Search Results for: romanoff coffman

Rosen implied Denver Post had agenda to elect Romanoff but, oops, the newspaper endorsed Coffman

("Liberal media" strikes again! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mike Coffman.

Mike Coffman.

This has been sitting on my shelf for a while, but I thought I'd post it today because I love it so much when Denver radio-host Mike Rosen whines about how The Denver Post practices "agenda journalism" in favor of liberals.

Rosen was sure The Post was in the pocket of Andrew Romanoff. His proof? A news story by Post reporter Mark Matthews.

Discussing the Coffman-Romanoff race in the excerpt below, which aired on his KOA 850-AM radio show Oct. 16 before the Post endorsed Coffman, Rosen implied that The Post was about to back Romanoff.

But The Post endorsed Coffman instead.

It's conservative media criticism at its worst, replete with unsupported assumptions and anger that hurts journalism and, you'd think, Rosen himself. It looks particularly absurd coming from Rosen, who has a platform as a Post columnist.

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Andrew Romanoff and Mike Coffman are the Hardest-Working House Candidates in the Country

Coffman and Romanoff in CD-6

Rep. Mike Coffman, left, and Democrat Andrew Romanoff are probably pretty sick of each other at this point.

Partisan bickering is at its highest point as we approach Election Day, so it's refreshing to take a little break and recognize the hard work being done by candidates across Colorado.

As National Journal reports, our own CD-6 is home to the two hardest-working U.S. House candidates in the entire country:

Romanoff has arguably been the most impressive and hard-working Democratic candidate in America in 2014—and Coffman has met the challenge. Together, the two campaigners have been running a grueling two-year marathon in a district like no other in the country, leaving their young staffers equal parts impressed and sprinting to keep up…

…Both candidates have excelled in another, quantifiable area of political preparedness. Romanoff raised more money (around $5 million) than any other House challenger in the country in 2013 and 2014, a particularly impressive feat considering that he didn't accept funds from political action committees. And Coffman, who was not a particularly good fundraiser in his first few years in Congress, kept close behind his opponent. Given how gobs of outside money flock to the few competitive House races these days, that cash has proven necessary for both candidates to get their own messages out this fall.

On the ground, Democrats have been executing a massive field program in Colorado to try to get unlikely voters to cast ballots this fall, and Romanoff has been personally knocking on doors for months as part of that effort. But the GOP has a smaller cohort of "drop-off" voters too, and Coffman has executed a labor-intensive strategy to get their help in a district President Obama carried twice.

Coffman v. Romanoff, Round 4: Live-Enough Blog!

Coffman Romanoff Debate Oct. 6

Is it just us, or was the Supreme Court the only group of partisan political people who chose not to debate today?

Monday afternoon featured two debates hosted by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce: Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beauprez got first crack at a discussion of the issues before Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican Congressman Cory Gardner took to the stage.

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman and Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff did the debate thing at 9News, which will be aired tonight at 7:00 (but not on Channel 9 — on Channel 20. And no, we have no idea what channel that is on Comcast and DirecTV). So you know what that means: It's Live Blog Time!

And now, our third blow-by-blow recap of a Coffman/Romanoff exchange (click here to read the last one).
 

Let's get to it!

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS
We thought that Romanoff crushed Coffman in their last debate (Sept. 23rd), but that was nothing compared to what we saw tonight. There is absolutely no way that a logical, unbiased person could have watched tonight's debate and not come to the conclusion that Andrew Romanoff is more prepared, more polished, and more statesman-like than Mike Coffman. In their last debate, Coffman was quiet and reserved, and that didn't work. In this debate, Coffman went back to being Angry Coffman, and that REALLY didn't work. If these last two debates are any indication at all of the direction this race is headed, Romanoff is going to win handily in November. The difference was that clear.

 

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Coffman vs. Romanoff, Round 3: Live Blog!

CD6Debate-Dpost1

Insert candidates here.

It has become something of a tradition here at Colorado Pols for us to give you, our loyal readers, a live blog, play-by-play of political debates in Colorado. Tonight we're at the auditorium in the Denver Post building for CD-6 debate #3 between Congressman Mike Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff. (we covered Round 1 in Highlands Ranch with a Live Blog on Aug. 14.)

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.
 

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Andrew Romanoff beat the absolute crap out of Mike Coffman tonight. It was almost unfair — Romanoff pummeled Coffman at every opportunity, while the incumbent largely just stood there quietly. This was stunning. Truly.

We can't get over Coffman's inability to hold his tongue completely. When Romanoff talked about Coffman's personal attacks, Coffman immediately responded…with personal attacks. Really, really, really weird.
 

7:04
Closing arguments.

Romanoff goes first, says time for a change in Congress.

Coffman says Time magazine recently named him one of the most effective Members of Congress(?). "God Bless you for being here tonight, and God Bless the United States."

7:00 pm
Coffman gets to ask his final question of Romanoff. He flips through his notes for a moment, seemingly forgetting what he wanted to ask.
 

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New Romanoff Ad Rips Coffman on Abortion

A press release from Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff puts incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman on the hot seat over banning abortion and the Personhood ballot measures:

Romanoff's third TV ad, released today, focuses on Congressman Mike Coffman's long history of denying women the right to choose, supporting the Personhood amendment, and restricting reproductive rights. The ad features Karen, a resident of Colorado's 6th Congressional District, who emphasizes the personal nature of making these decisions and the importance of these rights.

"This is a matter of fundamental freedom.  Women should have the right to make their own health care choices," said Romanoff. "No one should have to surrender her most personal decisions to a politician, an employer, or anyone else."

"These are incredibly personal decisions that every woman must make for herself, but Congressman Coffman has pushed an agenda that takes these decisions out of our hands and puts them into his," said Denise Baron, spokeswoman for the Romanoff campaign.  "For 25 years, he's attempted to restrict our rights by voting to criminalize all abortions, outlaw common forms of birth control control, and restrict access to health care."

