Birther Pat Boone Sings Birther Mike Coffman’s Praises

Mike Coffman.

The Charleston City Paper alerts us to a recent endorsement for Rep. Mike Coffman that we had somehow missed when it came out last month–the (highly) venerable crooner Pat Boone–though the manner in which they let us know is pretty amusing:

An entertainer who made his career singing Christian hymns, but is better known lately for stoking racial division, Pat Boone is apparently a man in high demand by Republican politicians looking to lock up support of conservative senior citizens.

And as the spokesman for the 60 Plus Association, he is apparently ready and willing to supply his endorsement to deserving Trump supporters these days. So ready, in fact, that he’s got a simple form to fill out that gives him all the English words he needs to signal his support.

“I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Katie Arrington. Seniors can depend on Katie Arrington,” an announcement read today in a Twitter post by Rep. Katie Arrington, who is running for Congress in the 1st District.

Pat Boone.

What does this have to do with Mike Coffman, you ask? Well, the City Paper directs us to a bunch of other people whom Pat Boone “sings the praises of”–

In a statement released by 60 Plus, Boone remarked, “I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Rep. Joe Wilson. Seniors can depend on Joe Wilson.” Boone and his wife, Shirley, reside in Beverly Hills, California.

In a statement released by 60 Plus, Boone remarked, “I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Larry Stutts. Seniors can depend on Larry Stutts.” Boone, 80, and his wife of 60 years, Shirley, reside in Beverly Hills, California.

“I’m still singing at concerts,” Boone remarked, “but today I’m singing the praises of Senator Richard Shelby.”

“I’m still singing at concerts, but today I am singing the praises of Charles Poindexter,” Boone said.

And yes:

In a statement released by 60 Plus, Boone remarked, “I’m still singing at concerts, but today I’m singing the praises of Rep. Coffman.” Boone and his wife, Shirley, reside in Beverly Hills, California. [Pols emphasis]

Please note that this release was posted in its entirety to Rep. Coffman’s congressional website. With that in mind, let’s count up the problems: first, the organization 60 Plus is well-documented as a right-wing “alternative” to the much better-known American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), set up to put a demographically appropriate face on standard fare conservative agenda items like privatizing Social Security and Medicare. Their endorsement actually hurts with seniors who are literate about these essential programs, and anyone younger who entertains the hope of functional Social Security and Medicare in their own retirement.

Second, there’s Pat Boone. In 2011, Boone declared that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate was “a fraud,” following the lead of now-President Donald Trump and so many others back when the imagined controversy over Obama’s citizenship was nearing its second peak ahead of his re-election. Boone continued to champion “birther” conspiracy theories for years afterward, and to our knowledge has never retracted any of them. Rep. Mike Coffman, as our longtime readers know, had his own bout of “birther” verbal diarrhea when he declared in 2012 at a Republican fundraiser that President Obama “is just not an American.”

Coffman apologized for his statements after one of the more memorable involuntary press appearances in modern Colorado political history, and has tried for years now to live down this moment of unscripted ugly. It’s safe to say that Pat Boone’s endorsement does not help him do that, and after Coffman took ownership of Boone’s endorsement by posting it to his own website he should definitely have to explain again what he meant about Obama not being “an American.”

After all of that, yes! Google makes it a really stupid idea to use the same quote over and over. But in Mike Coffman’s case, the story getting to that moral is what’s more important.

Caption This Photo: Mic Drop, Mike Coffman Style

Yesterday, a traveling tour called Tax Cuts Work, hosted by a group called the “Job Creators Network,” arrived in Centennial to present GOP Rep. Mike Coffman with an award for his help passing the controversial Trump tax cut legislation. Depending on who Coffman is speaking with, it’s an award he might not draw attention to:

And apparently there were some technical difficulties during Coffman’s acceptance speech.

They’re Coming For You, Mike Coffman

Team Politico reports on results from the final special election before this year’s fateful midterms, in Ohio’s 12th District:

Tuesday night ended with Troy Balderson narrowly ahead in the closely watched special election for a congressional seat in Ohio, and Republicans — including President Donald Trump — declaring victory.

