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Group expresses displeasure with Roe's comments at Elizabethton town hall meeting

John Thompson • Apr 19, 2017 at 9:48 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Several Carter County Democrats and environmentalists met with Rep. Phil Roe’s district director on Wednesday to express their displeasure with some of the Republican congressman’s comments made at Tuesday night’s town hall meeting.

First District Director John Abe Teague has regularly scheduled meetings in the Carter County Courthouse on Wednesdays to hear from constituents. The group met with Teague during this time.

Kristi Carr, chair of the Carter County Democratic Party and president of the Carter County Democratic Women’s Club, told Teague she “took great offense” with a statement Roe made in defending Trump. 

“He said he was a Republican and 80 percent of Carter County voted for Trump, so that is what matters. ... We are his constituents too, regardless of what party we belong to,” Carr said.

When Teague asked the group if there was any particular message the group wanted to send to Roe, Pat Buck said, “I want to urge him to join the Climate Solutions Caucus.” 

She said the caucus is made up of an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. Buck said the caucus is a bipartisan group of congressional representatives who addresses climate change.

Environmental activist Gary Barrigar said the evidence about climate change is overwhelming and the only scientists who continue to dispute it are those who receive grants from industry.

Teague told the group that both he and Roe are avid outdoorsmen and as a cattleman, Teague does studies on various grasses to determine what is the best type.

Teague discussed alternative forms of energy and said the region was not windy enough for wind turbines.

On the question of government subsidies for alternate sources, Buck said the government has always subsidized the oil industry.

Toward the end of the meeting, the discussion turned to health insurance. Deanna Hannah urged Roe to take the side of the “underdog” over those who had to make a choice “between a bigger yacht and insurance.”

Teague said he would brief Roe on the group’s concerns when they travel together to Washington.

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