A release today from the Colorado Democratic Party asks rightful questions about the breakneck speed with which Rep. Mike Coffman, formerly representative of arch-conservative firebrand Rep. Tom Tancredo's district with a voting record to match, is seeking to reinvent his public image after barely surviving in his remapped and competitive new district last year:
In yet another signal that Congressman Mike “forcible rape” Coffman knows his re-election is in jeopardy, Coffman today reversed himself and called for a vote on the Senate Violence Against Women Act – a measure that he voted against considering twice.
“Colorado won’t forget that Congressman Mike Coffman joined with Todd Akin and cosponsored a bill to redefine and narrow the definition of rape, and twice last year voted against the Senate Violence Against Women Act,” said Beverly Benvidez Ryken, the Colorado Democratic Party’s 1st Vice Chair. “Congressman Coffman’s attempted makeover just can’t hide his years of voting with the Tea Party fringe and against Colorado women.”
Facts on Coffman's record backing up Democratic skepticism expressed above after the jump. We discussed the recent striking (yet still quite vague) new moderation displayed by Coffman on immigration reform, now calling for much greater leniency towards children in particular than his prior desire to change federal law to exclude so-called "anchor babies" and restrict bilingual ballots–not to mention his judgment that President Barack Obama "is not an American,"–would suggest. This could actually be considered a significant understatement.
Now, the same man who twice voted to stall the Violence Against Women Act calls for its swift passage. What's next? A tribute to Ted Kennedy? A rally with the Teamsters for the Employee Free Choice Act?
You're right, we should stop giving him ideas.
Coffman Joined Congressman Todd Akin in Attempting to Redefine Rape. In 2011, Coffman co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. Under the language proposed by the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, rape becomes “forcible rape.” The Washington Post reported that the bill’s critics believed “the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [Washington Post, 2/01/11] [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th Congress]
Coffman Twice Voted Against Considering The Reauthorization Of The Bipartisan Violence Against Women Act. In 2012, Coffman twice voted against considering the reauthorization of the Senate version of VAWA that passed on a bipartisan basis. [Christian Science Monitor, 5/16/12]
March 2012: Coffman Voted to Block the Reauthorization Of The Senate VAWA. [H Res 597, Vote #139, 3/28/12]
May 2012: Coffman Voted to Block the Reauthorization Of The Senate VAWA. [H.Res. 656, Vote #254, 5/16/12]
The U.S. Senate Voted To Approve The Reauthorization Of VAWA With Broad Bipartisan Support. The U.S. Senate voted to approve the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act by 68 to 31. [S. 1925, Vote 87, 4/26/12]
Coffman Voted Against Increasing Funding for Violence Against Women Prevention Programs. In 2012, Coffman voted against increasing the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women funding by $20.5 million. The additional funding would’ve been used to assist the office with prosecuting cases of domestic violence and assisted with domestic violence prevention measures. [HR 5326, Vote #248, 5/10/12]
Fewer Domestic Violence Cases since Creating the Violence Against Women Act. Since the Violence Against Women Act was first enacted, fewer people are experiencing domestic violence. Between 1993 and 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined 67%. Between 1993 and 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of females decreased 35% and the rate of intimate partner homicides of males decreased 46%. [White House.gov, accessed 2/26/13]