Slamming the media, Coffman says stock market would have crashed if not for GOP tax cuts

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

In an appearance on KNUS 710-AM’s Jimmy Sengenberger Show Saturday, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman said recent U.S. economic growth came “in anticipation of tax cuts,” and without passage of the Republican tax bill, “the market would have tanked” and the U.S economy “wouldn’t be at 3.2 percent growth.”

Coffman delivered these comments as he slammed portrayals of the tax bill in the “mainstream media,” including in a Denver Post editorial and apparently in the Aurora Sentinel.

Coffman at 11 min 30 sec here: “I think the Denver Post did an editorial where they said, ‘Why do corporations need this tax cut because we are at 3.2 percent growth?’ Well, we wouldn’t be at 3.2 percent growth. Again, the market would have tanked. The growth has been in anticipation of tax cuts. I am looking forward to wage growth. I am looking forward to job growth.”

U.S. economic growth and stock market increases started prior to Trump’s election victory, with a stock market bump last year. The most common explanation isn’t the tax cut but that the U. S. economy is growing along with the global economy

In mentioning The Post, Coffman, who did not return an email for comment, appears to be referencing a Dec. 18 editorial, headlined, “Colorado lawmakers should oppose the dismal Trump tax plan,” which argued, in part, that “if corporations wished to invest in employee wages and job creation, they would be doing so now.”

Denver Post: Unable even to stay within the generous and arbitrary cap of adding $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, Republicans turned to accounting lies to pay for an overly aggressive 21 percent corporate tax rate. To save money on paper, the bill would sunset key tax credits for the middle class and lower-income Americans, meaning that those income categories would be hit hard with tax increases in coming years, or, should their cuts be extended down the road, that the bill spends far more than it purports to.

The American economy would be better served with tax cuts focused on the middle class. Corporate America sits flush on record amounts of cash. If corporations wished to invest in employee wages and job creation, they would be doing so now. Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.3 percent in the third quarter, unemployment rests at its lowest point in a decade and earnings reports continue to fuel a bull market.

The last-minute decision to reduce the tax rate for the highest earners gives the impression that the plan is mostly a sham meant to give a Christmas gift to GOP donors.

Coffman isn’t just upset with The Denver Post editorial board’s view on the tax bill but with the entire “mainstream media’s depiction of it,” including his “local newspaper,” which is presumably the Aurora Sentinel.

Coffman at 3 min 30 sec: “I’m very disappointed with the mainstream media’s depiction of it. I’m just kind of surprised at that. I think it was absolutely essential that it passed. We can quibble with some of the details, but all in all it’s going to be good for the economy, good for the country.”

When my local newspaper said we were cutting taxes on the wealthy to increase taxes on the middle class. You know, I’m going to meet with that particular writer and say, ‘Show me a middle class family in this in this congressional district that is going to have their taxes increase…This is great.”

Most independent analyses have concluded that the tax bill will add over a trillion dollars to the U.S. deficit over the next decade.

Asked about this on air by Sengenberger, Coffman said that estimates by the Congressional Budget Office and others are based on recent years of sluggish growth. An economy stimulated by the tax cuts will produce “great growth” and revenue that will fend off deficits, Coffman said.

Jason Crow: No Friend of Organized Labor

Jason Crow: No Friend of Organized Labor

I’ve noticed that Jason likes to tout his endorsements from organized labor. Do these endorsements from professional trade unions reflect the rank and file or is it more of the failed political calculus that keeps America from moving forward?

Take a look at Crow’s positions and imagine yourself as a dues-paying member of the local union.

Jason Crow supports illegal immigration. It is an economic fact that when you increase the supply of something the price goes down. When the government increases the supply of labor by not enforcing immigration law, you can expect to see slow or no wage growth. As a rank and file member of the local, this is not what you bargained for when you open the dues statement.

Illegal immigration steals the only productive resource an individual has, the right to sell his labor. Crow is ok with that.

Crow also has loudly trashed the tax cut bill. Of course, this is a predictable Democratic talking point of “tax cuts for the rich.” If you are the professional trade union boss is that how you see it? It is a widely acknowledged economic principle that if you want more economic activity, you reduce the tax rate, if you want less, you increase the tax rate. Reductions in the corporate tax rate will increase business expansion, spending on plant and equipment, increased job opportunities and wage growth.

