Nebraska Representative from the state's second district Don Bacon (R) said earlier this year that he didn’t plan to hold any town hall meetings because he worried about potential disruptions, but he reversed his decision after taking heat for that position. Ironically, his predecessor he beat in the 2016 election, Democrat Brad Ashford, didn't hold any public town hall meetings during his two years in office.
Today, Bacon hosted a pair of town halls, first one at Gretna Senior High School and the second one at Millard West High School where he faced a raucous crowd of nearly 400 people.
Several protestors in the audience were seen wearing Planned Parenthood, Resist, Indivisible Nebraska, and Persisted t-shirts. A few held up signs and many more held up red pieces of paper in protest against what Bacon had to say, green if they agreed with him. Boo's and jeering were usually associated with the red paper.
During the one-hour sessions Bacon fielded questions on topics such as health care, President Donald Trump’s behavior, North Korea, and the Russia investigations. Some attendees said the format was intended to suppress questions. Bacon staff members said the format was designed to let more people get questions answered rather than allow a few people to dominate the microphone as has occurred at other town halls around the country. Bacon defended the town hall meeting format, which required people to submit written questions that then were read by moderators. People were permitted to ask follow-up questions aloud, and many did. However, the audience also complained because people were not handed microphones to ask their follow up questions.
Bacon said that he plans to schedule at least three more public town halls around the district in the coming weeks.