Archive for the 'Colorado 6th Cong. Distroct' Category

Media omission: Coffman ad features logo of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, even though Coffman has voted to defund Planned Parenthood

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Mike Coffman has voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood, but that didn’t stop him from featuring the logo of Planned Parenthood Action Fund in an ad released last week.

The ad states that “Coffman was praised for protecting women from violence.” Then the words “Coffman ‘showed courage’” are displayed on the screen next to the PPAF logo.

The ad concludes with praise from the Colorado Springs Gazette, calling him “practical” and “selfless.”

Last year, Planned Parenthood praised 33 Republicans, including Coffman, for “showing courage” by voting for the Violence Against Women Act, which authorized funds to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent acts against women.

“One vote on record supporting women does not make him a candidate we believe supports women’s health,” said Cathy Alderman, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado, in a statement. He has a consistent record of voting against women’s access to reproductive health care services.

“In fact, Mr. Coffman voted to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides many important health services to Colorado women, including birth control, family planning services, life-saving cancer screenings and safe abortion services. This advertisement is a smokescreen for Mr. Coffman to hide his continual failure to be an advocate for Colorado women.”

In his last vote against Planned Parenthood, in 2011, Coffman joined House Republicans in supporting Resolution 36 to the federal budget bill, stating that funding in the legislation “may be made available for any purpose to Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. or any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc.”

Coffman has a long anti-choice record, as a consistent supporter of state personhood amendments, which would ban all abortion, even for rape, as well as common forms of birth control. A Personhood USA leader once called him a “statesman” for not abandoning personhood.

Once, after an apparent misstatement on the radio, Coffman wrote a letter to radio-host Dan Caplis asking Caplis to claify on air that Coffman did not favor allowing abortion for rape and incest.

In March of this year, facing a tough challenge by pro-choice Democrat Andrew Romanoff, Coffman withdrew his support for state personhood amendments, and he announced he’d allow a raped woman to have the option of abortion.

Coffman’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Deleted Denver Post article stubbornly remains in Post digital archive

Monday, September 15th, 2014

I was perusing the Denver Public Library’s Denver Post archive, on NewsBank, and smiled when I saw an article by former Post reporter Kurtis Lee titled, “Coffman shifts on abortion, personhood.”

That’s the story Denver Post Politics Editor Chuck Plunkett removed from the Post’s website hours after it was published April 16.

I clicked on the article, and there it was, complete and unabridged. It noted that “not long ago, Coffman won praise from hard-line pro-life groups for his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest and support of personhood initiatives that effectively would have outlawed abortion in Colorado.” And it included Coffman’s response when asked to elaborate on why he abandoned his longstanding support for a personhood abortion ban: “There are parts of it that are simply unintended. … I think it’s too overbroad and that the voters have spoken.”

You recall the short-lived publication of the piece unleashed long-winded criticism from progressives, and, to his credit, Plunkett responded with blog posts of his own, explaining his decision to un-publish the piece and offering Coffman’s quotes and other new information in the disappeared article. But Lee’s original piece was never re-published on The Post’s website or in the newspaper.

Asked about the stubborn appearance of the article on The Post’s digital archive at the library, Plunkett said: “Once you take a story off your own web page, of course, it doesn’t mean it disappears from the internet. And here you’ve discovered that it still does exist, in fact, in an archive that we use. I just hope that all the stories that we put in [the archive] that we intend to publish stay in that archive. Every now and then I wonder. We sweat and bleed and go to all this trouble, and then we can’t ever find the stories again.”

Plunkett also said that he felt his blog posts at the time, containing the new information from Lee’s article, obviated the need to re-publish the piece. But if he had to do it over again, he would run the story with “one or two” additional paragraphs.

“Sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment, you remember what you learned,” Plunkett said. “And what I learned was, if the story has something wrong with it, and it needs to be fixed, you pull the story and you keep working on it. In today’s environment, sometimes that’s not the smart move.”

Coffman snuggled by Spanish-language radio host, who works for the Independence Institute

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Mike Coffman spends 15 minutes with his Spanish tutor every night, and last month, he put his skills to the test by subjecting himself to the fire of a Spanish-language interview on KNRV’s radio’s “El Programa de Raaki,” electing to answer questions in Spanish.

