Hot Sheet

Coffman on more veterans’ woes, time changes of death, the big budget shortfall and more

Author: Jared Wright - March 20, 2017 - Updated: March 20, 2017


March 20, 2017

"People ask me, 'what do you think about Trump,' says U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the opening line of his ad "Country First." "Honestly, I don't care for him much ... and I certainly don't trust Hillary," he added. The ad then fades creatively to a vintage photo of Coffman in a desert dressed in military fatigues. "I'm a Marine," Coffman declared. For me country comes first."
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-CO6, blurred in front of a vintage U.S. Marine Corps. photo of himself in a 2016 campaign TV ad appearance.

Good morning and Happy Monday. Whether we like it or not, those Mondays keep on a comin’. Thank you sir, may I have another!

Read on for this week’s rundown of intel straight from Colorado’s political pipeline …

COLORADO KUMBAYA: The Neil Gorsuch Support Ticker (confirmation hearings begin this week): Steve Farber of Brownstein Farber Hyatt and Schreck, Sen. Cory Gardner, former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justices Michael Bender and Rebecca Love Kourlis, former chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper Jack Finlaw, Jim Lyons, Michael Davis and many more … over 200 Colorado “legal eagles,” to be exact. Via Denver Post. Still no confirmation on an up or down vote from Sen. Michael Bennet yet, though … a man who has swam in the same pond so to speak (read the Post story).

UP ON the state House Second Reading Calendar: State Rep. Dan Thurlow‘s bill to allow those candidates in violation of campaign finance reporting rules to cure “reporting deficiencies” first before being charged hefty fines (which are usually reduced greatly by the judge on first offenses). But, “ehem,” some watchdogs assert, shouldn’t Thurlow have to take a 21c on this bill? … oh wait, he’s the sponsor … wow. Thurlow was fined in his freshman term for failing to meet certain campaign finance reporting requirements — $1,080 in fines.

Matt Arnold of Campaign Integrity Watchdog: “(The bill is) quite possibly among the most personally self-serving pieces of legislation I’ve ever seen proposed.” Via Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

IT AIN’T just the hospital construction project that’s all wrong. Oh no. From Colorado’s VA critic in chief: “These veterans, often prescribed a very powerful cocktail of drugs, what we call psychotropic drugs, that effect them emotionally. It is a shortcut from the kind of treatment they need.” — U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, calling for a congressional investigation into what may be an issue of inappropriate prescriptions being made by VA doctors for their patients, while other patients may not be getting appropriate treatments. Full interview via Fox31. “What we’re seeing quite frankly is a pattern of suicides,” Coffman added.

TICK TOCK … Still hating that time change a week later? Me too. So about that Daylight Savings pox upon humanity (bless your hearts, Colorado Ski Country USA) … Well, it could quite literally KILL you! A study conducted by CU Boulder found that the loss of an hour of sleep due to the time change led to more than 300 deaths over the span of a decade due to increased incidences of car crashes, heart attacks and stress. Via Denver7. Ski Country was instrumental in killing a bill in the Legislature that would have moved Colorado closer to a possible repeal of the time change — a repeal that would have been met with celebration in my household.

HOLD ON to your wallets … or maybe think about putting your phone away. “Phones these days are ubiquitous.” — Andy Karsian, legislative liaison for the Colorado Department of Transportation speaking on Senate Bill 27, which aims to crack down on texting and driving. “We are such a plugged in society and it makes it so simple to use them.” So simple we use them while careening down the highway at 75 (at best) mph.

The sponsors: Sen. Lois Court (does she even own a cell phone?) and Rep. Jovan Melton (okay, I know he owns one).

Oh, and Sen. Owen Hill – adding to the measure – wants to be sure he … and you … can text legally while at a stoplight. Because Liberty!! Via KUNC

HARVARD: UM, could we get a correction please, Gov. Hickenlooper? … In case you missed it, Harvard, a judge and the University of Colorado among other institutions of higher planes of thought asked for a correction from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper whenever he makes his next big media appearance. This following his Feb. 26 “Meet the Press” interview across the national television waves. In the interview, Hickenlooper cited data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), which indicated there has been no “spike in teenage use” of marijuana in the state. Medical professionals say HKCS “is not a reliable or representative indicator.” More in this Gazette editorial (spoiler alert, they told Hick he should listen to the pros).

