Search Results for: coffman

Coffman Goes Cagey On Trump Check

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Kara Mason at the Aurora Sentinel follows up on a story earlier this week about a list of Republicans in Congress set to receive donations directly from Donald Trump’s campaign–including Rep. Mike Coffman, who has tried mightily to put daylight between himself and Trump despite voting Trump’s way over 95% of the time.

Via a spox, Coffman once again tries to thread the proverbial needle:

Is Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman getting campaign cash from President Donald Trump?

It’s not clear. A report from McClatchy this week said they obtained a list of GOP candidates that would get a $2,000 donation from Trump’s re-election campaign. Coffman was included, along with Rep. Scott Tipton, who represents the Western Slope and parts of southern Colorado.

But Tyler Sandberg, a spokesman for Coffman, said that story got it wrong, and was told Coffman isn’t getting a check. [Pols emphasis]

This statement is misleading for two reasons. The first is simple, the checks from Trump by all accounts haven’t been mailed to any of the candidates yet:

The campaign wouldn’t consider hypothetical situations. So if Coffman was offered the money, it’s unclear whether he’d accept it.

It’s entirely possible that if the check shows up down the road, Coffman will happily deposit it as long as reporters aren’t on their backs the literal day it does. But even if Coffman is right and this national news report is wrong about a check directly from Trump’s campaign, there’s a much more important monetary connection between Trump and Coffman–Trump has personally helped raise tens of millions of dollars for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which is providing essential support to Coffman far beyond a $2,000 maximum individual donation.

Whatever Coffman does with a check directly from Donald Trump, Coffman can’t refuse the support of the national Republican congressional campaign organization–an organization whose funding was itself in substantial part raised by Trump too. For all of Coffman’s lip service to “standing up to Trump,” voting with Trump and the GOP over 95% of the time is the only thing that matters when it’s time to cut the checks that matter.

With all of this in mind, the question of this one $2,000 check becomes less relevant–still worth following, but don’t be sidetracked by it. In every way that matters, Mike Coffman is on the team.

Trump’s team.

Mike Coffman Embraces Donald Trump

Head by Coffman, hair by Trump

President Trump’s re-election campaign is diverting serious cash to 100 Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and House in an effort to stave off a growing Blue Wave.

As McClatchy DC reports, Trump’s campaign cash is even going to Republican candidates who have been critical of the President in words (although loyal in their voting records) — candidates like Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora):

The Trump campaign announced last week that it would donate the maximum amount allowed by law — $2,000 per candidate — to 100 Republicans running for Congress in November, perhaps a sign that the GOP is worried it will lose its majorities in Congress. Democrats need to pick up a net of 23 seats in the House and two in the Senate to gain control of the chambers.

The Trump campaign did not disclose which candidates would receive contributions and did not respond to subsequent questions about how the candidates were selected, but McClatchy obtained a detailed list…

…None of the half-dozen campaigns contacted by McClatchy said they were aware of the donations. Some declined to comment while others, including Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who supported the immigration proposal opposed by Trump, did not immediately respond to a message.

Trump Tracker, via 538.com.

Congressman Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) is the only other member of Colorado’s delegation receiving financial support from the Trump campaign. Tipton has generally shied away from criticizing Trump, so his inclusion on this list is less of a surprise at first glance. But when you look closer at the data, it shows that Rep. Coffman has turned out to be among the most Trumpian members of Congress in the last 18 months. As 538.com’s Trump Tracker shows, Coffman has voted with Trump’s position 95.6% of the time, placing him fifth among all House members in Congress.

While he has been busy supporting Trump at every turn in Congress, Coffman has tried to maintain some distance with the President in the context of his re-election campaign. Back in 2016, Coffman aired the first “stand up to Trump” television ad from an incumbent Republican Congressman, but after Trump won the Presidency, he quickly came around with a MAGA hat of his own.

Coffman has always rode the fence on virtually every issue, and he’s taking the same approach with his on-again, off-again dalliance with Trump. It might just come back to bite him in the butt in November.

Coffman (Mostly) Saying He Doesn’t Want To Campaign With Trump, While Hays and Stapleton Want to Host the Prez

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Unlike other Republican leaders in Colorado, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) has basically said he doesn’t want to campaign with Trump–though he’s left the door slightly open to it.

Back in January, Coffman told Buzzfeed that it “probably wouldn’t be helpful” for him to host Trump in his Aurora district.

But moments after making those comments, Coffman caught up to Buzzfeed and clarified that “six months from now” it might be helpful to have Trump in Colorado, because “I don’t know what the future is going to be,” said Coffman.

Six months have gone by, and it doesn’t look like Coffman is jumping up and down to campaign with Trump.

That’s in keeping with what Coffman’s spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, told Politico in later January:

Coffman Campaign Spokesman Sandberg: “I don’t think the president would come out to campaign for him. I don’t think we’d ask him.”

Meanwhile, Walker Stapleton, the Republican candidate for governor, and the head honcho of the Republican Party in Colorado are both excited about having Trump here to campaign for Republicans.

Stapleton has “already been in touch with the White House” and been told that the “President will come to Colorado, schedule permitting.”

Colorado Republican Party Chair Jeff Hays told a conservative talk radio host yesterday that Trump would “draw thousands of people” because “we know he’s going to get things done for the benefit of Coloradans.”

Hays told KNUS 710-AM host Steffan Tubbs July 19:

Tubbs: “Are you guys in talks right now to make that [welcoming Trump to campaign with Walker] happen?”

Jeff Hays:  Yes. And for a year-and-a-half, I’ve been totally open to the President coming out. I think that, hey, he’s got the bully pulpit. We’d have thousands of people who would want to see him, just like they did during his election. And I think it’s because we know more about him, now. We know that he’s going to get things done for the benefit of Coloradans. So, you know, the campaign and the Party are certainly in conversation about how to strategically map that out. So, yeah!  I would love to get on the president’s calendar.

Tubbs:  Let’s hope that can happen.

Hays:  You know, he’s got to win Colorado in 2020!

Tubbs:  Yeah. No doubt.

Other leading Republican candidates, like U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, in Colorado have yet to voice their views on whether they want Trump here.

In 2014, Obama made a campaign stop in Denver in support of Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was running for his second term at the time.

Mike Coffman Photo-Ops Family Separations Crisis

CBS4 Denver:

Thousands of children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border are in detention centers, days after President Donald Trump reversed his “zero-tolerance” policy.

On Saturday, Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman traveled to the Texas border and toured one of the facilities. He spoke with children being held there.

Coffman says we must find a solution to reunite the families.

“The images that caused me to go down there and make a special trip, I mean to see children torn from their parents. I think that’s just fundamentally wrong,” he said.

