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McClintock supporters pack Auburn town-hall meeting

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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A heavily pro-Tom McClintock crowd packed an Auburn meeting room Thursday for a town -all meeting organized by the District 4 congressman. McClintock, R-Roseville, held a similar meeting Tuesday in Rocklin and participants encountered protesters outside the hall. The same was true in Auburn, with protesters holding signs aloft inside and out calling on McClintock to oppose oil subsidies, keep away from embracing the Tea Party and support healthcare reform. Despite the signs, McClintock was not in hostile territory and received a warm and loud round of applause from most of the 270 people in attendance before the 1½-hour question-and-answer session. McClintock, a longtime state legislator, succeeded veteran congressman John Doolittle three years ago in Congress, winning a close election against Democrat Charlie Brown. Unlike Doolittle, who rarely held public meetings, McClintock has regularly held similar sessions throughout his district since being elected. McClintock fielded questions on issues ranging from jobs (He’s for fewer governmental regulations to spur job growth in industry, particularly domestic oil production), to immigration (McClintock criticized both ex-President George Bush and President Barack Obama for what he described as undermining the process of legal immigration by opening U.S. borders). The congressman’s message to a supportive audience was that some change had taken place in the last election, with new Republican representatives signaling concerns of citizens about the deficit and government control. That change should continue in the election of 2012, with an opportunity to vote for an increasing shift in power away from policies that are increasing government debt and stifling the economy, he said. “The good news is that our country hasn’t been struck down by acts of God,” McClintock said. “These are all acts of government and we have the capacity to change that.” McClintock said attendance like Thursday’s at a meeting that would have attracted perhaps 20 or 30 people several years ago was indicative of a new engagement by Americans in the political process that has occurred in the past in times of crisis. Auburn’s Larry Adair said he was at the town hall meeting because McClintock is one of his heroes. “I think he does a great job and has a good constitutional background,” Adair said. “He has a good handle on the economics of government and doesn’t bring a whole lot of money back to the district – and that’s fine with me.” Mac Farrell, of Sacramento, was one of a group of people who protested outside the meeting. With the statewide organization Environment California, Farrell said he was at the event to protest McClintock’s votes for oil subsidies. Farrell said he would like McClintock to push for taxing oil companies while encouraging alternative energy sources. Bryan Flores of Auburn said he also was at the meeting to show support for McClintock. “He voted against the debt increase and the super committee (on cost cutting) and he’s one of the nine or 10 suing the president over Libya,” Flores said. Wayne Mooneyham of Auburn said he didn’t get answers on a question about a state bill that could help keep the business Waste Management from leaving California for Texas but was satisfied with how McClintock answered other questions at the meeting.