. ‘It's inappropriate for elected officials to go beyond accepting the vote as a method of judging their ability to govern, and constrain themselves by taking an additional vow that says they will never do something even if their country needs them to do it. Part of governing is to compromise.’ […] ‘And to say we can solve that by cutting back those final safety nets for those people but never increasing the taxes on the people who managed somehow to make a big profit, that doesn't seem appropriate for an elected official.’” [Silver City Sun-News, 8/11/11]


NC-10: McHenry hears voters' frustration [The News Herald]

“Residents of Burke County are frustrated with the political theater […] During the luncheon, Rich DeAugustinis said there are no statesmen anymore, but elected officials are now idealogues more concerned with politicking. […] During the packed town hall meeting at the Foothills Higher Education Center, applause often followed when speakers faulted bickering and the lack of compromise between the political parties. […] Many people who spoke at the town hall meeting were concerned about Social Security, Medicare, jobs, taxes and spending.  […] The discussion got heated when Cliff Moon from Catawba lectured McHenry.  ‘There is no reputable economist I know of that says you all can cut your way out of this deficit,” Moon said. “I’m fine with your looking for ways to cut useless spending, fraudulent spending, defense spending when that’s possible…, but I am concerned that you have not voted to cut any of the big oil subsidies. You have not voted to cut any of the big agri-subsidies.’” [The News Herald, 8/10/11]


AR-03: Womack Hits Entitlements At Town Hall [The Times Record]

“Womack made the comments at a town hall at the Fort Smith Public Library, 3201 Rogers Ave., on Tuesday.  Dan Johnson told Womack he’s a Social Security recipient, he and his employer paid into the system for 35 years and he didn’t like it being referred to as an entitlement program.  He added that Congress needs to look at cutting discretionary spending before it does anything else, which drew considerable applause from the crowd. […] Ondek told Womack the GOP has been stonewalling in Washington, following the lead of the tea party, to “blackmail” the government apparatus, and defended stimulus spending and at least some government regulation, for example, in the area of banking.” [The Times Record, 8/10/11]


NH-01: Town hall voters fear for country [CNN]

“A restive crowd vented to Rep. Frank Guinta over pocketbook issues and political wrangling in Washington at a town hall Wednesday.  Questions for the freshman Republican ranged from Medicare reform to immigration, but two topics that raised contention were tax cuts for the wealthy and U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and Libya.  Citing corporate tax loopholes, the national debt and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, one man asked: ‘How can you stand there in front of all of us and take a pledge not to raise taxes?’ […] ‘I don't believe that our problem in this country is that we don't receive enough money from taxpayers,’ Guinta said in response Wednesday, but was drowned out by exclamations of both support and frustration.” [CNN, 8/10/11]


IN-05: Burton town hall overflows with worried residents [WISH TV]

“The meeting at the Carmel Public Library was standing room only. So many attended - 150 filled the main room – that a second session was added. […] The swell of concern and outpouring hasn’t been seen since the healthcare debate of ’08, aides said.  ‘The last two years my husband and I have dealt with cancer and a 20 percent pay cut,’ one attendee said choking back tears.  Burton was one of only a handful of Republicans to vote against the debt ceiling legislation because, he said, it didn’t go far enough.” [WISH TV, 8/10/11]


NJ-07: Group holds afternoon protest outside U.S. Rep Frank LoBiondo's Mays Landing office [Press of Atlantic City]

“Armed with a sign that said “Stop Corporate Welfare” and wearing a “Save the American Dream” sticker, Mildred Kish sought to make a difference on a sunny afternoon in downtown Mays Landing. […] The protesters held signs that read ‘Stop Assault on Middle Class,’ ‘Jobs Now. Stop The Wars,’ and ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.’ […] Kamau Wilkes, 18, said he is concerned about the future of programs such as Social Security when he gets older. […] ‘The middle class is being annihilated by legislators that favor the privileged in our country,’ Ventnor resident Alissa Wolf said. ‘People need to be proactive and come out in greater numbers and let our legislators know we are unhappy with the state of affairs of this once-great country.’” [Press of Atlantic City, 8/10/11]


MI-01/02: With Congress on break, constituents vent about debt deal [Detroit Free Press]
“Back at home in their districts, Michigan's members of Congress are expecting -- or already getting -- an earful from voters. "No one's been throwing me a birthday party," said Huizenga, who is holding a town hall meeting tonight at the Grand Haven Community Center. [… ]  Two years ago, anger about health care reform helped turn the 2010 elections into a Republican rout. Now, some voters want to know why their new Republican representatives -- Huizenga in western Michigan and Dan Benishek in the Upper Peninsula -- supported a debt ceiling deal they believe paves the way for future government spending, even though it calls for cuts.” [Detroit Free Press, 8/10/11] 


NY-19: Protesters decry Hayworth's vote on budget, Medicare [The Journal News]  

“Epstein said she showed up at an afternoon rally Monday outside Rep. Nan Hayworth's office here to protest the congresswoman's support for a Republican budget proposal she says puts Medicare in jeopardy.  ‘People under 55, she just threw them under the bus,’ Epstein, a retiree from Somers, said. ‘She didn't say that, but I'm reading between the lines. I'm afraid for my children and grandchildren.’ […] ‘I'm really concerned that Nan Hayworth and her Republican colleagues believe we should be balancing the budget on the backs of the people who can least afford it,’ said Mel Tanzman of Mohegan Lake. […] ‘We want them held accountable for what they voted for, which in the case of Nan Hayworth is she wanted to make Medicare into a voucher system,’ said Joe Mayhew.” [The Journal News, 8/9/11]


