Coffmangate: Still Trying To Prove What Doesn’t Matter

Julie Naye, Mitt Romney in 2012.

Julie Naye, Mitt Romney in 2012.

Several months have passed since the Colorado Republican Party exploded in a spate of allegations between supporters of party chairman Steve House and a group of critics led by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman who sought House’s resignation. In a confrontation at a Denver restaurant between Coffman and House also attended by conservative firebrand Tom Tancredo, House was accused of breaking a promise to hire ex-Sen. Ted Harvey as the state party’s executive director–and was threatened with the exposure of an alleged extramarital affair if he didn’t immediately step down.

[Check out our Coffmangate archive if you need a refresher]

Following that meeting, in which House at first agreed to resign and then rescinded that decision, House accused Coffman and others present at the meeting of attempting to extort him over the affair–a very serious allegation to level against a sitting state attorney general. House was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Colorado GOP’s executive committee after hearing from Coffman, and remains chairman of the Colorado Republican Party.

But the story hasn’t ended there. Accusations have continued to circulate on both sides of this unhealed rift within the Colorado GOP, albeit mostly by House’s detractors who are determined to pin whatever they can on him–from financial improprieties to “collusion” with national GOP strategists against the party grassroots.

In addition, House’s critics appear committed to proving that he was indeed having an affair with a woman by the name of Julie Naye. The fixation with proving that House was having an extramarital affair, especially after House was backed by the executive committee in a near-unanimous vote, has always struck us as bizarre. Even if it’s all true, the existence of an affair is no excuse for blackmail. If anything, continuing to talk about this alleged affair helps underscore the likelihood that blackmail occurred here.

The Church Lady does not approve.

The Church Lady does not approve.

The latest round of this back-and-forth consists of a series of screenshot images purportedly of Julie Naye’s website. The images are being circulated by Jen Raiffie, an Adams County “Tea Party” activist who has been vocal in support of House over the affair allegations. We are unable to verify any of these images as authentic, but they do appear to make the case that Naye is some kind of paid sex worker. At least one image contains text that implies racism in Naye’s alleged business practices, specifically that she “declines the African American Male.”

So let’s assume for argument’s sake that these images are authentic. Yes, it’s politically a black eye for people like Tancredo, or even Mitt Romney of whom photos with Naye exist (see top right). But does it justify blackmailing Steve House as some are claiming today? Of course not. If anything, it’s another data point against the people who went after House. The absolute worst-case scenario here in no way justifies criminal extortion involving the state’s top law enforcement officer.

Obsession with salacious rumors may be exciting, especially for gossipy moral conservative types. But in the eyes of the law, it’s not what matters–nor will it save Coffman from a criminal investigation that we continue to hear is ongoing.

All that matters is what House’s enemies did with those rumors.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    So…that's Mitt Romney standing with a prostitute.

    Holy fuck people.

  2. Chickenheed says:

    Jen Raiffie is a horrible person.

  3. Moderatus says:

    What is Jen Raiffie trying to prove? That Steve House has no moral compass?

    Mission accomplished! What a joke. Steve House needs to resign immediately!

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    In the party of Mike Huckabee, Jesus and Kim Davis, sex is always good grounds for blackmail.  

  5. davebarnes says:

    Cynthia: Steve, you are screwing a hooker.
    Steve: No. I am not paying her, so she is not a hooker.

  6. Hard for me to get behind the negative remarks against Naye. She's an innocent bystander (provided that the pics here are her). Ease up folks. 

    • Early Worm says:

      If legalized, regulated prostitution were on the ballot, I would vote in favor.  But it is not.  Whoever is providing the escort services is involved in a criminal enterprise.  Independently, Naye has either admitted to (or lied about) having an affair with House.  I have no idea which is the truth, but either option does not make her a sympathetic character. She is not an "innocent bystander."

    • mamajama55 says:

      Muhammad, I saw rumors of this quite a while ago – that Julie Naye had an online "Executive Companion" site, whose clients included Tom Tancredo and various other GOP operatives.

