U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona, left, listens as Paulden resident, Phillip Anderson, asks about the Right to Work law, water and other topics Friday during the Paulden Town Hall conducted by Gosar at the Paulden Community Center.
Although Paulden was U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar's fifth and last stop in the Prescott area Friday night, the Congressmen held strong as residents at a Town Hall meeting here asked tough questions for two hours and even became heated against each other at one point.
Because of recent hip surgery, Gosar occasionally had to sit down or lean on a chair during the meeting. He said he'd be heading to Kingman afterward for more speaking engagements.
Gosar titled the meeting, "Bring Your Thoughts to the Table," and that, and more, is exactly what Paulden residents did.
From foreign aid and Right to Work laws to water and property rights in Arizona and politicking in Washington, D.C., Paulden residents hit on many topics. "I'm not from the government," Gosar told about 45 residents at the Paulden Community Center. "I'm not here to promise you anything. I am not a politician; I'm a dentist impersonating a politician."
One audience member said he's lost trust in politicians.
"They're taking away freedoms," he said. "We want someone in there who we can trust. They're supposed to be in there for us."
"I agree with you," Gosar answered. "There's nothing left in our wallets. We need accountability. We've got to start rebuilding and debate the big issues. We've elected too many life-long politicians."
Gosar went on to say that he listens, debates and asks questions of his constituents, then seeks solutions. He believes elected officials should be a mixture of citizens from varying backgrounds and experiences, complete with their individual prejudices, or as Gosar calls them - "blindnesses." In turn, the "blindnesses" are brought to Congress, where they can be pointed out, he said.
On a screen, Gosar displayed and discussed information about government spending, the Eric Holder scandals, and other topics.
Gosar believes in stronger state and local governments, calling the smallest government, the best government. "I want to see the states as incubators for solutions."
Paulden Area Community Organization (PACO) President Jane Anderson used the opportunity to encourage Paulden residents to participate at the local level by becoming involved with the organization. PACO hosted the Town Hall.
Some questions took on a Democrat vs. Republican approach, one woman stating that she heard nothing but negative from Gosar, a Republican, who criticized some of his Democrat counterparts, such as Nancy Pelosi, during the meeting.
Near the end of the meeting, some people in the audience began to verbally respond to other people's questions, defending Gosar, even before he could answer, in some instances.
At one point, while a man in the audience told Gosar he wants him to find solutions to end hate propaganda that is coming from all sides, another man in the audience began voicing his disagreement, pointing his finger at the first man.
The first man also became upset and told the other man to stop pointing his finger. As the second man responded by starting to step toward the first man, two or three other men held him back.
The community center's microphone wasn't working that night, so people were asked to stand to speak. However that may have contributed to the loss of control over speaking in turn, said a Gosar aide.
In addition, following the meeting, Gosar press secretary, Garrett Hawkins, added, "Rep. Gosar's goal is to facilitate respectful, productive discussion at his events. Occasionally individuals will attend his events whose intentions are to be disruptive and squash two-way conversation. These individuals must either begin to behave civilly or leave."