Last week, Congressman Coffman launched the first TV ad of his campaign, a brazen attempt to whitewash his decades-long opposition to women’s equality. The Romanoff campaign, along with state leaders, local activists, and CO-06 voters, launched a social media campaign to highlight the more than 50 votes the congressman has taken in the past four years to perpetuate gender discrimination and restrict women's rights.  Romanoff's new ad highlights Rep. Coffman's votes and actions to restrict women's reproductive rights. 

A big research dump of Coffman's anti-choice votes follows after the jump. Republicans surely aren't happy to see this ad, hitting on an issue they're as tired of as they are fearful: but there's a distinct lack of angry responses as of this writing from Coffman's campaign.

The reason may be simple: drawing further attention to this issue just makes it worse.

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Live Blog: Coffman v. Romanoff, Round 1

UPDATE 11:20AM: American Bridge now eagerly circulating what could be the defining moment of today's debate, in which GOP Rep. Mike Coffman forgets something very, very important about his position on abortion rights:

Like we said, this will be in a TV spot very soon. Maybe more than one.

—–

CD6 Debate

Mike Coffman, Andrew Romanoff, Aaron Harber (left to right)

It’s time to fire up the Colorado Pols Debate Diary once again. That's right, friends: It's live-blog time!

It has become something of a tradition here at Colorado Pols for us to give you, our loyal readers, a live blog, play-by-play of political debates in Colorado. This morning (yes, morning), we're at the Hilton Garden Inn in Highlands Ranch for the first CD-6 debate between Congressman Mike Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff.

*NOTE: The most current update appears at the top of the page. As always, unless it is in direct quotes, consider all statements paraphrased in the interest of time.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
If campaigns were decided in debates, Andrew Romanoff would be a shoo-in for Congress. He's a much better speaker, much better prepared, and has a general way with the audience that draws people in. Romanoff also stayed on topic and had a few good jabs at Coffman.

As for Coffman, he seemed…off. Coffman stumbled badly on a couple of questions, particularly one about abortion rights. It would be hard to walk away from this debate remembering much of anything from Coffman that was generally positive. His dour, somewhat angry demeanor was a stark contrast to a fresher Romanoff.
 

9:27
Coffman's closing statements.

Says he moved to Aurora 50 years ago. Father was enlisted soldier who dreamed of owning a small business. Says mother and father worked very hard on that business, but it failed. Whenever I see a small business shutter, I often think that there is a family behind it.

This is good stuff from Coffman. Where was this earlier?

Coffman continuing story about Coffman and Co. HVAC that still exists today?

Coffman is telling his life story now. Hard to make transition from military to business life. Says he took savings and built a small business.

Talking way too much about military transition to civilian life; it's a good anecdote, but not worth 2 minutes in a debate.

Finishes with something about finding solutions. Pretty weak close.
 

9:23
Closing statement time. Each candidate gets 4 minutes for some reason.

Romanoff: We've known each other for at least 15 years. We disagree on a number of issues, but not on our love for this country. That's not at issue in this debate.

Says strengthening economy starts with improving access to higher education. Strengthen middle class with equal pay for equal work. New energy economy.

Talks about leading House of Representatives when Republican Bill Owens was governor. "We never shut down the whole government over our issues."

"I respect Congressman Coffman. We take a different view…but I believe he is sincere in his views."

"If you elect me to the House of Representatives, I can't promise I will get everything done. But if we elect the same crowd, nothing is going to change." Great close.
 

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Coffman Can’t Spin His Way Out Of Losing To Romanoff Again

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, time to break out the hip waders in the marquee CD-6 race:

Congressman Mike Coffman’s campaign is claiming momentum after winning the June fundraising period over Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff in one of the most competitive House races of the 2014 cycle.

Coffman’s campaign brought in $405,000 between June 5 and June 30, more than Romanoff, who raised $373,000 in the latest reporting period…

The problem is, fundraising performance is generally measured by the quarter.

The press release from Coffman’s campaign didn’t mention that it brought in $742,000 during the year’s second quarter as a whole, which is $100,000 less than the $842,000 quarterly haul Romanoff’s campaign announced Monday. [Pols emphasis]

Mike Coffman's campaign spin notwithstanding, this Q2 of 2014 was the fourth straight quarter in which Democrat Andrew Romanoff has outraised one of the nation's most vulnerable incumbents. Romanoff is almost $400,000 ahead of Coffman now in terms of cash on hand–$2.67 million to $2.3 million. It makes sense, given that Coffman's lackluster fundraising is increasingly casting a shadow on his campaign, that they would try to find some way of spinning this result. In the one month of June, Coffman can plausibly say he barely beat Romanoff.

But as you can see, reporters aren't buying the spin. And when that happens, sometimes the spin becomes the story.

Post Does Good Job Sorting Out Past Romanoff-Coffman Immigration Positions

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee did a good job over the weekend of sorting out the past immigration positions of Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff.

Lee noted that Romanoff pushed compromise immigration legislation through the Colorado legislature in 2006, in order to deflect a more extreme immigration measure from making the Colorado ballot and being locked in the state Constitution.

Lee is among the only journalists who've reported on the context of Romanoff's 2006 immigration legislation, which was opposed by some immigrant advocates.

During the summer of 2006, in his first term as state House speaker, Romanoff faced a critical decision: Have a broadly worded initiative appear on the November ballot that would strip state benefits and even some medical services from those in the country illegally — including children — or strike a legislative compromise.

Lee reported that Romanoff "chose the latter option and staved off a late effort to revive the ballot initiative," which was supported by Coffman.

Among the proponents of the ballot initiative that didn't make it to voters was Coffman, the state treasurer at the time.

