MESA, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake is laying out a “code of conduct” for people attending a town hall that the first-term Arizona Republican plans Thursday evening in Mesa.
Flake’s announcement of the event includes a code of conduct that said attendees with signs, banners or “objects that create a disturbance” will not be admitted. It also stated people will be immediately removed if they do not comply with the posted and audible instructions.
The code of conduct said it is was put in place “to ensure a safe, enjoyable, and productive town hall.”
Flake’s office expects nearly 2,000 people will attend Thursday’s event in Mesa.
House and Senate Republicans across the country have faced jeering and critical crowds when holding town halls while home on congressional recesses. Some GOP lawmakers aren’t even holding them.
Arizona protesters banded together against Flake’s decision to not hold town hall meetings earlier this year through various protests and rallies outside of the senator’s home, Phoenix office and events held in the area.
Flake’s constituents even created an online petition to ask the lawmaker to host an in-person meeting while he’s in the Valley for the congressional recess.
“I don’t know how he plans to do his job if he doesn’t have a pulse on what real people’s lives are like and what real people are thinking,” said Jaclyn Boyes, a Phoenix resident who created the petition.
Flake was an outspoken critic against President Trump during the election, but has since received intense backlash from anti-Trump activists for his support of his cabinet nominees, including the billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Constituents have also criticized his legislation blocking internet privacy, which would allow telecommunications companies to track consumers browsing activities without permission and effectively dismantle the Obama administration’s regulations furthering consumers’ online protections.
Former state Sen. Kelli Ward challenged Sen. John McCain from the right last year during the primary and lost but is making another run. She views Flake as part of the establishment.
Doors of the Mesa Convention Center will open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. event that is scheduled to conclude at 8:30 p.m.
KTAR’s Griselda Zetino and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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