But the photo finish — Balderson is ahead by 1,754 votes, with thousands of absentee and provisional ballots left to tally — in what has been a solid-GOP district shouldn’t provide much comfort for the party as it clings to an increasingly fragile House majority…

The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $1.3 million. Congressional Leadership Fund, the top House GOP super PAC, spent $3.2 million.

It was likely enough to vault Balderson over the top. But Republicans running in competitive districts against well-funded Democrats shouldn’t expect the same level of support.

Because this district was easily carried by Donald Trump in 2016, and Republican Pat Tiberi won that same year with a lopsided 66% of the vote, the apparent victory by Troy Balderson by fewer than 2,000 votes indicates a massive swing in support in this safely Republican district that can only be attributed to the unpopularity of the President and Trump’s party as a unit. It’s also worth mentioning that Republicans have held this seat for 35 years.

The math is very simple: if the same swing holds true in other congressional districts around the country this November, an historic number of Republicans in the House will be defeated by their Democratic challengers. In Colorado, the principal threat is to GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, who has won repeatedly in his district while the same voters elected Democrats up and down the ballot. Mike Coffman’s strategy of publicly triangulating off his own party on certain high-profile issues while remaining a 95%+ loyal vote for the GOP in order to retain party support faces the ultimate test in this environment.

After Coffman won in 2016, defeating his opponent by a substantial margin even as Democrats once again won the district in the presidential and U.S. Senate races, we and many other observers were willing to declare defeating Mike Coffman a lost cause for smart Democrats. Coffman’s ability to survive in a district his long hard-right political record should not tolerate has been tested against well-supported challengers, and you’d be a fool to write him off–even now, in what is unquestionably the toughest election Coffman has faced as a member of Congress.

Today, what we can say with certainty is that Democrats will never get a better shot at Coffman than they have right now. The wave in OH-12, like what we’ve seen in other special elections both won and barely lost by Democrats in the era of Trump, is big enough to take Mike Coffman down too.

Coffman Goes Cagey On Trump Check

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Kara Mason at the Aurora Sentinel follows up on a story earlier this week about a list of Republicans in Congress set to receive donations directly from Donald Trump’s campaign–including Rep. Mike Coffman, who has tried mightily to put daylight between himself and Trump despite voting Trump’s way over 95% of the time.

Via a spox, Coffman once again tries to thread the proverbial needle:

Is Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman getting campaign cash from President Donald Trump?

It’s not clear. A report from McClatchy this week said they obtained a list of GOP candidates that would get a $2,000 donation from Trump’s re-election campaign. Coffman was included, along with Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents the Western Slope and parts of southern Colorado.

But Tyler Sandberg, a spokesman for Coffman, said that story got it wrong, and was told Coffman isn’t getting a check. [Pols emphasis]

This statement is misleading for two reasons. The first is simple, the checks from Trump by all accounts haven’t been mailed to any of the candidates yet:

The campaign wouldn’t consider hypothetical situations. So if Coffman was offered the money, it’s unclear whether he’d accept it.

It’s entirely possible that if the check shows up down the road, Coffman will happily deposit it as long as reporters aren’t on their backs the literal day it does. But even if Coffman is right and this national news report is wrong about a check directly from Trump’s campaign, there’s a much more important monetary connection between Trump and Coffman–Trump has personally helped raise tens of millions of dollars for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is providing essential support to Coffman far beyond a $2,000 maximum individual donation.

Whatever Coffman does with a check directly from Donald Trump, Coffman can’t refuse the support of the national Republican congressional campaign organization–an organization whose funding was itself in substantial part raised by Trump too. For all of Coffman’s lip service to “standing up to Trump,” voting with Trump and the GOP over 95% of the time is the only thing that matters when it’s time to cut the checks that matter.

With all of this in mind, the question of this one $2,000 check becomes less relevant–still worth following, but don’t be sidetracked by it. In every way that matters, Mike Coffman is on the team.

Trump’s team.

Mike Coffman Embraces Donald Trump

Head by Coffman, hair by Trump

President Trump’s re-election campaign is diverting serious cash to 100 Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and House in an effort to stave off a growing Blue Wave.