      Aside from throwing up in my mouth a bit at the idea of Tom Tancredo having sex with anyone, period, I decided not to write anything further about it.

      My opinion about Julie Naye changed, though – I once thought her to be a victim in this whole kerfuffle, based on the phone call with the investigator. Now, I think that she was probably a willing participant in the set up for blackmail and extortion to get Steve House out of the chairmanship of the state GOP.  As Pols says, it doesn't matter whether she and House did the deed or not – this was never really about sex- it is about power.

      As evidence, I offer that Politichicks, the GOP organ which eagerly printed every rumor and damaging opinion about House, acting as Marilyn Marks' personal rumor mill, running screaming SEX! UNDER THE COVERS! IN THE BEDROOM! headlines,  has zero, zilch, nada about Naye's "Executive Companion" website. Sex sells – so why isn't Politichicks selling this story?

      Politichicks isn't selling this sexy story because it damages their previous narrative about how Julie was a woman wronged, and Steve House was a stinking lowlife who should resign his chairmanship.

      I don't judge Julie Naye – she is using the assets she has to make her way in the world. She tried to run a consultancy business, but that's probably shot now, as she would be toxic to hire. I'm not pinning the scarlet letter on anyone, here. I am connecting the dots, though….

      I do judge Lana Fore, Julie's "best friend" who is probably one of a select few who know the whole truth of this situation, but who consistently blathers on about what a victim Julie is and what a shit House is. And I blame Becky Mizel, who wanted to be Chair herself, and Marilyn Marks, who wanted to keep her sweet gig being an election "watchdog" for the GOP going, and who acted when House looked lke he wasn't going to support her in that role any longer. I judge Steve Harvey, who is great at raising and hiding large amounts of money from the eyes of the FEC, and who wanted his promised job hiding corruption in the state party. I judge Tom Tancredo, who just wanted to feel relevant and important, and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who should have and did know better than to start emptying out the OutHouse in the public square.

      As a Democrat, I couldn't be more pleased with this – the Colorado GOP is irrevocably damaged from this scandal, as shown by their baffling refusal to be relevant in the 2016 Presidential race. Thanks, Julie, Becky, Tommy, Marilyn, Lana, and Cynthia – we owe ya one.

       

       

       

       

  7. Worm – give me a damn break. Like you've never gotten a speeding ticket???

    Prostition is a victimless crime. In fact, speeding is worse, because you can actually kill someone. Leave the holier than thou garbage out please. Unless you're a perfect human, I suggest not judging.

    Mama – all great points. However, as Democrats, we will look like villains if we criticize Julie. Leave her out. 

    • BlueCat says:

      I think you're missing the point Miguel. Don't know how much attention you've been paying to this whole Coffmangate thing but this is just another twist in the so far inexplicable tale. People are still trying to figure out the motivation of the would be coup perpetrators, who were given a free pass "never mind" from House after he triumphantly survived the coup attempt, for constantly dredging it all back up.

      Common sense would dictate that after their humiliating defeat they'd be happy to let the whole thing fade away. Instead they keep trying to prove things, such as that yes, House was too having an affair which actually makes them look worse, more like blackmailers, rather than more justified.

      Naye has hardly been an innocent bystander in all this, coming forward with various versions of her relationship with House after it would have made much more sense to just shut up. The circulation of these screen shots is naturally going to be noted and talked about. It's not about crime or going after poor little Naye. It's about solving a mystery, looking for some logical explanation beyond Coffman, Tancredo and friends being the most incredibly stupid, inept backstabbers in the entire history of back stabbing.

      ColPols keeps telling us they're hearing about an ongoing investigation and theories abound, very much including nefarious financial/funding hi jinks, but nothing definitive has emerged yet. If the alleged ongoing investigation is more than a rumor (and I sometimes wonder about ColPols belief that it is) perhaps some day the mystery will be solved. Until then, human nature being what it is, any new clue or scrap of information that emerges will be scrutinized. As dimwitted as the members of the failed coup faction so obviously are it's hard to believe that's the entire explanation.

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