Coffman later headed to Congress to represent the then staunchly conservative 6th Congressional District, touting positions as a hardliner on immigration reform and following in the footsteps of his predecessor and a man he called his "hero" — Republican Tom Tancredo

Moving forward in time, Lee again correctly reports that Romanoff supports the comprehensive-immigration-reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate, while Coffman backs, in Lee's words, "piecemeal reforms." Lee does a good job of clarifying that Coffman doesn't just stand for vague "reform" but a piecemeal approach, with the pieces glaringly undefined.

Lee should have noted that just over a year ago, Coffman announced his grand support, in a much-read Denver Post op-ed, for "comprehensive immigration reform." This startled the three people paying attention because it ran counter to Coffman's past positions.

But now Coffman's "comprehensive immigration reform" is out the window, and he wants piecemeal legislation. Coffman has said that a "comprehensive approach doesn’t have to be a comprehensive bill," but if you've ever had a conversation about immigration among people with differing views on the topic, you understand why that's not true. Comprehensive reform allows for compromises to be folded together, with different pet issues included, so everyone can hold a nostril or two and vote yes, like Senators in their compromise by a 68-32 margin.

Lee, who's leaving The Post Wed., probably won't be able to delve into the question of whether piecemeal reform, with only a small piece (citizenship for minors via military service) actually on the table, is more than empty rhetoric, especially with the Senate bill ready to go. But maybe another reporter will pick up the thread.

New Romanoff Paid Web Ad Hits Coffman Hard on Choice

So-called "web ads" running longer than the usual 30 seconds are often released by candidates with no paid exposure, in the hope that they'll be picked up by blogs and spread by individuals on social media. "Viral" spread of compelling content is a frequent goal of online campaign organizers, but rarely achieved.

Qualitatively, this web ad from Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff does seem like a good candidate for virality, taking a hard shot at Rep. Mike Coffman's record on reproductive choice. But in addition to hoped-for viral exposure, the ad is being run as a "preroll" spot on Youtube, Hulu, and other video content sites, where it will see many thousands of targeted views:

From the Romanoff campaign's press release:

Andrew Romanoff’s campaign today released a new online ad on reproductive rights — one day after the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major setback to that cause. The video highlights Mike Coffman’s 25-year-long effort to deny Colorado women the right to make reproductive decisions. 

“Who decides? That’s the question at the core of this debate — and a key difference in this race,” Romanoff said. “I believe women should have the right to make their own choices, rather than surrender the most personal decisions to their employers, politicians or anyone else.”

The web video, which will appear online and in a paid advertising campaign on social media channels, details Mr. Coffman’s long record of strict opposition to a woman’s right to choose. The congressman supported the Personhood amendment, voted repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood, and co-sponsored a bill to redefine rape.

For campaigns looking to maximize exposure in the online space in a way that still allows for traditional video content production, online preroll buys are increasingly popular. They are cost-effective, can be launched with a comparatively small investment, and offer much more precise targeting than broadcast commercials. This isn't the first election cycle for preroll online video ads, but with each election more of the voting public is watching online video on a daily basis–more than broadcast TV in many cases. Smaller and lower budget campaigns should make more use of online video spots, and we expect that this year that will happen: especially with all the broadcast ad time being snapped up by the big campaigns and PACs.

It helps to have potent material too, which Romanoff has on Coffman.

Why Andrew Romanoff Scares Mike Coffman in One Video

Earlier this week, Democrat Andrew Romanoff's campaign for Congress in CD-6 released its first online video to draw attention to what is already the most closely-watched House race in the country. The fact that Romanoff's campaign made a nice online video is not particularly notable in and of itself, nor is Romanoff's message in said video. But when you watch Romanoff's performance and compare it to the first significant TV ad from 2012 Democratic challenger Joe Miklosi, there is a stark difference; Romanoff is exponentially more likable on camera than Miklosi or Republican incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman.

Both Romanoff and Coffman are raising veritable shitloads of money, and third-party expenditures on each side will push total spending in this race near the $20 million mark when all is said and done. Since both candidates should have plenty of resources for TV, mail, and voter outreach, the outcome in a close race will be decided on points such as likability. And that — more than any other issue in this race — is why Coffman and National Republicans are so concerned about Romanoff. Take a look at Romanoff's video below, then compare it to Miklosi's 2012 campaign ad after the jump:

 

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2006 immigration laws backed by Romanoff deflected hard-line anti-immigration initiative favored by Coffman

(Oops – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Back in 2006, then State Treasurer Mike Coffman stood in font of 200 people on the steps of the state Capitol as they launched a ballot initiative that would have stopped Colorado from providing services to all undocumented immigrants, even children.

Coffman led the group in reciting the pledge of allegiance, and then handed the microphone over to a string of speakers from an organization called Defend Colorado Now, which was organizing the extreme anti-immigrant initiative.

After the rally, Coffman told a reporter from the Longmont Daily Times- Call that he supported Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative.

Coffman "said afterward that he supports Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative," reported the Daily Times-Call April 28, 2006.

The history of Defend Colorado Now's initiative is worth dredging up for reporters, for context, as Republicans step up their attacks on former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for his role is passing legislation in direct response to the ballot initiative.

If you were around in 2006, you may remember a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including then Gov. Bill Owens and Romanoff, agreed on compromise legislation to stop the hard-line initiative from being placed on the ballot.

A set of 2006 laws, passed during a special session by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed by Republican Owens, softened the draconian approach of the Defend Colorado Now initiative, known also as Amendment 55.

The Denver Post reported in July of 2006:

Former Mayor Federico Peña likes the special-session legislation better than the proposed Amendment 55, which would have prohibited undocumented immigrants from receiving state services that are not mandated by federal law.

"It's far better than the negative consequences of 55," he said.

