Readers by now are very familiar with the ongoing Coffmangate scandal, in which Colorado Republican Party chairman Steve House was confronted by a cabal of fellow Republicans led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman about his “failure” to hire former Sen. Ted Harvey as the state party’s executive director–and as the story is told, then threatened House with exposure of an alleged affair if he did not resign his position.
The latest word we have is that the investigation of the Coffmangate scandal, which according to some legal experts meets the technical definition of felony criminal extortion in Colorado law, is still continuing. Last Friday night, though, according to photos we were forwarded over the weekend, a number of the principal figures in the Coffmangate scandal threw themselves a party! With House still in office and the Coffmangate co-conspirators in disarray, we’ll be damned if we can tell you what they were celebrating.
Perhaps they decided to go with self-incriminating instead.
From left: Coffmangate instigator Tom Tancredo, Steve House’s alleged mistress Julie Naye, Republican activist Kim Hertzfeldt, and “Tea Party”-aligned former GOP state party official Lana Fore. Hertzfeldt’s name has surfaced several times as part of the pro-Ted Harvey faction that sought Steve House’s ouster.
Here’s Lana Fore, ex-Pueblo County GOP chair and principal Coffmangate actor Becky Mizel, and Tancredo cheek-to-cheek. And look over Tancredo’s shoulder–why, isn’t that sitting GOP Rep. Clarice Navarro? Guess she’s not planning on much help from the state party next year!
But the photo you’re really waiting to see, the one that ties the whole menagerie together, is after the jump:
There he is, folks! The alleged ringleader of the Coffmangate conspiracy to bring down the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, former state Sen. Ted Harvey, along with Lana Fore and infamous Pueblo Republican blowhard Tom Ready.
Now, we have to assume that the biggest remaining figure in the Coffmangate scandal not pictured, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman herself, couldn’t attend due to her travels on the Western Slope in response to the Gold King Mine wastewater spill (more on that story shortly). We would postulate that she may have avoided this little party out of a sense of political self-preservation–but if she had such a sense, she most likely would never have confronted Steve House on that fateful day at all.
Fortunately, though, on the same weekend as this party, Ted Harvey broke his long silence on the Coffmangate scandal. As posted to Facebook:
Harvey doesn’t mention in his defense of the Coffmangate co-conspirators that the failure of House to hire him as the Colorado GOP’s executive director has already been cited by both Tom Tancredo and Cynthia Coffman as a central reason for the confrontation: an admission that each has tried in their own way to walk back since then. Before clamming up, House was quite pointed about Harvey’s non-hire factoring heavily into the situation. And critically, it was the subject at hand just before House’s alleged affair was brought up.
Bottom line: it’s clear from these photos, and from Harvey’s angry response to continuing speculation from fellow Republicans, that the wounds from Coffmangate within the Colorado GOP have in no way healed. Steve House survived the attempt to oust him, and remains the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party–even as Ted Harvey denounces House as “felonious,” and the losers of this battle continue to undermine House’s credibility at every step.
Even setting aside the still-unresolved legal questions, what this portends for the Colorado GOP going into a major election year is not good.