This letter by Waynesville South 1 Precinct Chair, Norm Hoffman, was published in the Mountaineer on March 1, 2017
Representative Clampitt’s town hall was a case study in evasion. When repeatedly asked where he stood on a particular issue, he repeatedly avoided answering the questions. A typical example was when he was asked about whether he supported the repeal of HB2 – an unenforceable law with huge negative economic consequences for NC. He responded by saying that there was a bill being prepared, but since he had not yet read it he could not say whether he would vote for it. The question was not about a particular bill, but where he stood on the issue. Time and time again he sidestepped answering a direct question.
Much of the two hours was spent on such evasion or on the Representative lecturing the voters on how bills are prepared and how the legislature works. The most charitable explanation for this might be that since this is his first experience in the legislature, he wanted to share what he was learning. A more critical assessment might be that he wanted to show that he knew more than the voters.
About half a dozen sheriff’s deputies stationed at the Old Courthouse maintained the decorum during the town hall. Too bad they had not been assigned to the town halls a few years ago when the Tea Party folks made disruption and shouting an art form at town halls.
The bottom line is as follows. If the objective was to give the Representative an earfull of the concerns of the voters, the town hall could be considered a success. If you went to the town hall hoping to learn where the Representative stood on the issues it was a two-hour waste of time.