There are of course very few politicians, particularly Republicans facing dicey re-elections, willing to look into any camera and say that the month-long PR debacle for the Republican Party as the Trump administration’s family separation policy has dominated the headlines has been a positive thing. GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, who was an anti-immigrant hardliner in the Tom Tancredo mold before his district was redrawn to include a diverse population in 2011, has received nationwide press for his call for White House strategist Stephen Miller to be fired over Miller role in crafting the Trump administration’s latest hateful backfire.

Since Donald Trump’s election, Coffman has faced much greater difficulty in holding together his strategy of both triangulating off the excesses committed in his majority party’s name while keeping base Republicans in his district happy enough to re-elect him–which has led to bizarre contradictions like Coffman stridently criticizing the Trump outrage of the week on immigration, while at the same time telling his base that Trump is “the only one within the Republican Party that can solve this issue.”

Coffman’s long record in Congress, which features many more actions malicious toward immigrants than in support of them and such incendiary rhetorical flourishes as “The DREAM Act will be a nightmare for the American people,” severely undermines his credibility on this issue with anyone familiar with his history. Unfortunately, in today’s short attention span media culture in which so many reporters writing political news are either out of work or were literally in grade school when Coffman succeeded Tancredo in Congress, the full reality of Coffman’s “evolution” on immigration–lacking in substance, and a politically-contrived ploy to survive what should have been a career-ending change of constituency–gets lost every election cycle.

We can’t say this often enough: Mike Coffman had a chance to support bipartisan immigration reform over and over, including in 2013 when it passed the Senate–and he opposed it. Before that time, Coffman was every bit as much an anti-immigration hardliner as the man he succeeded in Congress, Tom Tancredo. Since 2013, Coffman has played a complicated game of threading the needle on immigration, trying to suppress his old hard-line record without alienating the base Republican voters he still needs to be re-elected. All the while the situation has only gotten worse for immigrants, and the Republican leadership in Congress Coffman supports makes him look like a hapless stooge.

Is this the year Coffman’s triangulation long game finally crashes and burns? We won’t know–and his bellicose media surrogates will never concede even the slightest possibility–until the votes are counted.

But it’s wearing awfully thin.

Mike Coffman’s Campaign Mocks, Threatens Joe Salazar

“Team Coffman” Twitter account bio.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) and his staff are apparently quite sensitive about President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that has led to the forced separation of thousands of children from the families at the US-Mexico border and generally created a massive problem for Republicans everywhere.

While Coffman has been working diligently to take all sides on this debate, his campaign staff has pursued a different approach via social media. On Tuesday, the “Team Coffman” Twitter account responded to a comment from Democratic Attorney General candidate Joe Salazar by repeatedly calling him fat and challenging him to a fight, or something.

No, seriously. You can see the screenshots of the entire exchange below.

We can’t say for sure who is behind these embarrassing posts from “Team Coffman,” though Coffman spokesman/campaign manager Tyler Sandberg often gets very punchy via Twitter. We’ll update this post if and when “Team Coffman” formally challenges Salazar (or other critics) to meet them by the flag pole after school to settle this once and for all.

As to the bigger question — what in the hell is wrong with these people? — well, we can’t even begin to answer that one.

Mike Coffman Takes All Sides in Immigration Debate

If Rep. Mike Coffman was a horse…

Congressional Republicans have been flailing around in the last few days trying to both express concern over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy while also making sure to avoid proposing any sort of actual change to enforcement efforts that are separating thousands of children from their families (well, except for Rep. Ken Buck, anyway). Democrats, meanwhile, are uniting behind legislative efforts to put a stop to the growing humanitarian crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, but there’s not much they can effectively accomplish without the support of some Republican lawmakers.

Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) popped up in several national stories on Monday after he released a statement indicating that he supported Senate Democratic efforts to stop Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy. This move surprised exactly no-one who has ever paid attention to Coffman; over his 30 years in elected office, Coffman has developed a well-deserved reputation for generally taking all sides of all issues at all times.  But a new story today points out a particularly-egregious example of Coffman’s doublespeak on immigration.

As CNN reports for the first time, Coffman quietly signed on to the Goodlatte bill on March 18; nine days later, Coffman voiced a request on the House floor to remove his name from the legislation. The reason this is important is because the Goodlatte bill was widely understood to be THE CONSERVATIVE OPTION for dealing with immigration reform. This, of course, is not at all consistent with Coffman’s attempts at forging a moderate image on immigration, let alone Coffman’s stated public support for offering undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship.

How does Coffman’s office explain this doublespeak? Here’s CNN:

A spokesman for Coffman said his initial support of the Goodlatte bill, which until now had not been reported, was his attempt to explore all options for an immigration fix. [Pols emphasis] The congressman withdrew his support, the spokesman added, once he realized the bill would not offer a permanent solution for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants known as DREAMers.

“We were exploring all legislative avenues and that came aboard,” said Daniel Bucheli, a Coffman spokesman. “Then, looking at the details closer, it was clear there would be no permanent protection for DREAMers and at that point he took his name off it.”

Mike Coffman demonstrates the proper hand position for riding the fence.

This explanation is more than a little absurd, as CNN continues:

But the Goodlatte bill never offered DREAMers permanent protection, raising questions as to why it took Coffman nine days to realize the bill did not meet one of his primary immigration objectives. [Pols emphasis] The bill, which was widely known at the time as the conservative option to ongoing debates over immigration, was also rolled out on January 10, 2018, months before Coffman decided to attach his name to the proposal.

As part of that rollout, a one-page summary from House Judiciary provided on the bill made clear it would not offer a pathway to citizenship.

A spokesperson for the progressive group “Organizing for Action” told CNN that if you don’t like where Coffman stands on immigration, “just wait a few days.” It’s not intellectually honest for Coffman to pretend this isn’t accurate.

Seriously, Is Mike Coffman Okay?

Stop what you’re doing and watch this bizarre video of Rep. Mike Coffman we were forwarded this morning. This unlisted video was apparently sent out in a fundraising email early this morning, and as of this writing has fewer than ten views.

If anyone on Mike Coffman’s team has an ounce of brain matter left in their heads, they’ll pull this video down before it gets any more. There’s something legitimately wrong with Coffman in this video that invites real questions about his…health, competence, something fundamental. Coffman slurs his words to an extent you can’t help but notice, at times becoming very difficult to clearly understand. At other times he’s sneering at the camera with a look so insincere we have to think it will be displayed in ad after ad this fall.

This is not just a bad on-camera performance. It can’t be dismissed as an amateur gaffe, not from one of the state’s longest-serving politicians. To say this should never have been released may honestly be an understatement. All politics aside, this video invites real questions about Coffman’s physical, or at least psychological, well-being.

