Liberal politics site ProgressNow Colorado on Monday launched an ambitious bilingual social-media campaign targeting Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman.
The group’s website appears in Spanish- and English-language versions (“Can’t Trust Coffman,” “No Confiar Coffman“) and is chock full of background material hitting Coffman for past ethics charges and position changes on issues sure to resonate in his district — mainly on policy stands he has taken related to women’s health care — including abortion and so-called personhood — immigration and safety-net or entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.
The site is built for today’s mobile-social Web. It’s essentially a hyper-digitized mail campaign, where voters do the mailing and do it in a much more targeted fashion. They are encouraged to share with their friends — and neighbors, relatives, fellow voters — images of the Congressman — hand raised by the side of his face, lips pursed on the edge of a phrase — apparently about to articulate a position. But which position?
On the Dream Act, which aims to grant residency to young undocumented people brought to the country by their parents: “The Dream Act will be a nightmare,” Coffman is quoted to say in 2010. “These young people should be afforded a pathway to citizenship,” he is quoted to say in 2014.
Looking at the "All The Bullshit" page (yes, that's really what it's called), we can see many points in Coffman's record we've discussed in this space–from the "Social Security is a Ponzi scheme" business to Coffman's infamous 2012 statement that President Barack Obama "is just not an American." In addition, there are a number of items we either haven't talked about in some time or honestly had forgotten, like Coffman's violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act back in 2000 campaigning against Amendment 23.
But above all, it's the parallel website in Spanish that makes this effort unique. We've talked about the vulnerability Coffman has faced since redistricting in 2011, and how the ethnically diverse and competitive district Coffman now represents is a minefield considering Coffman's long record as an arch-conservative in the Tom Tancredo mold. This is the story that most of Coffman's new constituents still don't know after he barely survived the 2012 elections. Most of what voters know about Coffman they are reading right now, as he attempts to pull of an extreme makeover into a totally different candidate.
If we were Coffman, a campaign to expose that long history, especially one targeting the very same Latino voters Coffman needs to win over to remain in office, is exactly what we'd be most afraid of.