Mike Coffman: America’s Most “Tea Stained” Congressman

Are you feeling it?

Are you feeling it?

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.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Colorado Pols regurgitates DC-based Democrat hit piece. Story at 4, 5 and 6!

  2. So is this a list of ALL votes, or is there some Tea Party designated list of bills they supported? While I realize they're a useful gimmick politically, I generally dislike these types of ratings as they're easily rigged to reflect inaccurate numbers.

    Now that I'm done griping about this particular press release…

    Moderatus – you have to admit that Coffman is a conseravtive in a swing district. No amount of reinvention or self-denial on the part of Coffman supporters will change that.

    • DavieDavie says:

      And further, it's not like they are dredging up votes from 2010-2011 when Rep Mike "Birther" Coffman was in full Tea Party-Hardy mode.

      These are from 2013 *after* his near-defeat in 2012, so you'd think he had learned something by then.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      Coffman is his own man. He's already survived one election in a gerrymandered district.

      Thanks for being honest about this cherry picked gotcha list from a Democrat group.

      • DavieDavie says:

        Yeah!  The nerve of consolidating the district to include *all* of Aurora!

        You must speak to your fellow GOPers — the real experts at Gerrymandering:

        Ohio’s 9th district

        The Buckeye State lost two House seats, and Republicans moved Democratic Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich into the same lakeshore district. But the two Democrats don’t exactly live next door to each other — more like 120 miles apart. So Republicans drew a thin district connecting their homes, stretching from west Cleveland to Toledo along the Lake Erie coastline. The district is connected by a bridge that’s only 20 yards wide, as well as by a single beach at one point. When Crane Creek State Park beach is covered during high water, Democrats argue the district is not even contiguous.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        What Mike Coffman does to himself, by himself, in the privacy of his own home is no one else's concern . . . 

        . . . let's try to keep this to just about his (flawed) politics, huh, big guy?

      • You read more into my gripe than I said. I'm very skeptical about any of these "scorecard" reports, from any side. It's rare that you see one come out that isn't rigged in some way – but I have seen a couple that I think are honest and honestly done. (Those would not, by the way, be those perennial conservative scorecards who somehow managed to rate then-Senator Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate two years running – he wasn't anywhere close to the top by objective standards such as voteview.com or politicalcompass.org.)

        To address this particular scorecard, I think it's reasonably well constructed for what it's trying to show. While the Tea Party votes are largely anti-ACA votes which are "generic Republican", there are key votes in there such as the debt ceiling vote, farm bill votes, Hurricane Sandy 'no' votes, and the reign-in-the-NSA vote that are very specifically Tea-flavored.

        Coffman isn't the most extreme Tea-flavored person in Congress, but for a swing district Congressman, he's way out on the edge.

      • PS – Who was Coffman's challenger in 2012? I don't remember, and I'm politically active. That wasn't a challenge.

        Romanoff will be a challenge, both as a candidate and in the amount of funding attention the race is going to get.

        • BlueCat says:

          Miklosi and he didn't start getting serious funding until very late when  it became apparent that it was a whole new ball game in reconfigured CD6. He still only lost by less than 2 points.In the old district, Dems routinely lost 2 to 1.  Even to a candidate like Tanc who really was far more conservative than the then usual pretty old fashioned moderate R district. Voting R was such an ingrained habit for such a huge majority it really didn't matter who or what kind of R ran. Not anymore.

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