But there was no fire at all. Not even a smolder, as Garcia snuggled Coffman as he stumbled through the interview below. At the end, Garcia repeated (in clear Spanish) Coffman’s proposal to offer a path to citizenship to Dreamers through military service.

She made no mention of Coffman’s opposition to a path to citizenship for millions of adult undocumented immigrants–or his opposition to the Senate-passed immigration-reform bill, or his votes to deport Dreamers, etc.

All this makes sense when you know that Garcia is actually an employee of the Independence Institute, the conservative think tank. But Garcia didn’t mention it during the Coffman interview, nor is it stated anywhere on the radio station’s website. And it’s never come up in previous shows I’ve listened to.

Closest thing is this disclaimer heard, in Spanish, immediately prior to the KNRV show, saying:

The following is a paid program. This station assumes no responsibility for the commentaries broadcasted.

The important thing is to be informed of what is happening around us. 1150 AM presents El Programa de Raaki. Here you will find out about how important it is to be familiar with the laws that affect us, about opportunities in education, we will talk about politics, and something more. [Music: “Let Freedom Ring," and more]

Who’s paying the bill? We don’t know, and Garcia did not comment in response to calls and emails, but “El Programa de Raaki” is featured on the home-page of the Independence Institute’s website and Garcia, who goes by Garcia-Ulam during her day job, is listed on the staff page.

A Google search took me to the July/August newsletter of the State Policy Network, which funds market-oriented think tanks, where Raaki Garcia explains the purpose of her radio show and tries to convince other think tanks to give Spanish-language radio a try.

Through The Raaki Garcia Show, Colorado’s Independence Institute reaches an audience the freedom movement often finds elusive: Hispanics. It’s the state’s only Spanish-language conservative talk radio show and Colorado’s top-rated radio show for the past year. “Hispanics from Mexico, Central, and South America grew up listening to talk radio . . . . It’s part of our culture . . . . We don’t grow up watching TV,” explains Garcia, who doubles as the Institute’s Hispanic Education Coordinator. [Fact check: Sources say KBNO has higher ratings than KNRV.]

The show has succeeded partially because Garcia was already known within Colorado’s Hispanic community, for whom trust is fundamental for any relationship. Building upon that trust, Garcia began introducing the Institute’s conservative economic policies and Colorado’s Republican legislators to her listeners. In interviews, she showcases legislators as people, rather than Republicans, to connect with her listeners and combat negative stereotypes about both the GOP and politicians more generally.

Garcia encourages other think tanks to start similar shows, lest they miss a huge, and growing, audience. To do it properly, she suggests finding a host who is already known, respected, and trusted within the local Hispanic community. Ideally, the host would both speak Spanish fluently and ethnically reflect the local majority Hispanic population (e.g., Cuban or Mexican). The think tank would then identify what new and relevant information they could share with the Hispanic community, whether that’s tax credits or education policy. [BigMedia emphasis]

The use of the show to promote Republican candidates, like Coffman, appears to be out-of-line with the Independence’s Institutes non-partisan tax status.

The introduction to the article doesn’t mention Republicans in particular, but it refers to “persuadable voters.”

Generating broad support for free-market policy reforms means state think tanks must reach persuadable voters outside their typical audiences. In the spirit of this year’s Annual Meeting theme, Dare to Disrupt, several think tanks have begun engaging non-traditional partners to advance their policy goals. SPN partnered with journalist Melissa Langsam Braunstein to share the stories of—and lessons learned by—four think tanks that have formed innovative partnerships to educate the public and advance freedom.

Reaching persuadable voters clearly overlaps with Coffman’s campaign goal, as he battles Democrat Andrew Romanoff to represent a district where the population is 20 percent Hispanic.

Coffman has been campaigning in Spanish, as reported by Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols last week, and he’s mostly able to get his points across, as you can hear in the Garcia interview below.

The Colorado Statesman described Coffman’s Spanish program in more detail:

Part of that effort in a district that counts more than 80 languages spoken in its public schools includes the congressman learning Spanish, a project that involves a couple hours spent with Rosetta Stone every week and nightly phone calls with a tutor. (The redrawn 6th CD counts a Hispanic population of roughly 20 percent.)