Seriously, folks. Imagine if a video of Hillary Clinton slurring her speech like this had surfaced while the nation was fixated on her every sneeze?

Coffman First Praised Trump for Planning a Summit with North Korea and Then for Canceling It

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) jumped on the radio this morning to say it’s a good thing Trump isn’t “so eager” to hold a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

But three months ago, when Trump was facing criticism for impulsively pursuing a summit, Coffman said it was “positive” for Trump to meet with Kim Jong Un.

“I think that the fact that the president does not show that he’s so eager for an agreement is a positive,” said Coffman on KOA’s Morning News today. “I think that there’s still hope for an agreement. But it will be an agreement that will be for a lasting peace–and not the type of agreement that we’ve had by prior administrations, that the North Koreans have broken every one of them.” (May 24 at 50 seconds)

In March, when asked about Trump’s announcement of plans to meet with Kim Jong Un, Coffman called the development “positive.”

“I think obviously it’s positive when people are talking,” said Coffman, adding that he’d prefer a lower-level meeting, but economic sanctions and “containment is not the solution in and of itself.” (March 9 at 1 min 50 seconds)

Over the past three months, Coffman also changed his view completely about whether military force should be considered an option against North Korea.

The Aurora Congressman said March 9 on the same KOA 850-AM program that “obviously the threat of the use of military force is always on the table” (March 9 at 2 minutes 20 seconds) and then today that “certainly military conflict should not ever be viewed as an option.” (May 24 at 4 min 10 seconds)

A call to Coffman’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong Un was met with surprise by Washington’s foreign policy establishment, in part because of the animosity that the two leaders had shown toward each other since Trump entered office.

In announcing the cancellation of his meeting with North Korea, Trump did not rule out the possibility of a future summit.

Women Could Cook Mike Coffman’s Goose Over Guns

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

An opinion piece in Roll Call today by longtime political reporter Patricia Murphy asks a question we expect to loom large in the 2018 midterm elections: will the GOP’s unswerving support for the laissez faire interpretation of gun rights favored by the National Rifle Association finally become the liability for Republican candidates that has been forecast for years now as the issue of mass shootings has risen in the public consciousness?

Murphy says 2018 could be the year:

Women are coming for you, Republicans. That’s the message of 2018 so far, isn’t it? Between the record number of women running for office (mostly as Democrats), the record number of women winning primaries, and the enormous gender gap that shows up in polling everything from the president’s approval rating to generic House races, there’s a theme showing up — Republicans have a problem with women.

And they do. But from the conversations I’ve had with suburban women voters, and especially the mothers of young children I see every day as the mom of 5-year-olds myself, there’s much more to the story of the GOP’s trouble with women, and it has nothing to do with Stormy Daniels, #MeToo, Russia or the Resistance.

The problem is the feeling mothers have all day, every day, when they watch their children step through the doors of their school at drop-off or onto the school bus, if that’s how they leave in the morning. The feeling is something between awareness and anxiety. It lasts seven hours or maybe eight, 10 if it’s a long day, until their kids are home again. It comes with dark thoughts, usually in the back of their minds. Some days, with breaking news banners, the feeling is a split second of panic…

With every school shooting that has happened recently, and then faded into the pile of the ones before it, Washington has seemed more and more resigned that nothing can be done to stop the next one. Doing something before the midterms? Don’t be crazy. But the feeling outside of D.C. is, in fact, the opposite — that something must be done to stop the next one, and it should have happened already.

In particular, Murphy opines, it’s a huge mistake to assume that Republican women are in lockstep with the NRA (and for that matter, their husbands) on taking concrete steps beyond the scope of what’s been proposed to date to reduce gun violence–especially mass shootings and violence against school children. The right’s extremely well-entrenched information machine of course saturates those women with the same pro-gun messages as other conservative media consumers, but it’s counterbalanced by a fundamental sense of unease women feel regarding threats to children. Their own, and all the others. We don’t think it’s sexist to posit that women feel an innate sense of responsibility for the safety of children that men seem more capable of rationalizing away.

What does this mean for Colorado’s most perennially vulnerable member of Congress, Rep. Mike Coffman? Colorado’s long tragic history with mass shootings, including the 2012 Aurora theater shooting in the heart of Coffman’s district, could combine with the shifting public opinion on guns nationally to create a perfect storm for Coffman. Murphy singles out Coffman as a prime example of a Republican whose support for the NRA, an unquestioned article of faith for his entire career up to now, could suddenly become a critical weakness in a district that Hillary Clinton carried comfortably in 2016.

Coffman’s campaign wants voters to think nothing has changed, and nothing will change. That no matter what happens, Coffman will be able to cobble together a majority of support to hold on to his seat even as the same voters elect Democrats to other offices.

But something about this year…feels different.

Sorry Mike Coffman, You’re Part Of Paul Ryan’s Machine

Can Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

AP reports on the latest attempt by proponents of immigration reform in the House to force a vote on…well, something, anything, preferably a bill that includes relief for undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children. It’s an effort that once again has Rep. “New” Mike Coffman of Colorado on board, but as the AP reports, Speaker Paul Ryan says no dice–and has the majority to back it up:

Speaker Paul Ryan mocked an effort by breakaway Republicans — a group that includes U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado — to force election-year votes on rival immigration proposals as a drive that would produce “show ponies,” not legislation the president would sign into law…

“These immigration bills deserve a vote, and Republican leadership has been wrong in holding them up,” Coffman said in a statement. “The time to get this process moving is now.”

But Coffman and his GOP allies remained shy of their goal of collecting enough signatures to force a vote. Those Republicans, who have moderate views on the issue, could force GOP leaders to hold a vote on their plan if they gather at least 218 signatures, a majority of the chamber’s membership, including Democrats.

The maverick Republicans want to allow votes on a hard-right immigration bill, a liberal one, a bipartisan compromise and any immigration bill of Ryan’s choosing. Under their plan, the measure that passes with the most votes would prevail.

As you can see, this is not a petition to force one specific bill, but to force the consideration of multiple bills spanning the range of ideological approaches to immigration reform. We don’t yet know the details of the “hard-right” bill that would be included in this discharge petition, but it’s difficult to imagine that bill would be supportable by Democrats–or, we would sincerely hope, Rep. Coffman.

Despite the risk of setting up passage of legislation adverse to the goals of immigration reform proponents, this report seems to presume that all 193 House Democrats would sign on to the discharge petition. Even if that happens, though, Republican supporters of this effort are still reportedly 25 members short in their own caucus for it to be successful. That significant remaining hurdle is made far higher by Speaker Ryan’s move to firewall the rest of the GOP caucus by crapping on the whole effort.

