Politics

Five questions: Sen. Cory Gardner

Gardner talks about working with constituents and his top priorities in Congress

Posted 8/14/17

What is your impression of the ‘Cardboard Cory’ tour and the individuals involved?

I shared a friendly moment with one of these individuals that attended my Durango town hall last week (Aug. 4). I always encourage people to be active in their …

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Politics

Five questions: Sen. Cory Gardner

Gardner talks about working with constituents and his top priorities in Congress

Posted

What is your impression of the ‘Cardboard Cory’ tour and the individuals involved?

I shared a friendly moment with one of these individuals that attended my Durango town hall last week (Aug. 4). I always encourage people to be active in their community and engage with their elected officials at all levels of office. While we may disagree on some issues, that’s OK. We can disagree on some issues and agree on others and find common ground in order to work together. That’s what makes this nation such a great place.

Douglas County residents involved with the ‘Cardboard Cory’ tour were unhappy with the number of town halls held by your office. What is your response to them?

Town halls are just one of the many ways to engage with constituents, and while I have had over 100 town halls during my time in office, there are additional things I’m doing to meet with or speak with as many Coloradans as I can.

On healthcare alone, since January my staff and I have had nearly 400 healthcare meetings with Coloradans or organizations involved in healthcare that have an impact on the state. There is no higher priority than meeting with and assisting constituents.

How does your office reach out to constituents?

I’m proud to say that we have some of the best constituent outreach efforts in the country. We have dozens of meetings a day with Coloradans in Washington, D.C., and across the state. An effective way to reach out to constituents is through tele-town halls. Just this year we have had six tele-town halls where we had over 57,000 constituents join the call. They are a great way to speak with thousands of constituents at once and to discuss a variety of issues important for our state. I also held several employee town halls at businesses across the state that allowed me to meet with employees and see what I can be doing to better serve them.

What did you learn during the Aug. 4 town hall in Durango, with Gov. Hickenlooper, Sen. Bennet and Rep. Tipton?


I was glad to participate and hear from some great people in Durango. Sen. Bennet and I stayed for about an hour after the town hall originally ended to take questions, and it was a good opportunity to highlight the strong working relationship he and I have together.

While it got overshadowed in the media, one of the reasons why we were all in the Durango area was because of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. He followed through on his commitment to me to come see firsthand the area around the Gold King Mine Spill near Silverton. Unlike the last administration’s EPA, he promised to not leave the people behind that were impacted by this spill. It was an important moment for the community, and I appreciated his time in Colorado.

What are your top priorities while in session?


Our nation has one of the most confusing tax codes in the world that discourages businesses from bringing new jobs to the United States, and makes it difficult for small businesses to grow. I’m working with my colleagues to cut taxes for middle-class families and create new jobs across the state.

I also chair the foreign relations subcommittee that oversees East Asia and the Pacific so the situation in North Korea has been and will continue to be something I am very involved in. This rogue regime has the ability to start a nuclear war and we must do everything we can to stop that. I’ve authored legislation that sanctions nation’s aiding North Korea’s economy and believe that is one of the several ways we can deescalate the situation.

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