For the professional trade union member, this means steady employment, the opportunity for increasing wages and satisfaction of providing an improved living standard for the family.

YES! That’s what we all want, except Jason Crow. Jason doesn’t like the tax bill. He wants more of the Obama economy for all constituents.

Political affiliation of members of professional trade unions, splits into thirds, much like the rest of the country. One-third Democratic, one-third un-affiliated, one-third Republican. Union leadership fails members when they choose to ally themselves with the Democratic Party exclusively.

Now that we know that Crow stands against blue-collar workers by opposing steady work, increasing wages, an improved standard of living, will the unions withdraw their endorsements?

Boulder Daily Camera Shreds Gardner’s Faux Weed Outrage

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

As we noted last week, Sen. Cory Gardner’s outrage over the decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rescind Obama-era protections against a federal crackdown on marijuana in states that have legalized cannabis left un–or at least under–stated something very important: the fact that Gardner, alone among Colorado’s representatives in Washington, cast a key vote to confirm Sessions. This puts Gardner is a much more directly responsible position for Sessions’ actions than anyone else in the state.

After Gardner’s speech, he received a round of talking-head credit for “standing up to Trump,” including another rote atta-boy from the Denver Post editorial board. But the Boulder Daily Camera editorial board, on the other hand, isn’t buying it:

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner was shocked — shocked! — last week to discover that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had reneged on his pledge to keep his nose out of Colorado’s burgeoning marijuana industry…

Gardner is right about Sessions’ mendacity, of course, although we think it’s a little late in the day to wake up to that fact. And the junior senator’s outsized outrage is highly suspicious. Like most of the state’s prominent politicians, he opposed marijuana legalization. And while his sudden devotion to states’ rights is interesting, it’s not particularly persuasive.

That leaves two possible explanations for an expression of outrage more melodramatic than Captain Renault’s deadpan in “Casablanca.” One is personal pique — he voted to confirm Sessions as attorney general because of that pledge and now he feels betrayed. We’re not buying it. Gardner has been in Washington long enough to know politicians reverse themselves all the time. Like, for example, Cory Gardner on “personhood.” [Pols emphasis]

…According to the website fivethirtyeight.com, Gardner has voted with Trump 94.6 percent of the time, despite the fact that Colorado delivered its electoral votes to Hillary Clinton, not Trump, in 2016. So much for his fealty to the will of Colorado voters.

Shots fired.

Without the endless benefit of the doubt Gardner is afforded by the Post and other members of the local pundit class, this is a much more accurate–if less flattering–examination of Gardner’s record. Anecdotal moments of “standing up to Trump” as Gardner went through the motions of with legal marijuana last week cannot erase the fact that Gardner votes with Trump almost all the time–including the highest profile votes of 2017 on repealing health care reform and slashing taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Not to mention Gardner’s vote to confirm Jeff Sessions.

As frustrating as it may be to watch Gardner get credit he doesn’t deserve for what amounts to token CYA statements, this editorial sums up very well what Gardner should be afraid of when that finally stops working. As the saying goes, anecdotes do not equal data. And the record shows clearly, from Gardner’s condemnation of the Trump-energized racist right after Charlottesville to his faux outrage over Jeff Sessions, that Gardner has enabled the very things he decries.

Anything less than a full acknowledgement of this, every time, is a disservice to the facts.

Weekend Open Thread

“All men should have a drop of treason in their veins, if nations are not to go soft like so many sleepy pears.”

–Rebecca West

Cynthia Coffman is Very Strange

Some politicians are just naturally good at saying the right thing at the right time. Others have honed this skill over many years on the campaign trail.

And then there’s Cynthia “Wait, What?” Coffman.

When it comes to making awkward statements that seem to make little strategic political sense — “I didn’t blackmail anybody” is a prime example — Coffman is on a different level than just about anyone else. In a story about the Colorado Governor’s race in today’s New York Times, Coffman does it again:

“I think there’s still a great deal of disappointment that we didn’t elect a woman as president, and there are women voters in Colorado who would like the chance to have the first female governor in the state,” [Pols emphasis] she told me, adding that “the #MeToo movement — the discussion of gender and inequality — has enlivened and invigorated them.”

