Beauprez favors Arizona-style action on immigration, if feds don’t respond to his demands, lawsuit

(Making best buddy Tom Tancredo proud! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

In wide-ranging thoughts on immigration policy delivered over the weekend on a Denver radio station, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez said states should enforce federal immigration law themselves, in the absence of federal action, "as Jan Brewer tried to do in Arizona."

The Arizona law, backed by Brewer, allowing police to detain anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant, was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. It's widely believed that the law would have led to harassment and discrimination of legal and undocumented immigrants.

Beauprez said that before he'd take immigration matters in his own hands if elected governor, he'd join with other governors and sue the federal government to "secure our borders."

Beauprez made the comments on KOA 850-AM, a Denver radio station, Saturday in response to a question from guest radio host Doug Kellet, who asked Beauprez about the young undocumented immigrants captured recently along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"I was with a group of people the day before yesterday, and several of them were from our southern cities, Pueblo specifically," said Beauprez on air. "And they said, if buses show up, they will be in the streets to block them. I think you are going to see what happened in California start happening everywhere."

Beauprez also said: "It’s going to affect all the states out here, and the President is trying to gloss over it and tell us all the wonderful things we’re doing as a nation to accept all these people. He doesn’t tell us the impact on the people who are already here and are going to pay the bill."

Kellet didn't ask Beauprez if he'd participate in the street protests himself.

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Beauprez accuses Obama of dumping undocumented immigrants in Arizona for political revenge

(This is pretty gross. – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Bob Beauprez.

Bob Beauprez.

Undocumented children are literally dying along the U.S. border, in the desert, and radio-host Mike Rosen and gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez are accusing Obama of dumping undocumented kids in Arizona, as a form of political revenge against Arizona governor Jan Brewer:

ROSEN: You suppose that there could be any spiteful motivations on President Obama’s part for dumping a lot of those unaccompanied—

BEAUPREZ: (sarcastically) Surely not. You’re not that cynical, are you?

ROSEN: — teenage immigrants into the state of Arizona because he doesn’t like [Republican Governor] Jan Brewer?

BEAUPREZ: [laughing loudly] Yeah, it’s perhaps more than coincidental.

ROSEN: Hmmmm. Hmmm

It's moments like this when you wish SuperTalker from above would float into the KOA studios, bop Rosen on the head, and say, "Shut up, Mike. And you, Bob, want to be governor? What kind of governor makes ugly and bizarre accusations, like this, based on no evidence at all. And you're laughing about it, at the expense of the poorest, most vulnerable kids? It doesn't get much worse."

Then SuperTalker would tell KOA listeners that he's placed Rosen in timeout for a few days and asked him to think about whether it would be right, on any planet, to say such things, as kids are caught in the immigration nightmare that we've created.

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Time’s Up For Two-Faced Immigration Pandering

GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

GOP Reps. Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman.

​During the latest round of debate over the perennially hot-button issue of immigration reform, proponents of comprehensive reform have creditably given Republicans tremendous leeway to come around on the issue. This was a pragmatic decision on the part of traditionally Democratic-aligned immigration reform proponents, hoping that growing public support for their version of reform, which would include a sensible path forward for undocumented immigrants already in the county, would push enough Republicans to the table to make progress.

To this end, immigration reform advocates were elated to see Rep. Mike Coffman, the successor to anti-immigrant firebrand Tom Tancredo in Congress, paying newfound lip service to the idea of immigration reform. Coffman has continued to make what can be best described as "surgical overtures" to immigration reform proponents, in particular calling for a path to permanent residency for undocumented students who join the military.

“These are talented, hardworking DREAMers who will strengthen our military, boost our national security, and enhance our military readiness.”

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Rep. Mike Coffman (left).

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Rep. Mike Coffman (left).

Notice how Coffman even uses the term "DREAMers?" The way Coffman talks about immigration reform today, you might never realize that he voted to deport those same DREAMers. So did Rep. Cory Gardner, now Colorado's Republican U.S. Senate candidate–who just this week told immigration reform protesters occupying his Greeley office:

I will continue my efforts to convince Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor.

