Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner hasn’t held a town hall meeting with constituents in about a year and a half, choosing instead to meet with private groups and telling the public about such meetings after they occur.
But he may have held conference calls with constituents, possibly in Colorado Springs, last week without informing reporters or the wider public.
Gardner’s focus on Colorado Springs may be part of a strategic move to identify and energize voters in the conservative area, where high voter turnout would be essential to a Gardner victory in 2020, say political analysts.
Gardner appears to have briefly announced a conference call with constituents May 21, as evidenced by a May 21 screen grab of the senator’s website circulated on Twitter. But then the announcement disappeared.
Also last week, a robo-call blocking service recorded multiple calls from Gardner inviting Co Springs-area citizens to join a call with Gardner.
Gardner’s recorded voice states, “Hi This is Senator Cory Gardner I’m calling to invite you to join our live telephone town hall taking place in just a few moments please stay on the line and you will be automatically connected if you have any questions about this event please call my office at 202-224-5941.”
The use of robo calls to invite constituents to his telephone event would raise eyebrows, given Gardner’s stance against such calls.
On his website, Gardner asks constituents who want to be invited to his conference calls to provide their phone numbers. So it’s possible the robo-call blocking service snagged those numbers by mistake.
Gardner’s office didn’t return a call seeking to know if he offered citizens in Colorado Springs the opportunity to talk to him last week on the phone, and, if so, whether some or all of those offers were made unsolicited via robo calls.
In the past, when questioned by reporters about not holding in-person town hall meetings, Gardner has argued that conference calls, which he refers to as tele-town halls, are a good way to interact with his constituents.