State Senator and Gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner (R-York) canceled a Senate Local Government Committee hearing in Philadelphia about the soda tax after protesters drowned out the proceedings.
According to Billy Penn, the pro-soda tax protesters filled the hearing room in Philadelphia City Hall with the sound of vuvuzelas and chants making it impossible for the committee to hear the testimony. It was so loud that reporters had to be pulled into a separate room to be told the hearing was being postponed.
“We can’t even announce we’re canceling the meeting,” Wagner told reporters at the event.
The hearing scheduled to hear testimony from anti-soda tax groups according to reports.
While most of the protesters were held signs about the soda tax, some targeted Wagner specifically. One sign read “Wingnut Wagner is not welcome” according to Billy Penn. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Wagner spoke with one protester who was holding a sign that said “Haul that trash back to York.”
The Inquirer reports indicated that while sometimes frustrated, Wagner was polite with the protesters. This is a shift from the exchange Wagner had with a tracker in York. Wagner took the tracker’s camera in a heated exchange and accused the tracker of trespassing to film the event. In the end, the Attorney General’s Office decided not to file any charges against either Wagner or the tracker.
Wagner said that he is planning to reschedule the hearing in Harrisburg, and limit the number of people allowed in the room to credentialed observers and the testifiers.