Town Halls Still Volatile In Many Districts
Town hall meetings have tempered since early August, but some lawmakers continue to face raucous crowds, Roll Call reports. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a vocal conservative and opponent of the Democrats reform plans, "faced a volatile crowd [Thursday] looking for answers on the future of health care in America" (Palmer, 8/28).
But Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-Ohio, a freshman lawmaker, was relieved to find a tame crowd at a Wednesday night town hall, Roll Call reports in a separate story. His previous August appearance before constituents was commemorated by the Republican Congressional Committee as a "recess roasting" and publicized on YouTube. A constituent told Driehaus his wife had asked him not attend because she believed town halls were "dangerous" (Kucinich, 8/28).
Police in Bakersfield, Calif., evidently had the same impression. The police department deployed two dozen plain-clothes officers to sit in the front row at Rep. Kevin McCarthy's town hall, The Hill reports. One senior officer discussed an evacuation plan with McCarthy, but the officers' services were not needed (Hooper, 8/28).