As McClatchy DC reports, Trump’s campaign cash is even going to Republican candidates who have been critical of the President in words (although loyal in their voting records) — candidates like Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora):

The Trump campaign announced last week that it would donate the maximum amount allowed by law — $2,000 per candidate — to 100 Republicans running for Congress in November, perhaps a sign that the GOP is worried it will lose its majorities in Congress. Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats in the House and two in the Senate to gain control of the chambers.

The Trump campaign did not disclose which candidates would receive contributions and did not respond to subsequent questions about how the candidates were selected, but McClatchy obtained a detailed list…

…None of the half-dozen campaigns contacted by McClatchy said they were aware of the donations. Some declined to comment while others, including Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who supported the immigration proposal opposed by Trump, did not immediately respond to a message.

Trump Tracker, via 538.com.

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is the only other member of Colorado’s delegation receiving financial support from the Trump campaign. Tipton has generally shied away from criticizing Trump, so his inclusion on this list is less of a surprise at first glance. But when you look closer at the data, it shows that Rep. Coffman has turned out to be among the most Trumpian members of Congress in the last 18 months. As 538.com’s Trump Tracker shows, Coffman has voted with Trump’s position 95.6% of the time, placing him fifth among all House members in Congress.

While he has been busy supporting Trump at every turn in Congress, Coffman has tried to maintain some distance with the President in the context of his re-election campaign. Back in 2016, Coffman aired the first “stand up to Trump” television ad from an incumbent Republican Congressman, but after Trump won the Presidency, he quickly came around with a MAGA hat of his own.

Coffman has always rode the fence on virtually every issue, and he’s taking the same approach with his on-again, off-again dalliance with Trump. It might just come back to bite him in the butt in November.

Red Dawn: Grand Junction Billboard Notes Russian-Republican Connection

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

As the clock struck midnight last Sunday, Grand Junction night owls saw red–literally. The digital billboard looming over Rimrock Marketplace now displays a massive crimson and yellow “GOP,” but with the “O” replaced by the Russian hammer & sickle icon used by the former Soviet Union.

Mesa County progressives purchased the billboard to call out the Republican Party’s refusal to challenge Trump’s apparent preference for Russian denials of election interference over the unanimous assessment of United States intelligence agencies.

Grand Junction resident Anne Landman, who paid for the billboard, says its purpose is to draw attention “Republicans’ alarming acceptance of President Trump cozying up to authoritarian dictators who disregard human rights.”

While musing about a billboard on her Facebook page, a friend shared a photo of the GOP Russia design. Landman reached out to the creator, MadDogPac of Odenton, Maryland and received permission to use the image free of charge. Mad Dog PAC was founded in December 2017 by Claude Taylor, a former White House staffer under President Clinton. The organization says it “solicits contributions from concerned citizens to fund billboards censuring Trump, the GOP and the NRA.”

The fine print on the board reads “Paid for by informed citizens of Mesa County and Mad Dog Pac.” Landman says the “informed citizens” aren’t an official group of any sort, but rather friends and like-minded Mesa County residents.

The Russian GOP billboard isn’t the only piece of Mad Dog’s artwork to appear in Colorado. Drivers in the Denver metro area may have seen a billboard reminding them that “Mike Coffman Took $30,843 in NRA Blood Money.”

The Grand Junction billboard isn’t targeted at a specific elected official, but rather focuses on the Russia-friendly attitude of the Republican Party. Furthermore, it reflects the sentiments of Mesa County progressives who are decidedly outnumbered, according to Landman.

Says Landman,

“Out here on the Western slope, liberals are in the minority. These days we are derided, criticized, called names like ‘libtard’ or ‘snowflake.’ But putting this billboard up, it’s lifted everybody’s spirits. It’s become a rallying point, energizing the left and giving people something to cheer for. For that alone it was worth the money.”

Landman paid for the first week herself and has since solicited donations via her Facebook page to extend the billboard rental beyond July 28. As of Tuesday evening, Landman says she has already collected more than the required $265 for a second week’s rental fee.

This article was first published by the Colorado Times Recorder.

Coffman (Mostly) Saying He Doesn’t Want To Campaign With Trump, While Hays and Stapleton Want to Host the Prez

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Unlike other Republican leaders in Colorado, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has basically said he doesn’t want to campaign with Trump–though he’s left the door slightly open to it.

Back in January, Coffman told Buzzfeed that it “probably wouldn’t be helpful” for him to host Trump in his Aurora district.