All of which brings us back to the same point we’ve made time and time again about Rep. Coffman, as he continues to try to live down his Tom Tancredo-loving anti-immigrant past by playing lip service to immigration reform–despite the impossibility of getting such reform through a chamber controlled by his own party. Yes, obviously, if this effort were to actually succeed against the long odds it faces in Paul Ryan’s House, Coffman would be deserving of praise. The problem is that Coffman has never once succeeded in persuading fellow Republicans to address immigration reform in a manner consistent with the lip service he pays to the issue. And all the while, Coffman continues to vote for leadership like Paul Ryan who guarantee failure.

Is 2018 the year Coffman’s game is finally up? When the discharge petition fails, we’ll revisit the question.

Coffman Blames Everyone But Himself for Not Helping Dreamers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo y Mike Coffman.

It was good to see ColoradoPolitics dedicate a post to U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) announcement Wednesday that he supports a parliamentary maneuver to force a long-stalled vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on the Dreamer issue. Who’s not hoping this works? And it might.

But the ColoradoPolitics piece allows Coffman to blame everyone except himself for ignoring the Dreamers, when he’s been a major part of the problem.

Especially in this boisterous election season, ColoradoPolitics should not have posted this quote from Coffman without offering someone, somewhere, the chance to critique it:

“Democrats failed to make immigration reform a priority when they had control of the U.S. House, and Republican leaders have not made any progress to date,” Coffman said in the Wednesday statement. “I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan effort to finally bring these important immigration reform bills to a vote.”

While it’s true that Democrats did control the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007-2009, Coffman is flat-out wrong to blame “Republican leaders” for the lack of progress on the Dreamer issue, as if he wasn’t part of the problem, even in recent years.

In fact, as anyone who’s tracked the heart-breaking immigration issue knows, the best chance that Dreamers had at gaining protection from deportation died in the Repubublican-controlled House in 2013, after the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly and bipartisanly passed a comprehensive immigration bill by a vote of 68-32. The immigration bill included the Dream Act, which includes a path to citizenship.

ColoradoPolitics even cited the 2103 immigration bill in its post that featured Coffman slamming his partisan colleagues and patting himself on the back.

“Whichever bill makes it to the Senate has at least a fighting chance. The Senate is where Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet had success with the Gang of Eight in 2013 to pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill, only to watch it wither away in the House,” reported ColoradoPolitics.

But the post left out the fact that Coffman opposed the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, and did nothing to stop his colleagues form killing it, leaving Dreamers desperate for help and the rest of us crying.

Coffman Vague on Welfare Reform Push

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Following a career-long pattern of voting for cuts in Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman is now calling for a reduction in “welfare” spending, a change in rhetoric that does not appear to reflect a shift in the Congressman’s thinking about the need to trim or eliminate Medicaid.

“We’d like to do some welfare reform in order to better control spending,” Coffman told KNUS’ Jimmy Sengenberger April 7. “There was such a explosion of welfare programs under under President Obama, under the prior administration. It’s about looking at all those programs and having a work requirement associated with them–either you are working or you’re involved in job training program.”

“When you look at the number of people that are sitting on the sidelines, that are receiving some form of public assistance, it’s a big number and particularly when it comes to able bodied people that ought to be in the workforce that are not,” he said on air.

Coffman’s office did not return an email seeking to know if he’s targeting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and/or other programs when he refers to the need for “welfare reform.”

Coffman’s repeated votes for the Ryan budget, as well as his multiple votes for Obamacare repeal in past House sessions, indicate that Medicaid is a specific target of his. These bills would have thrown hundreds of thousands of people off the Medicaid rolls in Colorado.

Coffman’s reference to “able-bodied people” as possibly undeserving of assistance reflects a common GOP attack on low-income people who’ve received expanded Medicaid insurance coverage under Obamacare.

But it’s not clear how many of the 400,000 people who are covered by Obamacare in Colorado could be classified as “able bodied,” because such statistics do not exist. And even if they did, there’s been no GOP proposal outlining the criteria for dumping a low income person, who qualifies for Obamacare by making less than $16,000 per year, from the Medicaid rolls. What about his or her mental state? Why are some poor people, facing hard times, deserving while others aren’t?

Critics also say Republicans who call for pushing “able bodied” people from Medicaid are demonizing poor people, in the same way Republicans once attacked “welfare queens.”

Coffman has made conflicting statements this year about whether Republicans have plans to cut the federal safety net, telling a recent town-hall gathering that “there is no plan to cut Medicare and Medicaid” (at 21 min 26 sec) after informing The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews in December there “will be welfare reform” by the Republicans.

Listen to Coffman April 7 discuss “welfare reform” on KNUS 710-AM:

Coffman Making Zero Progress (or Effort) on DREAMERs

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)

Over the past six weeks, since U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) promised to restart his efforts to collect signatures on a ‘”discharge petition” to force the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on legislation that would temporarily protect some so-called Dreamers from deportation, Coffman has apparently failed to convince a single Congressman, Democrat or Republican, to sign it.

In fact, since he announced his discharge-petition campaign with great fanfare seven months ago, Coffman has convinced just five member of Congress to sign. And that’s  counting Coffman himself.

Coffman needs a total of 218 signatures of House members to force a vote on his bill, called the Bridge Act, which would grant some Dreamers, protected under Obama’s DACA program, three years of safety from deportation while Congress works on a permanent legislative fix. Coffman’s Bridge Act should not be confused with the DREAM Act, which would protect Dreamers from deportation and grant them a path to citizenship.

Why so much talking and so little walking by Coffman? His office did not return an email seeking an explanation.

But it appears likely that Coffman has simply dropped the ball on his petition, given the fact that, over about the same period of time, a bipartisan group of 196 House Members, including Coffman, signed a discharge petition, pushed by U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) to force a vote on the Dream Act. (Coffman recently said he would not support the Dream Act because it’s “unrealistic.”)

Coffman’s paralysis on his much-trumpeted discharge petition hasn’t stopped the Congressman from blowing his horn at Trump for attacking the Dreamers on Easter.

“The Presidents DACA announcement couldn’t have come at a worst time,” tweeted Coffman. “Easter is a day for many to rejoice and come together— not to put more anxiety on young people. It’s time for Members on both sides of the aisle to join forces and find a permanent solution for DACA recipients.”

DACA recipients, whose deportation has been delayed due to court decisions, are undoubtedly not rejoicing that Coffman has managed to find only four “members on both sides of the aisle,” aside from himself, to sign his own discharge petition. These are U.S. Representatives Jared Polis of Colorado, Bobby Rush of Illinois, Adam Smith of Washington, and Dina Titus of Nevada. If Coffman has found more signatories, they haven’t been recorded by the House Clerk.

