McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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August 18, 2009

Boren gets the message

Congressman hosts McAlester town hall session

Before U.S. District 2 Rep. Dan Boren finished his opening remarks during a town hall meeting at S. Arch Thompson Auditorium in McAlester this morning, a woman strode up to an open microphone and interrupted him.

“I’m a Democrat,” she said.

“Wait your turn and let him speak!” somebody yelled from the audience, but Boren told the woman to go ahead.

“I work hard,” she said. “ I am now a truck driver. I go all over the Unites States. Things have changed so much, I don’t hardly know the country I grew up in.”

“I don’t like what’s going on in this country,” she said. “Bigger government is not the answer,” she said to loud applause.

The woman apparently voiced the opinions of many of the several hundred people who had poured into the auditorium for the Muskogee Democrat’s first town hall meeting on health care.

Some traveled from as far away as Tulsa, Heavener and Durant to attend the event, with some members of the audience interrupting Boren and each other during the sometimes tumultuous meeting.

Two women standing in line to ask questions started arguing among themselves at one point, with one woman yelling remarks at a man ahead of her “To get to the question” instead of reciting statistics

“Oh shut up,” said the woman be hind her.

“Be quiet,” the other responded.

Before he had been interrupted, Boren said House Bill 3200 is the version of the health care overhaul that he will likely be voting on first.

“I am not voting for that bill,” Boren said to tremendous applause and cheers.

Boren said that he agreed with some provisions of the measure, such as requiring insurance companies to cover colonoscopies, but there are many things he opposes.

“The administration is pushing a lot of things very fast,” Boren said. “What my constituents are saying is ‘Slow it down.”’

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Devin Mitchell

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Brandon Rutledge and Ryan Kelley

Incoming McAlester freshmen Brandon Rutledge, left, and Ryan Kelley, were in June selected to the United States Specialty Sports Association’s Midwest 14-Under All American Team. They’ll compete Friday through Monday at the USSSA All American Games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.

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