(UPDATED 11 p.m. Thursday: Several hundred people turned out at an emergency health care town hall designed to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) while he was in the district for congressional recess. However, despite staging a surprise morning appearance to meet with Indivisible protestors with his own supporters in tow, Issa was nowhere to be found on an even playing field.)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-49th District) showed up at a town hall meeting Tuesday.
Just not the one to which he was invited.
Video shot 6 p.m. at emergency town hall meeting by Nanci Bjorklund Oechsle. No Issa in sight.
Seemingly an impromptu gesture, Issa surprised about 75 protesters outside his Vista office around 10 a.m..
This was the fourth week in a row an Indivisible North County group showed up at the office to protest Issa’s position on affordable health care, lack of access to constituents and several other issues.
They probably didn’t expect the man himself to emerge and engage, but he did, along with a crowd of Issa supporters apparently alerted by his office as a counterbalance.
It’s not the first time Issa has employed this tactic. Previously, he held several phone-in conferences with constituents during which his staff front-loaded Issa supporters with cheeseball questions.
For weeks, constituents have been imploring Issa to make such an appearance at an “emergency health care town hall” scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Jim Porter Recreation Center, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr., Vista.
For weeks, Issa’s office staff and spokespeople said no go. Whether he will show is not known as of 4:30 p.m., but what is known is the surprise party that Issa supporters magically ascertained as if by ESP, and Issa sprung outside his office resulted in about an hour of impassioned discussion and entertainment for the benefit of TV news crews.
Sheriff’s deputies cast wary eyes on the crowd estimated at about 200 people. Some Indivisible members said Issa-Trump supporters shoved and threatened protestors. Deputies took down some reports from Indivisible members.
Issa’s home team scene was very biased, said Pam La Rocca on Facebook. “His supporters were able to set up a mike system and stand on the lawn. The majority of them were nasty people.”
Issa has made a lot of to-do lists recently.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee two weeks ago declared Issa first among eight vulnerable Republican congressmen in districts won by Hillary Clinton last November.
The National Republican Congressional Committee last week named Issa among the 10 most vulnerable members who are expected to face tough re-election races in 2018.
Issa squeaked out a 1,600-vote 2016 victory over Col. Doug Applegate in 2016. Applegate has declared his intention to run again in 2018. Furthermore, ever-evolving demographics and voter registrations in the last several years have clicked up significantly on the Democratic side while the Republican side has been stagnant.
So, Issa, obviously is feeling the heat. Whether he shows at his emergency town hall meeting, however, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, over at Duncan Hunter, El Cajon, Temecula central
Some 250 protestors descended on the El Cajon office of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) Tuesday, the largest group yet in four weekly protests outside his San Diego County office.
Protestors marched, chanted and held signs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. They also met with Mike Harrison, Hunter’s deputy chief of staff, according to Lynda Vernia of Indivisible North San Diego County.
Protestors entered their discussions on preservation of the Affordable Care Act, Hunter’s support of Trump’s Muslim ban and Hunter’s refusal to hold an in-person town hall meeting among other issues.
Around 90 protestors marched and carried signs calling for Hunter to come out and maybe not play, but at least discuss his often controversial alt-right views. Protestors met with Hunter staffer Tommy Marquez, according Vernia,
“The goals of the protestors, as evidenced by their signs and chants — and presumably presented to Representative Hunter — were as follows, according to Vernia: 1. End the Muslim travel ban and welcome immigrants from all countries; 2. Do not repeal the Affordable Care Act; 3. Hold a town meeting to which all constituents are invited.”