Like we said yesterday, this is the same Cory Gardner who helped kill bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that had already passed the U.S. Senate. Cory Gardner voted to deport DREAMer students right along with Coffman, and Gardner even objected to the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona challenging the constitutionality of that state's SB-1070 anti-immigrant law.

This is the emerging fact: the gap between Coffman and Gardner's words on immigration reform and their deeds is becoming so wide, that for anyone who understands the issue, it's simply not believable. You just can't reconcile their statements with their actions on immigration reform, which have done absolutely nothing to advance the issue. In fact, and there's no nice way to say this, their votes make bald-faced liars of both of them.

For reform proponents who gave Coffman, and to a lesser extent Gardner lots of time and space to do the right thing, this realization has of course been painful. It proves that reform advocates cared more about advancing the issue than partisan politics, and that is to their credit. But the net result has been that both of these politicians avoided attacks that could have done real political harm to them for many months. The unfortunate lesson in all of this is that sometimes pandering works: the time Coffman and Gardner bought themselves going into their hotly competitive elections this year was invaluable.

But as the AP's Nicholas Riccardi reports, reform proponents are done being pandered to, and mad as hell.

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Cory Gardner on Immigration: What Do You Want To Hear?

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

CBS4 reports on fascinating developments yesterday from a rally inside Rep. Cory Gardner's Greeley offices:

Dozens of immigration reform protesters packed Rep. Cory Gardner’s office calling for changes. They even brought a mariachi band.

“We have our rights. This is a public office. We’re taxpayers. We’re refusing to leave, everyone come in,” chanted the protesters…

They refused to leave until the lawmaker agreed to take action on long-debated measures that could improve the status of immigrants living in Colorado and throughout the U.S.

Here's more from the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Action Fund:

As Rep. Cory Gardner has now officially won the Republican nomination for Senate in Colorado, he will have to answer across the state for his votes to deport DREAMers and his blocking the best chance in decades to pass immigration reform. This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Senate passage of a bipartisan immigration bill, one that Gardner would have voted against if he had been a Senator at that time. As a House member, Gardner has been a major force in the Republican caucus that has failed to pass a common sense solution to fix the broken immigration system this year.

After a protest at his office in early June, Rep. Gardner told the AP he supports citizenship for military service, but reform supporters aren’t satisfied. Leaders from his district submitted a letter to Gardner’s office on June 11, asking him to put articulate a solution for the 11 million immigrants currently in the US, but Gardner has been silent.

So yesterday, they showed up to "occupy" Gardner's office. And that's where it gets interesting, as CBS4's report continues:

Gardner released this statement: “I remain supportive of fixing our broken immigration system. I’ve met with many groups who support immigration reform, and each conversation I have paints a more vivid picture of just how significant of an impact modernizing our immigration policy would have on families and businesses across Colorado. I will continue my efforts to convince Speaker Boehner and the rest of the House to bring immigration reform legislation to the floor. It’s far too important of an issue for Colorado not to.”

Gardner "remains supportive" of immigration reform? Understand–this is the same Cory Gardner who helped kill the Senate's bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill the moment it arrived in the House. The same Cory Gardner who opposed the DREAM Act, who voted to deport DREAMer students, and who even objected to the Justice Department's lawsuit against Arizona over their much-reviled SB-1070 anti-immigrant law:

"The solution to the problem isn't for the Justice Department to file a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against the Governor of Arizona for responding to a law enforcement crisis. It isn't giving amnesty to the 12-20 million illegal immigrants in this country, or giving those people benefits that will only encourage more illegal immigration. The time has come to enforce the rule of law and end illegal immigration."

Folks, is there anyone out there who seriously believes Gardner has been trying to "convince" Speaker John Boehner to take up immigration reform in the House? Because if there are, we'd like to sell you a bridge, a swamp, whatever. For anyone who knows what Gardner's actual record is on this issue, his statement to these immigration reform protesters is nothing short of preposterous.

