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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

Boehner, Cantor, Coffman: don’t be fooled again

Virtually unreported in the media, right-wing Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor–two of the top Republican leaders of the 113th U.S. Congress–appeared at the Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver for a fundraiser for Rep. Mike Coffman.

After promising to make immigration reform a priority this year, Coffman held a secret fundraiser with the two men perhaps most responsible for the gridlock in Washington, D.C. that’s preventing reform from passing. Coffman’s fundraiser with Boehner and Cantor is a slap in the face to everyone who believed Coffman’s empty promises.

Tell Mike Coffman enough is enough: we’re tired of the broken promises on immigration reform.

In recent months, Rep. Coffman has told voters that he now supports immigration reform, after years of opposition and using immigrants as political scapegoats. Coffman even introduced legislation to restrict bilingual ballots for legal U.S. citizen voters. The reason Coffman is paying lip service to immigration reform today is simple: the electoral landscape has changed, and Latino voters are on the verge of removing Coffman from office this November.

What Coffman doesn’t understand is that actions speak louder than words. Coffman says he wants a path to citizenship for DREAMer students, but he voted against the very program that’s allowing them to avoid deportation. Coffman says there should be a path to citizenship for immigrants who join the military, but Cantor blocked that proposal just hours after this fundraiser. Coffman says he wants the House to take up immigration reform, but instead of demanding House leaders get serious, he holds secret fundraisers with them.

It’s time to say it: Mike Coffman doesn’t care about immigration reform, he only cares about keeping his job. He’ll say anything to stay in office, but his record proves he doesn’t care about the issues his constituents want addressed.

Tell Coffman right now that you’ve had it with his empty promises and hypocrisy on immigration reform. We’ll send your message to Coffman’s office instantly, and share your names and comments his the press and other public officials.

It’s disappointing that Mike Coffman isn’t a man of his word. I, like many others, had hoped Coffman was serious when he committed to immigration reform after years on the wrong side of the issue. But Colorado deserves better than pandering. Coloradans deserve action. Thank you for helping make sure Coffman doesn’t get away with this.

You’re Welcome: Cantor Kills Coffman’s Immigration Amendment

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

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

​AP reports, on the same day that U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor headlined a fundraiser at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel with Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, Cantor killed an immigration reform amendment Coffman has heavily promoted as evidence of his newfound sympathy for the plight of undocumented immigrants:

House Republican leaders intervened Friday to prevent a vote on immigration legislation, dealing a severe blow to election-year efforts to overhaul the dysfunctional system.

The move came after a Republican congressman from California announced plans to try to force a vote next week, over strong conservative opposition, on his measure creating a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children and serve in the military.

Rep. Jeff Denham labeled his bill the ENLIST Act and said he would seek a vote as an amendment to the popular annual defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA.

In response, Doug Heye, spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, said: "No proposed ENLIST amendments to NDAA will be made in order."

You may recall in early April that Coffman "denounced" fellow Republican Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for opposing Rep. Jeff Denham's amendment. Despite the lip service Coffman has paid to immigration reform as he tries to stay in office in his newly competitive district, this very limited provision for undocumented students who enlist in the military is as far as Coffman has gone on the record with a specific policy proposal. Pro-immigrant GOP Rep. Denham is a co-sponsor of the comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 15, that Coffman has said repeatedly he opposes. When Coffman had the opportunity to take action to support the undocumented students he now claims should have a path to citizenship, he voted to terminate the program that protects them from deportation.

And Friday, the same day Cantor's staff in Washington announced the "ENLIST Act" Coffman made such a big deal out of supporting was dead, Coffman was at the Brown Palace with Cantor raising money.

It seems to us that Democrats couldn't come up with a better example of New Coffman's® hypocrisy if they tried.

2006 immigration laws backed by Romanoff deflected hard-line anti-immigration initiative favored by Coffman

(Oops – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), left, with anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA).

Back in 2006, then State Treasurer Mike Coffman stood in font of 200 people on the steps of the state Capitol as they launched a ballot initiative that would have stopped Colorado from providing services to all undocumented immigrants, even children.

