A reader reports that the ‘town hall’ Benton County Republican Women have been promoting Thursday in Rogers for U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton seems more likely to be a pep rally than a forum for searching questions of the tough-Twitter-talking senator.

Reservations required. Security is invoked. Tickets have been hard to come by for those who have a thing or two they’d like to talk with Cotton about. Cotton doesn’t much cotton to unpleasant questions from the public or journalists, preferring gentler treatment.


Today, we heard from Beth Coger of Fayetteville, who signed up and was told she had a ticket. Last night, it was taken away. She thinks they checked her and found ample evidence on social media of her leanings. She is not a fan of Cotton.

Please publish this and please do use my name. It is disgusting the way he treats his constituents. True, I am not a willing constituent, but he still is obligated to listen to everyone, not just those with whom he agrees.

We are living in dark times indeed.

Coger provided a copy of the email she received Friday, April 5, from Dianna Lankford in response to her ticket reservation. It says:


I have you down for one ticket. Let this email be your ticket. Dianns

Today, April 22, she got this note from Lankford:

Beth, I am so sorry, we do not have any tickets left. My mistake when I sent you the email, I was traveling that day and was not aware all tickets were gone. Senator Cotton will be back soon to NWA for town hall. Dianna

In response, Coger wrote:


Dianna, I am so disappointed in this. I was really looking forward to visiting with Senator Cotton.

I am from Dardanelle. Senator Cotton’s hometown. I know his father and his mother. His sister and my daughter are the same age and knew each other in high school and toured Europe together.

I don’t know if you know what it is like to have a chronic illness for which there is no cure, or even worse, to have your child have such an illness. In my case, my beloved daughter has Lupus. She has excellent health care now through employment, but even then, she pays a huge out-of-pocket amount for her drugs. She takes over a dozen pills morning and evening. Some of these medications are chemo drugs that caused her shiny, healthy hair to fall out and her beautiful skin to break out in rashes.

I worry everyday about what would happen to her if she lost her job and had no health care and could not afford health care. It is like a dark cloud hanging over us all. Yes, I am familiar with Senator Cotton’s “Protect Act” concerning pre-existing conditions protection, but I am also well aware of the many times when the Senator has said, “I do think that the repeal now and replace later option is probably the best practical option we have today.” I wanted to talk to him about the outrageous cost of prescription drugs and what he could do to help my daughter and others like her. I wanted to tell him about my daughter in my own words. I wanted to tell him what it is like to know that you will die without health insurance and prescription drugs and to know that powerful men and women in Washington hold that in their hands. I hope he never has to deal with that with any of his children.

I would appreciate it very much if you would ask him about this when you have the chance Thursday.

I want to believe you when you say it was just a “mistake” but I do not believe it was a mistake. I feel in my heart that it is because of my political affiliation. Regardless of my political leanings, I live in his district and I am one of his constituents. He needs to listen to us all. Not just those with whom he knows will agree with him.

Lankford insisted in response that the problem was of her making, not a political decision.

First of all so sorry for your daughter’s illness, add her to my prayers. I am elderly and do make mistakes. I have no idea about your political affiliations, and that has nothing to do with mistake. Surely he will be back for a town hall. Just wondering can you go to his web site and ask questions? Have not tried but that may be an option. I will ask or have someone to ask your question, I am assuming there will be a chance to ask questions. Keep the faith. Dianna

As a Cotton constituent who’s refused basic press services, I can testify Cotton office responsiveness is not so hot unless you’re one of his journo/stenopoolers.

But let’s see. Maybe Lankford will stand in for Coger Thursday and get some answers, including on criticism that the Republican promise of covering pre-existing conditions is for an unworkable system that would allow insurance companies to charge prohibitive prices for such coverage, essentially rendering it meaningless.