Oklahoma GOP Rep. Claims He Canceled Town Hall for Safety - but That's Not What the Venue Said
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) is afraid of protesters attending his town hall meeting, so he canceled it, claiming he had “safety concerns.”
“Over the past few weeks, we have seen an escalation of protesters at congressional town halls across the nation,” Mullin said in a statement, KJRH reported. “We have even seen them right here in the Second District.”
He’s referring to a March town hall flooded with angry constituents, one of which Mullin had a heated exchange with. He asked a woman to stop holding up a sign and she refused, saying he can drag her away in handcuffs.
“I find it appalling. You can sit there and do what you want but you’re defeating what you’re trying to get done,” he said.
He went on to say he hopes to provide a safe environment, which means certain protocols designed for Mullin must be followed. The statement explained that he and the venue for the Tahlequah town hall “could not reach an agreement using our protocols.” The venue was Sequoyah High School gymnasium, the largest venue in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Tahlequah Daily Press reported on their Facebook page, and the Cherokee Nation confirmed, that the sticking point for Mullin was that the venue wouldn’t ban the red and green sheets of paper that people hold up at town halls to represent their positions.
“I chose to cancel the town hall after much consideration. As soon as we can secure a new venue and date, we will reschedule the town hall in Tahlequah, OK,” Mullin closed his statement.
The Cherokee Nation disputes Mullin’s claim that there were security concerns, however.
“The Cherokee Nation Marshals Service provided adequate security to Congressman Mullin’s town hall,” Cherokee Nation spokeswoman told Raw Story over the phone. “Our marshals coordinated in advance with Congressman Mullin’s office and security detail.”
The spokeswoman couldn’t comment on how green and red paper became a safety concern.
In an April 10 town hall, Mullin engaged in another difficult meeting. His constituents repeatedly told him that he worked for them as a public servant but Mullin believes it is a service he provides to the constituents.
“One, you say you pay for me to do this, that’s bull crap, I pay for myself to do this,” Mullin claimed. “This is a service.”
You can see that video below: