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Dem group follows up on its shot at Colorado’s Coffman: ‘This was no mistake’

Author: Dan Njegomir - May 26, 2017 - Updated: January 18, 2018

Silly us. We newsies take things so literally. When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington blasted out a mass-email Wednesday denouncing 6th Congressional District Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman over the latest pending GOP health-care plan in Congress, we thought it might have been a mistake. Perhaps Coffman’s name had been inadvertently included on the group’s hit list of GOP members of Congress who voted for the contentious proposal earlier this month.

After all, Coffman actually was one of 20 Republicans in the House who voted against it. And yet, the group’s email read: “Bad news for Coffman: CBO analysis confirms disastrous impact of House Republican repeal & ripoff bill.” Oops, right?

We weren’t alone. Denver Fox 31-TV’s Joe St. George, who first alerted us to the DCCC missive, took to Twitter to point out the apparent error.

We suggested that either some intern had goofed, or — perish the thought! — the DCCC actually knew better but decided to lump Coffman in with the House GOP majority anyway, implying he voted for the plan. Because, well, there’s always another election around the corner, and the DCCC isn’t about to let slip any chance to unseat Coffman, now in his fifth term in the swing-able district.

On Thursday, DCCC Regional Press Secretary Rachel Irwin wrote us directly and cleared things up. Turns out — envelope, please — it was the latter! Not only did Irwin not shy away from it, she actually tried to make what jaded political observers might call an attempt at media manipulation seem legit. Here’s her email to us:

Following up to your post on the DCCC statement and the CBO score which made a lot of assumptions. If you don’t mind, I thought I’d take a few minutes to walk you through Rep. Coffman’s record on health care.

Let me start off by saying this was no mistake. Rep. Coffman has voted more than 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Not only that, he went on the record as the only member of the Colorado delegation to support one of the first versions of the AHCA, which the CBO projected would strip away health care from 24 million people. Rep. Coffman also took a procedural vote to move this bill forward, which helped pave the way to its passage.

That is his record and we are focused on holding Rep. Coffman accountable. Throughout his career, Mike Coffman has done a stellar job of knowing how to walk the political tight rope and make decisions based on his own political interests. Voters deserve to know that he’s already voted for the pieces in that bill – voting to raise health care costs, premiums, and eliminate protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

One vote does not get him off the hook for six years of heartless votes and failed leadership.

Feel free to call or email anytime you’d like to talk about Coffman’s race or his record.

…But isn’t the Congressional Budget Office analysis that’s at issue here about the GOP health-care plan Coffman voted against — not his other “heartless votes and failed leadership”?

Guys, keep this up, and we’re going to start taking political rhetoric with a grain of salt.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


  • Dale Anema

    May 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Coffman is so afraid of losing his seat that he votes more liberal than some Democrats. It seems we’d almost be better off with a Democrat that a guy like Coffman. He used to be my representative, but I was gerrymandered out after the 2010 census and am now in Degette’s district. I’m a conservative so am glad I don’t have a guy like Coffman representing me – it would be like voting for Jeb Bush.

    • dan Smith

      May 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Dale,you need to understand how things actually work,A democrat in that seat would count towards a democrat majority,helping that party to gain control of the house and every vote in it. Sadly the 6thCD like the 7th is moderate at best slightly left of center at worst,Tell me how well it has worked out for conservatives having Ed Perlmutter as the representative from the 7th CD

  • Jane

    May 27, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Both of you are right. Keeping the majority is huge, which is exactly why the Democrats are so obsessed with bumping him off.
    How sad that we have to leave this deceitful, empty suit there so his body can count as one more Republican.
    He’s the very opposite of Tommy T. No courage. No principles. No integrity.

  • Phil

    May 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

    How the hell can the ahca be considered conservative, sane, or good? You’re not being fiscally responsible, you’re just attacking the health and finances of millions of Americans.

  • Phil

    May 27, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Also, Coffman clearly voted against it only when it was clear it would pass. Just so useful idiots like Njegomir could pretend Coffman DIDN’T want to pander to the insane right wing and give billionaires tax cuts while taking away healthcare from the nation. The Obamacare repeal AHCA is extremist class warfare. Coffman knew it and didn’t denounce it until right before. Are we really this ignorant?

  • Dale Anema

    May 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Good party line, but it seems to me that if every time there is a contentious issue where you need conservative votes a flaky Republican runs and hides and votes with the Democrats, we’d be better off to have a Democrat in office who we can call to task and campaign against for left-wing votes. The best of all worlds would be for a conservative to beat Coffman in a primary, but with people like you it would be a lost cause. We need a leader who can sway opinion, not a mushy establishment character with absolutely no spine.

  • Raul Sanchez

    May 29, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    We’re easily confused b/c we don’t know if Mike is really a Dem or just a RINO who will do anything to get re-elected in his heavily Hispanic district. His wife has bigger conservative stones he has ever had.

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