Coverage of Coffman web ad should note Coffman’s support of extreme anti-immigrant ballot initiative

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols reported yesterday that Rep. Mike Coffman has launched a web ad attcking his Democratic opponent, Andrew Romanoff, for supporting tough immigration legislation in 2006.

But Stokols omitted the fact that Romanoff's compromise legislation came in response to a hard-line immigration ballot initiative that was endorsed by Coffman. The Coffman-backed initiative, called Defend Colorado Now, would have stopped Colorado from providing services to all undocumented immigrants, even children. One of the 2006 Romanoff-backed laws, for example (HB-1023), specifically allowed children 18-years or younger to receive state services, like vaccinations.

Stokols piece fails to note the transparent hypocrisy of Coffman attacking Romanoff passing immigration laws, even though Coffman favored a more extreme anti-immigrant ballot initiative, which triggered the need for the compromise laws crafted by Romanoff and others. And Coffman's measure would have been enshrined in the state Constitution, if it passed, which seemed likely at the time.

Stokols should have included a comment (or a no comment) by Coffman addressing his 2006 support of the extreme Defend Colorado Now initiative.

Coffman's web ad spotlights a 2010 quote from Democratic State Sen. Jesse Ulibarri, who's now backing Romanoff, criticizing Romanoff for the laws passed during the 2006 special session. In his piece yesterday, Stokols reports Ulibarri's current thinking on the 2006 special session:

Ulibarri also told FOX31 Denver that he now has a better understanding, thanks in part to being a state lawmaker himself, of Romanoff’s choice back in 2006 than he did when he penned the 2010 Op-Ed, noting that the legislation passed was an effort to avoid a ballot measure that would have made it a felony for undocumented immigrants to have access to public services, including emergency room care, in the event of a health emergency.

“As Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives at the time, Andrew was faced with the choice of doing nothing and allowing undocumented children and many Coloradans to be denied emergency room care or finding an option to prevent an incredibly heinous law from being enshrined in our Constitution,” Ulibarri said.

“Speaker Romanoff fought to keep this measure off of the ballot by brokering a compromise during the special legislative session. This compromise made Colorado law consistent with federal law that denied certain public services to undocumented immigrants with exceptions for children, public health and safety. And while I don’t agree with the bills that were passed, I understand why the deal was made.”

That's good context on Coffman's ad. Just as important would have been an explanation from Coffman on why he supported the proposed constitutional amendment that Romanoff worked with Republican Gov. Bill Owens and others to stop.

4 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how many free passes Republicans get for their unconscionable positions by the press.  Stokols is a good reporter, so his omission is surprising.  Management editing for "balance"?

  2. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    Coffmans law would have landed in Federal Court, since the Feds mandate K-12 education and emergency rroom care for undocumented people  The state would have incurred (at least) thousands of dollars in legal fees even if the AG had argued the case. Considerng how the Repulicans are always poor-mouthing about the budget, would this have been a good use of our treasury? I see a campaign ad for Romanoff here.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Another case in point of GOP spend-thriftyness for little gain:  Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler's multi-million dollar, multiyear pursuit of the death penalty in the Aurora Theater shooting.

      So instead of taking the plea of guilty with no chance of parole last year, he grandstands for the unlikely chance a jury will want to execute the shooter, and more likely find him insane, and, guess what — in prison for the rest of his life, wasting psychologists time and money trying to 'cure' him so he can be set free.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      The Cook serves it up proper! Two thumbs up ….yesyes

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