Wait, what?

If we had provided that quote without attribution, you might have assumed it came from a Democratic candidate for Governor such as Cary Kennedy or Donna Lynne. “I think there’s still a great deal of disappointment that we didn’t elect a woman as president” is a very strange thing for a Republican candidate to say in 2018, let alone someone like Coffman who was shouting “Go, Trump!” with a raised fist on Election Night in 2016. Even if you conceded that this might be a decent General Election message for Coffman, it makes absolutely no sense for her to say this just as the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination is really starting to heat up.

Maybe Coffman has figured out there there is a significant bloc of Republican Primary voters who really wish that Hillary Clinton had been elected President but also want a gubernatorial candidate with a clear record of supporting Donald Trump.

Or maybe she’s really just this terrible as a candidate.

Colorado Week in Review: 1/5/18

Top Ten Stories of 2017 #3: The Rise of Neil Gorsuch

That’s “Gorsuch,” not “Grouch”

At the beginning of 2017, you would be forgiven for not knowing the name Neil Gorsuch. Heck, even our auto-correct would regularly change the name “Gorsuch” to “Grouch” when we first started writing about President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee.

Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination would have been a huge story here even if he wasn’t a Colorado native serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (based in Denver). After Senate Democrats threatened a filibuster over the Gorsuch nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the unprecedented step of “invoking the nuclear option” and changing Senate rules to allow confirmation of Presidential nominees such as Gorsuch with only a simple-majority vote.

Gorsuch was ultimately confirmed by a Republican-controlled Senate to replace the late Antonin Scalia, thus affirming a GOP strategy to refuse to consider former President Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and forever changing the political dialogue for future nominees.

Since being seated on the Supreme Court last summer, Gorsuch has not shied away from overtly-partisan and overly-political speechifying, and his arrogant demeanor behind his new black robe has drawn the ire of more than one Supreme Court Justice. The Gorsuch confirmation also revealed (somewhat) a shady network of right-wing donors who directed at least $23 million to something called the Judicial Crisis Network, which seems to have existed solely to promote the newest Republican nominee to the Supreme Court.

In short, Gorsuch is a symbol of the kind of blindly-partisan politics that Americans have come to despise. But he’s from Colorado, so, there’s that.

Friday Open Thread

“People always overdo the matter when they attempt deception.”

–Charles Dudley Warner

Jared is Building a Campaign to Win

Jared Polis’ campaign came right out of the gate in 2018 with a series of announcements showcasing the candidate’s early organizing power.

Not only did Jared kick off his drive for caucus support with a delightfully cheesy Facebook video reminding people to register with a party by January 8 in order to participate in the March 6 caucuses. He coupled it with a phone banking event in Aurora to ask for caucus support. And on Saturday, the campaign will open its first field office — in Grand Junction, which typically sees very little of Democratic candidates during primary season, much less in January.

I am supporting Jared because I agree with him on most issues and I think he is a future-oriented candidate we Democrats need. And it’s clear from the activity seen this week that he is investing the resources early to build a statewide campaign that will pay dividends for him not only in the primary, but also in the general election.

His early visibility could be a contributing factor in why a recent Public Policy Polling survey  found Polis to be the most competitive general election candidate among the Democratic field, besting Republican firebrand Tom Tancredo.

Top Ten Stories of 2017 #4: Can Mike Coffman Survive Trump?

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Having climbed the ladder of elected office from the state legislature in the early 1990s, through two constitutional state offices as Treasurer and Secretary of State, and finally as a representative in Congress for going on ten years, Rep. Mike Coffman’s story is one of political survival that few others in politics anywhere in America can match. And it’s not just longevity in elected office: in 2011, the decennial process of redistricting redrew Coffman’s district, transforming Coffman’s constituency from the overwhelmingly Republican south Denver suburbs and exurbs to an economically and racially diverse battleground district centered on the city of Aurora.

Mike Coffman nearly lost his seat in 2012 to an unknown and underfunded Democratic opponent, but recovered in 2014 and 2016 with surprisingly easy victories over much better opponents. In 2016, Coffman won overwhelmingly in a district that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton carried by an equally strong margin. Coffman did this largely by about-facing on numerous critical issues, at least in terms of his rhetoric–dramatically softening his former Tom Tancredo-style tone on immigration, and audaciously using Planned Parenthood’s logo in campaign ads despite his longstanding opposition to legal abortion.