That said, Gardner's audacious willingness to say anything to anyone is really beginning to amaze us. If it wasn't for our lazy local media, we'd be 100% certain he was headed for epic disaster. But in order for voters to be outraged, they need to understand how outrageous this all really is.

Latino Alienation: Ditching Tancredo Won’t Save The GOP

shutterstock_2987758

An excellent story in today's Durango Herald from reporter Dale Rodebaugh, writing about a new report on the growing power of Latino voters nationally and in Colorado:

A fast-growing Hispanic population will have increasing importance in Colorado and national elections, statistics from a new report show.

The votes are there for either major party, but Republicans appear to be turning their back on Latinos, three commentators said during a call-in Wednesday regarding the survey prepared by America’s Voice and Latino Decisions.

The panelists were prominent Democrat Ken Salazar, a former U.S. senator from Colorado and secretary of the Interior; Gabriel Sanchez, director of research at Latino Decisions and professor of political science at the University of New Mexico; and Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota…

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

​In the days since Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob "Mexican Time" Beauprez defeated primary challenger Tom Tancredo, local press and political pundits have been quick to declare that the GOP "dodged a bullet" by avoiding a candidate for governor who would have fundamentally repelled Latino voters. Unfortunately for Republicans, given Beauprez's record and the continued push rightward away from engagement with Latinos by the GOP as a whole–whether they like it or not, as Eric Cantor can tell you–we can't say the party's prospects for engaging this rapidly-growing segment of the electorate are really any better today.

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Coffman spokesperson feeds falsehoods to Univision

(Ridiculous – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Last month, Univision Denver's news show requested an interview with Republican Mike Coffman to get his reaction to Democrat Andrew Romanoff's accusation that Coffman's immigration policies reflect those of former Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Coffman sent his spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, to talk to Univision, and here's an excerpt from the piece that aired.

Univision reporter Karen Vega: … We asked if, in reality, Coffman shared the anti-immigrant opinions and practices of his predecessor, the former Congressman and current state gubernatorial candidate, Tom Tancredo.

Sandberg: Absolutely not. On the issue of immigration, Tom Tancredo and Mike Coffman represent two different extremes of the Republican Party. As such, with all respect to Tom Tancredo, Mike Coffman does not have the same anti-immigrant policies.

Left out was a reference to Romanoff's point that Coffman introduced Tom Tancredo as his "hero" at a 2010 Tea Party Rally:

Coffman: "It is a great honor for me to introduce somebody who is my hero, someone who has served this country with honor and integrity and courage… and that is former Congressman Tom Tancredo."

What's more, Coffman endorsed Tancredo in the 2010 gubernatorial election. (And vice versa here.)

Apparently aware of this, Vega asked Sandberg about the "admiration that Coffman supposedly has for Republican Tom Tancredo."

Sandberg replied to Vega by saying that Coffman respects Tancredo for his views on economic issues and not at all for his views on immigration.

Too bad Vega didn't have this video of Coffman's introduction of Tancredo in 2010, when Coffman offered hero-like praise for Tancredo's extreme opposition to Republican-led immigration reform in 2006.

COFFMAN: "In 2006, I was a disillusioned Republican because of what was going on in Washington DC when Republicans had the White House, when Republicans had the House and the Senate, and they ceased to govern by the conservative principles that they ran on. But there was one Republican in Washington who refused to stand with them, who stood on the same conservative principles that he ran on, and that was Tom Tancredo. When Republicans in the Congress ceased to govern by the values that got them elected, when the Republican President of the United States, with the Republican leadership and their Democrat allies, came up with a so-called immigration reform bill that did nothing to secure the borders of the United States and provided amnesty for those who had broken our law, Tom Tancredo refused to stand with those Republicans."

If Coffman, or more likely his spokesman, appears again on Univision, let's hope he gets time to explain why he thinks his boss is so far apart from Tancredo's immigration positions, when in fact they share both an anti-immigrant record and fighter's posture on the issue.

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What Gardner Isn’t Saying on Immigration Is More Important than What He Says

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

An Associated Press article last week reported on the clashes between Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, on immigration issues. The AP piece, by Nicholas Riccardi, not only presents the two candidates' current positions on the topic but also adds info about what the one of the candidates is not saying.

