While town hall was civil, Fulcher's credit is not
The VFW hall in Sandpoint was full Monday night for Russ Fulcher’s town hall, and I was impressed that a civil discussion resulted. That’s to Fulcher’s credit. His voting record is not.
He votes against good bills like the Freedom to Vote Act but proudly supports issues like the “Life at Conception Act,” he cosponsored the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” that validates those permits when the guns are taken through other states and cosponsored the so-called “Hearing Protection Act” which eliminates a tax on gun “suppressors” (silencers).
The congressman could not campaign for himself in this taxpayer-funded meeting, but he recognized many in the crowd campaigning for election or reelection, including city councilors, county commissioners and a far-right Boundary County resident running for Sage Dixon’s office. Also Democrat Kathy Larson, running for Dixon’s seat and a woman recording the meeting for Fulcher’s opponent, Democrat Kaylee Peterson.
Sandpoint City Council Chair Luke Omodt brought up the lack of essential funds to run local governments due to an overabundance of federal lands that do not contribute to our tax base. Fulcher agreed, saying, “We need to examine the formula for (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funds, which have decreased since the forests are no longer in active management.”
A cardiovascular radiologist named Thomas Fletcher spoke at length against Dr. Fauci and disputed the effectiveness of masks or vaccinations against COVID-19, and Fulcher heartily agreed.
“Dr. Fletcher used the phrase “medical freedom,” Ellen Weissman said, reminding everyone that our doctors no longer can provide medical freedom for mothers whose lives are threatened by unviable pregnancies. Weisman asked Fulcher if he could help, but he said he was unaware of the issues in Bonner County (which, are caused by his party).
“The Supreme Court reversed Roe vs. Wade, and I’m a pro-life person,” Fulcher told her. “I don’t support abortion and think it’s rightfully in the hands of the states.” When he claimed abortions are performed even after birth, I blurted out, “You’ve been misinformed.” When he doubled down, insisting he has proof, I said, “Send me that proof.” He has my name and address.
A retired man in the audience confronted Fulcher: “You’re saying you’re on one side of the (political) divide and you’re not going to change. Your side is holding up the budget over the border. Why do you refuse to negotiate with the other side?” Fulcher answered, “The cost to you, your kids and grandkids (of illegal immigration at the southern border) is $200 billion.”
The man continued, saying Fulcher should be kicked off the ballot for attempting to overturn the election on Jan. 6, 2021. Fulcher’s reply: “I didn’t vote to certify the presidential election of 2020 because some states said they did not follow their own rules.”
When he opened up the floor for questions, I identified myself and repeated what I had told him before the meeting began. I have written him many letters since he came into office, and I appreciate that he replies but I haven’t liked the answers he gives. I understand that the congressman sees how heavily populated we are with “Christian” nationalists. But, as one of his constituents, I asked him to recognize that many of us are like me, and as a lifelong Christian, I am not represented by the bills he has supported from that group.