Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon held a Town Hall meeting Thursday afternoon, where a few subjects provoked a yelling match between audience members.
Robert Hawkins, 48, of Valencia, addressed the Congressman, asking about the exploitation of illegal immigrant workers. His question prompted a number of angry responses from the audience, and even moved local resident Rick Cooper to stand up and shout back at Hawkins.
The ensuing argument lasted nearly five minutes, and when McKeon regained control of the meeting he had the two men come to the dais and shake hands.
The Congressman fielded questions from audience members at Santa Clarita City Hall, Palmdale City Hall and Victorville City Hall, who were all connected through cameras and microphones.
The interaction also gave McKeon a chance to introduce a new website, www.americaspeakingout.com, developed by Republicans in Congress to connect Americans to their representatives.
“The goal of America Speaking Out is to reach out to Americans to find out what they’re really thinking instead of just trying to make up our own minds,” said McKeon.
He went on to say that the information collected in the website will give him and other representatives ideas and could lead to the passage of new legislation.
The majority of the questions asked at the hour-long meeting didn’t evoke such strong emotions as Hawkins question did. They included environmental issues associated with the establishment of solar panels in Acton, helping students to afford college, funding for non-governmental organizations to help returning and existing veterans, and help reopening a pool in Palmdale.
McKeon said other representatives from districts across the United States will be holding these types of Town Hall Meetings to promote the America Speaking Out website over the next few weeks.