LaMalfa Challenged at Redding Town Hall

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Congressman Doug LaMalfa was one of the brave GOP representatives who returned to their districts during recess to engage with their constituents.

He held a town hall meeting at the MacLaughlin Auditorium at Sequoia Middle School from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. By the time the doors opened hundreds of his constituents had gathered outside. Some had signs protesting Trump’s policies and many came prepared with sheets of red and green paper to communicate agreement and dissent during the meeting. The Guardian Angels in red satin jackets and berets provided a reassuring peaceful presence outside.

Show of agreement with a commenter as LaMalfa looks on.

Show of agreement with a commenter as LaMalfa looks on.

The atmosphere was calm and people of all ages began to file in as soon as the doors were opened.

Once the auditorium was filled to capacity with approximately 600 people, the Congressman’s aids instructed all those who wanted to be heard to form a “question” or a “comment” line on either side of the auditorium. LaMalfa crossed back and forth, alternating between taking a question and answering it on one side and hearing two comments on the other. Questions, answers, and comments were limited to one minute.

The meeting began calmly, with questions and comments followed by applause or raising of the signs. It became evident very early on that the majority of those present were dissatisfied with Trump’s and LaMalfa’s agenda. The atmosphere became charged when more challenging questions began to be asked. When presented with scientific facts on climate change, Rep. LaMalfa said that he doesn’t want to “hamstring the U.S. economy”. He further claimed that “human activity is a tiny part of it” and that “we see manipulations by federal agencies on what the actual climate temperatures are”, causing the crowd to erupt in booing.

Throughout the meeting Rep. LaMalfa seemed flustered as voices of dissent insisted. While most people were respectful, using signs during talking points and only vocalizing disagreement intermittently, there were a small number who yelled out “you lie” and “you work for us” constantly.

The issues mentioned most were healthcare (ACA, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security), the environment (EPA, climate change, public lands), and concerns regarding government and ethics in the Trump administration. Other topics included minority rights, immigration, the economy, veteran affairs, and military intervention. The comments and questions were overwhelmingly critical of LaMalfa’s positions and the Trump agenda (46 expressing disapproval, six in approval, and three neutral).

Rep. LaMalfa answered most questions briefly, eliciting strong reactions when discussing the ACA. The audience, who were repeatedly asking for a single payer system and kept sharing how they have benefited from the current system, jeered at the proposal of replacing cost-sharing subsidies for the ACA with refundable tax credits for those on the lower end of the income scale.

LaMalfa was also booed when, asked whether he would supported tax reform without President Trump releasing his tax returns, he replied that the answer was an “easy yes”. He added that he believed the President deserves privacy and should not release his tax returns at all.

Rep. LaMalfa got a break from the crowd when he said that he sympathizes with Dreamers, who have never known another country.

Emotion peaked when Alice Rogers of Mount Shasta took the microphone.

“We see our rights and protections being ripped away” she said, and went on “We are seeing uniquely unqualified and frankly criminal and bigoted people being put in power. And we see you voting 100% lockstep with this administration.” In the midst of cheering, she continued: “You brag of getting rid of job-killing regulations, but that is code to give corporations the freedom to do whatever they want. You vote to let companies sell our private information to the highest bidder, and then you say you want to protect Trump’s privacy”. She drew­ a long applause and the only standing ovation of the evening.

After an hour and a half, the meeting came to an end, to the disappointment of many who were still waiting in line for comments and questions.

Antonia Walker studied illustration and anthropology at The New School in New York. She worked as a professional illustrator before dedicating herself to painting. She is a realist painter and has shown her work in the United States and Spain. A series of grants and residencies took her to Spain for two years where she learned Spanish, and then back to New York where she began an artistic collaboration with artist Thalia Chantziara. Antonia loves nature and cooking and is passionate about domestic politics and women’s rights. She is currently living in Redding.

Thalia Chantziara is an artist currently living in Redding, CA. Her work has been exhibited in New York City and across the United States. Lately she has spent extensive time painting on grants and residencies. She is actively interested in domestic politics related to equality and justice and occasionally illustrates graphic op-eds. She holds a B.A. in Linguistics from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in Finance from the University of Piraeus and has studied art at Grand Central Academy and Janus Collaborative in New York.

