Republican Rep. Tom McClintock faced a crowd of more than 400 at the Mariposa Fairgrounds last week as he hosted his first town hall since he was escorted out of a raucous meeting in Roseville earlier last month.
While the audience was vocal, with cheers and boos from both political sides as McClintock responded to each question, the meeting remained largely peaceful – apart from four vehicles getting their tires slashed outside.
California Highway Patrol Lt. Becky Hagen said authorities were looking for the suspect, or suspects, and that all four vehicles were owned by residents of Mariposa County. After McClintock’s town hall Feb. 21, CHP Officer Adrian Perez said there was no evidence of a tie between the victims, their vehicles, or whoever vandalized them.
More than a dozen CHP officers and Mariposa County Sheriff’s deputies were at the meeting where some attendees carried signs, including ones that read: “Dump Tom McTrump,” “Health care for all,” “Tax the 1%” and “Jan. 20, 2017, the end of an error” with Barack Obama’s campaign image.
Questions ranged from McClintock’s support of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, as promised by the Republican party and President Donald Trump, to his stance on climate change.
“I want to know what this administration is doing to combat global warming so my generation will have a planet to call home,” a young boy asked to the loudest cheers of the night.
“My position is pretty simple, and that is climate change has been going on now for 4 billion years,” McClintock responded to loud boos from critics. “The planet has been warming on and off since the last ice age, and whether or not we wreck our economy with regulations, the Earth is going to continue to warm and cool as it has for the past 4 billion years.”
Though the crowd appeared to be mostly critical of McClintock and Trump, supporters also cheered loudly as he reiterated his stances largely along conservative lines over issues such as illegal immigration and private education.
One area where McClintock disagreed with Trump was on the media. When asked by a Coarsegold resident whether the New York Times, CNN and other news sources were the enemy of the country as claimed by the president, McClintock said he felt they had a tendency to be biased, nothing more.
McClintock, who lives in Elk Grove and represents a congressional district cutting across 10 counties from Alpine to Fresno, also thanked the crowd, on both sides, for attending his meeting and voicing their concerns.
“The one thing we see whenever there are great issues afoot is that American civilization comes alive,” McClintock said. “Provided we talk with each other and not shout at each other. In that spirit, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you for coming out today.”
Facing a raucous crowd of about 200 in Roseville on Feb. 4, McClintock defended his party’s national agenda and voiced strong support for Trump’s actions. When he left that town hall meeting, he was escorted by police as he waded through a thick crowd of protesters who trailed him, shouting, “This is what Democracy looks like.”