But moments after making those comments, Coffman caught up to Buzzfeed and clarified that “six months from now” it might be helpful to have Trump in Colorado, because “I don’t know what the future is going to be,” said Coffman.

Six months have gone by, and it doesn’t look like Coffman is jumping up and down to campaign with Trump.

That’s in keeping with what Coffman’s spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, told Politico in later January:

Coffman Campaign Spokesman Sandberg: “I don’t think the president would come out to campaign for him. I don’t think we’d ask him.”

Meanwhile, Walker Stapleton, the Republican candidate for governor, and the head honcho of the Republican Party in Colorado are both excited about having Trump here to campaign for Republicans.

Stapleton has “already been in touch with the White House” and been told that the “President will come to Colorado, schedule permitting.”

Colorado Republican Party Chair Jeff Hays told a conservative talk radio host yesterday that Trump would “draw thousands of people” because “we know he’s going to get things done for the benefit of Coloradans.”

Hays told KNUS 710-AM host Steffan Tubbs July 19:

Tubbs: “Are you guys in talks right now to make that [welcoming Trump to campaign with Walker] happen?”

Jeff Hays:  Yes. And for a year-and-a-half, I’ve been totally open to the President coming out. I think that, hey, he’s got the bully pulpit. We’d have thousands of people who would want to see him, just like they did during his election. And I think it’s because we know more about him, now. We know that he’s going to get things done for the benefit of Coloradans. So, you know, the campaign and the Party are certainly in conversation about how to strategically map that out. So, yeah!  I would love to get on the president’s calendar.

Tubbs:  Let’s hope that can happen.

Hays:  You know, he’s got to win Colorado in 2020!

Tubbs:  Yeah. No doubt.

Other leading Republican candidates, like U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, in Colorado have yet to voice their views on whether they want Trump here.

In 2014, Obama made a campaign stop in Denver in support of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was running for his second term at the time.

Report: BLM HQ Will Move West

As Erin Prater writes for the Colorado Springs Gazette:

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is prepared to move ahead on moving the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to the West, according to reports.

Grand Junction is expected to be a prime possibility for the new national headquarters, partly because of the work of Colorado’s two U.S. senators, Republican Cory Gardner of Yuma and Michael Bennet of Denver…

…Rep. Scott Tipton’s office said Thursday that the department will conduct an analysis to help choose a location in the next six to eight months, Interior Department senior adviser Susan Combs told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, according to the release Thursday. “Ninety-nine percent of the land that the BLM manages is located in the West, and the decisions made by the Bureau have daily impacts on those who live there, so it only makes sense to move the headquarters to a Western state. This would ensure that decisions would be made by those who understand the land best, resulting in more effective land management programs and policies.

Moving the headquarters of the BLM to the American West has been a long-running project that has the support of Colorado’s entire Congressional delegation, as well as the backing of local officials and Gov. John Hickenlooper. Colorado isn’t guaranteed to be the new home of the BLM, but Grand Junction is at least among the frontrunners.

It’s too soon to tell if this pending move will have a significant effect on BLM policies in the West or is more of a publicity stunt, though a new HQ would almost certainly create some new jobs in Colorado.

You Call This “Condemnation?” Seriously?

UPDATE: New York Times columnist David Leonhardt takes note of Cory Gardner’s lack of testicular fortitude:

A few Republicans, like Senator John McCain, offered strong rebukes to President Trump’s anti-American, pro-Russian ramblings yesterday. More Republicans, unfortunately, offered weak excuses. (My vote for the single weakest statement goes to either Senators Cory Gardner of Colorado or Bill Cassidy of Louisiana — both of whom complained about previous presidents.)

A true profile in courage.

—–

Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Mike Coffman.

Local news headlines today proclaim what seems to be the desired Republican headline today, blanket bipartisan condemnation of President Donald Trump’s disastrous press conference in Helsinki in which he made an historic fool of himself, sided with a foreign adversary over the consensus of the entire nation’s political and intelligence establishment, and handed Russian President Vladimir Putin such an incredible propaganda victory that Putin should be embarrassed to accept it. 9NEWS:

Colorado’s Congressional delegation is reacting to a joint-press conference held Monday between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Senator Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman join the chorus of Republicans who want to keep an arm’s-length between the U.S. and Russia…

CBS4 Denver:

Colorado’s Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and Republican Congressman Mike Coffman reacted to Monday’s meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladmir Putin.

