Epic Video: Rep. Jared Polis Explodes In Defense of Immigrants

Huffington Post's Ashley Alman reports, C-SPAN video above–this will wake you up on a cold morning.

Shortly after Rep. Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) recognized the Dreamers present in the gallery during his floor speech, Speaker Pro Tempore Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) noted that it was out of order for him to announce the presence of guests in the gallery. [Rep. Jared] Polis erupted over the comment.

"You think they want to be spending their time here, Madam Speaker?" he asked. "Is that what you think? You think they want to be here in the gallery, probably traveling at their own expense to Washington? And you're saying we're addressing them, and that's what you're upset about Madam Speaker? I want you, Madam Speaker, to address the reason that they are here! They are here because our government is tearing apart their families, Madam Speaker!"

"Will the gentleman from Colorado understand all members–" Walorski began, before being interrupted by Polis.

"No, will the speaker understand that the speaker is obstructing H.R. 15 from coming to the floor? Will the speaker understand that?" he demanded. "Will the speaker understand that the speaker is preventing H.R. 15 from coming to the floor and that is why there are men and women in the gallery that potentially face deportation and their families are being torn apart? It's very simple. It's very simple. It's very simple, Madam Speaker. Very simple."

Jimmy Stewart said it best in Mr. Smith Goes To Washington: "great principles don't get lost once they come to light. They're right here; you just have to see them again." We're not sure if we've ever seen such a compelling indictment of the obstruction that has dominated national politics for the last several years. Certainly not on the floor of the U.S. House. The frustration evident in Rep. Jared Polis' voice in this case results from his longstanding support for comprehensive immigration reform, once again being stymied in the Republican-controlled House. That said, immigration reform is far from the only pressing issue to be neglected by Congress in recent years, and we have to think some of that frustration is visible here as well. Some might consider Rep. Polis' raw emotion to be an inappropriate breach of congressional decorum.

Those people in the gallery he was standing up for, and their supporters everywhere, will not.

Buck blames the “left” for making him go off-message, then he goes off-message!

(Off message like a BOSS! – promoted by Colorado Pols)

2010 GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck.

2010 GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck.

Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck and his conservative talk-show allies like to blame "the left" for distracting them from what they say are the real issues, which somehow don't include immigration or a woman's right to choose abortion.

But the obvious truth is that it's Buck and other conservatives who bring up the taboo issues (immigration, abortion) on their own, because their own base voters demand to know about them!

To prove the point, during a recent radio interview, I timed the number of seconds that elapsed between 1) Buck saying he won't talk about immigration and 2) Buck bringing up his extreme immigration position on his own!

For the record, it took Buck exactly 30 seconds from promising not to talk about it to saying, with no leftist provocation, he's opposed to immigration reform at this time.

Here's the proof, from KVOR's Jeff Crank Show Nov. 9.

CRANK: Well, it is one of those things. And I talked about this earlier. It just seems to me that Republicans in the last couple of election cycles, have allowed the left—They’re very good at diverting our attention from the issues that matter….issues like immigration. The life issue. Things like that….

BUCK: Well, you’re absolutely right. The – what a Senator spends most of his or her time doing are the issues involving the expenditure of federal funds….

CRANK: Sure, and there’s no question about it. I think where the left sees their opportunity is that like, if they can bring up immigration, they know where John McCain is going to be….

BUCK: Well, and it goes to credibility, also. They don’t just want to talk about immigration. They want to give amnesty, and then say, “Trust us, we’ll secure the border. Trust us, we’ll develop an employee verification program in the country.” And we don’t trust the federal government. And that’s why we’re divided.


“Moderate” Tipton Grilled, Pueblo Style

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Tipton town hall videos now posted at



It was not a happy night for Scott Tipton. He came to Pueblo, ready to make nice and woo himself some moderate voters of all political stripes. He attempted to sell himself as a renewable energy environmentalist, a compassionate conservative, a thoughtful guy on immigration, and a job creator.   He was short on specifics, but managed to hit every single GOP-approved talking point. The audience was polite, but skeptical, and the tough questions kept coming.


Tipton began by portraying himself as a bipartisan, moderate Republican, a true conservationist, touting his hydroelectric project bill, and legislation to prevent property owners in national forests from selling their water rights to the Federal government. I'm not well-informed on these issues, but Tipton managed to seem almost "green" on water rights and  hydro development. He lost that green hue later on, while promoting the Keystone pipeline as a job creating miracle.


Then, Tipton got grilled like a Pueblo chile.


New Census Data for Colorado Congressional Districts.

