Aurora Sentinel Finds Coffman Votes Don’t Match VA Rhetoric

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Coffman will now take your questions…nah, just kidding.

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is one of many Members of Congress to call for the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki as part of the ongoing scandal surrounding care at VA Hospitals around the country. But as Aaron Cole reports in the Aurora Sentinel, Coffman's voting record doesn't exactly match his rhetoric:

Aurora U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican, as recently as January voted against a spending bill that would have set aside as much as $100 million for overtime and additional training for claims processors to reduce the growing backlog of veterans waiting for care. Coffman joined 66 other Republicans in the House, including Colorado congressmen Doug Lamborn, Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton, in voting against that appropriations bill. VA officials and the Obama Administration are embroiled in a nationwide controversy over shoddy medical care for veterans…

Coffman did not comment on his vote after repeated requests. [Pols emphasis] The Marines veteran and longtime Colorado politician is running for a fourth term to his 6th Congressional District against former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat. The race is predicted to be one of the most expensive and competitive during the 2014 midterm election. Both sides are now targeting VA issues as election fodder.

Locally, Coffman has been critical of the VA’s handling of a replacement hospital being built in Aurora, which is the focus of a controversy about being over budget. Hundreds of millions in funding for the maligned Aurora VA hospital have also been packaged in larger spending bills that have faced opposition by Coffman and other GOP lawmakers. Two large bills that provided nearly $200 million in funding for the hospital in Aurora were opposed by Coffman in the years leading up to this most recent spate of criticism for mismanagement. A funding bill in 2009 for $119 million and a funding bill in 2011 for $42 million set aside for the VA hospital in Aurora were both opposed by Coffman. The 2011 appropriations bill would have been drafted by Republicans in control of Congress.

While it is certainly no real surprise to see Coffman saying one thing and doing another — he is, after all, a man who adjusts ideological positions like the rest of us change socks — but we're perplexed at Coffman's continued inability to deal with the media in an intelligent manner. You'd think Coffman would have learned more from his "Obama is not an American" debacle two years ago, but he and/or his campaign seem incapable of understanding that working with the media is a two-way street.

There are plenty of vanilla responses that Team Coffman could have provided to the Aurora Sentinel, and any of them would have been better than ending up with the sentence, "Coffman did not comment on his vote after repeated requests."

It's difficult to maintain that you have nothing to hide when your default response is…well, to hide.



20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    Coffman's PR flack must be on vacation with his fact-checker.

    Here's another non-response from his team (from the Colorado Independent):

    Romanoff campaign challenges Coffman to immigration debate

    Coffman’s campaign did not respond to messages before post time, but the candidate, whose has remained elusive to members of the media during primary season, is unlikely to submit to the debate even as he seems to be working to bolster his immigration record.

  2. dwyer says:

    I think the Aurora Sentinel is one of Colorado's remaing newspaper gems.

  3. SSG_Dan says:

    Meh. The man knows NOTHING about the VA, except what simpleton talking points he gets from Teapublican HQ.

    The fact that he personally knew about the scheduling problems in 2013 and did absolutely nothing should be proof enough he needs a new job.

  4. Andrew Carnegie says:

    The general thesis, Politicians rhetoric does not match voting record applies to 90% of Politicians.  Obama is the most transparent evah? Udall if you like your plan? etc.

    If Romanoff had served in elective office recently the shoe would fit with him, too.

    Using as your example that Coffman did not vote for additional funding means he does not care about veterans is nonsense.

    Spending more money that you borrow from others without restructuring a failing system, is like dumping more water in a bucket that has a hole in the bottom.  There is a systemic mid-managment culture of corruption.  It needs to be addressed before more water is thrown in the bucket.

    The House with Coffman's vote passed a bill that addresses the problem.  The Senate has not brought the bill up.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      That has got to be the most mealy-mouthed, spineless, disingenuous defense of blatant GOP hypocrisy that I've ever witnessed.  "Politicians rhetoric does not match voting record applies to 90% of Politicians"   That's all you've got? 

      • langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

        I'msure you noticed  our troll did not include the number of the bill Coffman allegedly voted for that dealt with the problem as AC sees it. One always has to wonder what little bit of poison the Republicans/baggers added on. Of course AC would never tell anyone. The Pee-Wee Herman defense is all they've got so they use it every chance .

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Never stopped your side from spending more money on the top .1%. See the latest 300 billion your team thinks the elite needs in tax breaks at the expense of the rest of us poor slobs, including vets. And it's not as if you don't know that those breaks don't trickle down and the middle class keeps losing ground while the ranks of the poor grow under your reverse Robin Hood policies. You do. All the stats are there going back decades. Shows where your priorities really are. 

      Repugs have made an art form of convincing Joe Six Pack that Dems are socialists who want to transfer their hard earned pay to the undeserving while pulling off history's larges ever transfer of wealth out of the pockets of the majority and into the pockets of the top .1%. Under your policies nobody has made out better than the top .01%, except for the top .001%. The poor starving billionaires. Your discredited trickle down theory has destroyed the US as the number one land of upward mobility and left the majority middle, including vets, in the dust. Demographics say it's going to catch up with you and when it does, it's going to really smart.wink

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.