hot-topic1Congressman Rush Holt‘s town hall meeting on federal health coverage in Middletown Wednesday was a less raucous affair than the one held the night before in Red Bank by his House colleague, Frank Pallone Jr., today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

One reason: Holt held his in the 258-seat Middletown Arts Center. Another: Boy Scouts. The 12-district Democrat refused to take oral questions and instead had people write theirs down and drop them in boxes. Boy Scouts then chose the questions for Holt, according to the Press.

The site selection and decision to hold just once session as opposed to the three held by Pallone the night before meant hundreds of would-be attendees were left outside. Some of them, the Press’ Kevin Penton reports, held

signs that made disparaging remarks about the late Sen. Edward Kennedy and showed President Obama with a moustache similar to Adolf Hitler. One woman drew cheers when she said she believed Obama is a Communist.

Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre, who is already running against Holt in the 2010 election, held his own town hall meeting outside the venue.