The Census has released new data on congressional districts, including those in Colorado. The peeps at (warning: Google Doc)  Daily Kos put together a useful spreadsheet of the racial/ethnic makeup of our congressional districts.

Of particular interest to  me was Mike Coffman's Co-6 district, which as many of you might expect is one of the most diverse in Colorado. In fact, Co-6 has the second smallest white population of any district with only 62 percent of the population being white. Only the Denver-based Co-1 is less white. Co-6 has the largest African-American (9 percent) and Asian populations (6 percent) and a significant 20 percent Hispanic population.

Colorado progressives have of course been looking long and hard at Mike Coffman's much more swingy district and this new data gives us even more opportunity to target the diverse voters of his district. Coffman after all has been against immigration reform and immigrants generally, going as far as saying that we should get rid of birthright citizenship to stop those horrible "anchor" babies from becoming citizens.

Well, my bet is the CO-6 has quite a few of "birthright" citizens that would love to get the opportunity to vote against odious, extreme-right Mike Coffman. And now that we have this new data, we can better target them and make sure CO-6 is represented by someone who will fight for and not against them.

Anyway, take a look at the new data for Colorado. It's definitely some interesting stuff to look at for these upcoming elections.

In Denver Post interview, Coffman affirms opposition to birthright citizenship

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

How fun it would be to sit on a newspaper's editorial board and interview all the candidates who traipse by the office begging for an endorsement.

Over the years, The Denver Post has dabbled with putting those interviews online, where they'd be a valuable public resource, but this isn't done in any systematic fashion, unfortunately.

But, moving its nose slowly in the right direction, The Post's editorial-page staff produces an online video-interview, called the Roundup, which proved its worth this week with an illuminating interview with Rep. Mike Coffman.

Yesterday's program broke news when Coffman affirmed his opposition to the longstanding U.S. law granting citizenship to people born on American soil, even if their parents are not citizens. This is commonly referred to the policy of birthright citizenship. 


Poverty Hearing Explodes After Sen. Marble’s Racist Rant

UPDATE #5: The Denver Post editorial board weighs in on Marble's idiocy:

We are saddened a state lawmaker can be this ignorant in 2013.




UPDATE #3: A non-apology finally issued from Sen. Vicki Marble, via FOX 31's Eli Stokols:

Marble released a statement Wednesday night. “My comments were not meant to be disparaging to any community. I am saddened they were taken in that regard. I take my responsibility seriously and I hope our work on this committee will offer real solutions to the health and financial challenges of our vulnerable populations.”


UPDATE #2: The Fort Collins Coloradoan's Patrick Malone with more reaction:

Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, was chairing the hearing and promptly called a recess to give the situation a chance to simmer down. When the task force reconvened, Fields had left to attend a community meeting.

Kefalas said Marble’s remarks were unsettling.

“Finally, I did end it because she was going on and on,” Kefalas said. “It was disconcerting that she made those comments. I don’t think she always understands the implications of what she says. I was disturbed. It’s incredibly unfortunate that it distracted us from the important work we’re trying to do to extend more opportunity to folks to raise themselves out of poverty.”

Kefalas said he bristled at Marble’s remarks, and as the chair he was torn about whether to let her continue speaking.

“She wasn’t helping herself at all,” he said. “It’s just really sad that this kind of statement and generalizations and stereotypes can come from an elected lawmaker.” [Pols emphasis]


UPDATE: The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels now with up with a story:

A Republican state senator stunned her colleagues Wednesday during a discussion on poverty when she talked about blacks eating chicken and Mexicans eating vegetables until they move to the United States…

Two Democrats on the committee, Sen. John Kefalas of Fort Collins and Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora, later said Marble's comments not only reinforced stereotypes they are inaccurate. They said those in the committee room appeared shocked at the remarks.

Says Bartels, Sen. Marble isn't commenting. Indeed, Marble said quite enough, thank you.


FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, audio sent to us a short while ago available above: 


Tancredo Defends Rep. Steve King’s DREAMer Insult

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

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

Huffington Post reports, you probably saw this coming:

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) came to the defense of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in a World Net Daily editorial published late last week, denouncing conservatives who have publicly voiced disapproval of King's remarks on undocumented students.

King came under fire earlier this month after telling Newsmax TV that for every undocumented immigrant "who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 points of marijuana across the desert."

King's comments have drawn bipartisan criticism, including from GOP leadership. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) urged fellow lawmakers to pursue "honest disagreements about policy without using hateful language" in a statement released last week, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) similarly characterized King's comments as "inexcusable."

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

​But says Tom Tancredo, GOP candidate for governor of Colorado:

"The exact words Rep. King used … are easy to criticize," he said. "But King’s substantive point is demonstrably true. There are in fact far more drug smugglers (and other criminals) than future valedictorians among the nearly 2 million youthful illegal aliens who would qualify for the 'Dream' amnesty."