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Romanoff Fires Back At Misleading Pro-Coffman Ad

The Washington Post reports today on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new ad campaign in support of Republican candidates, including Colorado's Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman:

Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber will start running 13 new ads today on behalf of Senate and House Republicans in what spokeswoman Blair Holmes described as a "massive campaign." The chamber on Tuesday dropped almost $660,000 on broadcast and cable ads in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets on behalf of Senate candidate Cory Gardner. They'll feature a small business owner in a new ad for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, too.

— The Chamber is spending on behalf of former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.), Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), former Massachusetts state Sen. Richard Tisei (R), Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), businessman Stuart Mills in Minnesota's 8th District, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.).

We'll get to the U.S. Chamber's ad for Cory Gardner in due course. You can see the Chamber's ad running on behalf of Rep. Mike Coffman at the top of this post, an over-the-top fluffy, positive 30-second spot–check out the incredibly cheesy grin on the photo of Coffman at 0:13 if you don't believe us. Nonetheless, Coffman's Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff was quick to respond in a release a short while ago that the ad is seeking to "erase" Coffman's record on immigration:

A new television ad released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attempts to recast one of Colorado’s leading opponents of immigration reform. The ad describes Congressman Mike Coffman as a fighter for “bipartisan immigration reform,” a fabrication at odds with Coffman’s long record of opposition to reform.

“Congressman Coffman has voted against immigration reform at every turn, and no amount of special-interest money can erase his record,” Romanoff spokeswoman Denise Baron said in response to the ad. “Congressman Coffman called the DREAM Act a ‘nightmare’ and voted twice in the last year to resume deportation of 800,000 DREAMers. Congressman Coffman cosponsored a proposal to deny U.S. citizenship to the American-born children of undocumented residents.

“Andrew is the only candidate in this race who supports a comprehensive measure to reform our broken immigration system. Unlike his opponent, Andrew has endorsed the bipartisan Senate bill and has called on Speaker Boehner to allow a vote on that bill in the House.”

As we've discussed in this space at length, all salient points. The fact is, Coffman has not signed on to the bipartisan immigration reform bill in the House, H.R.15, though other "pro-immigration" Republicans like Rep. Jeff Denham have done so. That's what most people would think about a supporter of "bipartisan immigration reform," after all–that the "supporter" in question has actually signed on to a bipartisan immigration reform bill.

As of now, Coffman's support for "bipartisan immigration reform" exists only in the form of lip service.

Romanoff Calls Out Coffman on “Personhood”; Coffman Drops Support

UPDATE #2: Per Fox 31's Eli Stokols, Rep. Mike Coffman is now doing a Cory Gardner and kicking Personhood to the curb entirely — not just as a 2014 ballot measure.

GOP Congressman Mike Coffman is no longer supporting personhood, his campaign confirmed Tuesday, making him the second Republican in the last five days to disavow the movement to ban abortion — even in cases of rape or incest — that he’d previously supported. Coffman, R-Aurora, made his abrupt 180 on the issue public through his campaign just hours after his opponent, Democrat Andrew Romanoff, challenged Coffman to do so…

Cory Gardner Flip Flops

One more pair for Mike Coffman, please

…In fact, Coffman has never disavowed personhood until today. In 2012, he told the Denver Post he “will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions” because he’s running for federal office — which he’s doing again in 2014. But a 2012 article by the Colorado Statesman noted that Coffman “stands alone as a major Colorado politician in close election who has not withdrawn his previous support for the personhood amendment” and quoted two personhood backers praising Coffman for his stance.

Looks like "daddy needs a new pair of shoes":

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UPDATE: Coffman's campaign manager responds, as Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post reports:

Coffman’s campaign manager, Tyler Sandberg, called Romanoff the “Czar of Sleaze,” comments that echoed Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet from their bitter 2010 Senate primary, and noted Coffman did not support personhood in 2012 (it was not on the November ballot that year) and does not support this year’s proposal…

…In 2012, Coffman was consistently assailed by this then Democratic challenger, state Rep. , for supporting “personhood.” Often in debates two years ago, Coffman, who is pro-life, would deflect the criticism and insisted his candidacy was not focused on social issues.

That's nice of Tyler Sandberg to note that Coffman didn't support Personhood in 2012, since that's relevant and all. And what's with "Czar of Sleaze?" Is that really the best nickname they could come up with for Romanoff?

—–

​In a press release and email blast to supporters this morning, Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff challenges incumbent Republican Mike Coffman on the suddenly reanimated issue of the "Personhood" total abortion bans repeatedly proposed in Colorado.

Most Coloradans understand the dangers of the "personhood" amendment. That’s why they’ve rejected this proposal every time it’s reached the ballot.

The amendment would criminalize not only abortion — even in cases of rape or incest — but also common forms of birth control. This initiative represents a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, and it has no place in Colorado law.

We need a representative who recognizes that.

Unfortunately, Congressman Mike Coffman has supported the personhood amendment at every turn. He has described his opposition to reproductive rights as “unequivocal” and “unapologetic.”

After the jump, the Romanoff campaign's long list from today's release of supporting evidence that Coffman, or at least what we've come to refer to as "Old Coffman," is/has been a longtime supporter of the very same "Personhood" total abortion ban measures that have recently ensnared U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner. None of the information is new, of course; we and Democrats have taken note of Coffman's former ardent support for banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest in prior campaigns. But with the issue once again waylaying the campaigns of Colorado Republicans–much to Dick Wadhams' dismay–this may be the year that Coffman is finally made to answer for it.

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Romanoff Beats Coffman in Q4 2013 Fundraising

UPDATE: Correcting a previous version of this post, Andrew Romanoff narrowly outraised incumbent Mike Coffman in Q3 of 2013 as well.

Andrew Romanoff.

Andrew Romanoff.

Here are some numbers that don't lie, as FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports today:

With a fundraising haul of $458,943 last quarter, Romanoff notched another impressive win on the fundraising front in what’s shaping up to be one of the most competitive and expensive 2014 House races in the country.

Both campaigns raised more than $2 million in 2013, with Romanoff bringing in $2,004,461 for the year.