Coffman led the group in reciting the pledge of allegiance, and then handed the microphone over to a string of speakers from an organization called Defend Colorado Now, which was organizing the extreme anti-immigrant initiative.

After the rally, Coffman told a reporter from the Longmont Daily Times- Call that he supported Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative.

Coffman "said afterward that he supports Defend Colorado Now’s ballot initiative," reported the Daily Times-Call April 28, 2006.

The history of Defend Colorado Now's initiative is worth dredging up for reporters, for context, as Republicans step up their attacks on former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff for his role is passing legislation in direct response to the ballot initiative.

If you were around in 2006, you may remember a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including then Gov. Bill Owens and Romanoff, agreed on compromise legislation to stop the hard-line initiative from being placed on the ballot.

A set of 2006 laws, passed during a special session by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed by Republican Owens, softened the draconian approach of the Defend Colorado Now initiative, known also as Amendment 55.

The Denver Post reported in July of 2006:

Former Mayor Federico Peña likes the special-session legislation better than the proposed Amendment 55, which would have prohibited undocumented immigrants from receiving state services that are not mandated by federal law.

"It's far better than the negative consequences of 55," he said.

(more…)

Immigration Activists Crash Boehner/Cantor/Coffman Fundraiser

aeiucircbrownpalace

UPDATE: Colorado Independent:

Advocates for immigration reform protested outside Denver’s Brown Palace, decrying policy positions of the House leaders and the long-stalled negotiations in Washington. Many protesters belonged to the Service Employees International Union, whose membership is largely made up of immigrants. The union has made immigration reform a top priority.

At what was billed a “pro-Israel” breakfast, sponsored by former Sen. Bill Armstrong and former Gov. Bill Owens, Cantor decried what he called the Obama administration’s inaction on Syria, implying the administration was responsible on some level for continuing conflict in that country, including the rebel rocket attack that today killed 13 in the northern city of Aleppo. Cantor said Russian President Vladimir Putin “saw that – no consequences,” which he suggested prompting Putin to move into Crimea unafraid of response from Washington.

—–

Surprise action outside Denver's Brown Palace Hotel this morning, as a press release from a coalition of groups including Together Colorado and the Colorado Immigration Reform Coalition (CIRC) explains:

Outside a fundraiser headlined by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) for Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) today, local leaders staged a rally to protest the fact that these three House Republicans are key obstacles standing in the way of immigration reform that would keep Colorado immigrant families together. It has been 322 days since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration bill, but Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have refused to take up that bill or an immigration reform plan of their own.
 
“As a longtime voter in Congressional District 6, I’m disappointed in the lack of leadership from Mike Coffman and Republicans in charge of the House. They talk and talk about immigration reform at the same time that they are actively blocking a vote on legislation that would help thousands of Colorado families,” said Rebecca Torres, Executive board member and SEIU Local 105 member. “We won’t forget their hypocrisy when we go to the polls this November.”
 
Representatives like Mike Coffman, who come from diverse districts where many would benefit from this legislation have the obligation to push their party to make reform happen. Today, local leaders made clear to voters in CD-6 that Mike Coffman may have said he supports reform, but he has refused to act and is actively blocking the passage of immigration reform. [Pols emphasis]

(more…)

So Much For “¡Viva Tancredo!”

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

Back in February, we talked a little about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo's "Latino outreach program," which coincided with the opening of a campaign office in Pueblo, and the rollout of a new chutzpah-heavy tagline, "¡Viva Tancredo!" As one of the nation's best-known and most controversial public figures on the issue of immigration, Tancredo's "Latino outreach program" seemed a lot like the fox rolling out a public relations campaign targeting henhouse residents.

But for a while, it seemed like the whole world was turned upside down. Tancredo–friend of Jon Secada! Why, maybe he'd even be fit to serve as the superintendent of Jefferson County Schools! Truly heady prospects for Tancredo we were being asked to entertain.

