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Town Hall Thursday night at Collin County Republican office
By Michael Boren, Frisco Enterprise
The Collin County Conservative Republicans will hold a protest Thursday in McKinney against the federal government’s policies.
The heated health care debate will be one aspect of the protest, but also the fight against government intrusion, spending and debt increases.
Protestors will be able to sign a specially designed declaration, which combines the U.S. Constitution with today’s issues.
The Republican group will also be recording statements and putting together a video to send to locally and nationally elected officials.
“It’s really about government intrusion into our lives, period,” said Ashlea Quinonez, a member of the Republican group.
“I think it’s just been taken up to a totally different level compared to when President Bush was in office.”
She couldn’t estimate on the number of protesters that would show, but said there were nearly 200 members in her group.
“I expect it to be a peaceful demonstration,” she said.
However, the health care debate has taken an ugly turn at some town hall meetings, where opposition members have yelled at congressmen, with some protestors referring to Democrats as Nazis.
Congressmen nationwide have also received threatening e-mails on the health care debate. On Tuesday, a Georgia congressman discovered a swastika drawn on his office sign.
“There’s no proof as to who did that,” Quinonez said.
“To be comparing me or people like me to Nazis is absolutely unheard of.”
She argued that the town hall meetings she had seen were peaceful, but that the angry outbursts represented how frustrated people were.
She also believed local Republican concerns on the health care issue weren’t based on rumors.
“A lot of us have actually taken the time to go through the actual health care bill,” Quinonez said.
The bill is 1,018 pages, but Quinonez said she saw protestors highlight certain parts of it at town hall meetings.
However, Steve Tillery, the Dallas County Democratic Party’s executive director, disputed the protests by some Republicans.
“I haven’t heard any alternative plan, just that this plan’s no good,” he said.
“I just don’t understand the argument that we don’t need it.”
However, he believed the outbursts at town hall meetings represented a small group of people and argued the media didn’t show calmer meetings.
“I’m sure there’s been lots of reasonably fair meetings as well,” Tillery said.
He added that the health care’s public option would cause insurance companies to lower their costs to compete.
Others argue it would put those companies, along with thousands of Americans, out of employment.
But one aspect both sides appear to agree on is that the health care system has its issues.
“It’s broke, Tillery said. “It’s got problems.”
When Congress returns from its summer break, however, Tillery believes the bickering will continue, against his hopes of the two sides making an agreement.
In the mean time, he and others don’t see any battles breaking out Thursday at McKinney’s protest.
“I think it’ll be for the most part peaceful,” Tillery said.
The protest will go from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Collin County Republican Party Headquarters, situated on 8416 Stacy Road.