Protesters Greet Senator Gardner on New Year’s Eve in Yuma

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Hey folks we are having a house party at Cory Gardner's house in Yuma, Colorado! #ADAPTandResist #FreeOurPeople #DIAToday #SaveMedicaid

Posted by Carrie Ann Lucas on Sunday, December 31, 2017

Video from  New Years Eve visit to Senator Gardner’s home in Yuma

On New Year’s Eve 2017, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado had some unexpected visitors outside his home in Yuma, Colorado. Twelve protesters and supporters from Atlantis ADAPT  braved the bitter cold to hold a “house party” on the sidewalk outside Gardner’s home, asking for him to come out and talk with them about how the tax legislation he supported would affect their lives. (about 23:00 minutes in to the video) They chanted:

“Cory Gardner, come on out! We’ve got something to talk about!” and “New Year’s Resolution – Uphold the Constitution!”

However, Senator Gardner declined to party with the protesters, and never spoke with them, although, according to a police officer in the video, he was at home at the time.

Carrie Ann Lucas, a member of the Atlantis ADAPT board, and a candidate for the town board of Windsor, posted live video of the protest. I asked Ms. Lucas to comment on the events.

Q: What did you want to accomplish by visiting Cory Gardner’s home in Yuma on New Year’s Eve?

A: We wanted to have a dialogue with Sen Gardner to prevent Medicaid cuts that are so harmful to disabled Coloradans and to get a commitment to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act like Sen Bennett, and Reps Degette, Polis, Tipton, Coffman, and Perlmutter. The Disability Integration Act will ensure that all disabled people and seniors have the right to receive support services in their own homes, rather than institutional settings such as nursing homes.

Sen. Gardner is not representing Coloradans, but is increasingly beholden to corporate interests. We will continue to try to dialogue with him until he either starts representing the people of Colorado, or he is voted out of office.

2. The tax reform bill Gardner voted for will probably trigger huge Medicaid cuts. How would this affect you and your family?

I am able to work full-time and pay a premium to access Medicaid.  I have good private insurance because I work for a Colorado state agency, but my insurance does not cover the attendant care I need to get out of bed, dressed, and showered to allow me to work.With Medicaid cuts, I would be forced to stop working, and would likely be institutionalized. I would be forced to rely on government benefits, rather than working and being a taxpayer. My daughters would also be forced into institutions if Medicaid cuts caused the state to end the optional home and community based services programs that pay for the attendants that allow us to live in our own homes.

I have called, faxed or emailed his office nearly every day for a year.

I have rarely spoken with a staffer, or gotten a response. With the exception of a 3 day sit-in. He had a single short town hall in my area in an entire year, and only a very small number of people even had the opportunity to ask questions.

Meanwhile, I do speak with staffers at my other representative’s offices.
I expect we will be back to all of his offices, including Yuma. Our lives and livelihoods are on the line.

I tried to contact Senator Gardner at his home in Yuma – his phone number is published in the phone directory for Eastern Colorado, as well as in the voter record database. However, his wife asked me to call the Senator at one of his nine offices during business hours. Mrs. Gardner complained about people “banging on her door after midnight” and disturbing herself and her children.

From the video, this “banging” would appear to have been someone, possibly a police officer, knocking on the door (at about 39 minutes in to the video) to see if Gardner would come out to talk. (He wouldn’t.)

About the issue of contacting the Gardners at home, Ms. Lucas responded:

I am running for office myself. I have given my home phone out for constituents to contact me. Several times I have gone to his office locations to try to speak with staff, only to have them close and lock their doors to avoid constituents.

Clearly, Cory Gardner does not want to talk about the tax legislation he promoted and voted for.  Most people we know will get a small tax cut this year. I’ll get about $600. However, my health insurance premiums will increase about $1500 because of the GOP attacks on Obamacare. If Medicaid and Medicare cuts are automatically triggered, our small rural hospitals and nursing homes, the foundations of our economy, will lose 60% of their revenue, and might have to close. This is as true in Yuma as it is anywhere in Colorado.

Gardner will not admit that the wealthiest Americans (incomes of $700,000 and over) will reap hundreds of thousands in tax cuts this year alone. Corporations will also pay much less taxes, and their tax cuts are permanent. By 2025, my little $600 tax cut will be an $800 increase, because my cut goes away,.

Even though Medicare and Medicaid are not on the chopping block right now, because of a waiver to the PAYGO law, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said that he wants to tackle “entitlements” next year. Cory’s tax law forces a $1.5 trillion deficit, and the PAYGO response by law is to automatically sequester social services funds.

If that happens, those among us who need medical services just to survive, just to work and pay taxes and take care of our families, would suddenly have little alternative but to beg for a bed in a nursing home – if those will even still exist.

School health programs and clinics would be defunded, and probably have to shut down. Some of the neediest and most disabled children would have no access to health care or services  at all.

That is why Lucas and Atlantis ADAPT deserve all of our thanks for being on the front lines – even in the dead of winter, at midnight on New Year’s Eve, in Yuma, Colorado.


About kwtree

Retired teacher, aspiring writer, doting grandma. Nosy, curious, persistent.