Gardner tweeted in part, “Vladmir Putin’s Russia remains an adversary to the United States and nothing should change as of today.”

The Denver Post’s Christopher Osher:

Colorado’s members of Congress on Monday heaped bipartisan scorn on President Donald Trump’s statements during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin that challenged U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Both U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican, quickly released statements of condemnation.

As you can see there’s a lot of hot taking going on, doggedly pushing a narrative that condemnation of President Trump’s performance in Helsinki was universal and without regard to partisan lines. But if you take a look at the actual statements from both Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman, there’s a distinct lack of, well, condemnationGardner:

I encourage the Administration to avoid the mistakes of past Administrations in normalizing relations with Russia at zero cost to Putin and his regime.

And Coffman:

President Trump should never take Putin’s word at face value and should give greater consideration to U.S. Intelligence agencies over the Kremlin’s rhetoric. As a Marine Corps combat veteran, and member of the House Armed Services Committee, I don’t take lightly my oath to defend our country against enemies foreign and domestic, and neither should the president. Both Bush and Obama learned this the hard way in their first terms.

We’ll give credit to Rep. Coffman for daring to invoke Trump’s name in his statement, something Gardner wasn’t even willing to do. But neither one of them offered anything close to “condemnation” of Trump’s actions, and both of them sought to deflect from the scandal by criticizing previous administrations. If you compare these milquetoast statements with what Republicans like Ben Sasse and Lindsey Graham and even Paul Ryan are saying, they’re pathetically weak.

It’s just another case of our feckless local political press wanting so hard for local Republicans to be on the right side of a bad story for Trump and the party nationally that they write their desired narrative with no supporting evidence whatsoever. The truth is that Gardner and Coffman did not condemn Trump for what he did in Helsinki in any meaningful way–not nearly as much as many other Republicans were willing to do.

And they don’t deserve a word of praise.

Jason Crow Reports Massive Fundraising Haul

Democrat Jason Crow and family

Democrat Jason Crow continues to put up impressive fundraising numbers in his bid to unseat Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) in CD-6.

According to a press release from Crow’s campaign, the candidate pulled down more than $1 million in donations in just the second quarter of 2018:

Today, Jason Crow, a decorated former Army Ranger, father, veterans’ advocate and candidate for Congress in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District, announced that he raised $1,003,588 in the second quarter – including over $630,000 in this reporting period. The total represents the most contributions any candidate in CD-6 has ever received in the second quarter. [Pols emphasis] Crow, who has pledged to not accept a dime of corporate PAC money, raised 95% of those funds from individual donors.

Crow will end the quarter with $1,295,458 cash on hand. He has raised $2,263,140 to date from nearly 7200 unique individual donors.

“We’re going to win this race because the grassroots energy in this district is ready for a new generation of servant leadership,” said Crow. “Coloradans are ready to tell Mike Coffman that you don’t need corporate Super PAC dollars to win a campaign. You just need the better ideas and the willingness to put people first.”

To put these numbers in perspective, consider that Coffman’s campaign has raised just more than $2 million for the entire 2018 cycle.

Mike Coffman Photo-Ops Family Separations Crisis

CBS4 Denver:

Thousands of children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are in detention centers, days after President Donald Trump reversed his “zero-tolerance” policy.

On Saturday, Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman traveled to the Texas border and toured one of the facilities. He spoke with children being held there.

Coffman says we must find a solution to reunite the families.

“The images that caused me to go down there and make a special trip, I mean to see children torn from their parents. I think that’s just fundamentally wrong,” he said.

There are of course very few politicians, particularly Republicans facing dicey re-elections, willing to look into any camera and say that the month-long PR debacle for the Republican Party as the Trump administration’s family separation policy has dominated the headlines has been a positive thing. GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who was an anti-immigrant hardliner in the Tom Tancredo mold before his district was redrawn to include a diverse population in 2011, has received nationwide press for his call for White House strategist Stephen Miller to be fired over Miller role in crafting the Trump administration’s latest hateful backfire.