But fortunately, since we were starting to get kind of, you know, dizzy, in today's Canon City Daily Record, we see that Tancredo has put the kibosh on all this crazy "Latino outreach" business.

Former Congressman and Colorado gubernatorial hopeful Tom Tancredo told members of the Royal Gorge Tea Party on Thursday that if elected governor in November, he simply wants to "save the state."

"I want to feel comfortable again in my own state," he said while addressing the group at its regular monthly meeting at Mountain View Core Knowledge School. "I don't want to look at this place as I do now. It's like a strange environment…it's not the state I grew up in."

"…One thing I am radical about is the idea that if you come this country as an immigrant, by God, become an American," he said. "…And if you want to keep your own language, stay where you are — if you come here, I want to you to speak English." [Pols emphasis]

Now that's the Tom Tancredo we know! Never mind that it horrifies any Republican concerned about the party's long-term viability in American politics. As Tancredo's successor in Congress, Mike Coffman, runs desperately away from his own culturally anti-immigrant record–and let's be clear about that distinction, Coffman's legislation to restrict bilingual ballots being a perfect example of immigration "culture war" politics–Tancredo once again keeps it absolutely, positively real. More real than a thousand new taglines. More real than a a whole book of perfectly-honed talking points. More real than anybody's politically expedient flip-flop.

Honestly folks, it's better this way. Much less bullshit.

From Jan Brewer To Cinco de Mayo: Coffman Whiplash!

As we first reported in this space a week ago, controversial Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was in Denver last week to host a fundraiser for Colorado GOP Attorney General candidate Cynthia Coffman. Brewer, best known for signing Arizona's unconstitutional SB1070 anti-immigrant law, defended her decision on SB1070 at Coffman's fundraiser, saying Democrats have "not enforced [the borders] and we know why–they want voters." Given Brewer's strident view on immigration, having her host a fundraiser for any candidate on the ballot statewide in Colorado seems awfully risky–especially given Cynthia's husband Mike Coffman's efforts to reinvent himself on immigration ahead of a tough re-election campaign.

Now, Cynthia Coffman's Jan Brewer fundraising event at The Palm was held a week ago last Friday. On the following Sunday, the Cinco de Mayo celebration was held in Denver's Civic Center Park. And who could you find at the Cinco de Mayo celebration, pressing the flesh with thousands of Colorado Latinos?

coffmancincodemayo

Well gosh, folks, it looks like Cynthia Coffman "wants voters" too!

And there's Mike Coffman! Perhaps he was handing out dictionaries?

We joke, but there's a serious point here. It would be tough to find a politician less welcome at a Cinco de Mayo celebration than Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and yet Cynthia Coffman had Brewer host a fundraiser less than two days before showing up at Cinco de Mayo to shake hands with Latino voters. Voters who would in many cases be disgusted to learn who Mrs. Coffman was hanging out with the Friday before.

We honestly can't think of a better example of today's utterly hypocritical politics.

Reality Check: Gardner Helped Block Rubio’s Immigration Bill

The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on the other new ad running in Colorado from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

The Chamber of Commerce is launching a $3 million advertising campaign to boost preferred candidates and incumbents in 10 House races nationwide in its first major shift toward the general election.

And in Colorado’s Senate race, the Chamber is spending nearly $660,000 on broadcast and cable ads in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets on an ad in which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) touts GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Spanish.

A version of the above ad is running in both English and Spanish. It doesn't mention immigration as an issue, but there's a backstory between Rep. Cory Gardner and Sen. Marco Rubio on immigration that ought to be told. Rubio was a key Republican voice, a member of the so-called "Gang of Eight" including Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, in the passage in the U.S. Senate last summer of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act of 2013–a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Remember what happened to that bill when it reached the U.S. House? Greeley Tribune from last October:

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., doesn’t know whether U.S. immigration reform will be passed by the end of the year, but he is clear that the House doesn’t support the comprehensive Senate bill. [Pols emphasis]

“I think it was a tweet that I saw today where somebody said the Speaker said he was hopeful that they could address some kind of immigration reform before the end of the year. I have not heard him say that directly, so I don’t want to speak for what they’re saying,” Gardner said in a Wednesday phone interview from Washington, D.C. “There are a number of differences that I have with the Senate bill. I think it’s important not to focus on the Senate bill because that’s simply not going to pass the House.”

