Heated discussion best summarizes the two-hour town hall meeting held by US Rep. Doug LaMalfa Monday evening.
There was a lot of talk and plenty of shouting but little meeting of the minds as the Republican congressman faced a hostile crowd at a town hall meeting at the historic State Theatre in Oroville.
There were few empty seats in the 600-seat venue when the event got underway, and the discord was nearly immediate. Audience members loudly booed when LaMalfa invited a religious leader to lead a prayer.
The division set the tone for an evening of discord and interruption.
When LaMalfa attempted to explain the Republican health reform initiative, his voice could barely be heard over a disapproving roar from the crowd.
One speaker warned that LaMalfa’s rural constituents have the most to lose in a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
LaMalfa, who assumes a combative posture on social media, is typically more genteel in person. Perhaps frustrated, he briefly walked off stage, returning after about 10 seconds. He soon admonished the crowd: “You know people, self-control!”
The Korean nuclear crisis and President Trump’s tax returns were also mentioned. LaMalfa dismissed a remark calling him out for ignoring climate science and the human contribution to it.
“I agree, climate change occurs all the time,” he said.
Shortly thereafter, Cathy Kokoletsos of Oroville admonished the congressman.
“Now, you seem to be ignorant of the global climate change problem, and what is causing it. You were very smug a few seconds ago or a few minutes ago about, ‘Oh, it changes all the time.’ That’s B.S.! You need to go take a lesson and learn,” she said.
Audience members also challenged the congressman, asking him not to follow President Trump in lock-step and urged that irrigation districts, not taxpayers, pay the bill to repair Oroville Dam.
Another town hall meeting is set for Wednesday evening in Redding at Sequoia Middle School. It is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Listen to the full Town Hall audio below.