Since Donald Trump’s election, Coffman has faced much greater difficulty in holding together his strategy of both triangulating off the excesses committed in his majority party’s name while keeping base Republicans in his district happy enough to re-elect him–which has led to bizarre contradictions like Coffman stridently criticizing the Trump outrage of the week on immigration, while at the same time telling his base that Trump is “the only one within the Republican Party that can solve this issue.”

Coffman’s long record in Congress, which features many more actions malicious toward immigrants than in support of them and such incendiary rhetorical flourishes as “The DREAM Act will be a nightmare for the American people,” severely undermines his credibility on this issue with anyone familiar with his history. Unfortunately, in today’s short attention span media culture in which so many reporters writing political news are either out of work or were literally in grade school when Coffman succeeded Tancredo in Congress, the full reality of Coffman’s “evolution” on immigration–lacking in substance, and a politically-contrived ploy to survive what should have been a career-ending change of constituency–gets lost every election cycle.

We can’t say this often enough: Mike Coffman had a chance to support bipartisan immigration reform over and over, including in 2013 when it passed the Senate–and he opposed it. Before that time, Coffman was every bit as much an anti-immigration hardliner as the man he succeeded in Congress, Tom Tancredo. Since 2013, Coffman has played a complicated game of threading the needle on immigration, trying to suppress his old hard-line record without alienating the base Republican voters he still needs to be re-elected. All the while the situation has only gotten worse for immigrants, and the Republican leadership in Congress Coffman supports makes him look like a hapless stooge.

Is this the year Coffman’s triangulation long game finally crashes and burns? We won’t know–and his bellicose media surrogates will never concede even the slightest possibility–until the votes are counted.

But it’s wearing awfully thin.

Mike Coffman’s Campaign Mocks, Threatens Joe Salazar

“Team Coffman” Twitter account bio.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) and his staff are apparently quite sensitive about President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has led to the forced separation of thousands of children from the families at the US-Mexico border and generally created a massive problem for Republicans everywhere.

While Coffman has been working diligently to take all sides on this debate, his campaign staff has pursued a different approach via social media. On Tuesday, the “Team Coffman” Twitter account responded to a comment from Democratic Attorney General candidate Joe Salazar by repeatedly calling him fat and challenging him to a fight, or something.

No, seriously. You can see the screenshots of the entire exchange below.

We can’t say for sure who is behind these embarrassing posts from “Team Coffman,” though Coffman spokesman/campaign manager Tyler Sandberg often gets very punchy via Twitter. We’ll update this post if and when “Team Coffman” formally challenges Salazar (or other critics) to meet them by the flag pole after school to settle this once and for all.

As to the bigger question — what in the hell is wrong with these people? — well, we can’t even begin to answer that one.

Mike Coffman Takes All Sides in Immigration Debate

If Rep. Mike Coffman was a horse…

Congressional Republicans have been flailing around in the last few days trying to both express concern over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy while also making sure to avoid proposing any sort of actual change to enforcement efforts that are separating thousands of children from their families (well, except for Rep. Ken Buck, anyway). Democrats, meanwhile, are uniting behind legislative efforts to put a stop to the growing humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, but there’s not much they can effectively accomplish without the support of some Republican lawmakers.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) popped up in several national stories on Monday after he released a statement indicating that he supported Senate Democratic efforts to stop Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. This move surprised exactly no-one who has ever paid attention to Coffman; over his 30 years in elected office, Coffman has developed a well-deserved reputation for generally taking all sides of all issues at all times.  But a new story today points out a particularly-egregious example of Coffman’s doublespeak on immigration.

As CNN reports for the first time, Coffman quietly signed on to the Goodlatte bill on March 18; nine days later, Coffman voiced a request on the House floor to remove his name from the legislation. The reason this is important is because the Goodlatte bill was widely understood to be THE CONSERVATIVE OPTION for dealing with immigration reform. This, of course, is not at all consistent with Coffman’s attempts at forging a moderate image on immigration, let alone Coffman’s stated public support for offering undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

How does Coffman’s office explain this doublespeak? Here’s CNN:

A spokesman for Coffman said his initial support of the Goodlatte bill, which until now had not been reported, was his attempt to explore all options for an immigration fix. [Pols emphasis] The congressman withdrew his support, the spokesman added, once he realized the bill would not offer a permanent solution for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers.

