More than 20 people protested in front of Congressman Randy Neugebauer's Lubbock office Monday afternoon as part of an event organized by the Texas Tech Student Democrats.
Students and citizens stood on the corner of Glenna Goodacre and University with signs and took turns using a megaphone to make sure drivers passing by heard their message.
"He's representing West Texas and I think West Texas people are a lot friendlier and more respectful," said Texas Tech Junior Ricky Neville.
Much of the protest came as a result of the video from a confrontation the congressman had with a park ranger at the World War II Memorial last Wednesday. The congressman can be seen voicing his frustration with the Parks Department and the President.
"His behavior towards the park ranger a few days ago was disrespectful and embarrassing," Neville said. "The way he just kind of snarled when he said it was just so disrespectful. He's a part of the reason we have this shutdown so if he wanted to do his job and help fund the government then we wouldn't have this situation going on."
Congressman Neugebauer released this statement on Monday:
"Just like everyone else, I too was caught up in the emotion and frustration of the moment, seeing our greatest generation in wheelchairs and walkers denied access to their memorial. Could I have handled it better? Of Course. But they stood up for us, and I was standing up for them."
Last week Neugebauer said, "My beef was not with the Parks Ranger. My beef is with the Parks Department and this president, that they would deny these American heroes access to the World War II memorial."
Lubbock resident Jay Cornell is a supporter of Neugebauer, but says he does not agree with his actions in this case.
"I still have a good opinion of him. I just think in this particular situation he was wrong," Cornell said. "People have the right to be upset that the government is shut down. I mean after all, it's the government by the people for the people. Where are the people in all of this?"
Ralls resident James Kuehl also attended the rally. He says he came out because he feels the congressman didn't live up to his word.
"For one, he said this area wouldn't be affected at all by this shutdown. I'm a standing example of how it has been. I'm a veteran. I get VA disability and the GI bill. If this shutdown continues until the end of the month I run out of money. I basically go bankrupt," he said. "I'd really like him to step down. I want him to know that what he was doing was immoral and it's not right just for public view to go chew someone out and make yourself look better to your constituencies."
Neville agrees that something needs to be done but he feels the solution is much simpler.
"Hopefully he'll see this and apologize. That's all we want is an official apology not only to the park rangers, but the citizens of Lubbock who are embarrassed by this incident."
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