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42 Responses

  1. cheyenne says:

    I have to say Representative LaMalfa shows more courage than our Wyoming reps as here in Wyoming the town hall meetings had cardboard cutouts to complain to.  But then, here in Trump country, our representatives don’t have to worry about reelections.

  2. denise says:

    I am proud of Mr. LaMalfa as well. And while to some it seems a bit uncivilized to yell, I hope overall the message is heard: a growing number in region 1 is THAT unhappy.

    Ms. Rogers just might be my new queen. I am fiscally conservative and work in a highly regulatory realm; trust me that most of the regs are pulling us very far from the goal. But in business, we have to find that sweet spot where we’re not growing the ogliarchy.

     

    It was a great Town Hall. Please listen, Mr. LaMalfa.

  3. Larry Winter says:

    ““we see manipulations by federal agencies on what the actual climate temperatures are”, causing the crowd to erupt in booing.”

    I would have booed also.  Nothing like a Representative spouting Fake News.

    https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060049630

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      It drives me nuts that Americans are so science-illiterate, because it makes us vulnerable to politicians saying whatever nonsense they want about issues like anthropogenic climate change, and huge numbers of people buy that it’s still an open question, or even disproved.

      The phrase “actual climate temperatures” is complete gibberish.  Just junk-speak, devoid of meaning.  Mean global temperature?  Yeah.  Actual climate temperatures?  Gibberish.

      Note also this strategy of the politician/deniers:  Any debate among climate scientists over any issue, no matter how small and tangential, is presented as evidence that anthropogenic climate change is still being hotly debated.  It’s like saying, “We don’t know exactly what makes up the core of the planet we live on—we have only theories and indirect evidence—so the existence of the core of the planet is still being debated.  It’s an open question.  For all we know, it’s hollow, or filled with chocolate pudding.  In fact, who knows if the planet even exists as a sphere?  Maybe it’s as flat as a pancake.”

      • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

        Sounds to me like La Malfa butchered one of the real debates that is going on n climate science, which thermometers to trust, the ones on the ground or the satellites, which is a debate between scientists, some of whom are federally funded, some of whom are not. This debate exists, and if you happen to believe the satellites give a more accurate picture (because they don’t make a strong argument for warming) you’re automatically cast into the “climate denier” camp, with holocaust overtones fully intended by an “objective” MSM that has embraced the term in common usage. That ain’t science. It’s propaganda.

        Far more interesting to me is the argument made by economist Bjorn Lomborg, which examines various Climate Change schemes such as carbon trading for their “bang for the buck” the buck being reduction of CO2 over 100 years. The effects are so minimal, statistically we could do nothing at all and wind up in the same place. I don’t know much about California’s carbon trading market, by I do recall seeing a list of the players in it, Goldman Sachs et al. Vampire squids.

        La Malfa showed his true self waffling on immigration. He’s a died-in-the-wool establishment Republican and no Trumpster.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I don’t know where you’re reading up on the land- vs satellite-thermometer “debate,” but it’s not the same secondary sources I read.  This article shows that there is a difference—and the satellite data show a lesser increase—but both show a similar long-term trend, with a greater divergence in the short-term.  I am happily unaware of anyone saying that if you believe satellite data are more accurate, you’re automatically a climate-change denier, or worse.

          There was a similar methodological debate about 25 years ago regarding land-based thermometers.  Some people wanted to throw out all the data generated in “heat sinks” such as urban airports, arguing that they create their own weather.  That debate was resolved statistically by correcting for the effects of heat sinks, so that long-term trends could still be studied.

          I’m a Lomborg fan. Among those who say that efforts to curb climate change may be misguided, he’s one of the few who isn’t a braying jackass of a politician—rather, someone who presents serious arguments about whether it’s worth it to attempt to stop Antarctica from melting.  And he’s from Denmark, so he has skin in the game.  His arguments are at least worthy of consideration, and he acknowledges that anthropogenic global warming is not a mirage, but rather the cause of all the fuss.

          I take from your Goldman Sachs “vampire squids” comment that you read Matt Tiabbi. One of my favorites!  I freely acknowledge Tiabbi as an influence, at least when I can get away with being similarly rude.

          • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

            These guys have been pushing against what they say is academic bias toward any researcher who goes against the grain.

            I originally came to that sight through Instapundit, who also pushes the same line.

            Tiabbi ain’t been the same since the Vampire Squid article.