SEN. KEVIN Priola celebrated his 21st wedding anniversary over the weekend with his wife Michelle and their 4 children. “#forever,” he tweeted. Congrats to you and your family.

ANOTHER REPUBLICAN anniversary: Former Colorado Republican Party Vice Chairman Mark Baisley — who jumped in and then right back out of this year’s state GOP chair contest — celebrated his 39th wedding anniversary with his wife Maryann at — where else — the Broadmoor. Congrats!

MORE FROM the weekend Tweetfiles: Rep. Ed Perlmutter: The GOP health care plan will make coverage unattainable for many older, lower income Americans. #ProtectOurCare,” citing a Congressional Budget Office report.

DOUBLE TAKE: Is it just me or does Angela Merkel sometimes bear a resemblance to former Colorado House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst upon first glance? Just me … ok, well it’s very early as I write this.

SPOUSE POWER: State Sen. Leroy Garcia‘s wife, Michelle, was honored by the Pueblo Democratic Party over the weekend for her “years of service as 2nd Vice Chair,” according to her proud husband.

GIVING A piece of his mind to commentators on this week’s Colorado Public Television Colorado Inside Out program, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock‘s Chief of Staff Alan Salazar posted to social media, “It was neither fair nor highly-informed for one of the journalists this week to suggest that Governor Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock are part of the “disgrace” of homelessness.”

$700 MILLION — THAT’S WITH AN M — BUGET SHORTFALL … SPEND ONLY what ye can afford, Colorado: “We have a healthy, strong economy. This is good for the people of Colorado,” said Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg. “But for the state of Colorado, it’s a bit of a wake-up call. Even in good times, we’re spending more than we have to work with.” Via CBS 4

More next time. Remember to keep it sly like a politician, relaxed like a bureaucrat and savvy like a businessperson. Keep your chins up out there.

Jared Wright

Jared Wright

Jared Wright runs the business side of Colorado Politics, including circulation, advertising and marketing. He started as CEO and Publisher of the Statesman in 2015 and served as editor-in-chief for the journal during part of that time. He has worked in politics at both the state and federal levels, serving on a U.S. Congressman’s staff and working in government affairs in the private sector. Wright was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2012 and served as member of Colorado’s 69th General Assembly from 2013-2014. He is also a writer, photographer and cartoonist.


  • Darwinn B Rutz

    March 20, 2017 at 7:41 am

    A lot of razzle dazzle about helping the Veteran, but do they..
    Greeley has a VA Clinic that services about 14,000 Vetes in the area.
    The VA in it s infinite wisdom has decided to move the clinic to Loveland
    Many of the patients at the clinic are Korea and some WWII and up.
    Going that much further would indeed be a definite hardship..
    With 14,000 patients it appears to me that is enough to keep a clinic
    in Greeley..
    I would appreciate the Rep. taking a look at this and leaving the clinic
    in Greeley. where it is convenient for those using it…


  • Darwinn B Rutz

    March 20, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Ok here we go again..The VA, has decided to move the VA Clinic in Greeley, Colo. to Loveland, Colo.
    That is an additional 15-20 miles depending on where on lives in Greeley, Weld County…
    The Greeley Clinic services about 14,000 veterans, many of which are elderly and need a Ride to the
    Greeley Clinic let alone Loveland…
    If, and this is a big If, Rep. Koffman wants to assist veterans, use his influence to keep the clinic in
    The idea in moving the clinic to Loveland is that the lease on the building they are in expires the first of
    the year, so moving to Loveland the could consolidate Greeley, Loveland and Ft. Collins..
    Imagine if Greeley has 14,000 Vets at the Greeley Clinic, how much more Ft., Collins, let alone Loveland
    would add..
    Added to this, in the winter Highway 34 is a hazard to drive..
    Leaving a clinic in Greeley would lessen a load on one in Loveland, and greeley could handle everything
    Please consider..


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