Election 2018GunsNews

Democrat Jason Crow points to NRA donations in digital ad ripping Mike Coffman’s gun record

Author: Ernest Luning - February 23, 2018 - Updated: February 23, 2018

Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow criticizes U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman's record on gun issues in a digital ad released by Crow's campaign on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Via YouTube)
Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow criticizes U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s record on gun issues in a digital ad released by Crow’s campaign on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Via YouTube)

Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow tears into U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association and the Aurora Republican’s record on gun legislation in a digital ad Crow’s campaign released Thursday.

“This is another perfect example of Mike Coffman and his failed leadership: The tens and thousands of dollars that he has taken from the gun lobby,” Crow says in the 75-second video. “All he does is tweet about his thoughts and prayers, and he does nothing — because of the money that he takes and the people that he’s loyal to.”

A Coffman campaign spokesman dismissed Crow’s ad as a “cheap political stunt.”

Two days earlier, Coffman faced a contentious town hall dominated by questions about gun policy in the wake of a shooting in a Florida high school that left 17 dead and 14 wounded.

Crow, a decorated Army Ranger combat veteran and Denver attorney, is one of four Democrats running against Coffman, an Army and Marine Corps veteran facing a primary challenge from the right.

“These are the weapons I needed when I was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now they’re tearing out communities apart,” Crow says in the ad over footage of his time in the military.

As his wife, Deserai, and their two young children appear on screen, Crow concludes: “When my 4-year-old daughter comes home from school and tells us about the ‘bad guy drills’ that she has, and how she had to hide in a dark closet and be quiet in case a bad guy ever came to their school, I’ve had enough of this.”

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Coffman has taken $34,700 from the NRA since his first run for Congress in 2008 — more than any other member of Colorado’s congressional delegation — and the gun-rights organization has spent an additional $67,550 supporting Coffman’s campaigns.

The day after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Crow called on Coffman to give the money back, a demand the Coffman campaign labeled an attempt to “score political points over this tragedy.”

Coffman campaign manager Tyler Sandberg had a similar reaction to the Crow digital ad.

“Just what Washington needs — another wannabe politician who takes the occasion of a national tragedy to cut a campaign commercial,” Sandberg said in a statement. “Voters know Mike. They know his independent leadership. They also know a cheap political stunt when they see one.”

In a separate statement, Sandberg pointed out that contributions from the NRA amount to a tiny fraction of the more than $12 million Coffman has raised in his six congressional campaigns.

“Mike has long been a supporter of responsible gun ownership, and it demeans this important policy debate to place the blame for these horrible acts at the feet of the millions of law-abiding men and women who count themselves as dues paying members of the NRA,” Sandberg said.

He added that Coffman has worked on legislation to address mental health issues, school safety and increasing coordination among law enforcement agencies.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.

One comment

  • Caren baker

    February 24, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    So you let Coffman’s campaign manager reply … how about some of us constituents? Unfortunately, we see the lies put forth by Coffman on a daily basis. From his ridiculous rhetoric on Obama, to his ducking out the back on his constituents. His office rarely answers the phone and when they do, they do not have any information on what his positions are. I wrote to him after the Arapahoe school shooting about repeal of the Dickey amendment. We are still dealing with the after effects of that shooting and have no resources or guidebook. His response was all about terrorism and ISIS. He is beyond out of touch, he is beyond representing the total of his constituents, and he is beyond keeping his word of standing up to Trump.

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