“He’s getting surprisingly good,” [Coffman spokesperson] Tyler Sandberg says. It makes a big difference when he shows up at community events and can communicate. “They appreciate his willingness to learn their language, especially first-generation who are more comfortable speaking in their native language.” Sandberg adds, “He can’t learn all the languages — he likes to joke that his Arabic is so poor he’d start a war by himself — but he learned a little Arabic when he was in Iraq, and the largest mosque in the state is in the district.”

But Coffman is far from fluent, in contrast to Romanoff, who is. At one point during the Garcia interview, which stands as a bizarre symbol of Coffman’s struggle to adapt to his redrawn district, Coffman’s answer to Garcia’s question made no sense whatsoever, presumably meaning Coffman totally misunderstood the query. Garcia cut off the Congressman and repeated the question to him in English. Coffman then answered in Spanish.

The snuggling is so blatant maybe Garcia thinks her listeners already know about her conservative leanings and affiliations. But I still think she should state them openly.

Jon Caldara regularly identifies himself as president of the Independence Institute prior to his Devil’s Advocate KBDI-TV show, which is sponsored programming.

And so do the other tentacles of the Independence Institute’s media empire. During her daily two-hour radio show on KFKA radio in Greeley, Independence Institute staffer Amy Oliver often mentions who employs her. So does Caldara on his weekly KHOW radio show. The Institute’s stable of media commentators, like Research Director Dave Kopel, sometimes aren’t properly identified by reporters, but maybe that’s not as much in their control.

As a progressive journalist, I’d be a hypocrite if I trashed Garcia for being a conservative radio host. And I have no desire to shut her down. Obviously she’s not trying to hide her libertarian association, but she should just be more up-front about it on her radio show.

https://soundcloud.com/bigmedia-org/mike-coffman-on-knrvs-raaki-garcia-show

Stokols tried but failed to clarify Coffman’s immigration positions

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

In interviews aired over the weekend, Fox 31 Denver’s Eli Stokols tried hard to clarify Rep. Mike Coffman’s squirrelly positions on immigration reform, but unfortunately, after you watch the interviews, you’re left scratching your head on key points.

For example, during Stokols’ Sunday show, #CoPolitics from the Source, Coffman reiterated his opposition to President Obama’s executive order allowing young undocumented immigrants, brought here illegally as children, to defer deportation for at least two years.

“I certainly don’t support it being done by executive order,” Coffman told Stokols, which makes sense because Coffman voted to defund Obama’s order this summer. “I believe it should be done legislatively.”

So you have to assume that, as of now, in the absence of DACA legislation, Coffman believes the dreamers should be deported.

Yet, in a news piece aired last night, Stokols also has video of Coffman saying he supports deferred deportations (without saying he doesn’t support them). A young man, who identified himself as a Dreamer, asks Coffman why he voted to defund Obama’s program to defer deportations.

“I thought we had an opportunity to make it permanent,” Coffman told the young man, neglecting to add he opposes Obama’s executive order.

Putting on his immigration happy face, Coffman also told Stokols that he supports granting young undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through “higher education”

This is a significant departure from his previous position, which granted citizenship to Dreamers only through military service.

“I certainly support a path [to citizenship] for some of the young people that do higher education and do military service,” Coffman said.

http://kdvr.com/2014/08/31/rep-mike-coffmans-new-district/#ooid=xyZ2MwcDoxsreHde4B1yAh-onItfALRY

Stokols tried to understand the heart of Coffman’s broader immigration views when he asked, “When you say a step-by-step path, I’ve heard you use that phrase a lot lately, what does that mean? ”

Coffman replied by saying that he doesn’t like “big-sweeping” bill like Obamacare, and he said he doesn’t support a path to citizenship for adults who “broke the law.” He reiterated his support for work visas with no citizenship path, which would formally create a working underclass in America.

In explaining his immigration shifts, Coffman told Stokols “there needs to be more districts” like his, where competitive elections force politicians not to get stuck in ideological straight jackets, but earlier this year Coffman implied that the judge who okayed Coffman’s district was swayed by his affiliation with the Democratic party–though it turned out the judge wasn’t even a registered Democrat.

“I think it’s made me a better Congressman,” Coffman told Stokols, who still has his work cut out for him to get Coffman to explain the precise positions that him the better Congressman he says he is.

