Today's press release from liberal activist group Americans United for Change probably won't surprise you:
It’s official: The Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party. Even those Republicans who represent moderate districts voted with the Tea Party 81 percent of the time in 2013, according “Tea Stained,” a groundbreaking new legislative scorecard compiled by Americans United for Change.
“Tea Stained” details the voting records of 47 Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are running for reelection in statistically swing districts or who are facing significant reelection challenges.
The scorecard measures Tea Party loyalty based on 48 recorded votes. Many of the votes scored either appear in the scorecards of major Tea Party-affiliated groups Americans for Prosperity or Freedomworks or both. Other votes scored in this project were chosen on the fair basis that they are representative of the Tea Party’s core values, in particular undermining the Affordable Care Act. The health law became the catalyst for the Tea Party’s crowning achievement for 2013 – shutting down the government – and all votes to that end were also scored…
The Members with the highest Tea Party loyalty scores are surprising only in that they represent swing districts. Steve Pearce and Justin Amash, who scored 96 percent and 92 percent respectively, are both proud conservative-to-libertarian types who would have little problem being called Tea Party Republicans.
Far more shocking are those who voted with the Tea Party 80 percent of the time or more and yet represent districts that either voted for President Obama over challenger Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Race or represent a statistically Democratic district.
And by their yardstick, the #1 most "tea stained" Congressman in America:
Of these, Rep. Mike Coffman represents the greatest dissonance between the makeup of his district and his loyalty to the Tea Party. Coffman’s suburban Denver district leans Democratic yet he voted with the Tea Party a whopping 88 percent of the time in 2013. [Pols emphasis]
It bears repeating as many times as necessary, and we've been talking about it for years: Rep. Mike Coffman, originally elected to represent a conservative stronghold, was redistricted in 2011 into one of the most diverse and competitive new congressional districts in the entire country. Coffman faced an overmatched, underfunded challenger in the 2012 elections, and even then only barely managed to keep his seat. Coffman's record of pleasing the staunch conservatives in Tom Tancredo's old district has left him desperate to reinvent himself ahead of a much stronger challenger, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, in 2014.
Anyway, here's evidence that Coffman's "reinvention" never really happened.