Coffman’s First Perlmutter-Style “Government-in-Your-Reduced-Hours-Public-Library”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Stealing a page from Congressman Ed Perlmutter's constituent services playbook, Congressman Mike Coffman faced Aurorans one-on-one in the public library a few blocks from his home this morning. About seventy-five constituents stood in line to speak with him, and each was given about five minutes alone, or with a small group. Outside, an organizer from Colorado Fair Share signed up voters on a petition for universal pre-school. While his constituents waited, we discussed questions we wanted to ask him, like the ones listed at bottom, speaking loudly enough that his Secret Service detail paced around us. At one point, I scrapped my questions and nervously told him what was really on my mind. After awhile, Congressman Coffman appeared angry and stood up, and his aides (henchman?) escorted me out of the room. It would have been much more fun to dress up in green and wave to voters with Congresswoman Diana DeGette, but someone had to do it.

Some of the questions we had for Congressman Coffman this morning:

"When you were Secretary of State in 2008, you were ordered by a federal judge to stop purging recent voter registrants, following massive voter registration by Democratic-leaning groups, particularly in Aurora. Do you believe Aurora voters will remember this story when they vote in November?"

"A member of the Board of the Human Rights Campaign once said that he could meet with any Congressman, regardless of whether or not they supported marriage equality, except for one – Mike Coffman. Since marriage equality is now overwhelmingly supported by Americans, have you started allowing gay representatives into your office?"

"You supported your friend Tom Tancredo in his past races. Are you supporting him for Governor?"

"You recently started meeting with many leaders in the Asian Community for the first time. Does this foreshadow support for increased outsourcing to China, or is this just to get minority votes in Aurora?"

"The majority of Americans favor common sense background checks for guns. Given that Aurora is within 20 miles of famous school shootings and the shooting at the Century Theatre, will you finally stand up to the NRA gun lobby to protect your citizens by getting guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues and previous felonies, including domestic violence abusers?"

"What do you plan on doing to address the growing income equality between the rich and the poor in this country?"

"One quarter of all children in the United States now live in poverty – the wealthiest country in the world — and many of them have parents who work in low-paying jobs. Will you support raising the minimum wage?"

"Jessica’s Law offers penalties that are not as punitive as the laws we already have on the books in Colorado, and actually makes things worse for at-risk children, according to many national children’s advocacy groups across the country. When your former opponent Joe Miklosi voted against it, you refused to denounce a third-party ad equating him with pedophiles. In a debate, your furthered that narrative. Do you have any guilt for slandering the reputation of an upstanding citizen?"

"In 2009, more than one thousand health care reform advocates gathered outside your office building to demand Obamacare. Without batting an eye lash, your staffer lied and told the press they were mostly against Obamacare. Does he still work for you?"

"This towne hall is one of the very rare public appearances you have made in Aurora. People who have lived near you all their lives say they never see you in public. How much time did you actually spend in Aurora before you started campaigning this cycle?"

"Your Highlands Ranch office was on private property so you could turn away constituents easily. Will that continue to be your policy if you are re-elected?"

"You take huge donations from Big Oil. What do you think you owe them in terms of votes?"

About nancycronk

Nancy Cronk is a longtime community activist and women's leader living in Arapahoe County. Six months before the historic "red sweep" election of 2014, she was recruited to run as a "placeholder" in HD37, and managed to bring in 40K from 500 small donors, and 42% of the vote -- just one point lower than the previous candidate who ran in a presidential year.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    You go Nancy! Coffman doesn't deserve to be in a "comfort zone" with CD4 voters. 

  2. exlurker19 says:

    Sic 'im, Nancy, you rock!  CD-6er here, myself.  Go Romanov!!!!

  3. Davie says:

    Very telling that Coffman said his purpose was to hear his constituent's concerns, yet  he obviously wasn't interested in yours.

    if he ever holds another one of these, no doubt it'll be by invitation only.

    Incidentally, how did you here about this?  I get his money begging letters and his taxpayer funded "non-campaign" mailings, but I don't recall seeing the meeting announcement.

    Anyway, great job!

    • BlueCat says:

      Maybe you would have heard about it if you were registered R.

      • Davie says:

        So it would seem.  Nancy must have good connections.  That's it!  Coffman has a mole in his organization.  He better have all his staff take a polygraph test to expose the traitor!

        Probably someone very close, that he's known for decades…

    • nancycronk says:

      I'd like to say something like I had inside connections, or that the lightening-shaped scar on my forehead was burning (a la Harry Potter) but the truth is, I got a heads-up from someone who read it on his website. I hope the others who went in to see him got their tax money's worth, too. 

  4. denverco says:

    He did the same thing last spring. First it was supposed to be an open town hall meeting at the Aurora library by Aurora Mall. When he arrived and saw the diversity of the crowd the town hall was changed to one on one meetings in a room where everyone would be given 5 minutes to talk to him. The wait was over 2 hours because of the number of people and most people left.

    My niece and i were determined to stay and talk to him. Finally we were escorted into a private room by two men. He was seated at a desk with men on both sides of him. The minute we asked about why he did not support immigration reform and a path to citizenship we were told our time was up and escorted out of the room – at best this took 2 minutes. What a coward.

    • Davie says:

      How rude of you not to have first handed over a campaign contribution check to Coffman!  

      That would have at least gotten your full 5 minutes.  A congressman's time is extremely valuable, so if he's going to have to listen to nonsense, at least it should profit his re-election campaign!

      • BlueCat says:

        How different from the way Perlmutter or any Dem Rep I'm aware of here in Colorado handles things. Dems quaintly believe Town Hall meetings are just that and, also quaintly, really do want to her hear from all of their constituents. I've been to a enough of them to know that everyone gets to speak and gets a thoughtful answer whether it's at a Perlmutter Town Hall or my former Dem HD Rep's Town Halls. Apparently Coffman doesn't actually do town Halls, whatever he calls them or pretends they are. because he's afraid to hold public discussions where anyone who doesn't agree with him might be present. I'm sure that Romanoff will  do genuine out reach with events inclusive of anyone who wants to be heard and the contrast won't go unnoticed. 

  5. nancycronk says:

    Bluecat, it is a dog and pony show for him. Before he had a competitive district, he never did this. I know people who tried to get appointments with him and couldn't. He gives them to big donors, veterans, and people in his own party. These last two attempts and representative government are a real switch for him, and finally, he is being made to actually do some work for his position. I give him credit for two good attempts. Two good attempts does not mean he deserves a long political career however.

  6. Gray in Mountains says:

    Secret Service? Doubtful. Probably just some security guys that use the Secret Service kind of dress and earbuds.

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