Coffman grabbed the media spotlight seven months ago when he pledged to force a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to protect DACA recipients from deportation. Within days of his initial promise, he backtracked, saying he’d only try to force a vote if Congress did not find a solution after Trump officially ended the program March 5.

It’s widely believed that if House Republicans would allow a vote on Coffman’s Bridge legislation or the Dream Act, it would pass.

Cynthia Coffman’s Campaign For Governor Is Over

UPDATE: The Denver Post’s John Frank reports on the end of the line for Cynthia Coffman, whose campaign for governor collapsed in a heap earlier this afternoon:

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, once considered a sure bet for the primary, suffered a devastating defeat and took only 5 percent of the vote, finishing behind first-time candidate Barry Farah.

The race became nasty in the final hours before the vote, as campaigns and independent political committees bombarded delegates with phone calls, emails and text messages that forced Coffman and Stapleton into a mud-slinging match…

Stapleton managed to win support despite the reintroduction of a 1999 drunken-driving conviction and a new controversy about apparent fraud in how his campaign collected voter signatures to qualify for the ballot through the petition process.

In short, Cynthia Coffman received almost no support for her bid to be governor–but managed to inflict damage on the Republican frontrunner worth much more than the amount of support she attracted to her campaign. For Democrats, this could be considered something akin to a best-case scenario.

And for a candidate attacked today as “not a real Republican,” Coffman proved she can sabotage fellow Republicans with the best of them! Which is, as any truthful Republican will tell you, a quintessentially Republican trait.

—–

We’re tracking happenings at the Colorado Republican Party’s state assembly, where as expected the desperate struggle by Cynthia Coffman to avoid elimination from the gubernatorial race at the hands of Walker Stapleton in the early afternoon is taking a decidedly ad hominem turn:

Longtime readers will recall the late-breaking story in the 2010 Colorado Treasurer’s race of Stapleton’s DUI in San Francisco back in June 1999–complicated by charges that he attempted to leave the scene of an accident after causing bodily injury to two victims. The story came too late to affect the race in 2010, but we’ve always expected that when Stapleton attempted his next move up in elected office the story would be more rigorously investigated.

And thanks to Cynthia Coffman, today’s the day!

Not to be outdone on the objective scale of nastiness, convicted felon tax cheat and author of the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), Doug Bruce, is working the floor against Coffman with his usual charm:

Put on your hip waders and stay tuned, we’ll update as the votes come in this afternoon.

Coffman to Stapleton, “Hold on one minute, buddy!”

Cynthia Coffman has filed a protest with Colorado Republican Party attorney Scott Gessler concerning Walker Stapleton’s decision to go the party assembly route to earn ballot access.  Coffman maintains that Stapleton missed the April 2 party deadline to declare his intention to compete in the assembly.

Tomorrow’s assembly should be quite interesting….

Colorado’s Coffman protests Stapleton’s assembly appearance

 

You’re Damn Right Mike Coffman Is Sweating

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora)

FOX 31’s Joe St. George takes a look at the local fallout of yesterday’s announcement by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan that he will not run for re-election–which naturally has an impact on Colorado’s most perennially vulnerable member of Congress, GOP Rep. Mike Coffman, as he plots a way forward through 2018’s historic headwinds:

“It is the clearest sign that we’ve seen that the Democrats are going to win,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told Politico, “I’ve been saying, ‘I don’t quite see the wave, but I’m starting to feel the mist.’ Now I’m starting to see the wave.”

If there is in fact a wave, in Colorado the Republican trying to avoid getting drenched is Congressman Mike Coffman…

According to officials, there are 157,000 unaffiliated voters registered in the district, 145,000 registered Democrats and 138,000 registered Republicans.

But Coffman has perceived as vulnerable before — most recently in 2016 — yet he still won. In fact, Coffman won by more than 34,000 votes in 2016.

Rep. Coffman’s survival over the last few elections has come despite a district that reliably supported Democrats at the top of the ticket–like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Bennet–which speaks to the success Coffman has had positioning himself apart from his own party’s unpopular brand, even as he remains a loyal Republican vote in Congress on the overwhelming majority of issues.

This year, even before Paul Ryan announced he is pulling the proverbial ripcord, Coffman’s string of luck looked to be running out. The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has forced Coffman to juggle his contradictory images like never before in his career, and the results have not been positive. The impression Coffman sought to foster in 2016 that he would “stand up to Trump” has not been matched with action since then, and Coffman’s vote in favor of the unpopular Trump tax plan removed all doubt as to what side he is on.

That means it’s going to be difficult to impossible for Coffman to pull off the kind of triangulation off his own party that has proven successful for him in previous elections. The failure to defeat Coffman in a district that otherwise handily elects Democrats has proven to be one of the most vexatious failures for Colorado Democrats in recent years, even as they’ve enjoyed success in so many other races.

With both Democratic as well as unaffiliated voters looking to punish the Republican Party as a unit for inflicting Trump upon the nation, Coffman’s strategy of triangulation may fail him just when he needs it most.

The Knives Come Out For Cynthia Coffman

UPDATE: Freelance reporter Sandra Fish firms up the propriety of “Questioning Coffman,” which lead Team Stapleton operative Andy George apparently made little attempt to conceal:

The group registered in mid-March, so won’t have to report where the money is coming from until May 7. But the address listed for the group in corporate documents is a home owned by Better Colorado Now director Andy George.

And there you have it, folks.
—–

GOP operative and director of Walker Stapleton’s “independent” SuperPAC, Andy George, directs us to an opposition research dump website targeting Stapleton’s mortal enemy for the next 72 hours–Attorney General Cynthia Coffman:

“Questioning Coffman’s” summary of AG Coffman’s record appears aimed squarely at conservative Republicans:

Will Cynthia Coffman stand up for your religious liberties?

Probably not. Coffman has taken a “moderate“ stance on religious liberty in the state. As Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman refused to defend the religious liberty rights of bakers who had a conscientious objection to making a cake for a gay wedding!

Coffman’s support for the Civil Rights Commission suit is troubling because as the highest law-enforcement officer in the state, short of the Governor, Coffman has failed to defend our religious liberties.

Will Cynthia Coffman fix our broken immigration system?

Probably not. She’s consistently proven herself with record of problematic immigration positions!

She refused to join other state Attorney Generals in the DACA Suit Against Obama. When President Trump issued a travel ban from countries that have large numbers of terrorist, Attorney General Coffman refused to come out in support of the ban.

Coffman continued to distance herself from strong immigration enforcement laws. Cynthia Coffman supports providing amnesty for illegal aliens. When strong illegal immigration opponent Jan Brewer came to Colorado for an event with Cynthia Coffman, the Attorney General said that she did not support Brewer’s immigration enforcement agenda.