Gardner last week said that he did support citizenship for people here illegally who served in the military. But he would not give any more specifics about who else should be granted citizenship.

Information about what candidates aren't willing to say allows readers to make meaningful comparisons.

It helps voters distinguish, in this case, a narrow immigration position, like Gardner's, from a broader one, like the comprehensive immigration reform supported by Udall. (Reporters covering Rep. Mike Coffman should also point out his unwillingness to offer a specific immigration plan, beyond vagaries–unlike his Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff, who's a backer of the bipartisan Senate bill.)

Riccardi's piece clearly states that Udall supports the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate, and Gardner does not.

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Tancredo, Beauprez, And The “Great Democratic Headfake”

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels updates the state of play in the Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary, where top contenders Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo are running neck-and-neck in polls widely rumored but as yet unseen:

With the primary election around the corner, Tom Tancredo said Friday he believes he has slipped from being the front-runner in the GOP race for governor to second place behind Bob Beauprez.

Tancredo blamed a radio spot that claims he supports the legalization of hard drugs and two TV ads paid for by Democrats that are attempting to influence the GOP primary outcome.

Tancredo said he has been told Beauprez leads him by 1 percent in a recent poll that was commissioned on another issue, but included a question about the four Republicans running for governor…

Over the last few days, Republicans have been up in arms over Democratic-funded ads "attacking" both Tancredo and Beauprez, which seem in hindsight to have been a little too transparently written to boost Tancredo with conservative primary voters–"Tancredo HATES Obamacare!"–while hitting Beauprez in more authentically negative ways that conservatives won't appreciate.

The ads were designed to make Tancredo more appealing to GOP voters and Beauprez less appealing, political analysts said.

"What has happened instead," Tancredo said, "is Republicans are upset Democrats are trying to pick the nominee."

Former state Sen. Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood, said the Democratic meddling has made her rethink her decision to support Tancredo.

"I'm leaning toward Bob Beauprez," she said. "If the Democrats think Beauprez is the one to beat, then as a good Republican why shouldn't I?" [Pols emphasis]

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

​​As we noted when these ads first debuted a couple of weeks ago, it's far from unprecedented for an opposing party to run ads intended to influence a primary election, and/or begin to define one's likely opposition before the primary. And there's nothing exceptional about the candidates in that primary attempting to use such ad buys for their own advantage–"it means they're scared of me," candidates targeted can plausibly claim.

But in this case, we can assure readers that Democratic campaign strategists are afraid of neither Tancredo nor Beauprez. Recent polls show clearly that Gov. John Hickenlooper is pulling away from the entire pack of Republican challengers, and Beauprez's own consultants released a poll showing him losing to Gov. Hickenlooper by a devastating fifteen-point margin. Democrats have plenty to worry about going into this midterm election, but the Colorado gubernatorial race is rapidly losing its competitiveness.

So why would Democrats spend money on this GOP primary if they can easily beat whoever wins? There are two principal reasons. The first is simply a numbers game. Bob Beauprez is personally quite wealthy, so even if the Republican Governor's Association and other national funding sources write off the Colorado gubernatorial race, Beauprez can fund a vanity campaign out of his own pocket. That means Democrats would have to divert resources to an otherwise noncompetitive race–and with so many other races needing attention, that would hurt Democrats. This factor alone may be reason enough for many Republicans to prefer Beauprez–the biggest downside being the the vast array of looney tunes statements Beauprez has made in recent years, which could well negate any advantage he brings by sullying the whole Republican brand. It's worth noting that, although our readers have become well-acquainted with Beauprez's long record of downright crazy statements since exiting electoral politics in 2006, the media has yet to pick it up.

When they do, it's not going to be pretty for Beauprez.