Coffman’s final total: $ 2,060,506, exactly $56,045 more than his Democratic challenger.

But the former Democratic House Speaker now has $1,669,617 cash on hand, almost $200,000 more than Coffman’s $1,477,636 cash on hand total.

Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff's besting of incumbent Mike Coffman's 2013 Q4 $405,000 fundraising total is the first second time Coffman has ever been outraised since being elected to Congress in 2008. While there will be plenty of money spent by third party groups for or against either candidate, money follows winners–and big donors are clearly at least hedging their bets that Romanoff will come out ahead in November. In 2012, Coffman faced a state legislator opponent who was never able to approach Coffman's haul quarter after quarter, yet still managed to come closer than expected to unseating him. We remarked at the time that Coffman needed his opponent at a financial lopsided disadvantage in order to stay afloat in a district no longer suited to his hard-right politics.

Today, Coffman is the one at a financial disadvantage. And that is very bad news for him.

Coffman-Romanoff comparison on immigration should include their positions on fed immigration bill

In a good article Monday, Denver Post reporters Joey Bunch and Carlos Illescas preview the upcoming battle between Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff.

A chunk of the article was dedicated to comparing the candidates’ history and positions on immigration reform, which is certain to come up during the campaign, and a couple points deserve clarification

The article omits a comparison of the most important immigration issue of our time: the effort in Washington to pass comprehensive immigration reform. It’s also the most relevant for two candidates running for Congress.

Romanoff supports a comprehensive-immigration-reform bill, passed with bipartisan support by the U.S. Senate and backed by President Obama. Romanoff is circulating a petition calling on the CO congressional delegation, including Coffman, to “endorse” the Senate bill.

Coffman, on the other hand, refuses to support this measure, and what’s more, he refuses to specify the amendments he’d add to the Senate bill to enable him to support it. He’s said he’s not happy with the bill’s plans for border enforcement, but he’s never explained what he wants.

This hasn’t stopped Coffman from saying he supports “comprehensive immigration reform,” like Romanoff does, but unlike Romanoff, Coffman has no actual factual comprehensive-immigration reform plan. He just talks about it.

Bottom line: Reporters shouldn’t compare the immigration positions of these two candidates without highlighting their differing positions on the historic immigration-reform bill that’s currently stalled in Congress.

Coffman vs. Romanoff Rated Among Nation’s Top Three Races

endangeredcoffman 

Analysis from U.S. News and World Report's Lauren Fox:

The showdown between Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., and former speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives Andrew Romanoff is expected to play out in a demographically evolving district that once leaned Republican when Coffman was first elected in 2008, but because of a new wave of Latino constituents moving to the Denver suburb, is swaying in the Democrats' favor. President Barack Obama swept the district by 5 points in the 2012 election.

The rapid evolution of his district has forced Coffman to reevaluate his positions. The congressman entered the House of Representatives and pushed for legislation to nullify a requirement that polling stations provide ballots in more than just English. This year, however, Coffman stepped out and advocated for an immigration overhaul that would provide some kind of legal status for immigrants who entered the country illegally.

The two candidates have deep pockets with Coffman and Romanoff raising $1.6 million and $1.5 million respectively as of September 2013, and there is plenty of outside help.

With so much at stake, the race is expected to be about national issues with Republicans and Democrats both keeping a pulse on the fight. Already, conservative group Americans for Prosperity targeted the district with an ad thanking Coffman for voting against the Affordable Care Act, which has made headlines after the Obamacare website has been plagued with technical malfunctions.

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Abortion will likely take center stage in Coffman-Romanoff race

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

This article originally appeared in RhRealityCheck, a national blog focusing on "reproductive & sexual health and justice."

After last year’s election, the communications director of the anti-abortion group Personhood USA held up U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) as a candidate who “maintained his 100% pro-life position (without compromising or denying the personhood of children) and won.”

Now, political observers agree that Coffman is fighting for his political life against staunchly pro-choice Democrat Andrew Romanoff, the former speaker of the Colorado state house.

Abortion issues have played a key role in recent campaigns at all levels in Colorado, on the campaign trail and in political advertising, and they are likely to take center stage in this race, as the two candidates fight for the critical votes of women in Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District, which was re-drawn after the 2010 Census.

Coffman’s views on abortion aligned more closely with the makeup of his old district, which used to include large swaths of ultra-right counties near Colorado Springs, home of Focus on the Family. The seat was previously held by immigration extremist Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO).

So Coffman’s decision in 2008 and 2010 to endorse “personhood” ballot initiatives, which would have banned all abortion in the state, even in the case of rape and incest, as well as common forms of birth control, made some political sense. 

(more…)

GOP attacks Romanoff on immigration, even though Coffman is their candidate

(It's called "chutzpah" – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: This messaging could soon get very complicated for Rep. Coffman. The Hill reports that House Republicans may take up Mitt Romney's infamous "self-deportation plan" as part of their immigration package in an effort "to make a comprehensive overhaul acceptable to conservatives." This idea did more than anything to kill Romney's chances with Hispanic voters in 2012, and if it gains traction in the House, it would be a nightmare for Coffman.
—–

The National Journal reported last week that the National Republican Congressional Committee has released an ad attacking Democrat Andrew Romanoff for favoring "the strictest immigration laws in the nation" which Romanoff "passed as Speaker of the Colorado House." Romanoff is challenging Rep. Mike Coffman, who's seen as in danger of losing 6th Congressional District seat in Colorado.

The 2006 anti-immigration law cleared the Colorado Legislature with bi-partisan support, including the backing of Romanoff and Gov. Bill Owens.

But if Republicans attack Romanoff on immigration, reporters should obviously spotlight Coffman's own record on the issue. The Journal's Ben Terris did a pretty minimalist job of this, pointing out the following about Coffman:

When he first ran in 2008, one of his planks was to “deny amnesty and a path to citizenship to those who violate our laws. But this year, he had a change of heart and all of a sudden supports a path to citizenship."