"It is disgusting to see Republican leaders joining this lynch mob," he added.

This settles one question: Tancredo has retained the same political sense that made him persona non grata among mainstream Republicans during the administration of President George W. Bush. Bush, as you may recall, grew to despise Tancredo after he repeatedly, and in some cases almost single-handedly set the party back years in terms of Hispanic outreach–something that Bush genuinely viewed as important from his experience as governor of Texas. By jumping to the defense of the similarly uncouth Rep. Steve King of Iowa, at a time when most GOP leaders are distancing themselves from King's unseemly remarks about "DREAMer" students, Tancredo is providing a fresh reminder why he is shunned by Republicans with an instinct for political survival.

Which obviously doesn't include the Republicans who want him to be your governor.

New Coffman® Writes Checks His Caucus Can’t Cash?

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

The Denver Post's Ryan Parker reports from Rep. Mike Coffman's packed event yesterday:

Speaking in Spanish, Coffman said he had been reaching out to the Hispanic community to "better understand your challenges."

"A comprehensive immigration reform proposal must include three essential elements; it must secure our borders and provide for effective enforcement of our immigration laws, it must contribute to the economic growth of our country, and it must be compassionate in keeping families together," Coffman said.

In a press release from Together Colorado, Coffman commits to "talk to Speaker Boehner" about bringing a comprehensive immigration reform bill to the House, as well as to bring less supportive Colorado Republicans to the table to hear the proponents' case:

Congressman Coffman said he will support a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for both DREAMers and adults who make up the 11 million aspiring Americans in the country…  
"I am going to talk to Speaker Boehner about bringing an [immigration reform] bill to floor," said Congressman Coffman. "In regard to Congressmen Tipton and Gardner, I plan to have them meet with you in my office or you in their district offices during the August recess," said Congressman Coffman.

We have repeatedly made plain our skepticism over Rep. Coffman's supposed "conversion" on the issue of immigration reform. Coffman's significant rhetorical shift on the issue, after years of taking a hard line more in common with his predecessor Tom Tancredo, is better explained by the dramatic reshaping of his congressional district–from Tancredo's deep-red Republican stronghold to one of the most competitive districts in America. Coffman's Hispanic constituency more than double during that redistricting process, from 9 to 20 percent. Coffman's change of heart on immigration reform has already failed at least one major test, when he voted against a popular program to defer immigration enforcement against so-called "DREAMer" undocumented students.

So the question becomes, what is Coffman offering to do? Coffman says he will "talk to" GOP House Speaker John Boehner about bringing some kind of immigration bill to the floor, but Boehner and House leadership have already rejected the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. As of this writing the House plans to take up piecemeal immigration bills, which risks undoing the hard-won compromise reached by the Senate. There's an understanding among immigration reform supporters that a "big bill" compromise with concessions from both sides will ultimately be necessary, but that's not where the GOP-led House is going.

Immigration reform supporters are giving Rep. Coffman tremendous–maybe questionable–latitude to wholesale reverse his position on the issue. There's no question that helping to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year would work in Coffman's favor in an expected uphill 2014 re-election battle. Given the totality of circumstances, we think immigration supporters need to be extremely wary of empty promises from Coffman. Coffman has yet to align a single vote with his newfound rhetorical compassion for immigrants, and there is nothing easier in politics than making promises for which you can blame somebody else when they aren't kept.

The answer will be obvious soon enough.

At Least He’s Not Your Congressman


Rep. Mike Coffman, left, hoping Rep. Steve King won’t say something awful

Iowa Rep. Steve King, classy as always. From Politico:

Rep. Steve King is defending his remarks that drew criticism from his own party leadership that the children of some immigrants were being used as drug mules.

King’s initial remarks came in an interview last week with Newsmax. While discussing the DREAM Act, which would allow children brought to the country illegally by their parents to qualify for citizenship, King said supporters were incorrectly depicting the children as valedictorians…

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King said. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”

This certainly isn't King's first foray into WTF land, and it doesn't do the Republican Party any good for him to express such open disdain for Latino immigrants. Every time King makes remarks like this, it hurts Colorado politicos like Rep. Mike Coffmanwho has supported some of Rep. King's strident anti-immigrant policies.

Why New Coffman® on Immigration, You Ask?


Politico's James Arkin supplies the answer:

Voters in seven GOP-held congressional districts would be less likely to vote for their current representative if he doesn’t support immigration reform, according to the poll from Public Policy Polling. The number of voters who would be less likely to support their current congressman ranged from 40 to 47 percent, while the number of voters who would be more likely ranged from 19 to 31 percent.

