OROVILLE (CBS13) — The boos and shouts of displeasure started during the introduction of Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) at his town hall meeting in Oroville.
For nearly two hours, the crowd at the State Theater shouted down responses by the congressman.
“I’m appalled,” said Linda Agee, a LaMalfa supporter.
“It’s very enlightening and disturbing to experience this first hand,” said Denise Culley, who was attending her first town hall event.
The Oroville Dam and spillway was brought up just once. One man asked a question about why nothing was done sooner to the emergency spillway. LaMalfa’s answer was cut short by the crowd.
“Had we not had the main spillway problem, we wouldn’t even be talking about the emergency spillway. So yeah, something should have been done to have the concrete anchored below,” said LaMalfa.
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But the disruptions and yelling continued.
“Do you yell at church?” LaMalfa asked the crowd at one point. That comment was met with intense booing and shouts of “Do you lie in church?”
After fielding several questions and hearing comments on a range of issues, LaMalfa moved on to healthcare where he struggled through a PowerPoint presentation. His narration was hard to follow as shouts continued from the crowd.
At one point. the congressman walked off stage, returning a few moments later to finish his presentation amidst the noise.
“You can disagree, but you can be decent to each other,” said Agee.
Many supporters left upset, while others say it was more of the same rhetoric from LaMalfa.
“He really didn’t care what everyone thought. He had a closed mind,” said Culley.
As the crowd yelled through each response. A 16-year-old high school student offered his perspective.
“I think the immaturity is astounding,” said Greyson Reynolds.
Reynolds is an Oroville High School junior. He says he was at Monday’s meeting to thank LaMalfa for holding a similar Q & A at his high school. The atmosphere according to Reynolds was much different.
“Night and day. It’s hard to believe that these people are grown adults and those people, the people at my high school are children. You’d think it was the opposite,” said Reynolds.
LaMalfa is holding another town hall at Sequoia Middle School in Redding on Wednesday at 5:30pm. He’ll be heading back to Washington early next week.