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More Anger At Republican Town Hall

Paul Boger

Republican members of Nevada's Congressional Delegation, Senator Dean Heller and 2nd District Representative Mark Amodei, got an ear-full from voters Monday during a combative town hall event.

Roughly 600 people packed into a conference room at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Monday morning to ask the two lawmakers where they stand on issues like healthcare, immigration and the environment. 

Like many of the recent town halls led by Republican members of congress, a majority of the crowd was not receptive.

Credit Paul Boger
Voters line-up to ask questions at town hall

For nearly two-and-a-half hours yesterday, Amodei and Heller faced a crowd that was often raucous, booing and jeering at many of the lawmaker’s answers. In one exchange, when asked about his support a proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget, many in attendance found Senator Heller's answer wanting. 

"There's no Republican Senator in Washington D.C. that's done more for alternative energy, that being the case we'll take a very close look at the EPA budget and I guarantee you that there will be things in that budget that I don't agree with including the EPA cuts."

But not everyone in attendance was hostile. Rich Parks of Reno is a Republican who voted for both Heller and Amodei. He was disappointed in the crowd’s reaction. 

Credit Paul Boger
Rich Parks of Reno

"I think it was a rigged group of people who had no intention of really listening to what these people had to say. They just came here to b*itch and complain. These guys, it doesn't matter what they would have said. Unless they came up and said I'm denouncing that I'm a Republican. I am taking on a left-wing agenda, [and] I agree whole-heartedly with a left-wing agenda. That's the only thing that would have pleased these people."

But Representative Amodei had a different take on the town hall, thanking everyone in attendance for being respectful. 

"These are going on all over the state and the country and all that other sort of stuff and even though we disagree on some things I want to thank you folks for the way you comported yourself in this and it's like, listen, the conversation needs to continue regardless of who ends up being member of Congress or your senator or your governor or whatever."

This is the second time the two Republicans have faced a combative crowd in as many months. In February, a group of protestors crashed a Carson City Chamber of Commerce luncheon in which both Amodei and Heller were speaking.

Roughly 600 voters await Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei's town hall meeting

Paul Boger is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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