Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner to host telephone town hall meeting amid uproar

DENVER – Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is holding a town hall meeting with constituents after all – he just won’t be there in person.

Gardner, Colorado’s Republican senator, announced Monday he would be holding the first of what he says will be several telephone town halls on Wednesday, March 1 at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time.

It had originally been scheduled for 10 a.m., but was rescheduled Wednesday morning. A stream of the call can be heard here.

“Throughout the year, I’ll be hosting live telephone town halls. During the interactive meetings, you’ll hear from me regarding updates on the work I’ve been doing for fellow Coloradans, and I’ll talk about issues important to my constituents,” a post on Gardner’s website says. “In addition, you will have the opportunity to ask me questions on the phone and online.”

The senator has been under fire for more than a month in Colorado after comments about people protesting at his office being "paid" to do so, but the fervor intensified last week after he spent the week in the state at various meetings with business leaders and others. 

But he didn’t show up to a handful of town hall meetings planned by organizers and constituents to discuss a wide range of topics, including health care, energy and President Donald Trump’s executive orders.

One of the town hall meetings used a cardboard cutout of Gardner in his absence.

“Over 14,000 people have signed a petition requesting a meeting; hundreds of people have either called or protested outside his office requesting the same. But so far, Senator Gardner has said no,” said Katie Farnan, a lead organizer with Indivisible Front Range Resistance who organized the town hall.

Gardner’s camp issued a statement on his behalf last week regarding his meetings in Colorado saying he “had the opportunity to meet with and speak to hundreds of Coloradans and discuss issues ranging from the challenges facing the agriculture community to reforming our health care system,” in part.

Gardner is a former U.S. House member who narrowly defeated Democrat incumbent Mark Udall for the senate seat in 2014 by a 48.5 to 46 percent margin.

He has so far voted with President Donald Trump in each possible confirmation or vote, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Colorado’s other senator, Democrat Michael Bennet, also has held no town hall meetings this year.

To sign up to participate in Gardner’s telephone town hall, click here.

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