Coffmangate: Let The Resignations Begin

Marilyn Marks, Becky Mizel.

Marilyn Marks, Becky Mizel.

Today, two principal figures in the Coffmangate extortion scandal announced their resignations from posts in the Colorado Republican Party, following the vote last week by the party’s executive committee 22-1 to support embattled chairman Steve House. The first resignation was that of elections crackpot activist Marilyn Marks, exiting the state GOP’s Elections Oversight Committee. From her scathing, if a bit muddled and agitated resignation letter dated today:

I sincerely regret that I cannot serve effectively on this committee to help mitigate the escalating risks to Republican candidates as we move toward 2016. I cannot advance the righteous cause of the party where leadership provides inconsistent policy guidance with frequent embarrassing reversals and re-­‐reversals of direction on issues of election quality. I have wasted much valuable time that should have been devoted to 2016 election security in attempting to recover from erratic changes of policy direction from Chairman House…

My experience with Chairman House in election public policy matters is consistent. His policy is unfailing inconsistency. No matter which policy he adopts and asks me to submit to officials, the position will be reversed if officials object. [Pols emphasis]

…Most troubling is the fundamental philosophy House expressed to me several weeks ago in the context of the party’s future policies for election security. He stated that the job of the party is to represent both the voters and the official stance of the Republican election officials in suitable compromises. He stated that our positions must be acceptable to election officials, implying that the Republican party is to represent the government in dealing with the voters. Such backwards philosophies will only lead to more conflict with House and more episodes of his approving, then disapproving and then disavowing the work of the Committee. I cannot be effective in such an environment. The work of the Committee is to promote oversight of elections, not to represent the interests that the government may have in denial of the problems.

Marks’ letter of resignation was addressed to Becky Mizel, the chair of the Elections Oversight Committee and also chair of the Pueblo Republican Party. You’ll recall that Mizel, a longtime malcontent within the Colorado GOP and one of the cabal of GOP officials led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman who allegedly threatened Steve House with reprisals if he didn’t resign, was the lone vote cast against House on the GOP executive committee last Friday. A short while after her own resignation, Marks posted to Facebook:

Becky Mizel resigned today as Chair of the Election Oversight Committee of the Republican state party. I had just done the same a bit earlier in the day. We were following the direction of Chairman House in submitting comments to the Secretary of State on Watcher rights and responsibilities with the Republican Party position. He then disavowed our association with the party…

We haven’t heard if Mizel has also resigned as chair of the Pueblo Republican Party, but in the aftermath of Friday’s vote, she couldn’t be more isolated. At this point, Mizel’s continued leadership of Pueblo Republicans is a detriment to that party’s efforts there, since it’s clear that Mizel cannot work effectively with the state party’s chairman. It’s what happens, as the saying goes, when you strike at the king but don’t kill him.

It’s widely believed that Marks’ agitation about “threats” to fair elections in 2016 were a big part of her alienation of Steve House. Marks’ unreasonable and strident posturing on election issues has made her a pariah on both sides of the aisle, but Republicans humored her for long enough to leave her deeply entrenched–and ready to formulate red-on-red conspiracy theories over basically any quibble. As for Mizel, it’s easy to find fellow Republicans willing to assign the label of “batshit crazy” to her, not to mention Democrats–which helps explain why she was so ready to team up with Tom Tancredo to frag the state GOP’s leadership.

Where do these resignations leave the other principal (employed) actor in the “Coffmangate” drama, Cynthia Coffman?

Not looking real good, that’s for sure.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. FrankUnderwood says:

    "the escalating risks to Republican candidates"

    Oh really?  Like the risk to Republican candidates posed when the three stooges attempted to blackmail the state party chair?  And who knew that he had the stones to stand up to Larry, Curly and Moe.

    Good ridden. And don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

  2. Big Time says:

    So, they wanted to keep pushing Jim Crow Voter ID laws because they know they can't win without them and House said no dice and they pitched a fit and tried to blackmail House?

  3. Diogenesdemar says:

    Dear Marilyn, Becky,

    Don't let the door hit you in the Tancredo.




