Bennet Swings Into August Town Halls While Gardner Hides

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

FOX 31 reports:

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet is slated to hold two town hall meetings in Colorado this week, one Monday afternoon and the second on Tuesday.

According to Bennet’s office, the first town hall will be held in Greeley and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. and last about an hour. Doors open to the public at 5:00 p.m…

Bennet’s town hall on Tuesday will be held at Northeastern Junior College, Hays Student Center, Tennant Art Gallery in Sterling.

That meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. and also last an hour. Doors open to the public at 4:30 p.m.

Sen. Michael Bennet wasted no time setting up the first of a number of town hall meetings running throughout the August congressional recess. And he’s not alone: we expect to see the whole delegation out engaging with constituents this month, with even former town hall holdouts like Rep. Mike Coffman having discovered that taking your lumps in front of a hostile crowd is better for you than hiding from your constituents or relying on stilted meeting formats designed to impede public access.

The one exception to this rule is Sen. Cory Gardner, who has done tremendous damage to his public image by steadfastly refusing to hold public events even after that refusal became an extreme liability. Last Friday during Gardner’s pummeling by a last-minute crowd in Durango, he made vague promises to hold a town hall at some point in the future–but it’s an honest question how much it would even help him now. During the debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act that dominated the first seven months of the year, Gardner became a poster child for inaccessibility to constituents. From being chased around the state by protesters to Gardner’s ill-advised visit with Filipino strongman Rodrigo Duterte while constituents waited, it’s hard to imagine how Gardner could have done more to alienate Coloradans who wanted to talk to him. And at this point, with Gardner’s approval rating parked below 30%, the damage may be done.

One problem we could see plainly in Gardner’s responses to questions during Friday’s impromptu event was a surprising lack of preparation. When drilled repeatedly to explain why he voted for health care legislation that broke his former promises to protect Medicaid and jacked up premiums, Gardner reverted to bizarre repetitions of his prior promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act–and that only made the crowd more upset. It’s true that Gardner didn’t have a lot of time to study up for this event, and the time for questions expanded only after public outcry. But if what we saw Friday is Gardner’s best performance under fire, it’s a lot easier to understand why he’s so averse to holding public events.

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Maybe Sen. Gardner just isn’t as good at this as everyone thought.


24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Let me get this straight. The left publicized a meeting in Durango about the EPA-caused environmental disaster in the Animas River to sabotage the event and make it about preserving free stuff for the poor. But that's Gardner's fault?????

    The American people are getting tired of these antics. We have a lot more issues to deal with than Obamacare, but you won't let our leaders talk about anything else. Do you not agree the EPA-caused disaster in Silverton (corrected) is a problem? Are you so enslaved to the state that you have to cause a distraction? That's what it looks like to me!!

    • unnamed says:

      "Not everything Cory Gardner does is evil".  Jeez.  Maybe people have had enough of Gardner ignoring his constituents.  Maybe he can sit down with Putin next.

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:


       Do you not agree the EPA-caused disaster in Silverthorne is a problem? 

      You ignorant bag of sheep doodoo…it's SILVERTON… Not Silverthorne.

      And the EPA didn't "cause" the pollution…they were trying to clean up the mess left by wealthy mine owners. It was left there by the corporation that took enormous wealth from the earth through that mine adit, and then abandoned it for the taxpayers to clean up. The unfortunate accident was the result of the Gold King Mine owners fucking the taxpayers once again…NOT wrongdoing by the EPA.


      • Genghis says:

        You ignorant bag of sheep doodoo…it's SILVERTON… Not Silverthorne.

        An elementary blunder like that suggests that ol' "Moderatus" is one of those out-of-state agitators the GOP is always warning us about.

      • Carolannie says:

        Even more fascinating: it wasn’t the EPA that caused this disaster, it was the PRIVATE company (as in private enterprise does everything better! Republican TM) that caused it. And of course, the benevolent rich overlords helped by creating the initial stupid disastrous storage problem.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        Be grateful the ignorant bag of sheep doodoo didn't call it Silverado.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Vintage Fluffy.  Maybe he was referring to that incident on the Yellow River? . . . 

        . . . or maybe it was the Blue? . . . 

        . . . when they caught those EPA guys pissing off a bridge after the kegger???

        Who knows?  It's Moderatus for fuxsakes, it's not meant to be taken seriously, literally, or understood in anyway except as the rantings of an ingnoramus and a boob!

        Still . . . 

        This is today's winner for me:

        The American people are getting tired of these antics. We have a lot more issues to deal with than Obamacare, but you won't let our leaders talk about anything else.

        • RepealAndReplace says:

          We have a lot more issues to deal with than Obamacare

          Is that why the U.S. House made a fetish out of voting to repeal it how many dozen times?

