To roars of booing and less cheering, U.S. Rep. Don Bacon told constituents at a Saturday town hall meeting that he’s seen no illegal behavior by President Donald Trump regarding Ukraine.
Bacon, a Republican who represents Omaha and central and western Sarpy County, addressed the topic of impeachment head-on: “There is no law that’s been broken,” he said repeatedly, to a smattering of cheers and a roar of boos.
The crowd was rowdy at times, with people yelling in opposition and others showing support for Bacon.
“In what circumstances will you put country ahead of party?” one woman asked.
“Every single time,” Bacon replied, to laughter and boos.
U.S. election law specifically prohibits foreign involvement in federal, state and local elections, saying it is illegal for someone to solicit, accept or receive a contribution, financial donation or anything of value from a foreign national.
Bacon said that he doesn’t condone the president’s actions but that he didn’t think they were illegal.
He also called for House Democrats to hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry, which would allow Republicans to subpoena witnesses and Trump’s lawyer to cross-examine them.
But, he said, if that vote were held, he would vote “no.”
The town hall, held in Papillion, drew about 250 people Saturday morning.
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The event was Bacon’s 15th town hall since taking office in 2017, and he followed his usual format: Attendees wrote questions on slips of paper, and two civic leaders from the area read the questions to Bacon. After the congressman’s response, the questioner could ask a follow-up.
The moderators even read a question from David Pantos, who is a top staffer for Democrat Kara Eastman’s campaign to unseat Bacon.
Bacon addressed other topics including:
One woman asked if Bacon would sponsor comprehensive immigration reform or work toward reform in his bipartisan problem-solving committee in Congress.
Bacon said he has supported two immigration reform acts that didn’t pass and would consider supporting a comprehensive reform. He also stressed the need for additional border security and quicker hearings for detained immigrants.
Another attendee asked about reducing the deficit. Noting America’s aging population, Bacon said there needs to be an honest discussion about mandatory spending such as Social Security.
“How do we save and secure Medicare and Social Security? Because if we do nothing, it goes insolvent.”
Other audience members expressed concerns about health care costs. Bacon announced that the state would see a reduction in health care premiums for people on the market next year. He attributed the change to increased competition among insurance companies.
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1. Omaha (population 446,970): Omahans.
2. Lincoln (population 280,364): Lincolnite, not Lincolner.
3. Bellevue (population 53,505): Not even the Mayor’s Office in Bellevue knows what to call the residents of Nebraska’s third-largest city. Ben Justman, executive director of the Sarpy County Museum, said, “I’m not sure there is a name.” His best guess, based on old newspapers, is “Bellevuite,” but that’s far from common use today.
4. Grand Island (population 51,517): Grand Islander.
5. Kearney (population 33,520): Kearneyite.
6. Fremont (population 26,519): Fremonter. (Reader Keith Baughman suggests "Fremonsters.")
7. Hastings (population 24,991): Hastingsite, though it’s not common. City officials and employees of the Hastings Tribune newspaper said they didn’t know if the city had a popular demonym.
8. Norfolk (population 24,348): Norfolkan, usually, but Norfolker is also common.
9. North Platte (population 24,110): North Platter.
10. Columbus (population 22,851): Columbusite, not “Columbian.”
11. Papillion (population 19,597): It’s officially Papillionite, though some like to say jokingly that the suburban city’s residents should be called “Papillionaires.”
12. La Vista (population 17,143): La Vistan.
13. Scottsbluff (population 14,883): Scottsbluffer.
14. South Sioux City (population 13,120): South Sioux Cityan, officially, but another name for someone from the area stretching from South Sioux City north to Sioux Falls is “Siouxlander.”
15. Beatrice (population 12,362): Beatrician.
16. Lexington (population 10,004): Lexingtonian.
17. Alliance (population 8,403): Alliancite. Not Alliancer.
18. Gering (population 8,360): Geringite.
19. Blair (population 8,089): Blairite.
20. York (population 7,860): Yorkite, or Yorker, but definitely not Yorkie.
21. McCook (population 7,526): McCooker, not “McCookie,” as some like to joke.
22. Nebraska City (population 7,347): Nebraska Citian, spelled with an “i” in “Citian” instead of the “y” for “Cityan” in most Nebraska cities including Sioux City, Falls City, Central City and David City.
23. Ralston (population 7,329): Ralstonite.
24. Seward (population 7,219): Sewardite.
25. Crete (population 7,059): Despite what you may think, it’s not “Cretan.” Instead, city officials said, “We just refer to them as the residents of Crete.”
26. Sidney (population 6,888): Sidneyite.
27. Plattsmouth (population 6,479): Nothing, probably. A 1925 edition of “The Plattsmouth Journal” refers to residents as “Plattonians,” but references are scarce. Even City Administrator Erv Portis was uncertain: “Frankly, I don’t have an answer for it. No matter what you or I choose, somebody is going to be offended. Plattsmouth citizen, Plattsmouth resident, beyond that, I don’t know.”
28. Schuyler (population 6,106): Schuylerite.
29. Chadron (population 5,725): Chadronite.
30. Wayne (population 5,573): City officials say “Waynians” and the chamber of commerce says “Waynites.” Both agree with the words printed on the town’s water tower: “Wayne Americans.”
31. Holdrege (population 5,555): Holdrege Daily Citizen Publisher Bob King said he doesn’t know of an official demonym for the people of Holdrege, but he has elected to use “Holdregeite” in print.
32. Gretna (population 5,060): While there is no formal name for a citizen of Gretna, the most likely candidate based on historical newspaper usage is “Gretnan.”
33. Ogallala (population 4,543): Ogallalan, not Ogallalalan.
34. Wahoo (population 4,499): Wahoovians seems the most popular choice, but Wahooan and Wahooer are popular, too. So is the jokey “Wahooligans.”
35. Aurora (population 4,484): Auroran.
36. Falls City (population 4,214): Falls Cityan.
37. Cozad (population 3,805): Cozadian, the city says, though it’s seldom used.
38. Waverly (populations 3,786): Waverlyite. As strange as it may sound, that’s the official word from the city.
39. Fairbury (population 3,714): Fairburian.
40. O’Neill (population 3,631): O’Neillite.
41. Broken Bow (population 3,539): There is no common name for a resident of Broken Bow. As far as the City of Broken Bow and the chamber of commerce know, their residents are just “the citizens of Broken Bow.”
42. Gothenburg (population 3,475): Named after the much larger city in Sweden, residents of Nebraska’s Gothenburg are called “Gothenburgers.”
43. West Point (population 3,327): West Pointer.
44. Auburn (population 3,299): Auburnite.
45. Minden (population 2,996): Mindenite.
46. Central City (population 2,905): Central Cityan
47. David City (population 2,815): David Cityan
48. Valentine (population 2,803): No common demonym, not even “Valentines.” Call them Sandhillers, ranchers or “the folks from Valentine,” if you wish.
49. Ashland (population 2,566): Ashlander
50. Kimball (population 2,400): Kimballite
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