Will Cynthia Coffman defend life?

Probably not…

Although Andy George “breaking” the existence of this site makes it likely this was whipped up by Team Stapleton, that’s not 100% provable at first glance. The “independent” group Real Colorado Conservatives responsible for this site registered on March 15 with its stated purpose “TO OPPOSE CYNTHIA COFFMAN AND EVERY DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR.” Whoever created the site, from now through Saturday’s Republican state assembly we do expect that everyone supporting Stapleton will be spreading its contents.

Stapleton’s foremost goal at the state assembly is to hold Coffman below the 30% threshold required for her to appear on the June primary ballot, and these are the exact points necessary to communicate to the GOP base to make it impossible for them to support her. The likelihood of such an attack is why Coffman never intended to go through the assemblies–only doing so belatedly after it became clear she didn’t have the resources to mount a successful petition campaign.

As of now, it’s less likely than ever that Cynthia Coffman’s campaign for governor lives to see Sunday morning.

Worried About Primary Challenge, Coffman Scraps to Confirm Delegates

(Remember that in 2016, an unknown Republican named Kyle Bradell nearly got his name onto the GOP Primary ballot — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: In the interview below, Coffman Spokesman Tyler Sandberg said that former GOP Chair Steve House “graciously” paid fees for 20 Coffman delegates for the district assembly. In fact, House told KNUS’ Julie Hayden and Chuck Bonniwell that he donated the money to the Adams County Republican Party. He was then asked by Sandberg if his money could be used for delegate fees. House said yes initially but, in accordance with GOP rules, House then deferred the decision on how his money should be spent Adams County GOP Chair Anil Mathai, House told KNUS, who appears to have blocked the money from going to Coffman delegate fees. Listen to House here.

——–

“There was a battle last night between the liberty forces, represented by [Congressman Mike Coffman’s primary challenger] Roger Edwards, and the establishment, represented by Mike Coffman, at an executive committee meeting [of the Adams County Republican Party],” said KNUS radio host Chuck Boniwell on air Wed. afternoon.

And the battle continued on Bonniwell’s radio show, with accusations of vote-buying, assault, bullying, thuggery, and more.

At issue is a group of Coffman delegates to the district assembly who apparently had their delegate fees paid for by former state GOP Chair Steve House. Whether this was a violation of the rules is not clear at press time.

But the intensity of the argument,  as you can hear if you listen below, shows that the Coffman camp is seriously worried about Edwards winning over 30 percent of delegates at the upcoming district assembly–which would put Edwards on the primary ballot against Coffman.

In other words, if the mood was good in the Coffman campaign, Sandberg wouldn’t be scraping for stray delegates in Adams County, much less spending his afternoon sparring with conservative radio hosts who apparently despise him and Coffman.

You recall, an informal vote of Adams Country caucus goers showed Edwards trouncing Coffman by a 67-33 percent margin.

But, in any case, the altercation on the radio was quite awful.

“My father would whup my ass if I stood by while a woman was bullied by a man who has a foot on her and about a hundred pounds,” said Sandberg on air, apparently referring to Adams County GOP Chair Anil Mathai. “I told Anil, ‘You are not going to bully Maria Ruiz. I am not going to stand for that.'”

“Anil likes to bully people,” said Sandberg.

Edwards told Bonniwell that it was the Coffman people who went nuts, characterizing the Coffman campaign’s behavior at the Adams County meeting as “rude and offensive.”

Listen to key segments here. Click here for the entire show.

Cynthia Coffman: Your Safety “Not The Only Consideration”

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman.

As the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Dennis Webb reports, sometimes legal briefs force the uncomfortable facts into unvarnished view. Today’s case in point: a legal brief filed in response to a landmark court ruling on the safety of oil and gas drilling by Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, in which her office is obliged to state for the record something we suspect a majority of Colorado citizens would not want to know:

Coffman and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation are challenging a ruling that the commission is required to protect health, safety and welfare as a condition of allowing oil and gas development…

In this week’s brief, Coffman and her office wrote that while the state Oil and Gas Conservation Act, as amended in 1994, requires consideration of protection of health, safety and welfare, “it was not the only consideration, [Pols emphasis] nor did it supplant the Act’s objective of fostering oil and gas development.”

In an earlier filing asking the Supreme Court to consider the matter, Coffman said that under the appeals court’s view, the COGCC could “disregard the Act’s directive to foster responsible oil and gas development and enact rules that would entirely prohibit oil and gas-related activity unless it can occur with zero direct or cumulative environmental impact.”

The Denver Post’s Bruce Finley puts a finer point on the conflict:

She’s pressing the case that the phrase “in a manner consistent with” in Colorado’s evolving oil and gas law is unambiguous and means balancing industry interests with health and the environment — rather than ensuring protection as a precondition that must be met.

If the state Supreme Court justices agree, they could reverse the existing legal ruling that requires protecting people and the environment before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission can issue drilling permits.

The oil and gas industry has been in a state of slow-boiling panic over the Xiuhtezcatl Martinez vs. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission case ever since the appeals court ruling last year, and yesterday the industry-backed Mountain States Legal Foundation fired off a statement of their own titled “Environmental Hysteria Threatens All Oil and Gas Development in Colorado.” Apparently the notion that regulators should make public safety and health a primary consideration instead of “balancing” public health and safety with the “need” to “foster oil and gas development” is extremely bad for the oil and gas industry! Which seems weird given their catchy ads featuring pristine mountain landscapes and smiling healthy children.

For us, this situation is another example of how far removed the oil and gas industry and their mouthpieces are from the interests of ordinary Coloradans. If you ask the average homeowner in bedroom community sitting over oil and gas in Colorado–Erie, perfect example–whether the state should protect public health and safety first and foremost, or make public safety part of a “balance” of considerations that includes the industry’s God-given right and responsibility to drill baby drill, what do you think they’re going to say?

They’d say it’s crazy that access to minerals in the ground are as considered just as important as the health and safety of the people above ground. And outside a shrinking bubble within the fossil fuel political/industrial complex of Colorado politics, it’s hard to imagine anyone who would disagree with them.

If this doesn’t make a powerful, basic kind of sense to you, you need to quit drinking frack fluid.

Mike Coffman Useless As Trump Blows Up Immigration Debate

Rep. Mike Coffman. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Back in September of 2017, Rep. Mike Coffman made a statement to Real Clear Politics about immigration reform and President Donald Trump they we felt pretty sure would come back to haunt him:

“He’s got the credibility in terms of being tough on immigration and I think he’s the only one, probably, within the Republican Party that can solve this issue,” Coffman said. [Pols emphasis]

Let’s be clear about this–Rep. Mike Coffman, frequently held up as a “moderate” on the issue of immigration after dramatically changing his own position in recent years, said last fall that Donald Trump is “the only one” within the Republican Party who can solve the vexing issue of immigration.