Terris should have written more about Coffman and immigration. 

(more…)

Coffman, Romanoff Q1 Virtual Tie, Advantage Romanoff

UPDATE: FOX 31's story revised–did Andrew Romanoff in fact outraise Mike Coffman in only two months?

[R]oughly an hour after FOX31 Denver reported Coffman’s fundraising, Romanoff’s campaign called and said that its first quarter total is actually $513,977 — possibly just more than Coffman, who’s exact total has not been released.

—–

FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

Coffman, R-Aurora, raised $510,000 in the first quarter of 2013, his campaign announced Tuesday.

It’s a big number for a member of Congress to raise in the first quarter of the first year of a two-year campaign cycle — but it’s also just slightly more than brought in by his opponent, Democrat Andrew Romanoff, whose campaign announced last week a $500,000 first quarter haul.

Not only is incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman's Q1 total barely ahead of Democratic challenger Andrew Romanoff's, Romanoff had considerably less time to raise his half million, having launched his campaign at the beginning of February. Especially given concerns among Democratic insiders about Romanoff's eschewing of PAC funds (shared by us in this space), his strong performance out of the gate, which the campaign says was comprised mostly of small, local donations, bodes unexpectedly well for him in this race.

And if you're a Republican watching this race, it's definitely time to worry.

Rep. Mike Coffman Endorses Andrew Romanoff in CD-6

coffmanromanoff

The scene from today’s surprise announcement.

Rep. Mike Coffman Endorses Andrew Romanoff in CD-6

Monday, April 1, 2013

AURORA: In a stunning turn of events, incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman announced this morning that he is endorsing his Democratic opponent, former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff, for election to Coffman’s CD-6 seat in 2014.

“Since narrowly surviving my re-election bid in 2012, I’ve come to realize that former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff already holds most of the positions on the major issues best suited to a representative of the Sixth Congressional District,” said Coffman. “As part of my shameless attempt to re-invent myself in accordance with my newly competitive and diverse constituency, I am endorsing Romanoff’s campaign to represent my district in Congress.”

Coffman clarified that is he not exiting the race for CD-6, and intends to win re-election to his congressional seat in 2014.

“Look, I’ve got to be careful here,” said a frank Rep. Coffman. “Last year, I almost lost this seat to a totally unknown pipsqueak. It was so much easier when I only had to answer to Tom Tancredo and the Castle Rock Trap and Skeet Club! I need time to make this reinvention thing stick, and the best way to buy that time is to sound like I agree with Democrats on everything. Of course I’m not really agreeing, so I have to be careful not to actually say anything concrete myself.”

“With that in mind, endorsing Romanoff until I can figure out how to thread this needle is the safest thing to do,” said Coffman. “Whenever you get a statement from Romanoff’s campaign, please add ‘Rep. Coffman agrees action needs to be taken.’ If said statement is calling for action not to be taken, please change my response accordingly.”

“Working together, we’re finally going to give this district the leadership it needs,” said Coffman.

###

(more…)

Coffman Goes From Hard-Right, To Softer-Right, To Every Which Way–And Then Out

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman won re-election in 2016, prevailing in a district carried by Hillary Clinton, even a liberal blog ColoradoPols wrote that the Republican’s “ability to survive so many very different electoral climates and the complete refashioning of his congressional district make another serious run at Coffman increasingly difficult to justify.”

Two years later, Coffman has been voted out, replaced by Democrat Jason Crow.

The difference this year is Trump.

Coffman’s increasingly desperate attempts to define himself as an anti-Trump Republican weren’t believed by voters who apparently saw him as a pawn in Trump’s GOP army. A pawn with a 96 percent pro-Trump voting record, as Democrats repeated throughout the campaign.

Actually, Coffman was more Trump-like during the first 18 years of his political career than he was when he was voted out today. He began migrating away from his hardest-hard-right social conservative stances after his congressional district was redrawn after the 2010 census.

Unlike some flip-flopping politicians, Coffman’s migration was achieved by adopting multiple nuanced positions on controversial issues–with variations emerging over years.

On abortion, for example, he went from proudly opposing all abortion, even for rape and incest, to withdrawing his support for a personhood abortion ban. Later, he voted for abortion ban exceptions, infuriating his personhood supporters.

He voted to defund Planned Parenthood multiple times and then put a Planned Parenthood logo in a campaign advertisement. And then, in interviews on conservative radio, he continued to attack the women’s health organization.

On immigration, his spectacular metamorphosis took him from calling the Dream Act a nightmare to embracing it, even though he blocked the country’s best shot at immigration reform when he opposed a comprehensive immigration bill, passed in 2014 with bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate. The bill died in the House, and Coffman went on to learn Spanish.

(more…)

Mike Coffman May Very Well Be Hosed in 2018

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)

We know what you’re going to say: You’ve heard it all before.

Politicos from both sides of the aisle have been predicting doom for incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman since re-districting changed the makeup of CD-6 after the 2010 Census, yet Coffman has endured. Here at Colorado Pols, we’ve certainly been guilty of erroneously anticipating Coffman’s demise on more than one occasion. Indeed, we’ve been pessimistic about the odds of Democrat Jason Crow defeating Coffman in 2018 because we’ve learned that Coffman has an inexplicable way of maintaining support among Aurora-area voters.

But as much as recent history tells us to pump our brakes on Democratic hopes in CD-6, the numbers emerging from a national climate hostile to Republicans are becoming too striking to ignore. It doesn’t just look increasingly likely that Coffman might lose in 2018…it’s beginning to look as though it might be virtually impossible for Coffman to win re-election this time around.

