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More Protesters at Barletta Town Halls

By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer

Rep. Lou Barletta’s town hall hiatus is over, and protesters are at it again.  Here’s a bit of the coverage of a raucous Monday meeting in Barletta’s home base in Hazleton.

Over the spring and summer, disruptive attendees at town hall meetings prompted Barletta (R-Luzerne) to trim his public schedule.

On Monday, Hazleton’s Standard Speaker reported that Barletta was met by a handful of passionate protesters at a public meeting at Hazleton City Hall, which marked the fifth stop of Barletta’s “Home to House” town hall tour.

Monday’s protests in Hazleton showed that Barletta’s protesters are not letting up.  They are hammering the congressman for his positions on Social Security, jobs and trade agreements.  The Standard Speaker reported that a police officer had to tell an individual to stop yelling from the seats.

Several attendees brought video cameras, including the Pennsylvania Democratic Party which posted a clip of the meeting on YouTube, featuring a protester repeatedly called Barletta a liar during his discussion of jobs and the economy.

In his meeting he mainly focused on what he and other lawmakers have planned to address issues unemployment, the housing crisis and the national debt.

Reported the Standard Speaker:

“‘It’s really not that difficult,’ he said. ‘If we put money back into your pocket, you spend it and it creates demand. In the last 64 years, small business drove the economy. We’ve got to make sure we’re helping them – not getting in the way. When we energize entrepreneurship, that’s when innovation happens.’”

Barletta’s communications director Sean Kelly told Politico that protesters have come to every one of the five town hall meetings the congressman has held since taking office. “The congressman tried to answer a lot of the questions, but there were a number of hecklers in the back,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, hecklers have been disrupting Barletta’s town hall meetings ever since he took office in January, making it nearly impossible to get anything done.

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