Donald Trump’s campaign represented a new opportunity for Coffman to triangulate off an unpopular nationwide Republican brand, and Coffman dived into the role with gusto becoming one of the first Republican 2016 candidates to dis Trump in a campaign ad. The margin by which both Clinton and Coffman carried CD-6 is testament to the effectiveness of Coffman’s triangulation off Trump. By a decisive margin, ticket-splitting voters in CD-6 elected Hillary Clinton President and Mike Coffman “to keep an eye on her.”

But as we all know, that’s not what happened.

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Tom Tancredo Talks Colorado Pols and The Big Line

Tom Tancredo knows where to go for his Colorado political news.

As Jason Salzman noted earlier this week, Colorado Pols was recently a topic of conversation on 710 KNUS radio with Julie Hayden and Chuck Bonniwell, and apparently this wasn’t the only time Pols came up for discussion last month.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo was a guest on The Peter Boyles Show on 710 KNUS radio on December 29, where he twice mentioned Colorado Pols and The Big Line’s odds for Governor in 2018.

At around the 13:00 mark, Boyles asks Tancredo about his campaign for Governor:

BOYLES: What are you going to do [in the 2018 race for Governor]:

TANCREDO: Well, of course I’m going to win. As a matter of fact, I saw yesterday…Colorado Pols, which is a liberal blog, listed all of the Republican candidates and gave their estimation of our chances of winning the General Election, and I had the best chance of winning. And it was 30% [laughing]. But I was ahead of everybody else – every other Republican.

Later in the interview, at around the 26:00 mark, The Big Line comes up again:

BOYLES:  Who do you want to run against?

TANCREDO: Jared Polis. Oh, yeah. To tell you the truth, I think that’s my best chance. And according to Colorado Pols, they said he had a 50% chance of winning.

BOYLES: You always want to fight the best fighter.

TANCREDO: Yeah, I think he’d be the best.

What’s the moral of this story? Keep reading Colorado Pols, of course.

How CO gubernatorial candidates are trying to access the primary ballot

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Here’s what’s known about which gubernatorial candidates are trying to petition their way onto the primary ballot–and which ones will go through the caucus process.  Or both. And which ones won’t say.  Sources: here, here, here, here, and here.

DEMOCRATS

Caucus process

State Treasurer Cary Kennedy
Businessman Erik Underwood

Petition

Businessman Noel Ginsburg
Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne.

Both caucus process and petition

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis

Undecided

Former State Sen. Mike Johnston (working on petition)

REPUBLICANS

Caucus process

Former Co-Chair of the Colorado Trump Campaign Steve Barlock
Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter
Former Parker mayor Greg Lopez
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo

Petition

Businessman Victor Mitchell

Undecided

State Treasurer Walker Stapleton
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman
Businessman Doug Robinson

Will Greeley’s Felon Republican Councilman Be Allowed To Serve?

THURSDAY UPDATE: The answer to our question appears to be no.

A Weld District Court Judge removed Greeley City Councilman Eddie Mirick from his seat Thursday, determining Mirick’s nearly 40-year-old felony conviction in another state remained on his record.

The Greeley City Charter prohibits residents with a felony conviction from serving on city council, and Mirick pleaded guilty to felony forgery in 1978 in San Diego, Calif.

Mirick’s at-large position on council is now considered vacated, and the Greeley City Council must now appoint a replacement.

—–

Eddie Mirick (R).

The Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy follows up on the story of Eddie Mirick, Republican of Greeley who won an at-large seat on the city council after a nasty election battle that turned into a proxy fight involving the energy industry and a prominent Colorado Democrat:

Greeley City Councilman Eddie Mirick had his day in court Tuesday, arguing through his attorneys that the felony forgery charge he pleaded guilty to nearly 40 years ago was automatically reduced to a misdemeanor after Mirick completed jail time and probation…

The plaintiffs, a group of Greeley residents represented by attorney Martha Tierney, argued the opposite. They say proof would exist if Mirick’s felony was changed to a misdemeanor, and there’s no proof of that. [Pols emphasis] Meanwhile, they say there’s plenty of evidence, including Mirick’s own testimony, that Mirick pleaded guilty to a felony all those years ago.

