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Wyden Sees Town Hall Events Swell As He Tackles Trump

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Brian Bull
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KLCC

Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden faced a large, welcoming crowd in Eugene last night, as he continued his series of statewide town halls.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, attendance seems to have surged since President Trump took office. 

The Lane Community College gym was filled with at least 1500 people, according to one facilities worker.  More than half raised their hand when Senator Wyden asked…

" How many of you have never been to a town meeting before?  (LAUGHTER) Oh my goodness…well that really sums it all up…” 

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
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KLCC
Wide shot of Wyden's Town Hall in the Lane Community College gym.

Wyden bashed President Trump’s attempted travel ban which targeted predominantly Muslim nations.  Wyden said as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, he’d probe Russia's alleged role in the 2016 presidential race. 

After the event, Janet Harris of Eugene seemed somewhat satisfied with Wyden’s remarks.

“We got answers on things like immigration and health care, freedom of the press, and other things that really important.  But there didn’t seem to be a cohesive strategy for the resistance. And that’s what I would’ve liked to have heard.” 

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
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KLCC
Fans of Senator Wyden join the crowds Sunday evening.

Eugenian Jude McKay says if he had a chance to ask the senator a question, it would’ve been…

“How to get rid of the toxicity of partisanship which has risen to become a value higher than cooperation, discussion, compromise and deliberation.” 

And Sarita Lief of Springfield says she hopes Wyden realizes that the increasingly large turnout at his town hall events proves there’s an upswell against President Trump’s policies.  

“And I wanted to let him know that the more our rights are infringed upon, the stronger we are going to get, not the weaker.  So it’s going to be an inverse relationship.” 

Wyden’s town halls are going better than those of some of his Republican colleagues.  Many GOP delegates are facing loud, confrontative crowds, who are using tactics similar to those used by Tea Party activists during the health care debate.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (19 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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