WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Colorado Democratic Party chair Morgan Carroll takes Cynthia Coffman to task for “investigating the locksmith” instead of going after the real culprit–which just so happens to have helped Colorado Republicans win elections:
“Imagine someone broke into your house, but instead of investigating the burglar, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is only investigating the locksmith,” said Morgan Carroll, Colorado Democratic Party Chair. “In this case, it’s even worse, given that the burglar — Cambridge Analytica — shared the loot with Coffman’s political party.”
“Colorado is ground zero for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. We were the guinea pig in their experiment. Voters deserve a full investigation and a full accounting of the scope of this GOP scandal and its impact on Colorado elections.”
“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman must put partisanship aside and conduct a thorough investigation of these groups, regardless of whether or not it hurts her political party or her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.”
Perhaps AG Coffman should have thought this through a little more.
As the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports:
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Monday joined 36 of her colleagues from across the U.S. in a letter demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg amid reports that user information from the social media site was provided to third parties without consent.
“As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we place a priority on protecting user privacy, which has been repeatedly placed at risk because of businesses’ failure to properly ensure those protections,” the attorneys general wrote. “… Early reports indicate that user data of at least 50 million Facebook profiles may have been misused and misappropriated by third-party software developers.”
The letter comes in the wake of the revelation that the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly used Facebook user data to target voters, including for President Donald Trump’s campaign. The firm says it helped Republicans win the state Senate majority in Colorado and may have helped Cory Gardner in his 2014 U.S. Senate victory over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.
Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is in a pickle here, like every other Republican in America trying to keep the cognitively dissonant notions of backing their party’s President while being honest about the methods and foreign influence that helped him win from annihilating their consciences like matter vs. antimatter. The violations of law–not to mention consumer good faith–underlying the scandal of Cambridge Analytica’s psychoanalytic campaign to persuade American voters generally and Colorado voters proximally are absolutely something that state attorneys general should be vigorously investigating.
Except for one big problem for Cynthia Coffman. What Cambridge Analytica did to goose Republican turnout in 2014, helping give Colorado Republicans a majority in the state Senate, helping catapult Cory Gardner into the U.S. Senate, and yes, even helping elect Cynthia Coffman as the state’s attorney general–well, it worked. How do you investigate in good faith something you have to thank for your own success?
The likely answer: “investigate” just enough to keep up appearances. Way to sign that form letter! The next step is to call all the Colorado Republicans who have been named in the stories about Cambridge’s work in Colorado and find out what they know about the data used in those campaigns. Hint: she already has their number.
Fat chance, we know.