With that said, there is no politician in Colorado politics today more capable of self-harming the Republican brand than Tom Tancredo. Tancredo's very high name recognition, and nationally prominent association with immoderate anti-immigrant demagoguery, are nothing short of poisonous for a Republican Party hoping to appeal to the state and nation's fastest-growing segment of voters. Tancredo as the gubernatorial nominee would set back state GOP chairman Ryan Call's "Latino outreach effort" by–this is not hyperbole–several decades. Unfortunately for Call and other Republicans hoping to turn over a new leaf with Latinos, recent developments among the GOP grassroots, manifesting in the ouster last week of U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by an unknown Tea Party anti-immigrant opponent, undeniably boost Tancredo. Tancredo has no ability to self-fund his campaign, and combined with the toxicity he would bring to the Republican ticket this November, it's plain to see why Democrats regard a little spending in this race to be a worthwhile investment.

But folks, there's no need to read more into this than what there is. To the extent Democrats prefer Tancredo to Beauprez, it is an incremental preference–and they'll be able to use either one to their advantage.

Will talk radio boost Tancredo as it did Cantor’s tea-party opponent?

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

I've been too busy listening to talk radio to notice news reports that talk radio anchored the defeat of GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Politico reported Wednesday:

Brat’s surprise victory is a powerful reminder, as if any were needed, of the immense influence talk radio has over conservative politics — it was not only [Laura Ingraham] boosting [Cantor slayer David Brat] but also Glenn Beck and Mark Levin bringing their considerable influence with the right to bear as well. Since well before the rise of the tea party, establishment Republicans have feared the medium’s command over the conservative base.

National talk-radio hosts not only endorsed Brat, but had him on their radio shows, broadcast in Virginia, numerous times leading up to his primary victory, according to Politico.

Will these national yappers now take aim at Colorado, possibly boosting Tom Tancredo over his more establishment rivals? So far I haven't seen Laura Ingraham, broadcast locally on KLZ 560-AM, or Mark Levin, on KNUS 710-AM, getting involved in our gubernatorial primary, and I have no idea how their GOP audience here compares to Virginia's. Closest thing was Michelle Malkin's battle-cry tweet after Cantor's loss, saying Colorado is next.

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Doug Lamborn Nervously Eyes Cantor Defeat

Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn is once again facing a Primary challenge in CD-5, with repeat candidate Bentley Rayburn looking to pull off the upset on June 24th.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning Primary loss yesterday was the result of several factors, but chief among them is the issue of immigration reform. As the Washington Post reported:

Now, this doesn't mean that any Republican who supports comprehensive immigration reform is going to lose his or her primary or even face a difficult race. The vast majority of them will probably be okay, because it's so hard to find viable primary challengers — as comprehensive immigration reform-supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) easy win Tuesday shows.

It just means that, for the vast majority of Republicans — who don't have to worry about losing in the general election — support for comprehensive immigration reform amounts to something that could needlessly complicate an otherwise simple reelection bid.

Cantor's perceived support for comprehensive immigration reform, and the possibility that it cost him his job on Tuesday, was not lost on Lamborn. This morning, the Colorado Springs Republican began trying to inoculate himself on the issue, posting this statement to his Facebook page:

Doug Lamborn and amnesty

Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit…

Charges Dropped In First of Gessler’s Four Vote Fraud Cases

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

As the Colorado Independent's John Tomasic reports:

The charge has been dropped in what’s believed to be the first voter fraud case set for trial since Secretary of State Scott Gessler urged district attorneys statewide to prosecute people who purportedly are cheating Colorado’s election system.

Mike Michaelis was scheduled to be tried today for allegedly procuring false information on a voter registration form. Michaelis, 41 and now in construction, registered voters in 2012 on behalf of Work for Progress, a nonprofit that, as its website states, campaigns “for social justice, a fair economy, consumer protection, clean energy, and the environment.”

On a voter registration form submitted to Michaelis by Aurora resident Lydie Kouadio, a box was marked saying she is a U.S. citizen. Gessler’s office determined she isn’t. Her name was among 155 voters the Secretary of State deemed to be suspicious. Last June, Gessler sent prosecutors lists of residents in their districts for possible prosecution…

Winnowing down from Secretary of State Scott Gessler's original breathless claim that "thousands" of noncitizens had voted illegally in Colorado elections, we are finally at the bottom line after countless man-hours spent by his office, county clerks, and local law enforcement in pursuit of this alleged epidemic of vote fraud–four incidents where Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, far and away the state's most partisan political district attorney, managed to put together enough of a case to file charges.