Headlines from this weekend are making this statement more than a little problematic for Rep. Coffman, as the New York Times reports today:

President Trump declared on Monday that a plan to protect young immigrants from deportation is “dead” and repeated his calls for Mexico to enforce border security laws and prevent immigrants from coming to the United States illegally…

Mr. Trump’s declaration that “DACA is dead” is a reference to the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation.

The president’s position on the program is a moving target. Mr. Trump ended the program last year, but courts have blocked his decision. He also has said that he would sign a bipartisan proposal to protect the young immigrants, but he regularly threatens Democrats that there will be no deal.

In response, Rep. Coffman is somewhat less full of praise for Trump:

The problem for Rep. Coffman as he calls out strongly for a “permanent solution for DACA recipients” is he is nearly a month overdue on his promise to force a vote on a temporary solution for DACA recipients, the so-called BRIDGE Act Coffman sponsored last year as a stopgap measure, threatened to force to a vote with a discharge petition, then sheepishly abandoned after House Speaker Paul Ryan tapped him on the proverbial shoulder. At this point, Coffman is completely sidelined in the debate over immigration in Washington despite having garnered a wealth of–as it turns out undeserved–positive press.

Today, we’re pretty sure nobody in their right mind would say that Trump is the nation’s savior on immigration. Certainly nobody who wants to have credibility on the issue.

BREAKING: Coffman Calls On All VA Secretaries To Resign

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora).

In a dramatic shift from his overall support for the Trump administration’s actions, today in a press release Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado called on acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie to immediately resign from the position. This follows the termination last week of the current Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, David Shulkin, which Rep. Coffman also supported.

“It is clear that no amount of oversight and investigation can solve the systemic problems plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Coffman, the former chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation of the Committee on Veterans Affairs. “It’s time for heads to roll–and for heads to keep rolling until something good happens.”

Demonstrating his commitment to taking whatever action is necessary to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs, Rep. Coffman then called for the resignation of the new nominee for Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Adm. Sonny Jackson.

“The problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs are so severe that no one man can ever expect to solve them,” said Rep. Coffman. “That’s why I’m the first member of Congress to call on Sonny Jackson to step down as VA Secretary. Admiral Jackson may not have been formally confirmed yet as VA Secretary, but it will be obvious once he is sworn in that he is not up to this daunting task. Once that happens, Jackson must do the right thing and immediately resign.”

Finally, demonstrating his bold vision of reform for the long term, Rep. Coffman called on all future Secretaries of Veterans Affairs to resign.

“Let’s face it, America–war just plain sucks,” said Rep. Coffman. “Nobody is ever going to be happy with the nation’s care for our veterans until we stop the vicious cycle of creating new veterans with every single generation. Until we end the wars that turn veterans into veterans to begin with, the Department of Veterans Affairs will never be up to the challenge. That means every Secretary of the VA has a duty to resign once they take their oath of office.”

Additional details follow after the jump.

(more…)

Cynthia Coffman Just Keeps Digging and Digging

Cynthia! Are you down there, Cynthia?

We’ve been tough on Attorney General Cynthia Coffman in this space, but it would be impossible to ignore the fantastical absurdity that is her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Ever since her belated announcement for Governor in November, Coffman has been unable to figure out if she is here or there or anywhere else.

Ernest Luning reports on Coffman’s latest political gymnastics for the publication formerly known as the Colorado Statesman:

Coffman…told a GOP group last week she would sign a bill removing protection based on sexual orientation from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

Her remarks drew criticism from the state’s leading LGBTQ-advocacy organization, but Coffman later said she meant she would repeal the protection only if it turned out it wasn’t needed anymore. [Pols emphasis]

Coffman, who has staked out a position as a defender of LGBTQ rights, made the remarks at a March 21 meeting of the Greeley Republican Politics for Breakfast group at the end of a discussion about her controversial role defending the state’s nondiscrimination law in a U.S. Supreme Court Court case about a Lakewood baker who cited religious reasons when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

Well, except that she probably did.

Coffman is seeking a place on the June Primary ballot via the caucus/assembly process, which concludes on April 14, and she’s been taking a strange approach in courting diehard Republicans across the state. Coffman’s pitch to GOP voters is that she is the most moderate Republican in the race, and therefore the candidate with the best chance of winning a General Election in November. But it seems like every time she tries to make this case, she ends up walking it back in a very public manner.

Put aside, for a moment, the question of whether or not it makes sense to court right-wing Republicans with a moderate message; Coffman’s bigger problem has been her persistant inability to be consistent in her positions. Coffman’s supposed support of LGBTQ rights is one of her main talking points for her “moderate” image — but when she gets into a room with conservative Republicans, she compulsively un-moderates herself. As Luning explains further:

Last summer, Coffman praised Colorado’s anti-bias laws as among the strongest in the country when she addressed a rally celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered equality on the steps of the state Capitol. She pointed out that her office had recently helped pass bipartisan legislation adding sexual orientation and transgender status to the state’s existing law covering bias-motivated crimes.

“Whatever happens on the national front, and I know there is great fear about what lies ahead because it is unknown to us, let me tell you what we do know about Colorado,” Coffman, the only Republican on stage, told the rally. “This state, your legislators, your state officials — we will all stand up for gay rights, for human rights in Colorado.” [Pols emphasis]

Cynthia Coffman will stand up for LGBTQ rights! Unless she won’t.

We’d guess that Coffman isn’t likely to win over many conservative Republicans with this dance, so why risk losing potential supporters from the LGBTQ community?

After reviewing a recording of Coffman’s remarks before the Republican group, a spokesman for One Colorado, the state’s leading LGBTQ-advocacy organization, said her statement “feels like a betrayal” from someone the group has long considered an ally.

Of course, this isn’t the only issue that has Coffman flopping about. Coffman thinks Colorado voters are anxious to vote for a female candidate at the top of the ticket (which they did in 2016 with Hillary Clinton), yet she is an unabashed supporter of President Trump.

Coffman doesn’t want to talk about Planned Parenthood, but she can’t very well sidestep the issue because of her involvement in important court cases about funding the organization. In fact, Coffman has waffled so much in the past few months on the issue of abortion that it is nearly impossible to ascertain if she is really “pro-choice” or “pro-life” (as far as we can tell, she’s definitely sorta “pro-life” at the moment).

If Coffman’s political strategy is intentional obfuscation, then she’s doing a hell of a job staying on “message.” But if this is NOT the plan, and we’re guessing it isn’t, then it’s almost sad to see Coffman winding down her political career by pulling up whatever policy stakes she once planted.

