A press advisory a short while ago announced a bonafide public town hall meeting tomorrow afternoon with the elusive Sen. Cory Gardner–in the city of Durango in the far southwest corner of the state, about six hours’ drive time from Denver. Gardner will appear with Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Rep. Scott Tipton, although it’s not as newsworthy an event for any of them:
Gov. John Hickenlooper, along with Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, and Rep. Scott Tipton, will hold a town hall following their visit with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and tour of the Gold King Mine. They, along with representatives from the EPA, will provide an update of their meeting and take questions from attendees.
Durango Town Hall
WHO: Gov. John Hickenlooper
Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet
Rep. Scott Tipton
Durango Mayor Dick White & La Plata County Commissioner Brad Blake will moderate.
WHERE: La Plata County Administration Building Board Room
1101 E. 2nd Ave.
Durango, CO 81301
WHEN: Friday, Aug. 4, 2017
2:15 p.m. — 3:00 p.m.
Doors open to the public and media at 1:45 p.m.
If it goes ahead as announced, this will be the first public town hall meeting for Senator Gardner in 494 days. The lack of advance notice and remote location of the event — not to mention the 45 minute time period — are potent reminders of how difficult it is for constituents to interact with Sen. Gardner, and won’t do anything to appease his critics in more populated areas of the state. With that said, Durango has plenty of homegrown Gardner critics who will line up for this chance to hold him accountable.
On the other hand if these other politicians, for whom public town hall meetings are not the same kind of problem, were to throw their own town hall without Gardner after they all toured the Gold King Mine cleanup site together…well, that would look pretty bad too. We’re inclined doubt this town hall was Gardner’s idea, and there may have simply been no good option other than to take his lumps.
Either way, if you see a miles-long convoy of Subarus, Priuses and VW buses rolling west on US-160 tonight and tomorrow morning, this is probably why.