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Protesting at town halls is an act of “political terrorism”

Democratic Rep. Barron Hill says speaking your mind is an act of “political terrorism”

Louisville Courier Journal
August 12, 2009

Jeering protesters, unruly crowds and even arrests for disorderly conduct.

Throughout the nation, Democratic town hall meetings on health care have made for a lively congressional recess — and Kentucky and Indiana Democrats are concerned that they could be next in the line of fire.

Rep. Ben Chandler, D-6th District, has scheduled no public meetings on the issue, citing concerns about the shout-fests that have greeted other lawmakers.

Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth, of Kentucky’s 3rd District, and Baron Hill, of Indiana’s 9th, are using more limited forums to discuss health care, although Yarmuth plans a face-to-face town hall during the first week of September.

[…]

Hill, a member of conservative Democratic “Blue Dogs” on Capitol Hill, was among a small group who forced some concessions in the House version of health care legislation approved last month by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

He has been speaking to hospital groups, local chambers of commerce and civic clubs and appeared Tuesday before the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. He said he plans to hold small town halls that he can control, though his office still was working out details.

“I don’t mind people disagreeing with you, but just to blow up a meeting is an act of political terrorism,” he said in an interview.

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