A town hall meeting in Carmichael hosted by (R-Gold River) on Wednesday became a shouting match between some opponents and supporters, perhaps echoing the national tone heading into the November elections.
Carmichael honorary mayor Esteban Nava invited people inside a packed room at to act civil and most in the crowd did, until Lungren walked into the hall. The group turned heated at times, with opponents booing and making catcalls as the congressman spoke and supporters telling them to be quiet.
"Ninety percent of you have been civil while 10 percent of you may think civility is a lost art," said Lungren, who is running against , an Elk Grove Democrat, in November.
Lungren began the town hall meeting by addressing issues he said had been brought up during past town hall meetings, including the war in Afghanistan, Pell grants and the economy.
"It's a fiscal mess in DC," he said. "We're spending $4.1 billion a day that we don't have... we can't continue this way."
Lungren said he supports the budget plan introduced by , calling it "a sensible, straightforward, honest budget...that does not cut education."
The town hall meeting was then opened to questions and comments from the public.
"For those of you who have come to past town halls, I'm totally embarassed that your concerns cannot be answered over the shouting of some people," said Pam Pinkston of the Carmichael, and Fair Oaks Tea Party group. "All you (Lungren opponents) can think about is where your next government entitlement is coming from."
A few speakers questioned Lungren about what they said are his plants to cut Medicare.
"You (politicians) should stop playing politics with our health care," said Joe Mora of Sacramento County. "We need health care."
Wednesday's town hall meeting came after heated gatherings last week in and . More than 80 members of the CREDO SuperPAC, which protested the Elk Grove meeting, were outside Carmichael's event on Wednesday before the meeting.
"(Lungren) is willing to send seniors off a cliff with his plans to cut Medicare," said organizer Mark Hefflinger. "For the good of their grandchildren, California seniors need to send Dan Lungren packing in November."
Lungren ended the meeting by answering questions, as some speakers were left waiting in line and others continued to shout from around the room.
"Some of you think government ought to be bigger," he said. "I believe government should be limited."
After the meeting, people gathered outside, still talking about the tone of the debate.
"I've been to mutliple Dan Lungren meetings... and he's dishonest," said Carmichael resident Anne Shaw, who carried a "Seniors Against Lungren" sign.
William Payne came from the Florin neighborhood in South Sacramento, where he said Lungren has not visited.
"We need jobs and health care," said Payne, who works in construction. "We have to establish jobs in Florin; we're still a part of the community and (Lungren) won't come to our area so there's a lot of frustration."
A Lungren spokesman addressed the congressman's stance on senior issues to Carmichael Patch on Thursday.
"The facts are clear. The Ryan budget makes no cuts to Medicare for anyone currently 55 or older," said Jeff Wyly. "Obamacare on the other hand makes over $700 billion in cuts to Medicare."
Lungren wrote the following on his Twitter feed @RepDanLungren on Thursday: "I enjoyed hearing from my constituents last night in Carmichael- thx (thanks) for coming. That was my 7th town hall this year and 65th since 2005."
Were you at Wednesday's town hall in Carmichael? What did you think of the tone? Do you support Congressman Lungren or Ami Bera? Tell us why in a comment below.