And now there are three.

Soon after taking office in 2011, Gessler, a longtime Republican election lawyer, claimed there were 16,000 noncitizens registered to vote in Colorado. Soon after, he said he identified 11,805 people as potentially fraudulent voters because they used noncitizen identification for drivers’ licenses with which they registered to vote.

Those figures, he said, backed up his claims that there was a “gaping hole” in the state’s voting system.

But Gessler’s numbers were off — way off – even as he alerted a congressional panel about Colorado’s purported rash of voter fraud.

Far from being a major systemic problem, the "illegal voters" Gessler actually uncovered amount to far less than the number of ballots and voter registrations Gessler's office routinely loses. Gessler's original insistence that many thousands of illegally registered voters were lurking in the rolls has become one of the most thoroughly discredited claims put forward by a Colorado politician in recent years. It's tough to understand why the near-total failure to substantiate a problem Gessler warned about in such certain and ominous terms has not ended his political career.

Perhaps it has, but we can't write that eulogy until after the primary.

Ross Kaminsky discusses his column about Gardner, Tancredo, and immigration politics

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

American Spectator columnist Ross Kaminsky was the only media figure who reported on a private meeting last month between Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner and "a small group of Republicans" to discuss immigration policy.

"The roughly 10 people in the room," Kaminsky wrote in his much-discussed column about the meeting, "included representatives of business, of the media (me), prominent former Colorado politicians and party leaders, and — perhaps most interestingly — two evangelical Christian pastors."

Rep. Cory Gardner (R).

Pols Note: Rep. Cory Gardner (R), was present at a meeting prompting Kaminsky’s assertion that Tom Tancredo is poison for Republicans.

What I'd have given for an invitation to that meeting, which sources tell me occurred at the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart. (At least I get to sniff around there for a June 10 fundraiser for my kid's East High debate team. Email me if you want to donate.)

Impressed with Kaminsky's access and the debate his piece generated, I called to find out more about the meeting and his role as media representative.

"I was there partly in my capacity as a media person and partly because the people who organized the meeting know my views on immigration and wanted me to express them to Congressman Gardner," Kaminsky told me. "So I was there in a dual role.

"They wanted me to write about it. I wanted to write about it. The only stipulation given to me was not to name the meeting participants, other than Congressman Gardner. And I thought that as long as I could describe their function in life–a minister, a political operative–that it wasn't really important what their names were. So I was fine with that. I didn't think it impacted the substance of my article."

I asked Kaminsky if he had any insight into why the meeting was private.

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Coffman Disappears “Comprehensive” From Immigration Reform

Here's a fascinating little window into Rep. Mike Coffman's awkward dance around the issue of immigration. On Rep. Coffman's official congressional website, here's the summary text of Coffman's position on immigration reform as it exists today:

coffmanimmigration1 

But if you check this page against the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, you'll notice that Coffman's immigration issue page had slightly different language as recently as April 11th of this year:

coffmanimmigration2

As you can see, the word "comprehensive" has been edited out of Coffman's prescription for immigration reform. Of course, this wasn't the meaning of "comprehensive" in regards to immigration reform that most people think of, in fact it's kind of a cynical misuse of the term. After all, even Coffman says now that immigration reform should be about more than "comprehensive enforcement." And in all fairness, Coffman did add a line about "keeping families together"–though for all we know, that could mean keeping them together in deportation.

Either way you look at this, as ditching "comprehensive" immigration reform, or simply un-bastardizing the word "comprehensive," you can see Coffman struggling to get his message together.

Does Mike Coffman Think You’re Stupid?

UPDATE: A press release from America's Voice rips Mike Coffman:

Today, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) spoke about the need to provide immigrant youth the chance to earn citizenship through service in the military. That would have been a bold step 1) if this were early 2013 and Republicans were just teeing up immigration bills to consider in the session, or 2) if his party hadn’t already flatly rejected the legislation that would do just that.
 
