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Letter to the editor: Bipartisan meetings can be recipe for ruckus

I just learned about the ruckus that happened at a nonpartisan or bipartisan town meeting that featured U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, state Sen. Susan Kent, Rep. Joann Ward, and Rep. Andrea Kieffer.

I have been to many bipartisan town meetings over the years and sadly, this type of behavior has become normal at these events.

Many show up at town meetings to hear and share their stories and question their officials about policy. However, some do come to create havoc and personally attack elected officials.

Unfortunately, these hostilities are more likely to appear when a town meeting has office holders from both parties since party activists on both sides feel emboldened to show up and that is why most office holders don't hold bi-partisan town meetings.

Frankly, I believe in bipartisan public town meetings because members of both parties get to deal with questions from a wide range constituents.

At one I attended in January, one participant questioned the need for light rail and more taxes that made the Democratic legislators uncomfortable but another pressured the need for gay marriage that made the Republican legislator uncomfortable.

However, if you are going to a town meeting simply to mock or attack or know you are just going to yell at elected officials, please do not attend. Town meetings should be used for civil, public discussions and not to vent frustration or spread personal ideology.

William Labovitch - South St. Paul