According to Harry Enten of 538.com, Democrats should now be considered the favorites to win control of the House of Representatives in 2018 in a rising wave that even Coffman may not be able to overcome:

…the Democratic advantage in the FiveThirtyEight generic ballot aggregate is up to about 12 points, 49.6 percent to 37.4 percent. That average, like the CNN poll, also shows Republicans in worse shape right now than any other majority party at this point in the midterm cycle1 since at least the 1938 election…

…Their current advantage is larger than the lead Republicans had at this point in the 1994 cycle, the lead Democrats held at this point in the 2006 cycle or the lead Republicans had at this point in the 2010 cycle. Those were all years when the minority party won control of the House. And a 12 percentage point Democratic advantage in the national House vote come next November would likely be more than enough for the House to flip again. I’ve previously calculated that the Democrats need to win the national House vote by 5.5 to 8 points to win the House.

As Enten explains, 2018 looks to be a rough year for the 58 incumbents who aren’t sitting in seats with “a partisan lean of more than 12 points in favor of Republicans.” In 2012, Coffman narrowly avoided an upset loss to Democrat Joe Miklosi, winning re-election by a slim two-point margin (47.8% to 45.8%). Democrats thought they had the better candidate in 2014 with former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, but Coffman upped his margin of victory to nearly 9 points (51.9% to 43%). Democrat Morgan Carroll performed slightly better than Romanoff two years later, but Coffman still breezed to victory by more than 8 points (50.9% to 42.6%) — despite the fact that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton outperformed Republican Donald Trump by 9 points in CD-6.

“Among GOP leaders, however, there is widespread concern heading into 2018. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said privately that both chambers could be lost in November.”
     – Politico (12/21/17) 

Congressional Republicans were already historically unpopular even before they unified in support of a tax plan that was the most overwhelmingly-despised piece of legislation in decades. Coffman has never faced a political climate like the one that is brewing in 2018; instead of adjusting his course, Coffman is leaning directly into the headwind.

When Coffman voted YES on the tax bill, he handed Democrats perhaps the most cogent opposition message the party has ever had in CD-6. In one vote, Coffman flushed away the pretend-moderate image he had so carefully crafted for years so that he could lash himself firmly to a sinking Republican ship. Coffman used to say that he didn’t support a partial repeal of Obamacare in any tax reform plan, but then he went and voted for the GOP tax debacle anyway. Now Coffman is even talking openly about backing significant cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

The ridiculous GOP tax plan is an unmistakable albatross around Republicans’ necks. Take a look at what former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote about the political ramifications in a column for The Atlantic:

The Republican tax bill lands like a hammer on upper-income professionals in blue states. Highly compensated attorneys, doctors, accountants, and financial-service professionals will lose tens of thousands of dollars in deductions for their heavy state and local taxes and costly coastal mortgages, without getting much in return…

…States like California and New York desperately need a competitive Republican Party—especially at the state level—to challenge the lazy and often corrupt practices of local Democratic machines. This new tax law will have the opposite effect, wrecking whatever little remains of GOP strength in the states that motor American innovation and growth. It threatens to push New Jersey, Colorado, and Virginia into single-party blue rule as well, by painfully demonstrating that the party of Trump is not only obnoxious to their values but implacably hostile to their welfare. [Pols emphasis]

While Republicans slap each other on the back over the tax bill, new political warnings are brewing. Both Politico and the Washington Post reported on Thursday that numerous Republican strategists are warning President Trump that a mid-term bloodbath is coming. As Jonathan Martin writes for the New York Times:

Officials in both parties believe Democratic gains in the House, where Republicans enjoy a 24-seat majority, could reach as high as 40 seats if the political environment does not improve for the Republicans.

And, as of now, it only appears to be worsening.

So, yes, you’ve heard the stories about Coffman’s vulnerabilities before, but never quite like this.

A lot can change before the 2018 election, but if this current trajectory continues, it may not even be possible for Coffman to win re-election next November.

Top Ten Stories of 2016 #4: Coffman’s Trump Triangulation Triumph

Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.

Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora is today one of the longest, if not the longest-serving elected politician in the state of Colorado. Rising through the ranks of the state legislature in the 1990s, then serving as Colorado’s Treasurer and Secretary of State before his election to Congress in 2008, Coffman is the epitome of a “career politician”–and on paper, he’s been ripe for a fall at many points in his long career.

But Coffman has survived, again and again, despite determined attempts to dislodge him from his seat in Congress. In 2011, Coffman’s congressional district was reshaped from a staunchly Republican safe seat formerly held by far-right Rep. Tom Tancredo into a diverse and competitive battleground. Democrats were gleeful at the prospect of claiming CD-6 and holding it easily for the coming decade.

Coffman dashed tentative Democratic hopes in 2012, as he squeaked to victory in President Barack Obama’s second election against a relatively unknown and underfunded Democratic opponent Joe Miklosi. The missed opportunity in 2012 was underscored in 2014, when in that Republican “wave year” Coffman trounced a much better-financed and organized opponent in former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

In 2015, Democratic hopes for this district soared with the entry of former Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll into the 2016 race against Coffman–a longtime representative from Aurora with charisma and deep bonafide ties to the community. The national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) rated the CD-6 race one of the very top Democratic pickup opportunities in the nation in 2016, and unlike previous attempts, national Democratic resources stayed in this race to the very end.

Going into 2016, Coffman’s handlers understood that they faced a potentially disastrous problem with the success of Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race. Trump’s alienating rhetoric was downright poisonous in a culturally diverse place like Aurora, and made it too easy to draw parallels from Trump to Coffman’s own long record of right-wing ugliness–like Coffman calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and asserting that President Obama “is just not an American.” Trump’s hard line on immigration similarly cast Coffman’s unsteady reinvention on the issue since redistricting into unflattering relief.

