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McKeon reprehensible at town hall

Posted: October 3, 2009 4:16 p.m.
Updated: October 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Howard P. "Buck" McKeon,

I have visited your Santa Clarita Office twice in the last few years. On both occasions your staff was courteous and attentive.

I was impressed and appreciated their graciousness.

This morning (Sept. 26) I attended your health care town hall at College of the Canyons. Most of the audience was respectful and well-behaved.

I did not agree with every speaker, but I realize people came because they are passionate about their positions on health care reform.

I applaud them for coming out and exercising their First Amendment right to free speech. I appreciate that you, Rep. McKeon, provided the time and place for your constituents to do so.

But it was your behavior, representative, that greatly disturbed me.

When you reconvened the meeting after a break, one speaker stated a position closely aligned with yours and ended his comment by saying something like, "Tell them they lie."

In response you said, "You mean like Joe Wilson did?" And you pumped your fist in the air. Then you grinned and said, "Joe Wilson is a good friend of mine!"

Your fist-pump gesture expressed your approval of the reprehensible behavior exhibited by Rep. Joe Wilson R-S.C., when the president addressed a joint session of Congress.

Like Wilson's behavior, your behavior was tasteless, totally lacking in respect and decorum.

Pumping a fist in the air is a gesture that has become popular at sporting events.

A fist-pump by a member of Congress conducting a town hall with his invited constituents is completely unacceptable.

Does it mean anything to you that the House of Representatives, the body of Congress of which you are a member, passed a resolution on Sept. 15 reprimanding Rep. Wilson?

The resolution states that the House "disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina."

You made it evident at the town hall that you condone Wilson's behavior. Your conduct was an example of the far-too-frequent lack of civility in our society today.

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