          Back to the topic at hand: maybe Moldy is referring to the Silverthorne factory outlet stores as the environmental disaster……

          • kwtreemamajama55 says:

            I was connecting Silverado bank – Neil Bush – Walker Stapleton- Gold mining – Gold King Mine disaster.

            But that's how my political brain works. Who knows? Maybe Mods will support Walker Stapleton's gubernatorial bid because he's pro-gold mining, or something.

    • scubafox says:

      Indeed "free stuff" is being distributed.

      Because Tax Expenditures don't go away on their own, i.e., expire, 
      the U.S. now has Tax Loopholes so large that the Loopholes are Bigger than the Loop.

      Here are some Quick Facts on Tax Breaks (Tax Entitlement "free stuff" gifts for the true "Takers" that, unlike SS & Medicare, are unpaid-for):

      Tax Expenditures are 10% greater that ALL Discretionary Spending funded by income taxes … that's $1.22T vs $1.11 Trillion! WTF???

      Over half of Tax Expenditures go to the top 20% … that's 50.6% or $617B.

      Tax Expenditures going to the top 20% are greater than military spending … that's, $599B, 54% of Discretionary Spending! WTF???

      16.6% of Tax Expenditures go to the top 1% … that's over twice the 7.7% that goes to the bottom 20%; $203B vs $94B

      Tax Expenditures going to the top 1% are 2.7X SNAP benefits … that's $203B vs $74.1B or 1/6th of all Tax Breaks.

      This makes clear that Tax Breaks for the wealthy creates a "culture of dependency" … for the most well-off.

  2. kwtreemamajama55 says:

    Cory Gardner's Durango "Town Hall" was featured in the lead segment on Congressmembers facing constituent wrath on the recess. Maddow (hosted by Joy Reid) tonight:

    Enjoy. I know I did.

  3. ZappateroZappatero says:

    That Michael Bennet is a Go-Getter, people!

    He found a free hour in his schedule and has decided to spend 60 whole minutes (that's Three-Thousand AND Six-Hundred Seconds!) talking with the citizens of Colorado……out in public, no less!

    Thank you, Colorado Pols, for passing along this astounding news from the Distinguished Senator-for-Life.

    Well, or his press office anyway.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      I'm happy to call him my senator. He's interested in being effective, not a loud-mouth grand stander.

      I don't know about senator-for-life, but I wouldn't mind seeing him run for a third term.

    • kwtreemamajama55 says:

      Hey, it's good to  know town hall schedules. Yes, Bennet does what is normal or expected for a Senator, and Gardner violates those norms. Is your point that we shouldn't give Bennet credit for being normal?

      Personally, I'd like to ask Bennet if he will support Sanders' upcoming "Medicare for All" legislation. I'd also like to again ask him to withdraw sponsorship for the "punish all anti-Israel critics" bill he signed onto.

      I have a Democratic org meeting tonight so won't be going to Bennet's town hall in Sterling. Do you ever actually call or write to Senator Bennet with your concerns?

      He may or may not read Pols, but he's more likely to be moved by specific policy "asks" than with general snarkiness.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        When it comes to Michael Bennet, Zapp is the ultimate "snarkster." As in, Bennet can never do anything right to please the Zapper.

        Forget about health care for a moment, Bennet has joined the New Mexico senators in sponsoring a long overdue bill to reform the long antiquated 1872 Mining Act. That could be the most commendable thing he does in a period of several years. The bill is a direct result of Gold King. 

        • kwtreemamajama55 says:

          That 1872 mining act had something to do with the Oregon Bundy / Ammon wildlife occupation. I'm out and about, can't research it right now, but please 'splain what this reform of the 1872 mining act will do.


        • RepealAndReplace says:

          Give Zappy some credit….

          He's now added Chris Cillizza and Jason Bane to his repertoire of gripes and grievances. He needed to mix it up or risk becoming a one trick pony with Michael Bennet. 

  4. kwtreemamajama55 says:

    More "Bennet vs. Gardner" contrast in Yuma today.

    There was a county parade in Yuma today. It looks as though a wonderful time was had by all. Yuma Indivisible and Dems had a float and a strong presence (78 people there).

    Las Estrellas, which is an organization of "Dreamers" – (young people brought to this country by parents, and who are undocumented but seeking US citizenship) marched in the Yuma parade. (See photo below, from Northern Colorado Dreamers United Facebook page)

    Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet also were in the parade – Cory Gardner drove or rode in a tractor – not sure what Bennet did.  Bennet came over and chatted with Las Estrellas about their concerns and affirmed his support for the DACA rule.

    Cory Gardner…..fled. Yes, he did. He looked at the signs, and although the youth wanted to talk with him, he didn't want to talk with them.  He walked away, got into a car, and drove away without talking with them. There may be video of this…if there is, I'll put it up later.


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