Voters also said they were less likely to support Republican candidates in general next year if the GOP House members block the current immigration reform proposal.

The Hill's Cameron Joseph:

The districts surveyed include five with high numbers of Hispanic voters, represented by Republican Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.), Gary Miller (Calif.), David Valadao (Calif.), Mike Coffman (Colo.) [Pols emphasis] and Joe Heck (Nev.).

And from Public Policy Polling's memo:

The reason voters would hold it against their officials if immigration reform does not pass is that there’s overwhelming support for it in each of these highly competitive districts. Anywhere from 61 to 69% support the proposal the Senate passed last month. There’s also a sense of urgency on the issue with 75 to 78% of voters in each district saying they think it’s important the US fix its immigration system this year.

The poll confirms something our readers already understand, which is that Rep. Mike Coffman is one of the most endangered incumbent Republicans in America–primarily due to redistricting that transformed his former Republican stronghold into a diverse battleground. The problem for Coffman is, his new moderate view on the issue of immigration has not made the jump from rhetoric to votes–and based on Coffman's recent weasely vote against DREAMer students, there's little confidence that New Coffman® can suppress Old Coffman long enough to actually vote in favor of comprehensive immigration reform. We'd say the odds are at least even that he won't.

Well folks, here's a poll saying that could mean the end of Coffman's political career.

Senate Passes Immigration Overhaul, Now Waits for House to F*** It Up

From NBC News:

In a bipartisan vote, the Senate on Thursday passed a sweeping, historic overhaul of the nation’s immigration system – the first attempt to tackle such reform in six years. But the historic bill appears to face a procedural brick wall in the GOP-led House, with Republican leaders vowing instead to move forward on their own measures.
Fourteen Republicans joined with all Democrats to back the legislation, which would revamp the nation’s legal immigration system, send unprecedented resources to the nation’s southern border, and offer millions of undocumented immigrants a path to legal status and eventual citizenship…

…The bipartisan drafters of the legislation, which was first formally unveiled in April, came one by one to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon to make deeply personal appeals for the passage of a bill they described as a compassionate, economically sound measure necessary to maintain the American Dream central to the nation’s identity.

Hooray! Oh, wait:

Despite bipartisan support in the Senate, the immigration legislation faces a rocky path in the GOP-controlled House, where opposition to the citizenship provision is significantly stronger. Boehner has pledged not to bring the Senate bill up for a vote, pointing instead to smaller pieces of immigration legislation  focused on border security and enforcement. [Pols emphasis] On Thursday, he reiterated that he will not bring legislation to the House floor that does not have majority support from the Republican conference, and he extended that pledge even to merged legislation that could blend House- and Senate-passed bills.

The U.S. House of Representatives: America's wet blanket since 2011!

Tancredo Rages Against Federal Immigration Reform

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

In a column for famously hard-right World Net Daily, GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo writes:

Genuine border security will not be a part of the bill.

Sadly, this kabuki dance around fake amendments is what passes these days for high-level debate in the United States Congress. And, of course, the outcome is tightly scripted and well understood by all parties. The “Gang of Eight” amnesty bill will pass the Senate by a comfortable margin and will be hailed as a “huge bipartisan victory for immigration reform.”

All that has been predictable for many months, and we should not be shocked by any of it. The Senate Democratic leaders, principally Sen. Schumer and his Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Marco Rubio, [Pols emphasis] have played their cards well, aided as always by a cooperative mainstream media and dutiful K-Street Chorus…

But there is another, more intricate and more dishonest farce taking shape in the Republican-controlled House. Republicans in the House could stop the sellout of national sovereignty and the rule of law, but instead, they are planning to join the sellout. They are preparing to ignore the 2012 Republican Platform, the polls and the strong preferences of grass-roots Republicans to capitulate to the Senate in all essential features of an amnesty bill.

On and on Tancredo goes in his trademark ranting style in this column, vehemently opposing any kind of immigration reform that isn't predicate on "border security," which would result in this incredibly bad thing he calls "amnesty" for those villanous "illegal aliens." Tancredo, if there any readers who don't yet know the man, doesn't do politically correct–as you can see from his gleeful employment of both "illegal" and "aliens." Far from a solution to a decades-old problem enjoying overwhelming popular support, Tancredo is 100% certain that passing anything like this federal immigration reform bill means "a new wave of illegal entries across our borders."

It's classic Tancredo. The Republican base loves this message, and loves Tancredo, even as he makes Republican strategists looking at America a generation from now cringe. As you can see, Tancredo is very much undeterred by your propellerheaded yackety-yack about "demographics."

