FORT LAUDERDALE — U.S. Rep. Allen West's first town hall meeting since voting for a controversial Medicare proposal saw three hecklers removed -- one in handcuffs -- from a generally supportive crowd of about 500.
The Tuesday night meeting was West's first meeting with constituents since his April 15 vote for a Republican budget that includes a revamping of Medicare.
West was less than a minute into his remarks tonight when two or three men began shouting from the audience.
"How about our Medicare that you're stealing?" shouted one.
"How about allowing questions from the audience?" shouted another man, apparently dissatisfied with West's decision to answer written questions submitted by audience members before the meeting.
Police were ultimately forced to removed one of the hecklers from the event. When the hecklers refused to stop their harassment, West stated, “You’re not going to intimidate me.”
Minutes later, a woman sitting behind West’s wife , who had been acting in a disruptive and combative manner by yelling at the Congressman and even harrassing his wife, was asked to leave and was escorted out of the event by Fort Lauderdale Police.
During the meeting, West had responded to a question about Medicare when Nicole Sandler of Coral Springs, a former radio host on the liberal Air America network, began shouting from the audience.
Other audience members began shouting at her and a police officer led her out.
"This is supposed to be a town hall meeting. That means back-and-forth," Sandler said as she exited.
Sandler argued with a Fort Lauderdale police officer in the lobby who told her to leave the building. After she yelled at the officer for placing his hand on her, she was arrested for "trespassing after warning" and led away in handcuffs.
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Allahpundit: "When the big dissident presence at a rally is a host from a defunct radio network, you’ve got yourself an optics problem."