Yet, Mike Coffman continues his cynical attempt to earn credit for a few well-placed comments about young immigrants serving in the military, while his party blocks votes on legislation designed open enrollment to certain undocumented youth.  What’s more, Rep. Coffman is a member of the Armed Services Committee, but actually opposed including a similar bill introduced by Rep. Denham, the ENLIST Act, as an amendment during the committee mark-up of the National Defense Authorization Act.
 
“Mike Coffman continues to play politics with his constituents’ lives. We see through his game of only words and no actions. If he really cared about immigration reform, he would sign on to support HR 15,” said Becky Torres, an SEIU Local 105 member and registered voter in Aurora.
 
Since Rep. Coffman took office, the only vote he’s taken on immigration was on an amendment introduced by extremist Rep. Steve King (R-IA) to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and subject DREAMers to deportation. That’s a far cry from showing leadership on reform.

—–

endangeredcoffman

Media critic Jason Salzman writes today about the expansive latitude incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman has been given by both local and national media to reinvent his image on the issue of immigration reform. As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, Coffman is taking part in a rally today on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to protest the decision by Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to deny a vote on legislation to allow undocumented students who enlist in the military a path to citizenship.

But as we noted Sunday, there's a rather glaring problem with Coffman taking to the steps of the Capitol for a showy press conference with immigrant students, and even Democrats like Rep. Luis Gutierrez:

On Friday, the same day Coffman, R-Aurora, attended a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser in Denver along with Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Cantor’s office said they would not allow a floor vote on the Enlist Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. [Pols emphasis]

Here's the thing: Coffman has no need to take to the Capitol steps to demand Republican leadership change their minds. Coffman was with Majority Leader Eric Cantor last Friday raising money at the Brown Palace in Denver. If Coffman actually wanted the ENLIST Act to pass, what do you think would be the better approach–a press conference with Democrats on the Capitol steps, or pulling Cantor aside while they're in town raising money together? How do you think this looks to any voter who gets both halves of the story?

Above all, if Coffman had managed even once in all the time since his "conversion" on immigration reform to put his newfound principles into action, this might be a plausible series of events. But when Coffman had the chance to protect same DREAMer students he's using as props today, he voted against them. Both of the other co-sponsors of the ENLIST Act Coffman is appearing with today are also co-sponsors of the comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15–a bill that Coffman opposes.

Today, Mike Coffman wants you to believe he's angry about Majority Leader Eric Cantor killing the ENLIST Act–but not enough to disrupt his fundraising schedule?

Why should anyone give Coffman the benefit of the doubt at this point?

Reporters shouldn’t tolerate Coffman’s immigration platitudes anymore

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols reported this morning that Rep. Mike Coffman will stage a press conference today calling on his Republican colleagues in the House to pass the Enlist Act, which would offer a young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through military service.

News coverage about Coffman's bill, which has been rejected by Republican leadership, will naturally touch on broader immigration reform, as Stokols' piece did this morning, quoting Coffman thusly:

“There’s got to be a path down the middle,” Coffman told FOX31 Denver in an interview last week. “Let’s secure our borders, enforce our laws, let’s have immigration policies that are going to grow the economy, but let’s also be compassionate and keep families together.”

Reporters need to stop letting Coffman throw out these platitudes without asking him, what's his specific plan? He doesn't support the bipartisan immigration bill passed by 68 Senators, so Coffman is siding with 32 Republican opponents, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. What's Coffman's specific problem with the Senate bill? What amendment(s) would he offer to fix it, to try to move it out of the House, where it's stalled.

In his piece this morning, Stokols quoted the spokesperson for Coffman's Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff, who pointed out that Coffman opposes the Senate immigration bill.

That's a good start, contrasting Romanoff's position in favor of the Senate immigration bill to Coffman's opposition to it. That's something concrete for confused observers to latch onto. But it's not enough.

We need to know what Coffman's broader immigration proposal is, and if he can't produce one, then it's time for reporters to say, as a factual matter, that Coffman has no comprehensive immigration proposal, despite his rhetoric about favoring one.