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8/23/2009 6:00:00 AM
Overflow crowd packs church for Franks' visit
Congressman field questions on green energy, healthcare during town hall
Kay Murphy, a former preschool teacher, speaks to Congressman Franks as Franks' field representative, Shari Farrington, holds the microphone.

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JC AMBERLYN/Miner Kay Murphy, a former preschool teacher, speaks to Congressman Franks as Franks' field representative, Shari Farrington, holds the microphone. Click here to purchase this image as a print or photo gift

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - More than 920 residents packed into the pews, the balcony and into four classrooms to voice their concerns and ask questions of U.S. Rep. Trent Franks Saturday afternoon at the First Assembly of God Church in Kingman.

Unlike town halls held in other parts of the country, residents at Saturday's event calmly lined up to ask their questions, without yelling or shouting at each other or Franks.

Franks stood for more than three and a half hours answering questions from residents on Obama's birth certificate, the healthcare reform bill, immigration, the census, alternative energy, Social Security and more.

At one point, Franks pointed to a stack of papers, about the size of two very large dictionaries, sitting on a chair near him, his copy of the healthcare reform bill. Republicans had split the bill up into more manageable parts in order to read it, but they still didn't understand everything in it, he said.

One resident asked if the Republicans had an alternative to the Democrats' health care reform bill.

The Republicans were working on three bills that offered alternatives to the Democrats' plan, he said. The Democrats' plan is expected to cost the country more than $1.6 trillion.

Franks said under the Republican plan, residents would receive a voucher or a tax credit that would allow them to purchase their own health insurance and people wouldn't be forced to take a government plan.

The Democrats' plan, as written, would allow residents to chose to keep their current plan, he agreed, but at the same time it creates a gigantic government service that would bankrupt private insurance companies.

"I'll never vote for government run healthcare," Franks said. He wouldn't want his family living under such a plan and he pays 100 percent of the cost of his own healthcare.

The only way to prevent people from getting adequate healthcare is to socialize it, Franks said. "Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty. The poor suffer the worst under socialism."

When asked how he planned to stop the Democrats' plan, Franks said he was working with the Blue Dog Democrats, but that he needed the people to voice their opposition to the plan as well.

Not everyone at the meeting was in favor of Franks and the Republican's plan.

"Rep. Franks, you're part of the same group that during the Bush administration sold us on weapons of mass destruction, tax cuts that led to massive debts and the stripping of American liberties in the name of so called security," said one man. "Right now we have a health industry that works against taking care of its citizens and you're working to maintain that status quo. Why should we trust you now?"

Bush "would be pretty surprised to hear that I was supporting his administration," Franks said. He had supported an alternative to Bush during the election. And the people that made fun of Bush and his focus on nuclear weapons may one day wish he was back, Franks said. "There was a lot that I didn't agree with him about, but he did keep us safe."

"As far as the status quo, I think we should be moving toward a more freedom-oriented system and I think that's what our healthcare bill will do," he said.

Another resident asked if she would be forced against her will to pay for abortions under the proposed health care reform bill.

Abortions were covered under the proposed bill, Franks said. The Republicans were working to remove that and keep a clause that would allow doctors, medical professionals and hospitals opposed to abortion from having to provide the procedure.

"I tried to read that thing," said one woman, pointing to the stack of papers. "It's the biggest fairy tale I've ever read."

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Randy

@ Frank

You said: "I happen to be at the door when a guy driving a pickup truck asked the officer at the door if he could bring his gun in."

And what's the relevance of mentioning that he was driving a pickup truck?

It's the same as if you had said everybody in the crowd was calm and respectful except for a black man!

Translated: you're saying "do we expect anything less from these people?"

Your statement reeks of bigotry and contempt for the common population of this city!

Yet again, another "open minded" Liberal has revealed their ignorance!

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Billy Wharton

As a socialist, I would like to say that Congressman Franks' description of socialism is wrong. Socialism is not "the equal distribution of poverty." Socialism is a system where wealth is socialized - where the necessities of human life including health care become human rights. More importantly, socialism encourages democracy and participation. People will given the chance to participate directly in decisions regarding how money is spent, what programs are emphasized and how their communities are organized. Human rights and democratic participation are the bedrock principles of socialism.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Jinx

Elsie, why didn't you ask the question yourself. Or, are you one of those that sit back and complain, but expect others to do the job you should be doing? [Deleted].

