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April 21, 2011 10:56 PM UTC

On radio, Brophy first said Coffman would lose under Dem map then said Coffman probably could win

  • by: Jason Salzman

On Sunday, State Sen. Greg Brophy said the darndest things about congressional redistricting on Ross Kaminsky’s Backbone Radio, and Kaminsky, who will challenge his conservative guests sometimes, said not a word.

So I emailed this note to Kaminsky:

Hi Ross –

I’m considering a blog post on Brophy’s appearance on your show, where he made some serious accusations, which you did not challenge.

Can you answer the following questions for my blog:

Brophy accused Democrats of paying folks to testify before Brophy’s committee.

Brophy: “And then you know, to top it all off, they had the same sort of ginned up testimony from some Democrat operatives in Douglas County who went all the way up to Longmont, for crying out loud, to tell us to put Greenwood Village in the 1st Congressional District. Just follow the pieces on that. Well. It makes sense if you’re paying someone to do it but it doesn’t make sense if you’re representing the people of Colorado.”

Did you catch him saying this? If so, why didn’t you ask for his evidence for this?

Also, he asserted that Democrats were trying to draw Mike Coffman out of his seat, but then Brophy said Coffman could probably win in a new Dem District….

[Brophy said:  “And then they take the 6th and they wrap it around Denver and DIA on the east side, making both of them Democrat districts that Barack Obama won in 2008 and effectively drawing Congressman Mike Coffman out of the seat, whether he lives in it or not. He probably could win it because the guy is a political stud. But they’re trying to draw him out of the seat. It’s an absolute slap in the face to Mike Coffman.”]

How come you didn’t ask Brophy, if the district is so pro-Dem, why he thinks Coffman could still win there?

Overall, even if you agree with Brophy on redistricting, or with any guest on any topic, don’t you think talk radio is more interesting if you ask critical questions, rather than just listen? I mean, you seem to do this some of the time, when you disagree with guests, (like you did here in a good interview with Stephens) but not when you agree with them. Why not ask critical questions even when you agree with guests? Don’t you think that’s a more interesting way to go, for the sake of listeners?



Kaminsky responded thus:

First, Brophy did NOT assert that Dems paid people to testify. He asserted that they got people to testify who otherwise wouldn’t have and who at least on several occasions didn’t live in the relevant district. That assertion is so believable that it did not bear further questioning, esp. as Brophy seemed to KNOW, not just guess, that the people he was talking about were not from the district being discussed.  I don’t recall him ever using or implying payment for those “astroturf” testimonies. So please don’t put words in his mouth.

Re the 6th, it’s not that it would be “so pro-Dem”, just massively less Republican than it is now. It would be more like the 7th, perhaps slightly more Republican than the 7th.  Still winnable by Coffman but far from the layup that it is now (or that the 1st is for DeGette.) But the other point was the fact that the Dems seem to be drawing a map to exclude from the 6th the town where they expect Coffman will soon be living.  So, again, you are putting words in Brophy’s mouth as far as him saying that the 6th would be “so pro-Dem.”

Jason, while I do take your point about asking more critical questions, you keep suggesting I should have asked questions in response to things that the guests didn’t actually say.  Your first question about Brophy in your note today was plainly based on a misrepresentation of Brophy’s words, and your second question wasn’t much better. And to be clear, it was I, and not Brophy, who brought up the question of the risk to Coffman from the Dems’ plans for the 6th and it was I who brought up the question of Greenwood Village. (At least, that’s how I remember the conversation. I haven’t listened to it again.)

You remind me of a politician who is answering the question he wanted to be asked.  You are responding to comments you wish that those on the right had actually made.  This sort of behavior makes it really difficult to want to cooperate with you on an ongoing basis.  I don’t think you’re actually intending to behave badly, but your political bias is (in my view) causing you to behave badly when it comes to situations like this.

I responded with this:

Ross –

Thanks for the quick response.

Yes, Brophy said what you assert he said. But you saw my quote. He’s at the very least implying the people from Longmont were paid to testify.

So the 6th would be a competitive district. We agree on that. [And so does Brophy.]

As far as cooperating goes, I hope you’ll continue communicating with me, because I try to be fair. I will use your entire comments, so as not to distort them, for example. And if I state something that’s inaccurate or unfair, just shoot me an email and I’ll include your response. What more can I do?

Again, thanks.

Kaminsky replied:

Jason, I simply don’t see that implication in Brophy’s words. In fact, before you mention the word “paid”, the idea that those testifiers had been paid hadn’t even occurred to me.

The 6th would be competitive if the Dems’ map wins, but I don’t think it will, even if this goes to the courts. That said, we have the worst State Supreme Court in the nation, so I wouldn’t put anything by those reprehensible political hacks.

Then Kaminsky added this thought in a final email, ending our exchange for today:

To be clear, Jason, the Dems presented several maps. Their most aggressive map would do just what Brophy said, and could make the 6th a Dem-leaning district. Some of their less aggressive maps, while still disgustingly partisan pieces of work, would leave the 6th more competitive or slightly GOP-leaning, as I understand them. That said, I am not an expert on this stuff.


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