"…It’s possible that some portion of those or all of them could come on the House floor, but I’m not sure if leadership will do that or not,” Gardner said. “It’s becoming more and more clear to me that the House is going to have to do it in five or six bills or more, and not one massive comprehensive bill. The House will not pass the Senate bill. It will be done as the House determines appropriate in terms of the way it moves forward."

This was an interesting new position for Gardner, who said only the previous spring:

In an April sit-down interview with The Tribune, Gardner said the Senate proposal was a good start and something needed to be done to fix the system.

“I think everybody agrees that there needs to be immigration reform, but just the detailed part of it is where there’s a big split,” Gardner said back in April. “Trying to provide an educational role in this debate is going to be absolutely critical. We can’t have a rifle approach to immigration, because if you don’t fix all of it together, it’s going to create some problem somewhere else in the system.” [Pols emphasis]

Would the real Cory Gardner please stand up?

Bottom line: Marco Rubio may like Cory Gardner, but Rubio's signature issue isn't the reason why. And we can't help but think that the Spanish-speaking viewers of this new ad…would want to know that.

Romanoff Fires Back At Misleading Pro-Coffman Ad

The Washington Post reports today on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new ad campaign in support of Republican candidates, including Colorado's Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman:

Chamber of Commerce: The Chamber will start running 13 new ads today on behalf of Senate and House Republicans in what spokeswoman Blair Holmes described as a "massive campaign." The chamber on Tuesday dropped almost $660,000 on broadcast and cable ads in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets on behalf of Senate candidate Cory Gardner. They'll feature a small business owner in a new ad for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, too.

– The Chamber is spending on behalf of former Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.), Rep. David Valadao (R-Calif.), Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), former Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.), Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.), former Massachusetts state Sen. Richard Tisei (R), Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), businessman Stuart Mills in Minnesota's 8th District, Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.).

We'll get to the U.S. Chamber's ad for Cory Gardner in due course. You can see the Chamber's ad running on behalf of Rep. Mike Coffman at the top of this post, an over-the-top fluffy, positive 30-second spot–check out the incredibly cheesy grin on the photo of Coffman at 0:13 if you don't believe us. Nonetheless, Coffman's Democratic opponent Andrew Romanoff was quick to respond in a release a short while ago that the ad is seeking to "erase" Coffman's record on immigration:

A new television ad released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce attempts to recast one of Colorado’s leading opponents of immigration reform. The ad describes Congressman Mike Coffman as a fighter for “bipartisan immigration reform,” a fabrication at odds with Coffman’s long record of opposition to reform.

“Congressman Coffman has voted against immigration reform at every turn, and no amount of special-interest money can erase his record,” Romanoff spokeswoman Denise Baron said in response to the ad. “Congressman Coffman called the DREAM Act a ‘nightmare’ and voted twice in the last year to resume deportation of 800,000 DREAMers. Congressman Coffman cosponsored a proposal to deny U.S. citizenship to the American-born children of undocumented residents.

“Andrew is the only candidate in this race who supports a comprehensive measure to reform our broken immigration system. Unlike his opponent, Andrew has endorsed the bipartisan Senate bill and has called on Speaker Boehner to allow a vote on that bill in the House.”

As we've discussed in this space at length, all salient points. The fact is, Coffman has not signed on to the bipartisan immigration reform bill in the House, H.R.15, though other "pro-immigration" Republicans like Rep. Jeff Denham have done so. That's what most people would think about a supporter of "bipartisan immigration reform," after all–that the "supporter" in question has actually signed on to a bipartisan immigration reform bill.

As of now, Coffman's support for "bipartisan immigration reform" exists only in the form of lip service.