He's running for Governor of Colorado, and his highest-profile opponent is mired in ethics controversies. Recent polling shows Tancredo, for all his warts, the most competitive of any challenger to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The ingredients of a perfect storm.

DCCC Slams Coffman For DREAMer Vote (En Español)

9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a radio ad campaign on Spanish-language stations Monday targeting Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) for voting with most other most Republicans to effectively undo the deferred-deportation program, which has been criticized as a form of executive-branch amnesty.

"Congressman Coffman wants to restart the deportations of 800,000 young people who grew up in this country, worked hard and are just looking for their chance to achieve the American dream," a Spanish-speaking announcer said.

The President modeled the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program after the terms of the failed DREAM Act, which would have given this group of immigrants a pathway to permanent legal status.

As we said last week, Rep. Mike Coffman's vote against the DACA program significantly undermines his recent outreach efforts to Hispanic voters–outreach Coffman desperately needs to succeed if he wants to survive in 2014. Coffman's surprisingly narrow victory in 2012 against a weak opponent has left him very little margin for error, and this vote was a major unforced error.

Democrats are doing what they can to ensure it sticks.

New Coffman® Stumbles

endangeredcoffmanFOX 31's Eli Stokols updates in the aftermath of Rep. Mike Coffman's (R-Endangered) vote against a presidential executive order halting the deportation of "child arrival" undocumented immigrants, a.k.a. "DREAMers."

Congressman Mike Coffman, perhaps the most vulnerable incumbent in Washington heading into next year’s election cycle, has been making serious overtures to Latino voters.

But on Thursday, when he voted along with fellow House Republicans to de-fund the Obama administration’s executive order that allows so-called “dreamers” — kids who were brought here by their illegal immigrant parents — to receive temporary work permits, Democrats pounced.

“Congressman Coffman just voted to take us back to the days of deporting law-abiding DREAM Act-eligible children who just want to live the American Dream,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Coffman's response, saying that the executive order in question gave too much "prosecutorial discretion" while insisting he still supports a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants (but not their parents), doesn't hold water. It certainly doesn't align with the justification from most of his Republican colleagues in the House who voted with him and against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Anti-immigrant hard liner Rep. Steve King of Iowa, so politically toxic that Rep. Cory Gardner canceled a fundraiser with him, sponsored this amendment. King, as everybody who follows the issue of immigration knows, isn't encumbered by Coffman's recent mission-critical need to say nice things about immigrant children.

In short, New Coffman® just had a troublesome outbreak of Old Coffman.

With that said, there is the matter of the Republican response to criticism of Coffman, which quickly sought to deflect to the record of Coffman's Democratic opponent, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff


Public Pessimism Grows Over Immigration Reform

NBC News reports on a new nationwide poll on immigration reform, an issue considered this year's biggest legislative priority–and possibility for actual success–in Washington:

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that seven in ten registered voters think that Republicans and Democrats in Congress will not be able to work together to pass an immigration bill this year.

Hispanics and Democrats are slightly more optimistic, with about a third of each group saying that the bill will get to the president’s desk. But only 24 percent of voters overall said they believe that Congress can pass the legislation…

A bipartisan bill passed through the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month by a 13-5 vote and will be taken up on the Senate floor in June. But the fate of various immigration measures in the Republican-controlled House is still unclear.

Evidence is mounting everywhere of a hardening among House Republicans against the immigration reform effort that only a few weeks ago seemed to have real bipartisan momentum in the Senate. You can see this shift quite clearly in the "evolution" of GOP Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who has switched from a perceived need to reach out to Hispanic voters after the 2012 election to rehashing the same conservative objections to the Senate's immigration reform bill you've been hearing for years from immigration hard-liners. Gardner's hard-line comments came only a few days after House Speaker John Boehner declared the Senate's immigration reform bill "DOA" in his House. Boehner, like Gardner, calls benchmarks for border security, or "triggers," too "weak."

The possibility of a bipartisan immigration reform measure passing this year has been held up as a sign of hope that Republicans are aware of the long-term demographic peril they are in, as their backward and increasingly anachronistic position on this issue is central to the party's unpopularity among the fastest-growing segment of voters in the United States–Hispanics. At the same time, Republican support for immigration reform risks a backlash from the party's right-wing "Tea Party" base, whose fervor is one of the only assets the GOP has left with which to win elections. The "Tea Party" has no interest in compromise on immigration as long as there are "scandals" to jawbone–or failing that, someone named Barack Obama in the White House.

This is how yet another chance–and demographically, really maybe one of the last chances–for Republicans to show they can be participants in a functioning government could slip away.