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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJune 27, 20174min580

Remember last month when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington sent out a mass-email blasting 6th Congressional District Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman over the U.S. House’s version of the GOP health care plan? Standard fare for groups like the DCCC, we figured at the time — except, the missive implied Coffman had voted for the legislation when he was one of 20 Republicans in the House to break ranks with his party and vote against it.

We’d wondered if some DCCC staffer simply erred in compiling the list — the group no doubt had sent out similar screeds to the districts of numerous other House Republicans — but a spokeswoman chimed in after reading our first take and assured us, “This was no mistake. Her words.

As it turned out, it actually was just a cynical and deceptive tactic. Our words.

Looks like the DCCC is at it again. This time, they’re going after Coffman as well as Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton. Via Denver 9News’s resident political junkie (and crackerjack journalist) Brandon Rittiman:

Having been down this road before, we won’t be so naive as to suppose they were just cutting corners to save time by using substantially the same wording in the two diatribes — one regarding a Republican congressman who had voted for the much-debated GOP health plan, and the other regarding his colleague and Colorado compatriot who had voted against it. Both saddle their respective targets with responsibility for the GOP legislation; only a lawyerly reading would deduce one of the two had voted “no.”

Whether Coffman’s vote was a calculated sidestep — y’know, winked at with a kitchen pass from the House leadership so that the five-term survivor could tell his swing-voting district he had stood up to his own party — is a worthy issue. It’s also pretty much standard procedure in both parties for members in hotly contested districts.

Whether, at this point, the DCCC’s slash-and-burn e-blasts are even worth the digital bytes they’re written on — given their fast and loose wordplay — is also a worthy issue. Of course, that is pretty much standard fare for both parties, as well.


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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 20, 20175min440

…and that’s on the assumption dozens of smart alecks haven’t already beaten us to the, um, punch:



Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirMarch 2, 20174min420

This one already has gotten plenty of air time, but it’s worth repeating here amid the current furor over politicians’ meetings with constituents — notably, who’s holding town halls and who’s accused of hiding from them. Denver 9News’s Anna Staver and Brandon Rittiman looked at some hard data this week that suggests things aren’t all that different from previous, less contentious years.

The numbers — still subject to interpretation, as always — tend to belie claims that Colorado’s junior Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of the 6th Congressional District have dropped off the radar. In fact, 9News finds, they’re pretty much where they’ve always been.

To an extent, that shouldn’t really come as a surprise. It is no secret in the political biz that stalking politicians and very vocally calling them to account for assorted high crimes and misdemeanors following a presidential election is standard operating procedure for the losing party. The familiar strategy was bound to be unusually pointed and pronounced in the wake of last fall’s upset victory by one of the more — shall we say? — unconventional presidential candidates in American history. Arguably, the upheaval represented by the Donald Trump phenomenon and the ensuing polarization it fostered inevitably led to the activist backlash now being directed at the likes of Gardner and Coffman. Both, ironically, had rather unkind things to say about The Donald just before his stunning victory yet now, to an extent, are taking a fall for him.

In that context, consider 9News’s conclusion after it mulled data from the firm Legistorm:

In terms of numbers of town halls, both in-person and remote, there hasn’t been a tectonic shift in the number being held in Colorado.

What has changed is the person in the Oval Office and the balance of power in Congress.

So, when protestors complain about Gardner and Coffman ducking town halls, what they seem to want is more opportunities than before to challenge the side that won.

It’s by no means wrong to ask for more access, but it’s worth knowing that our members of congress mostly haven’t changed the way they do this.

That’s just the main takeaway from the 9News report, which offers a lot more enlightening detail on the record of each member of Colorado’s Washington delegation and their availability to meet with the public. The report is worth a close look; here’s that link again. Nice work, guys.

 


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Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 20, 201615min560

DENVER — This time of year is general known as “dead” in most newsrooms. Many reporters are snug in their too-little padding office chairs working (sort of) on year-end stories, new year stories and holiday features. Not the case this year. Between the “faithless electors,” weather that blew in (who knew) and the Denver City Council … There’s more than enough “real” news to go around. Let’s get started and you be the judge … As you are probably well aware, Donald Trump maneuvered the 12th Amendment correctly Monday to put him one step closer to the desk inside the Oval Office. Despite one Colorado “faithless” elector (who was quickly replaced), our little slice of heaven cast its electoral votes for Hillary Clinton. After reaching the magical number of 270, the president-elect blasted a Tweet out from between his palms:


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinJuly 30, 20169min1253

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visited Colorado on Friday and said he supports the practice of hydraulic fracturing of oil and natural gas wells. But he also favors the ability of communities to ban the practice, known as fracking. In an interview with KUSA-TV's Brandon Rittiman, Trump said he favors fracking, but understands that some areas may not want to have it nearby.