Mirick will have to wait a little longer before he knows whether he’ll be able to continue to serve, as he and residents who are protesting his eligibility await Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow’s written decision.

Mirick won election to the Greeley City Council at-large seat Nov. 7, just days after The Tribune reported he had once pleaded guilty to a felony. The Greeley City Charter prohibits people who have been convicted of a felony from serving on Greeley City Council, and the revelation that Mirick pleaded guilty to a felony threw the city council race into chaos in its waning days.

During the recent municipal elections in Greeley, an “independent” group directly funded by well-known oil and gas industry political advocacy organization Vital for Colorado spent some $50,000–an unprecedented amount by Greeley election standards–to vilify Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder for donating a mere $1,500 to three different city council candidates including Mirick’s opponent.

The contention that Mirick’s felony was reduced to a misdemeanor does not appear to be supported by court records, forcing Mirick to assert it had been done “automatically”–which we assume would also appear in the record, since it’s a very important distinction and presumably Mirick would want to know for sure. And Greeley’s charter is unambiguous about disqualifying convicted felons from serving on the city council.

What’s the moral of this story? Run a background check on your candidates before you spend tens of thousands of dollars supporting them. And if you want to turn an obscure municipal election into a stick to beat your regular political opponents with, make doubly sure you run that background check.

Because the people who look like idiots in this case are not named Jared Polis. That honor is reserved for Vital for Colorado, who spent tens of thousands of dollars to get a felon elected to the Greeley City Council.

Get More Smarter on Thursday (January 4)

Smoke ’em if you got ’em. It’s time to Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.

 

TOP OF MIND TODAY…

► Attorney General Jeff Sessions kicked off a new wave of confusion over the debate about legal marijuana by rescinding an Obama-era policy that instructed law enforcement officials to ease up on states that voted in favor of legal weed. Colorado politicians, including Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), reacted swiftly in condemning the move from Sessions. Gardner says that Sessions promised him in a meeting prior to his confirmation as Attorney General that he would not push for changes in federal enforcement of marijuana in states that have voted to legalize — which puts Gardner in a tough spot since he supported Sessions’ confirmation.

Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish), the leader of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, also had strong words for Sessions. But our favorite response to the news comes from the Twitter account of the Colorado Senate Democrats:


In 2016, Donald Trump promised in an interview with Brandon Rittiman of 9News that he would not crack down on legal marijuana if elected President…but then again, Trump says a lot of things. Sessions is expected to formally announce his decision on Thursday afternoon. Just this week recreational marijuana sales became legal in California, which may have something to do with the timing of Sessions’ move.

 

► For someone who considers himself to be a media genius, President Trump isn’t responding well to a new tell-all book about his first months in the White House. As the Washington Post reports:

A lawyer representing President Trump sought Thursday to stop the publication of a new behind-the-scenes book about the White House that has already led Trump to angrily decry his former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

The legal notice — addressed to author Michael Wolff and the president of the book’s publisher — said Trump’s lawyers were pursuing possible charges including libel in connection with the forthcoming book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.”

The letter by Beverly Hills-based attorney Charles J. Harder demanded the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., “immediately cease and desist from any further publication, release or dissemination of the book” or excerpts and summaries of its contents. The lawyers also seek a full copy of the book as part of their investigation.

The only thing that this lawsuit threat will likely accomplish is to provide a new wave of free media coverage for “Fire and Fury,” which rose to the top of Amazon.com’s bestseller list on Wednesday after Trump attacked former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, whose juicy quotations have been used as a teaser for the book’s release next week.

 

► So much for that Trump-directed “Voter Fraud Commission,” as the Associated Press reports:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday disbanding his controversial voter fraud commission amid infighting, lawsuits and state officials’ refusal to cooperate.

Trump convened the commission to investigate the 2016 presidential election, after alleging repeatedly and without evidence that voting fraud cost him the popular vote. Trump won the electoral college.

The White House blamed the decision to end the panel on more than a dozen states that have refused to comply with the commission’s demand for reams of personal voter data, including names, partial Social Security numbers, voting histories and party affiliations.

The decision to disband the commission helps to bail out Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, among others.

 

Get even more smarter after the jump…

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