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Al

Mikel, I would still like to know exactly what Mr Franks answer was to the question about Obama's birth certificate. Did he answer the question or just beat around the bush as so many politicans do?

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: @ Tom Joad

Good question!

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Deeply concerned

Never have I experienced so much manufactured fear to begin a "discussion" by showing a 33 minute film and then followed by the encouragement of lies and hate - all done with the blessing of a pastor and in a house of God. It was only civil in no shouting, but that is because any opposition was clearly in a hostile crowd.

I give Franks credit for taking the questions. But the stage was clearly set and manipulated to discourage any real opposition. He only supported the loony lies such as the President's birth certificate, and the abortion issue as part of any current plan plus others. Of course the expression of hate towards "illegals" was encouraged.

And to beat it all, was the encouragement NOT TO COOPERATE with Census beyond what is "legal". Way to go,,, continue to demonize government as taking over your lives. As an elected member of government, when do you take responsability for the violence YOU encourage demonizing our President and those who differ with you?

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Frank

I wonder how many realized there were guns in the hall when the Congressman addressed the crowd. I happen to be at the door when a guy driving a pickup truck asked the officer at the door if he could bring his gun in. It is truely sad when gun advocates believe they have a duty to "protect" by arming themselves at such events. I would have felt safer knowing that the officer who was trained to "serve and protect" was the only one with a fire arm there.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Vicky Hansen

A group of friend and myself attended the town hall meeting with Rep. Franks and were impressed with his down home answers to our pointed questions. I didn't feel we got the "government speak" stock answers. And testament to our good people attitude here in Kingman, there were no disrespectful outbursts, no interruptions to other's who had the floor, and from what we saw, no swastika, gun totting un-Americans in attendance.

In fact I would venture to say that we are very representative of town hall meetings across America. American Patriots attending these meetings concerned about the direction this administration is taking us.

At one point a gentleman asked Mr. Franks if he wanted a promotion in the next couple of years and the crowd of over 900 gave a loud applause!

Kingman is a great example of the fine people who make up America. We ARE concerned with our Seniors, children, education, healthcare and taking care of our earth. But we don't want this government telling us what we have to believe. After all, these elected officials are just that, they were elected by the people to serve the people, and Rep. Franks said that over and over. That WE have the power to make change. It's our strong voices spreading the truth about liberty and our votes on election day that will put America back on the right path.

The tribute to our Veterans of the second world war, our Veterans who served during Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan brought tears to many eyes. The young Patriot who stood up and told us of his experience in Iraq brought home our reason for being there.

I, too have a son serving in Iraq and another son who served in the war in Iraq. My heart swelled to see that young Veteran stand up and praise America and our roll in this world. We only have to look at our Veterans of all wars and say that we will make their sacrifices count. We won't forget them and we thank them for their service to our country. We will do our best to make sure that we, the voters will uphold everything they fought for.

I am just one patriotic citizen who was inspired by that afternoon spent among so many good people of kingman.

As Rep. Franks asked of us, let our voices ring out loud and clear for freedom and liberty.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Jon Holland

Representative Franks has his definition of socialism twisted to justify his unwillingness to recognize that poor people must die or simply be sick without the hope of ever getting adequate medical care that they can afford. They can't afford it! That means that their lives are worth less than the people who have money, disposable income, wealth, whatever you want to call it. Life is not valuable to people who think like that.

Anyone who supports Mr. Franks' position in the health care debate is surely guaranteeing that life is sacred only to those who have money and wealth. If you don't have it, you don't count. Your life is not sacred.

Socialism is the distribution of wealth to promote the general welfare of the people. That's in the preamble of the constitution: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." It is just after "common defence" and before "Blessings of Liberty".

Every goal stated in the preamble is socially directed. To attack socialism in the way that Mr. Franks and rest of his Republican cohorts do, is a disgrace to the Constitution of the United States that they so love to cite and celebrate.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Frank

Unless Congressman Franks has refused to use the government provided health insurance that is offered to all government employees (including congressmen), he does not pay 100% of his health care. We the taxpayers do! Suzanne Adams of the Miner please check into this and report the true facts. Thank you.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Straight talk

All this fuss about socialized health care when no one wants to address the socialism that already exists, medi-care and social security. In a free market and capitalist society, the strong survive and the weak perish. Why should my paycheck and tax dollars pay for those who couldn’t prepare for their future or stay healthy? We don’t need any socialism in our government!