“We were exploring all legislative avenues and that came aboard,” said Daniel Bucheli, a Coffman spokesman. “Then, looking at the details closer, it was clear there would be no permanent protection for DREAMers and at that point he took his name off it.”

Mike Coffman demonstrates the proper hand position for riding the fence.

This explanation is more than a little absurd, as CNN continues:

But the Goodlatte bill never offered DREAMers permanent protection, raising questions as to why it took Coffman nine days to realize the bill did not meet one of his primary immigration objectives. [Pols emphasis] The bill, which was widely known at the time as the conservative option to ongoing debates over immigration, was also rolled out on January 10, 2018, months before Coffman decided to attach his name to the proposal.

As part of that rollout, a one-page summary from House Judiciary provided on the bill made clear it would not offer a pathway to citizenship.

A spokesperson for the progressive group “Organizing for Action” told CNN that if you don’t like where Coffman stands on immigration, “just wait a few days.” It’s not intellectually honest for Coffman to pretend this isn’t accurate.

Trump Torpedoes Immigration Compromise

CNN reports, President Donald Trump has spiked the best-laid plans of more civil Republicans once again:

President Donald Trump on Friday morning delivered a potentially fatal blow to a compromise immigration bill under development in the House.

Trump said on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” that he is not planning to sign the negotiated measure.

“I’m looking at both of them. I certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one,” Trump said. “I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that. We have to get rid of catch-and-release.”

…The rejection of the compromise contradicts messaging from the White House in recent days.

Earlier this week, top White House adviser Stephen Miller, a known hardliner on immigration, was on the Hill telling key conservatives the White House was supportive of the negotiations on the bill, and House Speaker Paul Ryan told his GOP members behind closed doors that he had been in touch with Trump who was “excited” about the process.

But that’s not the story today–and Rep. Mike Coffman, who has staked a good chunk of his political future on getting a “compassionate” immigration reform deal through his hard-right Republican House leadership and on to the President’s desk, lashed out against Trump on Twitter earlier this morning:

Wow! But wait, isn’t this the same Coffman who said just a few months ago of the same Donald Trump:

“He’s got the credibility in terms of being tough on immigration and I think he’s the only one, probably, within the Republican Party that can solve this issue,” Coffman said. [Pols emphasis]

Why yes, yes he was! And as far as the attempt to pass comprehensive immigration reform under President Barack Obama back in 2013–as we recall, didn’t Mike Coffman have something to say about that too?

I think both parties have it wrong right now. [Pols emphasis]

Well, scratch that then! As for President George W. Bush’s failed attempt at immigration reform, Coffman wasn’t in Congress then–but his predecessor Tom Tancredo was, and readers will recall that back then Coffman and Tancredo were much tighter on immigration than Coffman purports to be today. And here’s what Coffman said about Bush’s efforts back then:

 

And with that, our work is done here. There are Republicans in Congress today who have credibility when it comes to this long-vexing issue, and a consistent record of trying to find solutions so that doesn’t smack of contrivance and political desperation.

Mike Coffman is not one of those Republicans. In every way that counts, he is part of the problem.

Seriously, Is Mike Coffman Okay?


Stop what you’re doing and watch this bizarre video of Rep. Mike Coffman we were forwarded this morning. This unlisted video was apparently sent out in a fundraising email early this morning, and as of this writing has fewer than ten views.

If anyone on Mike Coffman’s team has an ounce of brain matter left in their heads, they’ll pull this video down before it gets any more. There’s something legitimately wrong with Coffman in this video that invites real questions about his…health, competence, something fundamental. Coffman slurs his words to an extent you can’t help but notice, at times becoming very difficult to clearly understand. At other times he’s sneering at the camera with a look so insincere we have to think it will be displayed in ad after ad this fall.

This is not just a bad on-camera performance. It can’t be dismissed as an amateur gaffe, not from one of the state’s longest-serving politicians. To say this should never have been released may honestly be an understatement. All politics aside, this video invites real questions about Coffman’s physical, or at least psychological, well-being.

Seriously, folks. Imagine if a video of Hillary Clinton slurring her speech like this had surfaced while the nation was fixated on her every sneeze?