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

California congressman calls activist 'wacko'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/30/art.stark.youtube.jpg caption="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. Vena

    I'm done with the democrat party. Really, have you ever seen someone want to lose elections more than this guy? Instead of responding with an answer to a reasonable question, (it is California and they DO have a huge issue with illegal immigration), the senator just mocks him. What a joke.

    Assuming that the republicans don't send a candidate as unlikeable as Palin in for the election, I don't see how the democrats stand a chance.

    June 30, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. mainepatriot

    If the good people of California don't send this arrogant jerk packing, they're crazy! It doesn't matter whether he agreed or disagreed with what the gentleman was saying, he is (allegedly) a public servant who works FOR THE PEOPLE!

    June 30, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |

    To think that this disgraceful person represents our country is depressing. You call this a "Town Meeting?" He should be impeached.
    This is what gerrymandering and reliable voting blocks produces.

    June 30, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Albo58

    Stark = pathetically stupid!

    June 30, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  5. Steve

    "Of the people, by the people, for the people." How does this guy represent his constituents? Anytime a person he is suppose to be representing challenges him, he insults and dismisses them. It doesn't matter if Mr. Stark agrees with his constituents or not, he is charged with representing them. I hope to see the voters oust this guy from office during the next elections. We need to regain our government!

    June 30, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I agree! There are some seriously wacked people being pumped full of lies. This Tea Party is just a bunch of crap. They are racist Republicans and are being fueled by ignorance. Luckily some of their candidates are getting to let the public in on their mindset(if that's what you call it) These people are CRAZY if they think they "speak for Americans". It's nothing but hate speech at it's worst.

    June 30, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Capt. Snarky

    Interesting way to win re-election. Mr. Congresscritter had better represent a liberal constituency – that kind of attitude towards the people that pay your salary generally doesn't sit well............

    June 30, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. Jamie R

    Stark is right about the wall. A ten foot wall will engender 12 foot ladders. And, of course, this person wanting the wall in another context is the person complaining about big government and high taxes.

    June 30, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Why didn't this activist ask George Bush and John McCain when they proposed the amnesty bill a couple years ago?

    Don't complain about government spending...yet magically expect the border to be 100% "safe" for FREE. We spend more and more billions each year on the border in the name of the "War on Drugs", yet people like Mitt Romney hire illegal aliens anyway to work on their multi-million $ mansions.

    June 30, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Hazel Cronin

    It is time for this arrogant congressman to retire. He obviously is senile if he thinks our border is secure.

    June 30, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. STEVEN

    I like this congressman, he tells it like it is to these crazy Rush Limbaugh apologists. They are all consumed in silly politics that dont advance the interests of so many citizens but just a few crazy right wingers who are obsessed with racist issues

    June 30, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. rob

    I guess the RNC doesn't have to look far for a Democrat "Macca" moment. The RNC should play this in every add for the Mid term elections.

    June 30, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. Brett from Phoenix

    What a joke. I seriously feel so much anger inside. He is so snide. He is so out of touch.

    He definitely needs to be VOTED OUT.

    June 30, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Matt

    Peter Stark is a bonehead. Not only was he demeaning, but he didn't tell the truth or have a solution. There are too many in Congress like this fool–people that get a little authority and then refuse to listen to those that they REPRESENT.

    Vote the bum out.

    June 30, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    why aren't we worried about the canadian border? lets build giant wall up there too while were at it!

    perhaps our money spent on building useless walls, surveying the borders, and fighting the never ending "war on drugs" would be better spent working with our neighbors to improve trade, business, and improve opportunity in their own country.

    do you think the folks who cross the border want to risk their lives, leaving their homes and families?

    June 30, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. April In New Orleans

    I love this man!!!!!!

    June 30, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Brian from NC

    This is just the kind of thing that angers me to no end. Not only to the far left liberals in this country think there is no problem, they have the audacity to make fun of anyone that calls them on it. I encourage this congressman and all like him to continue saying wacko things like this. Maybe the liberal media will one day make a big deal out of it.

    June 30, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  18. Kevin

    I wish I could think of something profound or insightful to describe Stark's comments, but I'm just speechless. I'm not sure if I'm more shocked by his comments, or the fact that he actually holds an position where someone had to vote for him.

    June 30, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  19. Robert Sanchez

    Somebody needs to remind the congressman that the minutemen have never shot anybody while illegal aliens have shot thousands of Americans.

    June 30, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. Chuck

    they're both wrong. Minutemen on the border isn't going to do anything to make the nation "solvent". That will only come when people learn how to save and invest their money so they can be independent of government welfare. Which basically means never. stark making fun of the immigration problem and building a wall doesn't do anything to stop the immigrants. The only way to do that is good jobs back home in Mexico. Which means a decent Mexican economy, instead of the slave labor system they have now.

    June 30, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  21. Scared

    This man, Stark, is a very snarky character. His non-answers were very revealing. People other than the questioner were telling him to answer the question...all he could retort was some kind of rambling about starting a ladder business. Craziest thing I have ever seen. It is definately time for this old man to take a hike back to his luxurious lifestyle. Hopefully we won't be paying for his salary or retirement forever...Oh My...what a disgusting representative of our govt.

    June 30, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  22. Get A Grip

    I saw this video. How dare these guy treat his constituents this way. Pete Stark is an insult to this country and needs to be voted out.

    June 30, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Petty To You

    Typical CNN journalism–cryptic, incoherent and empty. What is this article saying? Who is supposed to be killing whom? Lots of explosive language but completely devoid of any rational or constructive meaning. CNN needs to go with Larry King's suspenders.

    June 30, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. cheryl

    What gives Pete Stark the right to treat a taxpayer with so little respect? Doesnt he work for us? I have been a Democrat for 36 years....today I became a republican. I want nothing to do with The likes of Mr. Stark. How dare he call a taxpayer of this country a "wacko". He said he isn't the government-then what is he doing in a government job. I think it might be Stark who is the wacko.

    June 30, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  25. Djinn

    Finally, an elected official who calls a wacko a wacko. The undercurrent of unintelligent and anti-American ideas that are floating (like feces) in today's political seas are themselves evidence that our educational system has bottomed out. We no longer turn out educated citizenry but there are a plethora of idiots who believe that bumper stickers are ideas and Glenn Beck has a brain. This election cycle it is fundamentally necessary for those who are unengaged in America's political struggles to come out and support our constitutionally elected President. We can no longer sit back and snipe at the stupidity. We MUST come out and oppose it.

    June 30, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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