Iowa Republican Facing Town Hall, Reporter Question About Donations

In How We Behave, Voting On

Iowans in the crowd said the stakes of the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and deeply cut Medicaid were worth shouting about. To some, it was life and death. To conservatives, it was freedom versus a failing bureaucracy.

“Why is it a surprise if, when he comes here, people are vocal?” said Anne Salamon, 59, a hospital pharmacist who did not support Mr. Blum or favor repealing the Affordable Care Act. “It is true, feelings are running hot, but give us some respect.”

For Mr. Blum, it was the latest stop in a rocky recess.

On Monday, he walked out of a television interview after being pressed on why his office was checking identification at the door to restrict attendance at the town halls to residents of his district. When the reporter, Josh Scheinblum, asked Mr. Blum whether he would also reject donations from outside his district, Mr. Blum removed his microphone and left the room, trailed by a cluster of children from a local nonprofit who had been surrounding him.

“This is ridiculous,” Mr. Blum said, as the youngsters filtered out, two of them waving goodbye to the still-seated reporter. “Unbelievable. Do you take donations — wow.”

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