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: mikel weisser

My name is mikel weisser. I am a longtime resident of Mohave County and the partially quoted dissenter 6th paragraphs from the end of this article. While Ms Adams’ article might have done a fine job of crafting campaign literature for Franks’ office, the piece seems to be consciously working to minimize the scarier aspects of the assembly. Of course there weren’t loud right-wing protests against Franks’ stands on healthcare, military spending, or immigration since he is already avidly right-wing. In Adams’ defense over obscuring my question, the only time right-wing disruptors acted up was to loudly boo me when it became obvious I wasn’t there to join in the chorus of hosannas singing Franks praises. It is true I was the only person to speak out against Franks and one of the few protesters standing in the rain prior to the meeting; but both beforehand and afterwards people came to me thanking me for taking a stance. They expressed their fears of their neighbors’ retaliation for speaking up against the dominant party line. Judging from the hate-filled attitudes on display in church that afternoon, they were right to be wary.

Adams’ article was fairly low-key about the ugliness just under the surface. Like the fact that 9, count ‘em, 9 different angry birthers continued hammering away on the Obama birth certificate issue; even though Franks fairly thoroughly addressed the topic with the first questioner. OR, the numerous pleas for Franks to dissolve the first clause of the first amendment separating religion from government, or the repeated calls for Franks to stage a mass deportation of the twelve to twenty million undocumented immigrants in the country, a supposedly simple sounding idea of such an actual staggering scope that would surely lead to a human rights disaster on the scale of anything Mao might have contemplated. Or worse, the fact that such statements were roundly cheered by the fine citizens of Kingman.

In fact the picture chosen for the article was of a woman who was crying because a) there is not enough Christianity shaping our government and b) Obama had had the gall to apologize for American past mistakes. In my book, someone who won’t apologize for their bad behavior is a bully and that’s not what I want for my country.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Tom Joad

"The only way to prevent people from getting adequate healthcare is to socialize it, Franks said."

Wait a second. A large majority of the people attending these town meetings are retirees who benefit from two massive (social) programs - social security and medicare.

Other than the fact that they've been whipped into a frenzy by disinformation, plus have a lot of time on their hands, what exactly is their beef? They're already consuming a huge part of the budget. Why are they even attending? Are they gathering in mass to return their social entitlements (in the name of freedom and choice)?

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: No name provided

Suzanne Adams reported, "Not everyone at the meeting was in favor of Franks and the Republican's plan"

Ms. Adams, How about printing some of the more intelligent, well spoken questions that were asked by the audience to Congressman Trent Franks that don't want Government-run communist style healthcare? Instead, the Kingman Daily Miner would rather report the same old tired democrat talking points.

If that's the case, why don't you reprint part of Hillary Clinton's speech when she adamantly stated Saddam Hussein had "weapons of mass destruction"

I guess that would not fit the major media's template of liberal bias, even in a small town newspaper in Kingman, Arizona. What a shame.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Fixed Income

Has Kingman ever seen such an event??? Obama's house of cards is tumbling down!

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: tired of the lies

What was Mr. Frank's answer to questions about President Obama's birth certificate? If you mention that a question was asked, you should tell us what the answer was. And, if he was born outside the US, how incompetent were the Bush administration, Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, etc. if they couldn't figure it out and protect us from this "so-called" illegal alien. Face it, he's an native-born American.

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: DVS

Great meeting, lots of questions answered, lots still unanswered, but we need to continue voiceing, get involved.....Keep asking and asking until we have answers. Interesting there seemed to be only one Sheeple. Everybody else seems to be of one body.....AGAINST THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION..

Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2009
Article comment by: Elsie

I like to know why didn't the people asked this question to Mr. Franks. If Obama and all you elected officials in Washington think this healthcare bill is so great then why don't all you crooked politicians drop your great healthcare plan and take the Obama plan that he's trying to ram down our throats with?

If Obama and the politicians really want to be leaders then I like to hear them speak of it on t.v. or the media.

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