  4. mamajama55 says:

     I Told ya so….. the problem was that House wanted to meet directly, and compromise with, the County Clerks and election officials. "Compromise" is a dirty word to these two ladies. 

      I think that the far right gunheads in Pueblo will not reject their Queen Becky. Pueblo Republicans love their extreme nutballs, and they keep them around for decades. She'll probably still manage to harass Pueblo's election clerk and foul the waters of political discourse there for years to come.

    As for Marilyn Marks, she still has plenty of election clerks to bother in Colorado. It is her crusade, her obsession. Independence Institute has so much more for her to do.  She travels the right wing talk and conference circuit and expounds on all of the Democratic conspiracies to steal elections. They eat that shit up.

    But, at least these two ladies will not now be promoting backroom deals that blow up the Republican party. They can go back to being annoyances to Democrats.

  5. Moderatus says:

    They may not be the last, but not because they are "crazy." Steve House has created a rift in the party that will drive many good people away. I'm sorry to say to but it's true.

    Is Colorado Pols a Steve House supporter now? That would explain a lot.

    • Big Time says:

      Hey Mod, in case you didn't get the memo – the GOP is purging the party of the Dixiecrats, once and for all. Jim Crow Voter ID laws are sooooo 1950s. Give it up. 

    • ajb says:

      By the looks of it, House may be driving some people away, but it's not the good ones. 

      But all snark aside, what have Marks and Mizel accomplished by suing all those clerks? other than pissing off the clerks? So House extends an olive branch to the  clerks and the self-appointed smartest people in the room go nuclear (a tacit admission, btw, that Rs can't win without some jiggery pokery on election day).

      At the end of the day, everybody in the room agreed with House. 

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Absolutely, we all are! I even have a little statue of him on the dashboard of my car.

    • BlueCat says:

      Warned you you were going to be left behind by your party, modster.  News flash. There is no problem with election security or voter fraud that requires wingnut Marks hyper vigilance and the best way to make sure you have a secure efficient election process is by working with the clerks. The grown ups are tired of this public brawling nonsense. That's why the field is littered with the batshit crazy conspirators and House is still standing and in control. Your darling won't have to resign. I'm sure the party doesn't want to be further embarrassed by an AG resignation. But her political career has just ground to a dead stop halt. Find another blonde to worship. There are plenty on Fox "News".

  6. Pueblojangle says:

    Becky Mizel is not going anywhere. Steve House is not the leader of the Colorado GOP anymore. Conservatives will vote our conscience without the party, and win without Steve House.

    • Big Time says:

      As a third party?

      Let's review – the establishment GOP used the euphemistically described "Tea Party" for decades but it's a new day and age and so they are finally giving the Dixiecrats (let's be honest, shall we) the boot. 

    • BlueCat says:

      Well she did resign and House is Chairman of your party so it looks like your brand of Republicans lost. Maybe not in Pueblo but, honestly, how much does the matter in the bigger picture. Have fun being your own little crazy, hateful, ignorant faction down there. Enjoy.

    • MADCO says:

      this would be Awesome!

      It would be like John Anderson or Ross Perot, only better because Facebook.

      the funny part is when people who have shown no track record of actual winning take their ball and go home…. Or just go home, because no one wants to hear them talk about how to win.

      oh, and the angry dog is a great logo.  It's not that dog rhymes all that well- but the synonyms are great.  Grrrrr

    • mamajama55 says:

      Please proceed, Chairwoman. The creation of a permanent Constitutional Conservative third party in Pueblo,  promoting candidates for office, and gumming up elections,  will ensure that Pueblo stays blue forever!yes

  7. mamajama55 says:

    Update: I don't know if Pols will do an update on this, but Pueblo Dems are doing the Munchkin march: Becky Mizel resigned as chair of the Pueblo Republican party, leaving Victor Head as her temporary replacement. She wrote, "The party officers cannot work at odds with each other and remain successful through this challenge," meaning, she can't call for the resignation of the state party Chair, try to blackmail him into resigning, be the only dissenting vote on the Exec Committee, and still expect any support from the State party for Pueblo RP's goals.

    And apparently, the party's  finances are in shambles, as well.

    So, um, Pueblojangle….any comment?

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