Liberal activists are tired of waiting to ambush any event put on by Sen. Cory Gardner, so they’re staging a Gardner event without him.
The “in absentia town hall” is Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Byers Middle School at 105 S. Pearl St. in Denver.
Members of Congress are on a break from Washington this week, but public events in Colorado by House and Senate members in either party are scarce.
Liberals are mad about all things Trump. Conservatives are mad because Democrats are giving Trump’s nominees — including Denver’s Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — a hard time.
Protests at senators’ offices across the country have become fixtures in the news, with each nominee and executive order Trump puts out.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman learned at a town hall meeting in Aurora last month that protesters can adeptly use elected officials as a political prop. The cameras rolled as he tried to slip out the back door to avoid a made-for-TV confrontation.
Friday’s rally against Gardner is put on by “Colorado’s largest resistance organizations,” they said in a press release.
“It’s his job to plan a town hall, but since he has not, we will,” said Katie Farnan, an organizer with Indivisible Front Range Resistance. “The fact is we don’t see any other way to connect with him, given how elusive he has become. We have invited the senator and sincerely hope he will come, but will hold the town hall with or without him.”
Protesters want to talk to Gardner about “affordable healthcare, environmental regulation rollbacks, the Trump campaign’s troubling ties to Russia, and the president’s apparent conflicts of interest, to name a few.”
Cipriano listed groups he had met with and public events he has attended recently, as well.
“Our offices have added phone lines and resources to ensure we accommodate all the constituents who need our help,” she said. “We are also planning tele-town halls for Michael in March.”
Gardner held a tele-town hall this month, and his Friday night protesters said that wasn’t good enough.
“We are seeking a traditional town hall where Senator Gardner faces the people he represents, and listens to us, and also has an opportunity to learn from us and what our concerns are,” organizers of Friday’s protest said in a press release.