Working in Coffman’s favor were two principal factors: first, Coffman’s reversal on immigration began before Trump came on the scene, in response to redistricting, which made it appear more credible. The second, perhaps most important factor, is Coffman’s top-notch re-election team–who worked overtime to schmooze with, persuade, and where necessary to bully the local press into accepting that Coffman’s protestations against both Trump and his own record were genuine.

The result, much like the Democrats’ frustration in nailing Cory Gardner on his multitude of falsehoods in 2014, is that Coffman succeeded in triangulating off the anger against Trump instead of succumbing to it. Media coverage of Coffman’s record and statements on Trump gave him the benefit of the doubt that his change of heart was genuine. Even fact checkers struck back at Democratic allegations about Coffman’s “Trumplike” record, declaring them false by celebrating his “new position” on the issues in question. In the end, voters saw enough of Coffman’s ad declaring without specifics that he “doesn’t care much” for Trump to believe it over all the Democratic ads insisting Coffman was just like Trump.

And in the same congressional district that supported Hillary Clinton and Michael Bennet by solid margins in 2016, Morgan Carroll lost just as badly as her predecessor. The disappointment over this loss among Colorado Democrats turned to outrage–though not surprise–just a few days after the election when Rep. Coffman declared, red Trump hat literally in hand, that he is “excited about the next two years and look[s] forward to working with the president.” With that statement, everything Coffman had done to put daylight between himself and Trump during the election, and all the obsequious press coverage that helped him, was revealed as fraudulent.

Today, it’s anybody’s guess whether Democrats will field a credible challenger to Coffman next election, but his ability to survive so many very different electoral climates and the complete refashioning of his congressional district make another serious run at Coffman increasingly difficult to justify. There remains a possibility that political upheaval caused by President Trump’s first two years could put Republicans on the defensive in time for 2018, more than the usual risks to the party in power in a midterm election.

But for now, “Teflon” Mike Coffman is a model of political survival to study.

Or, depending on your point of view, a cautionary tale.

¿Por qué? Coffman Oddly Declines Debate en Español

Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Sen. Morgan Carroll (D).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R), Sen. Morgan Carroll (D).

A press release from Morgan Carroll’s congressional campaign calls out Rep. Mike Coffman for something we didn’t think would be a problem–his declining to participate in a Spanish-language debate, something he hasn’t shied away from previously:

Yesterday, Donald Trump and Mike Coffman both put to rest any lingering questions about whether or not they have changed. Coffman fed the public a weak excuse for refusing to participate in a Spanish language debate only days AFTER bragging about debating in Spanish last cycle.

“Congressman Coffman paved the way for Donald Trump and now he is acting just like him,” said DCCC Spokesman Tyler Law. “His weak excuse for not participating in the only Spanish language debate further proves how out-of-touch he is with his diverse constituency…”

Here’s a snapshot of Mike Coffman over the last year:

1.    Coffman spoke to an anti-Muslim hate group

2.    Latino leaders blamed Coffman for Trump’s rise

3.    Coffman refused to denounce Donald Trump’s candidacy time and time and time again (he literally did it again this week)

4.    Coffman cited a “scheduling conflict” two months from now as the reason he can’t participate in Entravision’s Spanish language debate

So no, Mike Coffman has not genuinely changed and he is certainly not an example of how to broaden the Republican coalition. Just as Donald Trump misled people into thinking there would be a pivot, Coffman misled people into thinking he could change.

It’s of course possible that Coffman has a scheduling conflict that far in advance, but this is the kind of event he made a point of not missing in 2014 against Andrew Romanoff. This year, as Coffman walks a tightrope between triangulating off Donald Trump and holding together enough of Republican support to get re-elected, and with his predecessor Tom Tancredo blasting away at Coffman from the right as an opportunist with no convictions, it’s possible that the man who once told bilingual voters to “pull out a dictionary” doesn’t need any more compromising video clips in circulation.

Coffman and Carroll are set for three television debates in English, so we guess keep that dictionary handy.

Coffman tried and failed with the same immigration attacks last election

(Setting the record straight – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Mike Coffman.

Mike Coffman.

Reporters shouldn’t be fooled by Rep. Mike Coffman’s recycled attempts to paint his Democratic challanger Morgan Carroll as anti-immigrant. Coffman tried the same tactic in 2014 and failed.

The point needs to be made in light of the Coffman’s campaign tweet last week that Carroll “supported Tancredo’s immigration crackdown in the 2006 special session.”

Coffman tried to attack Coffman’s 2014 challenger Andrew Romanoff in the same way, and it failed, as exemplified in this Denver Post piece from a couple years ago.

During the summer of 2006, in his first term as state House speaker, Romanoff faced a critical decision: Have a broadly worded initiative appear on the November ballot that would strip state benefits and even some medical services from those in the country illegally — including children — or strike a legislative compromise.

He choose the latter option and staved off a late effort to revive the ballot initiative by spearheading a bill that pleased some hardliners and upset some in the Latino community…

Among the proponents of the ballot initiative that didn’t make it to voters was Coffman, the state treasurer at the time.

With Romanoff in 2006 was Carroll–and Republicans like the Gov. Bill Owens. With Coffman in 2006 was Tancredo. (Read more of this history here.)

The Post’s article from the last election goes on to explain that Coffman opposed (and continues to oppose) a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, passed by the U.S. Senate. Carroll supports this measure, including its path to citizenship. (In addition to this, Coffman is opposed to birthright citizenship, which allows children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil to be citizens. Coffman is also against a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some jurisdictions to provide dual-language ballots.)

Coffman’s campaign acts as if Carroll’s 2006 stance and 2009 vote against in-state tuition for undocumented students are somehow equivalent to or worse than Coffman’s vast anti-immigrant record–despite the context of the 2006 special session and the fact that Carroll was a cosponsor of the ASSET bill when it passed in 2013. Carroll passed the ASSET bill.

Bottom line: Reporters saw through Coffman’s attacks against Romanoff on immigration in 2014. They shouldn’t be fooled by Coffman this time around either.