Three arrested at tickets-only Ryan town hall

Sept. 7, 2011 at 3:25 PM
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GREENFIELD, Wis., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Police arrested three protesters and forced 20 others to leave a town hall meeting held by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that was open only to paid ticket holders.

Ryan and at least three other Republicans in Congress held no free constituent events during the summer recess, Politico reported. Tickets to his town hall Tuesday before the Whitnall Rotary Club in Greenfield, Wis., cost $15, including a hot lunch.

Protesters heckled Ryan as he spoke, news footage of the event showed.

Two people were charged with trespassing and given $429 citations, Greenfield Police Sgt. David Patrick told Politico. The third was also charged with resisting arrest and given a $681 citation.

"I'm being arrested because I spoke out against my congressman," one woman called to a camera crew from Fox affiliate WITI-TV, Milwaukee, as she was escorted out of the meeting.

Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, introduced earlier this year a budget-balancing plan that included privatizing Medicare.

Ryan and three other Republican representatives, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Ben Quayle of Arizona, held only "pay-per-view" constituent events during the August recess, Politico reported recently. After the story ran, Chip Cravaack of Minnesota, who had held only a paid event in Duluth, the largest city in his district, while meeting constituents for free elsewhere, held a free town hall in Duluth.

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