NH-01: Constituents blast Rep. Guinta over debt ceiling [Union Leader]

“U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta met with a raucous crowd yesterday at the Dover Senior Center, where constituents sounded off on everything from Medicare to subsidies for oil companies to the raising of the debt ceiling. […] One major point of contention was Medicare […] In April, Guinta voted in favor of a Republican budget that would change the system so that those participating in Medicare would select what type of coverage they want. Carole Appel, of Dover, blasted the change, saying it would essentially privatize Medicare.” [Union Leader, 8/9/11]


NE-01: Nebraskans voice economy worries [Omaha World Herald]

“If the overflow crowd of an estimated 150 people provided a barometer of the electorate just a week after Congress narrowly averted a government default, the voters are angry, fearful and skeptical. And they're not afraid to let their elected officials know it. […] More than a few in the audience said that right now, some Americans feel the pain more than others. Loopholes and tax breaks that allow the wealthy and corporations to avoid paying taxes were prime targets.” [Omaha World Herald, 8/9/11]


NH-01: Granite State seniors unimpressed with Guinta's vote on debt and budget deal [Fosters Daily Democrat]

“As discussions turned to the recent debt and budget decision, those present spoke up, saying Guinta and other lawmakers had made a mistake. […] However, some in the crowd said they did not feel many lawmakers were looking out for the people's interests.” [Fosters Daily Democrat, 8/9/11]


CO-04: Voters voice anger at Cory Gardner town hall meeting [The Coloradoan]

“The audience sometimes directed its frustration at Gardner, particularly when Democrats thought he was evading questions.  Bob Massaro, a Fort Collins Democrat, asked Gardner to explain why he believed tax cuts stimulated economic development when job growth was far higher under Bill Clinton than George W. Bush, despite Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. […] When Massaro pressed the question again, Gardner did not directly answer.” [The Coloradoan, 8/8/11]


NY-13: Demonstrators rally outside Rep. Michael Grimm's New Dorp office [Staten Island Live]

“A large number of protesters gathered outside Rep. Michael Grimm's New Dorp office this afternoon, expressing their disappointment in the Republican's vote on the debt ceiling.  Approximately 75 demonstrators took part, chanting and holding signs that read ‘Where are the jobs?’ and ‘Restore the American Promise.’ Protesters lined up across the street from Grimm's 265 New Dorp Lane office.” [Staten Island Live, 8/8/11]


CO-04: Constituents let Gardner hear it in Loveland town hall meeting [Denver Post]

“About 300 or so packed a conference room at American Eagle Distributing this morning, with many having sharp comments either for or against the freshman congressman.  Some accused Gardner of attacking Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid while cozying up to corporations and huge oil companies during his first year in Congress. […] Sean Risatti, who described himself as an independent voter, said he was generally pleased that Congress was trying to attack the national debt, but he said Gardner was too easy on big business. ‘Not one person came for closing corporate tax loopholes. How could you not suggest that?’ Risatti said.” [Denver Post, 8/8/11]


NE-01: Fortenberry town hall packs them in [Journal Star]

“An overflow crowd of more than 200 people showed up near the dinner hour to question and engage Rep. Jeff Fortenberry about the size of government, spending reductions and the role revenue should play in eliminating budget deficits and reducing the national debt. […] Confronted by one questioner who said he's ‘the biggest spender’ in Nebraska's congressional delegation, Fortenberry said he's ready to ‘put my budgeting credentials on the table.’” [Journal Star, 8/8/11]


NH-01: Guinta gets earful on debt [Concord Monitor]

“The people who crowded into Hooksett Public Library last night to hear from U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta applauded when a man said he was disappointed with the debt ceiling agreement because it cut too little spending.  They applauded too when another man said lawmakers shouldn't have settled spending "on the backs" of the poor and middle class. […] Charles Balban, to tell Guinta that even if his own benefits were safe he worried his son and grandchildren would earn less than he did. Balban said he was concerned about the deficit but felt the wealthy should pay more. ‘Why is it once again on the backs of the American people, the middle class and the poor, when we've already been taken advantage of,’ he said.” [Concord Monitor, 8/5/11]


AR-02: At Town Halls, Griffin Grilled by Both Sides [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] 

“U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin got an earful Thursday from both sides of the political divide in the 2nd Congressional District during town-hall meetings […] ‘We are your employers, and you need to spend time listening to us,’ said Curtis Rose, a Faulkner County Tea Party member. […] ‘What about bringing in revenue to alleviate the problem?’ asked Cornelius Roberts of Little Rock. ‘The House wastes time sending stuff to the Senate, no way in the world it’s going to pass.’” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 8/5/11]


NH-01: Guinta Under Fire After Debt Ceiling Vote [WMUR]

“Several members tea party activists voiced their disapproval with Guinta's vote both during and after the meeting. […] Democrats pressed the congressman on labor issues, tax policy, and the environment, but they too took issue with his debt ceiling vote. ‘They set up this super committee of just 12 people who will be free, if they can agree, to make any cuts at all, whatsoever, to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,’ said Terry Lochhead, of the N.H. Alliance for Retired Americans.” [WMUR, 8/4/11]