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I sympathize with ADAPT. But, I hope they have some remorse from likely scaring the crap out of Gardner's kids. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Until Sen. Gardner does more than hold telephone conferences with masses of people, speak occasionally with representatives of the nonpartisan media, show up on short public notice for Republican events, mingle with Republican donors at their private events, and have a staff respond to constituent letters and email with more than form letters, I think groups escalating to invite conversation is a fair bit of political theater.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Inviting conversation is one thing.  The “political theatre” when one refuses (as is, unfortunately in this case, anyone’s right) is another.  

        Attempting to interrupt one’s family at their home during a holiday is just ridiculously bad form.  This won’t earn their cause a single additional supporter, and will just alienate the fence-sitters.  

        Pissing in the wind isn’t ever a great idea, even when it’s not below freezing . . . 

        • mamajama55 says:

          Dio, here's how I would have liked it to have gone down:

          Cory and Mrs. G hear protesters out on the sidewalk. They notify the police, as is their right, but feel compassion for the freezing people , and invoke that "small town hospitality" that is supposed to be a value they hold.

          First, they invite people in to their home to warm up with hot tea, hot cocoa, etc, or since their home isn't accessible , at least into a heated garage.  When people are as comfortable as possible, then they talk about the issues. What a concept.

          Then Cory can still do his fast-talking glibberish explanation about how the tax deal is awesome, and not a giveaway for the rich at all, and would never trigger the gutting of the social safety net, and how he has unending compassion for people who need attendant services, and would never vote for anything that would take it away from them.

          Probably, the protesters would respond with derision and argument, but at least they'd be talking.

          That would have been the way to model compassion, civility, and true Christian charity for their children. That’s not what they did.

          Why isn't Cory Gardner cosponsoring the Disability Integration Act, as fellow GOPers Tipton and Coffman, plus all of the Democratic delegation, are doing?

          Perhaps this is the answer:


        • DavidThi808 says:

          I'm with Dio. This was both wrong and counter-productive.

          Mama – it's legit to say Senator Gardner should talk to his constituents sometime. It's not legit to say he should do so anytime some show up.

          • mamajama55 says:

            Again….Cory could have walked out of his front door, out onto the public sidewalk in front of his house, and had a conversation, supervised by 10 cops, including making an appointment to meet at another time and place.

            That would have satisfied them, and they would have gone away. Cory could have gone inside,  and explained to his kids the next morning how democracy works and that public figures sometimes have to give up private time.

            Or he could have invited the protesters to come in and warm up, have some schnapps and cookies and talk then and there. He did neither.

            ADAPT has not protested at the offices or homes of Coffman, Tipton, or any of the Democrats, because those legislators have been willing to meet with them, and discuss the Disability Integration Act and their concerns about Medicare / Medicaid cuts.

            From talking with some of Cory's neighbors in Yuma, I hear that he is becoming increasingly unpopular and isolated in his own home town. That's his doings, and he can undo it, by meeting with and representing his constituents.

    • Mike W. says:

      Pretty soft kids if a few people in wheelchairs huddled in the freezing cold scare them. They wouldn't last long in the neighborhoods I grew up in, and I've had a pretty comfortable life!

    • mamajama55 says:

      Gardner's kids were at home, with their parents inside, and protected by five squad cars full of police responding to 8 people in wheelchairs and 4 attendants outside on the sidewalk. I doubt that they were that scared by some chanting on the sidewalk at midnight….probably more curious.

      If Medicaid funds are sequestered in response to Gardner's tax plan, which seems likely next year (Paul Ryan is planning on it), then millions of disabled children will lose their health care. Schools will lose school based clinics and school nurses. Community health programs will close their doors.

      4 million kids are already at risk of losing coverage because the stupid Congress won't authorize the CHIP program. Their coverage is being rolled over to Medicaid instead. What happens when Medicaid is cut?

    • Moderatus says:

      Kids and families are supposed to be off limits in politics, but Democrats attack everyone. Trump's 10 year old child, Gardner's children. They didn't care if Gardner's children were afraid, they were TRYING to scare his children.

      If you don't like it, tell them. But don't play dumb. This is who Democrats are.

      • mamajama55 says:

        Mods – all Cory had to do was go outside, protected by umpteen police in 5 squad cars and talk with the protesters, like a human being.

        He chose not to do that.

        I did report exactly what Mrs. Gardner said to me – and she said nothing about her kids being afraid. She did complain that someone was "banging on her door after midnight".

        I also asked her, “Why didn’t the Senator just go out and talk with them?” But she didn’t answer that.

        If you watch the video, at about 39:00 in, the protesters discuss whether someone should go and knock on the door. It hadn't happened up to that point – probably because they didn't want a trespassing or disturbance charge. It also would have had to have been one of the able-bodied attendants, since Cory's house is not accessible for wheelchairs.

        You can hear Dawn Russell, one of the protesters, asking someone to knock on the door for her, and the person saying, "Yes, ma'am, I sure will." That's really all we know about "banging on the doors".

        But you keep on milking that fake victimhood.

      • unnamed says:

        Nutlid.  People have been telling Gardner for the last year.  Lots of people.  He has never listened. He did this to himself.  Now, you want to act like a whiney victim about the results.  And isn't that an example of being, in your words a "beta-cuck"?

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Just like they treated Chelsea Clinton in the early '90's? Don't you remember Rush Limbaugh's jokes about her?

  2. bullshit! says:

    Did you see this shit?

    It doesn't even make sense but ADAPT sure pissed off Gardner's peeps! Nice work.

    And it's all Colorado Pols' fault says Moderanus and Colorado Peak Politics!

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