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Protesters Walk Out Of Gianforte Forest Hearing In Hamilton

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August 8, 2018View for printing

Congressman Greg Gianforte was in Montana Tuesday talking about wildfire. The Republican was in Hamilton holding a field hearing which started on an unusual note.

Less than a minute into the meeting, James Rokosch abruptly stepped forward from the audience to say, "I would like to ask you whether you ever intend to actually hold a public hearing to listen to the members of the public who would like to provide you input on matters of fire management and management of public resources like wilderness?"

Rokosch, a former Ravalli County Commissioner, was frustrated that Gianforte's field hearing, while open to the public, did not feature an opportunity for public comment.

The Gianforte camp tells Montana Public Radio that accepting public comment wasn't necessary since it was a field hearing and no congressional quorum was present.

"You're just talking to people that you've preselected to interview," she said. "That is recorded, but you need to hear from the locals on this information. And so far Gianforte hasn't been meeting with the public."

By Edward O'Brien ... ng-hamilton

Reader Comments:

Gianforte's listening sessions are him putting himself into a echo chamber. He selectively sorts out any views opposing his own, and only takes softball, sympathetic questions on his "tele-town- halls." He avoids interacting with the majority of Montanans as much as possible.

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