The open line and questions about the Tom Cotton town hall | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The open line and questions about the Tom Cotton town hall

Posted By on Sat, Feb 18, 2017 at 4:51 PM

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Here's the Saturday open line and also an update on the town hall that U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton had scheduled at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Jones Center in Springdale.

Ozark Indivisible, which has been pushing Cotton to meet with his constituents on health care and other issues, says it has been informed by the Jones Center that the event is no longer scheduled for that venue. It still appears as the site on Cotton's webpages.

One of those working for input, Billy Fleming, said the group has been unable to find out what's up. Interest in the town hall has been high. Perhaps Cotton has sought a bigger venue, but, if so, he hasn't told any of the Ozark group yet. One other senator under heavy fire in another state announced a venue 30 minutes before the event, which made it hard to attend.

I've sent a note of inquiry to Cotton's press spokesperson. I wrote as a taxpaying, registered voter of Arkansas. But his office has throughout his tenure refused to take questions from me or the Arkansas Times, constituent or not. If there's a change in custom, I'll let you know the answer.

I won't jump to conclusions. Congressmen in South Carolina faced the music and met a large inquisitive crowd at a town hall. They moved it outside when the room proved too small.  I've heard it was a positive discussion of issues that was so encouraging  the congressmen reportedly said they'd have others. That's how it ought to work.

Cotton has never demonstrated such an openness, preferring friendly reporters and ideological soulmates when he opens himself to questions. For a time, he even blocked his office to any visitors. But maybe he'll get UA to open a big hall.

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