Stark Bait

Seemingly innocuous statements
 from Rep. Pete Stark become potential 
fodder for conservatives like Glenn Beck.

OPPONENTS MINING FOR THE NEXT YOUTUBE CLASSIC
By Steven Tavares

Biting retorts to angry constituents by Rep. Pete Stark have become content for YouTube infamy.

Starting with his infamous, “I wouldn’t waste my urine” on you quip to a senior in Fremont to asking a member of the anti-immigration Minutemen “who are you going to kill today” the probability of a precious sound bite may be pushing opponents to bait the 17-term congressman into saying something that would make even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi cringe.

In an otherwise, informative town hall Tuesday night in Fremont dealing with many of the issues facing many East Bay residents, a woman, later identified as a member of the local Republican central committee asked Stark if Americans “have done anything to make the terrorists hate us.” Stark did not bite. Nor did he respond when another resident made reference to another hot button national issue–the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero.

Another questioner, who would not identify himself, but was later described as another member of the local Republican central committee ask Stark why he had “no respect” for Israel and voted against sending arms to the country. “I never vote for weapons for anyone,” said Stark. who added. “They can do fine with the weapons they have.”

Others times the questions got downright wacky when a gentleman asked if Stark has changed his position regarding the Boy Scouts of America. The congressman stared quizzically and grinned before saying, “I didn’t know I had a position on the Boy Scouts!” Stark later said he had problems with some of the religious aspects of the organization while having a tacit link to the federal government. Stark is the only atheist among members of Congress.

After a large and angry group of residents shouted down Stark at a town hall in Hayward last month, there were indications the congressman was attempting to control the tone of the meeting, if not, to merely cure the problem of numerous people speaking at the same time. It also hard to utter disparaging words at Stark while his 9-year-old son is standing next to him as occurred in both Fremont and Wednesday night in San Leandro.

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