Maybe Mike Coffman Should be VA Secretary

Sorry, Sec. Shulkin, but the correct hand gesture should be a thumbs-down.

President Trump today fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin in a move that was about as surprising as learning that another porn star was having an affair with the Commander in Chief.

Blair Miller reports for Denver7:

Rep. Mike Coffman got his long-awaited wish Wednesday when President Donald Trump announced he’d fired Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin amid a scandal involving his misuse of taxpayer money and infighting within his department.

Trump made the announcement on Twitter that Shulkin was out and that he’d nominated White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to succeed Shulkin at the VA.

“Dr. Shulkin came from within the VA and did nothing to clean up the culture of the bureaucratic incompetence that has defined the leadership at the VA,” Coffman said in a statement. “I’m absolutely convinced that only someone from outside the VA can clean up the VA, and I hope that Admiral Jackson will be Marine Corp tough in getting that mission accomplished. Our veterans deserve better.”

Shulkin’s ouster had been anticipated, and sought by Coffman, for weeks after an inspector general report found Shulkin improperly accepted Wimbledon tickets on a trip to Europe, that he lied about the trip, and that one of his aides doctored emails so his wife could travel along with him.

Rep. Mike Coffman 

Coffman demanded Shulkin’s resignation in late February, which is kinda Coffman’s thing; he called for VA Secretary Eric Shinseki to be fired in May 2014 and publicly feuded with Shinseki’s successor, VA Secretary Bob McDonald, just one year later. Alas, Coffman never had the opportunity to call for Sarah Palin to be canned from the VA.

Coffman has also spent years passing the buck (his version of “leadership“) for problems with the new VA Hospital in Aurora. Coffman spends most of his time shaking his fist at people in his role as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Chair of the Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee.

While Trump has apparently already found his new appointee for VA Secretary, it isn’t sitting well with Veterans groups, so maybe it’s time for Coffman himself to start campaigning for the job. If every VA Secretary who gets the job earns nothing but contempt from Coffman, then Coffman himself should step up and show ’em how it’s done.

Coffman already has his MAGA hat; he should toss that puppy on his melon and double-time it on over to the White House.

Cynthia Coffman Goes After Facebook Re: Cambridge Analytica

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Colorado Democratic Party chair Morgan Carroll takes Cynthia Coffman to task for “investigating the locksmith” instead of going after the real culprit–which just so happens to have helped Colorado Republicans win elections:

“Imagine someone broke into your house, but instead of investigating the burglar, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is only investigating the locksmith,” said Morgan Carroll, Colorado Democratic Party Chair. “In this case, it’s even worse, given that the burglar — Cambridge Analytica — shared the loot with Coffman’s political party.”

“Colorado is ground zero for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. We were the guinea pig in their experiment. Voters deserve a full investigation and a full accounting of the scope of this GOP scandal and its impact on Colorado elections.”

“Attorney General Cynthia Coffman must put partisanship aside and conduct a thorough investigation of these groups, regardless of whether or not it hurts her political party or her campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.”

Perhaps AG Coffman should have thought this through a little more.

—–

As the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports:

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman on Monday joined 36 of her colleagues from across the U.S. in a letter demanding answers from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg amid reports that user information from the social media site was provided to third parties without consent.

“As the chief law enforcement officers of our respective states, we place a priority on protecting user privacy, which has been repeatedly placed at risk because of businesses’ failure to properly ensure those protections,” the attorneys general wrote. “… Early reports indicate that user data of at least 50 million Facebook profiles may have been misused and misappropriated by third-party software developers.”

The letter comes in the wake of the revelation that the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica improperly used Facebook user data to target voters, including for President Donald Trump’s campaign. The firm says it helped Republicans win the state Senate majority in Colorado and may have helped Cory Gardner in his 2014 U.S. Senate victory over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is in a pickle here, like every other Republican in America trying to keep the cognitively dissonant notions of backing their party’s President while being honest about the methods and foreign influence that helped him win from annihilating their consciences like matter vs. antimatter. The violations of law–not to mention consumer good faith–underlying the scandal of Cambridge Analytica’s psychoanalytic campaign to persuade American voters generally and Colorado voters proximally are absolutely something that state attorneys general should be vigorously investigating.

Except for one big problem for Cynthia Coffman. What Cambridge Analytica did to goose Republican turnout in 2014, helping give Colorado Republicans a majority in the state Senate, helping catapult Cory Gardner into the U.S. Senate, and yes, even helping elect Cynthia Coffman as the state’s attorney general–well, it worked. How do you investigate in good faith something you have to thank for your own success?

The likely answer: “investigate” just enough to keep up appearances. Way to sign that form letter! The next step is to call all the Colorado Republicans who have been named in the stories about Cambridge’s work in Colorado and find out what they know about the data used in those campaigns. Hint: she already has their number.

Fat chance, we know.

Mike Coffman Loves, Hates Omnibus Spending Bill

Rep. Mike Coffman. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

As a footnote to last week’s passage of a 2,200-page spending bill, here’s Rep. Mike Coffman’s press release explaining his sort-of no vote on the legislation–keeping in mind that Coffman voted yes on the motion to proceed to debating the bill, unlike a number of fellow Republicans who lodged a protest vote against debating a bill they hadn’t read.

Which was Coffman’s stated reason for voting against the bill himself:

“Today, I voted against the omnibus for the same reason I have done so in the past. While the omnibus contains some very good policy, I could not in good conscience vote on a 2,232-page, $1.3 trillion bill, without adequate time to review it. And let there be no doubt about it — while too many in my party have been obstructionist on DACA, Congressional Democrats have made it clear with this larded-up spending deal that the Democratic Party prioritizes pork barrel spending on items like subsidized trains in the northeast over finding a fix for DACA kids. This is a very bad day in the nation’s capital.”

But here’s the thing–Coffman did vote to proceed to debating the bill, which given the much wider margin on the final vote for passage was arguably the more decisive vote. And despite Coffman’s deploring of the rushed consideration of bill, he nonetheless praised it:

You would have no idea that Coffman voted against the bill from that Tweet, would you?

What you have here is just another case of Rep. Coffman hoping to have it both ways on a divisive issue–like voting against repeal of the Affordable Care Act after repeatedly calling for Medicare cuts, or running campaign ads implying, context-free, support from Planned Parenthood without mentioning Coffman’s repeated votes to defund Planned Parenthood. In this case, Mike Coffman wants credit for passage of a line-item for veteran’s mental health he supports without mentioning that he actually voted against it.

Once in awhile, it looks like principle. When it’s every single big vote, he just looks silly.