(Neb)-"Nebraska Nice" Shines As Largely Liberal Crowd Meets With Adrian Smith Listen
CHADRON - 3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith brought his series of Mobile Office town hall sessions to Chadron today and was greeted by a crowd of about 50 people, most of on the opposite side of the political spectrum from the conservative Republican.
Smith said afterward that he wasn't necessarily expecting that type of audience, but wasn't surprised because Nebraskans hold many different opinions.
In other parts of the country, such meetings in recent weeks have been at best rancorous but the Chadron audience lived up to the Nebraska Nice moniker...with nearly everyone who spoke thanking Smith for coming and listening.
About the only time decorum threatened to break down, it wasn't directed at Smith but rather at an audience member who supported increased military spending and said that if he were 20 again, he'd enlist again...but not if Hillary Clinton had become president.
At other times, the congressman had to work hard playing traffic cop with audience members anxious to ask questions or make statements talking over the top of each...forcing Smith to quiet things down and point to specific individuals, trying to let everyone have a chance to be heard.
Topics of questions included climate change, the Keystone XL pipeline, health care, veterans services, threats to the EPA and federal education department, highways, trails, and bills to limit such things as class action lawsuits.
Although he answered all questions, most of Smith's answers were that he hasn't taken positions yet on specific bill or issues and wanted to study the language and supporting information in depth. As for the positions and requests he heard from the audience, Smith says he appreciates them all.
One of the last speakers asked Smith to take a message to U-S Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse: not everyone taking part in rallies and protests against such things as the Keystone XL is a "paid, out-of-state activist."
She said it was "so frustrating" to hear such accusations from politicians who weren't there when so many of those taking part in a protest were her friends and neighbors...and she thanked Smith for not being one of those making such claims.
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