Lungren Town Hall Meeting Gets Heated

Congressman takes questions, protesters show up at La Sierra Community Center.

An estimated 350 people, both supporters and detractors, of , R-Gold River, attended what became a heated town hall meeting Wednesday at Carmichael's .

After introducing staff members, Lungren addressed his efforts to counter terror threats against the U.S. since 9/11. For instance, he spoke to security measures related to preventing “lone wolf” attackers and those by Al-Qaeda.

One of the biggest issues over the past eight months in Washington
is the federal budget, Lungren said. He proceeded to lay out his case for reducing federal spending “to bring fiscal sanity back” to Washington.

Lungren defended voting to conditionally raise the federal debt ceiling accompanied by spending cuts. (The debt is the cumulative amount of money that the U.S. has borrowed. The deficit is a
yearly figure of borrowing.)

He analogized his policy for the federal budget to a family. Imagine that a family member uses a credit card without restraint having to cut up the plastic as a way to change spending patterns to bring them in line with income. 

Thus for Lungren, federal budget cuts are necessary to prevent further spending of money that Americans do not have.

“We can’t continue to do that,” he said.

“Just raise taxes on the rich,” audience member Richard Seyman shouted at Lungren. Some cheered his words.

Lungren chided Seyman for being rude. That scolding drew applause from Lungren’s backers.

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.

“That’s concerning for our members, who are asking how that is going to affect them,” Longer said.

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, the private sector is the driving force of Medicare’s budget woes.

Ann Shaw, 72, is a Medicare recipient who lives in Carmichael. She calls for upper-income Americans to pay higher taxes to support Medicare.

preceded Lungren. She praised him for help to secure a $21 million federal grant for the to rehire deputies laid off as a result of county spending cuts.

Earlier Wednesday, the House Majority PAC announced they are running the second-round of a paid advertising offensive on cable television over the August recess against House Republicans including Lungren for what the group says is "their misguided priorities and votes to sell out the middle class." (See the ad above.)

"The American people are disgusted with House Republicans like Representative Dan Lungren for their misguided priorities and votes to throw middle class families under the bus,” Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC said in a released statement. “Whether it’s voting for tax loopholes to keep corporate profits sky high, protecting profits for companies that ship jobs to China, or ending Medicare as we know it, Representative Lungren has plenty to answer for back home this August recess.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee issued a response on the House Majority PAC ads against Lungren.

"With a record of borrowing billions from China and punishing job creators, it’s no surprise Democrats are trying to hide from that record and divert attention from their devastating policies," Tyler Q. Houlton, an NRCC spokesman, said in an emailed statement. "California families want jobs, not longer unemployment lines caused by Washington Democrats' reckless spending agenda.”

Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.


Alan C August 25, 2011 at 07:03 PM
I attended this town hall meeting and I was disappointed in many of the members of my Carmichael community. There were too many rude, angry and disruptive people accusing Congressman Lungren of a myriad of things none of which, in my opinion, are solely within his ability to change. He is one member of a huge congress and as such has limited impact. I attempted to get the microphone to simply say thank you to Congressman Lungren for dedicating a significant part of his life representing the very people that were lambasting him last night. I did not have the opportunity to share my thanks to him but did so in an e-mail late last night. Civility within my community, even in the face of disagreement, has taken a back seat to the popular theme of "I pay your salary, you better do as I say or else". A sad testament to where we are as a community.
MICHAEL MONASKY August 25, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Lungren is part of the problem. He refused to answer Charles Williams' question about creating demand for goods and services from small businesses. Lungren's answer: get private investment. But the US government passes monies to banks and other large corporations. They don't pass this wealth to small businesses. Instead, these corporations and banks create schemes to make quick, financialized profits. When Lungren isn't our congressman, he's shilling as a corporate lawyer.


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