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Blum draws jeers and some cheers at town hall meeting

May 21, 2017
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

It wasn't "high noon in the old west" at 1st District Congressman Rod Blum's town hall meeting during the noon hour in Marshalltown last Thursday, May 1. The second-term Republican said during his appearance at Marshalltown Community College no one could hear his responses over the uproar at meetings earlier in the week at Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

About 200 were on hand for this event Thursday. All were screened at the door and required to prove by personal identification card they were 1st District Congressional residents.

A Marshalltown police officer watched over the sign up where those attending registered and could put their name in for a chance to ask questions of Blum.

Article Photos

Marcia Kupka, rural Clutier, pleads her case for the impeachment of President Trump to 1st District U.S. Congressman Rod Blum during a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 11, on the Marshalltown Community?College campus. Blum fielded questions from constituents for about an hour. An aide to Blum is at center.
Chronicle photos/John Speer

Inside the Babe Harder Gym two more officers and Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper were stationed and an officer was stationed outside the building in a marked patrol vehicle.

The hand-out of green and red sheets of paper for attendees to hold up to indicate approval or disapproval may have helped. That's not to say their weren't times some members of the crowd weren't vocal. And the Congressman even turned tables and taunted them a couple of times by telling them to "hold up their red cards, but what I'm telling you are the facts."

Marcia Kupka, rural Clutier, kicked off the question and answer session with a call for Trump's impeachment.

She asked why President Clinton had been impeached over an incident involving a sex act (Kupka was more explicit but this is a family newspaper) and why Trump has not been impeached.

He also heard repeated calls for an "independent investigation" of President Trump's campaign possible involvement with Russia.

Blum replied four congressional investigations are currently underway and "So far, there's no evidence of Trump campaign knowledge" of the Russian attempt at influence.

This answer brought on a bevy of negative audience responses.

Blum received one his most positive crowd reactions in opening comments when he said he was continuing to carry out his campaign pledge to "drain the swamp in Washington D.C." He ticked off changes he continues to advocate for including term limits for congressmen, elimination of lifetime federal pensions for them and a "pay cut" for Congress.

Toledo resident Cathy Cook expressed her concerns about the health care issue with Blum's recent vote in favor of a health care plan to replace Obamacare brought a loud negative response.

He contended Iowans would be without insurance coverage next year because carriers are pulling out if the bill was not passed. He claimed the new measure only changed the Obamacare provisions by 10 percent.

Moe McWhitter, Traer, questioned Blum about Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Blum said "The EPA is an out-of-control federal agency." He pointed ot the current classification of the State of iowa being "98 percent a waterway" by the EPA.

Also during the session, retired South Tama High School teacher Gary Zmolek, Marshalltown, called for more action and regulation on fossil fuels.



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