June 30th, 2010
05:43 PM ET
4 years ago

California congressman calls activist 'wacko'

California Democrat Pete Stark had a spirited discussion at a recent town hall.
California Democrat Pete Stark had a spirited discussion at a recent town hall.

(CNN) - Rep. Pete Stark must like going viral, at least amongst his conservative detractors.

"Who are you going to kill today?" is how he solicited a question from a self-proclaimed Minuteman - the volunteer organization, which tries to prevent illegal crossings of the U.S. border - at a recent town hall meeting in Fremont, California. It went from there.

The questioner continued, seen on a video posted by The Golden Gate Minuteman on Youtube, questioning the California Democrat over what the government will do to "to seal our borders so that we're a solvent country again."

Stark's answer: "We can't get enough Minuteman armed. We'd like to get all the Minuteman armed so they could stop shooting the people here," Stark said.


The questioner defended himself: "That's not our job – we're just citizens looking for the United States government to constitutionally protect us."

"We'll try to get you some more arms and get you down there to shoot people," Stark responded.

The back and forth continued. Other attendees joined in asking the congressman to provide his "smart answer".

"Our borders are quite secure, thank you," the congressman stated. The questioner continued, stating many undocumented immigrants cross the border every year and that it would then not be secure. Stark asked the questioner what he would do to secure the border.

"I would send about 25,000 troops down there for one thing. I would build a wall," he said.

The congressman asked how high a wall and how long and then said "we'll go start a ladder company" and "I'll sell a whole lot of ladders."

"This is a very serious matter," the questioner continued, "and you're making fun of it."

"I don't have to make fun of you, sir, you do a fine job all by yourself," Stark retorted later referring to the questioner as a "wacko."

Stark's office had no comment on his statements.

This is not the first time Stark has spoken his mind during a town hall. In September of last year he told a man he wouldn't "waste the urine" to pee on his leg.


Filed under: 2010 • California • Immigration • Pete Stark • Popular Posts
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Leet

    nice to see a politician take national immigration policy and border security seriously.

    June 30, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. Layla

    I think the citizens of his district must be incredibly stupid to keep sending this man back to Washington for the past 38 years.

    Until they are willing to act, this man is a piss poor example of the United States Congress.

    To say "Shame on you, Pete Stark, and the insult you heap upon the Constitution" would be putting it mildly....

    Do you people in CA vote?

    June 30, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  3. Jon Hausrath

    This is a typical headline of CNN's, reinforcing the will of their corporate brothers' propaganda; the congressman is just trying to be assertive in his arguments–albeit in a gaff-like manner–and the "Minuteman" seems to push him to make his argument in a quick, uneloquent fashion. What the congressman wants to say is this: the "Minutemen" OTHER people–that is to say they WOULD kill someone if they were crossing the border illegally. I find it foolish that the "Minuteman" thinks a country's sovereignty is related to how hard it is to cross its border–while the people causing the problems–corporations that hire illegal workers–have no sense (or respect) to crossing national bounds–especially when they want to find cheap labor!

    June 30, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  4. GT

    This guy took the last shred of honor out of being a public official by the contempt and open sheer sarcasm of his constituent. No matter if he personally agrees or not, the act of being outright rude, disrespectful and not even giving the guy one single straight answer makes him a real jerk and I hope he gets bounced out of office so someone with real decency can occupy that post. Get lost Stark and I hope the only thing out there in the desert to keep you company will be your fancy whit.

    June 30, 2010 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. c kendler

    i hope his whole family meets a van of illegals head on on a highway someday.

    what a jerk.

    the arrogance needs to end with our dim witted reps.

    June 30, 2010 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. sgarner

    the time is coming get yourselves prepared it's no longer goverment for the people by the people it's going to be historic I hope real americans are taking notice of what's going on around them it' quite important.

    June 30, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. nathan

    this congressman is great! we need people like him in ga.

    June 30, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Brainless!!

    Where do these guys come from? I understand how tiring it can be if you are being "baited" during an open meeting as Stark may have been, but "leaders" need to be able to rise above that. A little humor
    followed by some rational thought!! Stark comes across as a complete moron. And I am not trying to insult morons!

    Politicians during these troubled times need to stay focused on issues important to the American people and to strive to push for rational, sensible solutions. The people cannot do it!! They never have, and they never will. We are ranters!! We elect people to get things done; not just join us ... the ranters.

    June 30, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. Dean

    Yes, illegal immigration is a problem, however many of those saying the government should build a wall and send troops are also saying the government should cut taxes, stop spending and be less intrusive. A high wall thousands of miles long, and troops to guard it would be expensive – would require tax money – would require federal troops being stationed in local communities and being *intrusive* by questioning individuals (including citizens). Unfortunately, people, as a general rule, are stupid and don't make much sense.

    June 30, 2010 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  10. MatthewDetroit

    The guy is a total bum. It is too bad that most of his constituents agree with his free spending liberal ways. He has no responsibility for his actions and is partly responsible for the trouble this country is in. He stands by the high spending and taxing ideal of the Democratic Party.
    He is all for the illegal aliens.
    He is all for entitlement programs.
    He is all for socialism.
    Yes, it is indeed why California is broke because people that support this congressman are the same people that support that mentality.
    This guy is a true wacko.

    June 30, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. Jim in St. Johns, FL

    Stark is a poster child for the real Obama policy. The Democrats do not want the border secured, they just want to make the millions of illegals citizens so they can count de votes. Sacrifice the security of the country and very specifically the security and well being of the border states for political gain.

    Stark is an idiot, then again, no big surprise, he is a Congressman.

    June 30, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Brian L

    Wish he was my congressman... but Alas I have a good for nothing Republican as my representative :-(

    June 30, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. DaveinDenver

    This guy is a perfect example of the Washington elite. We need to get rid of every incumbent and start over. This guy makes me want to hurl.

    June 30, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. Joy Randolph

    Pete Stark is condescending and treats Americans who ask questions as a joke. Securing our borders is the federal government's job. This congressman is a disgrace to this country. I sincerely hope his district votes him out of office.

    June 30, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. vera 'k madison, tn

    Too good. A little reality goes a long way. Send these militant war hungry wackos back into their comic book world.

    June 30, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. JohninIndy

    Stark has been in office since '72, time for him to retire. he is a public servant, sometimes that means taking it on the chin politically. Antagonizing and mocking his constituents when they were presenting a valid question is just plain wrong. Pete Starke is just wrong...

    July 1, 2010 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  17. Pkm

    What can i say pete does not believe in god either i live in fremont and the voters keep putting him in office

    July 1, 2010 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
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