U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, whose sprawling congressional district stretches from the northeast to the Panhandle to the southwest, wrapped up his annual tour of the 32 counties and offered this (partisan) outlook:
“This month I wrapped up my 2010 town hall tour through the 32 counties Third Congressional District. As many of you know, this is my annual custom of holding 50 town hall meetings in towns throughout the district, holding one in each county. In this digital age, some of my colleagues have shied away from holding in-person town hall meetings. However, I have continued to hold them because I understand how important it is for my constituents to be able to look me in the eye and tell me what’s on their mind. It keeps me very busy when I am home, but I know the value of these town hall meetings and will continue this tradition for as long as I am in Congress.
“If there is one thing these town hall meetings have demonstrated over the last few years, it’s that the political climate has changed. No longer are people sitting on the sidelines and allowing their government to do as it pleases without answering to the people it is suppose to be serving. I’ve seen attendance at these meetings grow dramatically – in some places attendance has increased ten-fold. And the meetings have become louder and livelier; but fortunately they’ve been shouting with me and not at me.
“People are concerned with the direction this country is heading. Unemployment continues to hover around 10 percent, our national debt has increased $3 trillion in the last two years to an astonishing $13 trillion, and the federal government has dramatically expanded its size and scope against the will of the people.
“They are unhappy with the constant bailouts, the government takeover of our health care system, and with the attempt to dramatically increase the cost of energy in this country through a $600 billion tax.
“Although my colleagues on the other side of the aisle thought they had a mandate after the 2008 election to remake the world in the San Francisco and Chicago way, it has become clear to me that, while the American people wanted a change, they didn’t want this kind of change.
“As the 111th Congress wraps up and elections are held, I believe we will see a new kind of change in this country – not a change imposed upon the people like the last two years but rather one imposed on many elected officials by their constituents.”