          • Richard Christoph says:

            Steve and R.V.,

            It’s “Taibbi”

  4. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    It’s likely that LaMalfa knew he was in for a large dose of negative blowback given what he encountered recently in Oroville and Nevada City town hall meetings.  Give him credit for showing up and taking some sharp darts. Kudos also to his local constituents for not lighting him up and pissing him out.

    My expectations?  LaMalfa will continue to be Trump’s loyal rubber stamp, and District 1 will continue to be a safe district—LaMalfa’s gum’mint-job-for-life for as long as he wants it. I doubt North State voters have it in them to throw a revolution at the ballot box.

    • cheyenne says:

      There are two reasons LaMalfa will keep his job.

      !-When I worked at the school district in Redding at election time I would man phones for CSEA democratic candidates.  One year I was calling to promote a Democrat for state education secretary.  I had a list of classified school employees that I called.  The Republican candidate said if elected he would do away with classified employees and privatize.  Some people I called refused to vote for a Democrat even though the Republican was going to take their job.

      2-The Democratic party has forsaken the rural areas, witness the results of this last election.  Once when I attended the Labor Day picnic at Anderson River Park I talked to a man from Cottonwood who was running against Herger.  He said he chose to run because there were no other candidates who opposed Herger.  He said that when he contacted the DNC for help and funds they gave him nothing but an excuse that they were more needed in other areas.  If the DNC is not interested in replacing LaMalfa what chance do the District 1 locals have?

    • Rod says:

      I can’t wait for Ann Coulter to visit us here in Shasta.  Talk about a rowdy bunch.

  5. Lori says:

    I tried to follow this event on FB live but the shouting down made it very difficult to hear the Congressman’s response.  I had hopes that the crowd would be better behaved so the discourse could be more meaningful.

    Thank you for covering the event.

  6. Frank Treadway says:

    Of the some 585 attendees, it was obvious that the vast majority, from Tehama, Lassen, Siskiyou, Nevada, Butte and Shasta County ,were there to hear our representative speak the truth that we all live here in CD1.  And that is how our lives are spiraling economically out of control.  Unless you are in the 1 percent and pulling in over $150,000. p/yr., you just have a very difficult time making it.  With Social Security giving folks a 3 percent raise and then Medicare and our local utilities taking it away, we face a deficit each month. LaMalfa just doesn’t get it, he’s lost touch with the average voter, the average family.  Yes, at the moment we may be outnumbered voter registration-wise, but there’s enough persons of all party affiliations that can retire him in 2018, if the turnout at his three TownHall meetings are a sign of things to come.

  7. sue k says:

    Thank you for this good report, Antonia and Thalia.

    I feel you summarized it very well.

  8. Rod says:

    What a beautiful day outdoors.

    I’ll be cruising quickly out to Manton and lunch, up Wilson Hill, down Ponderosa Way and wind up in Shasta Lake City.  Today is 420, life is great and I can’t let you folks forget it.

     

  9. Robert Stone says:

    After decades of liberal policies, deficit increases, unanswered questions about administrative departments gone “wild” and agenda’s pushed to really steal our freedoms away one would think a new direction would be a welcome change.  It appears that District 1 has it’s share of mind’s who cannot “drop the bone” and let the reason Trump was elected materialize.  The fear?  That he may be right putting previous “directors” at odds with history.  I am very proud of LaMalfa standing up to the dissenters whose arguments are always the same issues that are the gigantic cans of worms: ACA, Climate Change and Corporate Greed.  History shows us that the song remains the same and always will.  Some people will never be happy with leadership, but to riot (as in Berkeley) and rant (as in Oroville and Redding) when leadership is less than 100 days old tells me there is something in the air that has nothing to do with whether or not man is creating or solving the problems of America.

  10. Robie Rich, MA says:

    I too still have been waiting to ask about the status of and where Mr. LaMalfa lies on the WEP/GPO repeal.  I have been a faithful constituent, but I am unable to survive on what I get from Social Security.  After having worked 45 years of my life in public and private sectors, I am only allowed to receive 245 dollars per month; ludicrous.

  11. Duke K. says:

    Points for Mr. La Malfa:

    1.  he showed up.

    2. he answered the audience’s questions.

    3.  he supports his party’s line.

    Points against Mr. La Malfa:

    1.  he supports his party’s line.

    2.  he accepts and votes for government subsidies to rich farmers.

    3.  he denies scientific findings that are contrary to big business interests.

    4.  he works against the healthcare plans that benefit his constituents, while accepting government paid healthcare for his family.

    5.   Every vote he casts in favor of “the 1%” is contrary to the best interests of the country and his constituents.

    The bottom line:

    He’ll get reelected with another 60% of the vote, because the national Democratic party has written off his district, and it has also failed to serve “the 99%” of the people who are not members of “Citizens United”.

     

    • Joshua Brown says:

      I don’t think he’ll get reelected, I’ve never seen so much liberal activism in this district. As a liberal, that makes me thrilled. Voter turnout in our last congressional election was pretty low.

  12. KATHLEEN RAVEN SURBAUGH says:

    Kudos to those who turned out, spoke up.

  13. Joshua Brown says:

    Hello I’m Joshua Brown, I’m 13 years old. I was at Doug LaMalfa’s Redding town hall last night. He is such a hypocrite. He took 3 comments for 1 question. When I was approaching the front of the line for the questions, he called the town hall off 30 minutes early. That makes him a coward.

    I’ve been working to get him to do this for four months with his very rude assistant, Erin Marie Ryan. You know what else? I had been waiting to ask a question since 2:30 in the afternoon. I was standing for HOURS!!!!! I was in pain afterwards and didn’t even get to ask a question!!!

    • Thalia Chantziara says:

      What was your question? Post it here. Also, LaMalfa is on a local radio show once a month; you can try him there.

      • Joshua Brown says:

        Great, my questions were:

        1) When Obama wanted to attack Syria a few years ago, you were against it. Why did you support Trump when he just attacked Syria?

        2) Was the Syria attack an attempt to distract the media from Trump’s Russia allegations?

        3) Is Trump not releasing his tax returns because of his Russia allegations?

         

        If I had to choose one, I would pick question number 1…

    • Kim says:

      I think you calling Congressman coward is not a nice thing to say. And too make correction. 2 comments an 1 question to have giving answer is fairness. And everything has cut off time. It happened your turn. That is what I called disappointed.Not Coward!

  14. Hello everyone. My name is Steven Pearce and I was at last night’s event. I am the American Muslim that spoke up. I commend Rep. LaMalfa for coming and listening to us. I have an expertise in Sustainability Management and Rep. LaMalfa seems to not understand that companies can become more profitible by becoming Sustainable.

  15. Kim says:

    So many blame congressman Doug LaMalfa for everything. Well lots of problem is their own problem they need to take care of themselves. For example they only getting so much of Soctal Security is not a congressman’s problem. You put in more you get more. That’s that!

    • cheyenne says:

      So true.  I put in 7 1/5 of my wages to SS.  I also put in 7 1/5 of my wages to CALPERS.  Also I, my wife and I, put into IRA’s, hers matures in four years when she turns 70.  Putting away around 20% of wages is a tough nut to cut but now I see the results.  Though I did have to leave high tax California, like many others, and move to a more tax friendly state.

    • Lisa says:

      Social Security is a fixed contribution, you don’t have the option to put in more of your income. Congress does have the option to increase payments based on cost of living increases. Social Security payments have not kept up with the cost of living for a long time.

  16. Steve Murray says:

    Very nice article. I enjoyed reading it. I have been sending LaMalfa emails frequently, letting him know how unhappy I am with his, and his presidents  performance. I expect him to remain in office forever because we do live in what I call Northern Missibamiana.

  17. Larry Winter says:

    Here’s ex Record Searchlight and current Capital Press reporter, Tim Hearden’s take on the reporting of the LaMalfa townhall meeting.

    “But for local media to cover a meeting and not mention the group that dominated the meeting is an oversight at best. Their organizing efforts before the meeting couldn’t be missed as you were entering the theater, and you got a sense for just how numerous they were when they all shouted “Indivisible!” during the Pledge of Allegiance.”

    I don’t think it’s completely valid since the Record Searchlight did report the training that Thalia Chantziara conducted before the meeting occurred and Mr. Hearden ignored, concentrating his focus on a group in Mt. Shasta and their supposed national connections. 

    http://timhearden.blogspot.com/2017/04/introducing-indivisible-shasta-group.html?spref=fb

    But he’s right about post-meeting coverage.  There is no mention, that I’ve seen, of any organized protest group and how coordinated they were during the meeting.

  18. KATHLEEN RAVEN SURBAUGH says:

    So, how did this bugger vote?

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