Reporters failed to correct Coffman’s assertion that the House passed immigration bills

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

CORRECTION: At least two immigration-related bills cleared the GOP-controlled U.S. House this session, so I erred below in writing that none did. One responded to the crisis created by the young migrants crossing the border. It would have boosted border security, legal processing, and support. Another would have provided more visas for immigrant students with math and science skills and reduced the number of visas for other immigrants. I discussed this bill here. Sorry for the mistake.
—————–

It’s tough to fact-check an entire debate, if you’re an increasingly lonely reporter at a shrinking news outlet, but a journalist somewhere should have corrected Rep. Mike Coffman’s assertion, in his debate last week against Democrat Andrew Romanoff, that immigration bills cleared the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

In explaining his opposition to a bipartisan immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate, Coffman said (@21:45):

“I think both parties have it wrong right now. I think on the left it’s, unless we get everything, then nothing will move. And in fact, individual bills have moved over to the Senate. And Harry Reid would not take it up because it was not quote-unquote comprehensive. And then on my side of the aisle, you know, we’ve got to get moving. And I’ve worked with my folks on the Republican side to get them moving. And so I think there’s got to be a middle path. And that middle path is a step-by-step approach.” [BigMedia emphasis]

Coffman would have had a complete and total brain freeze if he’d tried to remember how he voted on these immigration “bills,” because they don’t exist.

He’d have been wrong even if he’d said a singular immigration bill cleared the U.S. House. But he said “bills” plural, multiplying his apparent mistake.

A phone call to Coffman’s spokesman, Tyler Sandberg, seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

So we’re forced to speculate that possibly Coffman was referring to a bill that would have stopped undocumented immigrants from accessing the child tax credit. But no reasonable person would call this immigration reform.

And Coffman opposed the bill that would have overturned President Obama’s order allowing young undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. So presumably, Coffman wouldn’t want Sen. Reid to push this bill through the Senate.

Coffman himself made a big deal a year ago about supporting “comprehensive” immigration reform, but now he’s calling for a step-by-step approach. But he has yet to define, in any meaningful and specific way, the legislation or steps he supports to reform immigration.

Romanoff, who supports the Senate immigration bill, said as much during the debate, when he pointed out that Coffman’s “step-by-step” won’t work if steps aren’t taken.

The Senate took a big bi-partisan step. Coffman says the House has taken steps too. What are they? And if I’m right and they don’t exist, what should the steps be, Mike? What steps were you imagining?

Coffman’s fact-free attack on a judge deserves media scrutiny

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

In a blog post about a week ago, I gave conservative talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt some unsolicited information on why Rep. Mike Coffman is still so upset at losing his conservative district and now being a square peg in the round hole of Aurora.

Coffman told Hewitt that Democrats had “targeted my seat in the redistricting process.”

“A Democratic judge – you know, certainly his affiliation, I’m sure, — in Denver signed off on their map, without any amendments, and it certainly is what they call a ‘D+1’ [‘D’ plus one] district.”

An astute reader informed me that, in fact, judge Robert S. Hyatt is an unaffiliated voter, and likely has been since 1979, according to public records.

I checked this out myself, and confirmed it, with a high degree but not complete certainty, as I was unable to reach the retired judge himself–and he likely wouldn’t have divulged this information anyway.

As my correspondent pointed out, Coffman’s reckless — and fact-less — attack on the independence of the judiciary deserves scrutiny by reporters, particularly in light of Coffman’s oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.

As a progressive, I can tell you that Hyatt is no friend of progressive causes over conservative ones, as a brief examination of Hyatt’s decisions makes obvious. Remember, he ruled in favor of conservatives just last year in a case clearing the way for the recall of two Democratic state senators.

Filling in the talk-radio blanks on why Coffman is still upset at being a square-peg in the round-hole of Aurora

Friday, July 25th, 2014

If you follow the 6th Congressional District race, Coffman vs. Romanoff, you know that everything we’re seeing, from Coffman’s attempts to re-invent himself (abortion, immigration) to Romanoff’s decision to run at all, goes back to the 2010 redistricting, which turned the seat from red to purple.

From day one after the new district was created, reporters referenced the question of whether, when it comes to his new district, Coffman is a square peg in a round hole, a bad fit, even a Cuckoo bird* (my friend’s analogy). The election will answer this question.

But whether you think Coffman is anything like a Cuckoo bird, you wouldn’t expect Coffman, three years after redistricting, to be bringing up the square-peg issue himself, almost hating on his own district.

As Coffman said on the Hugh Hewitt show last week:

Coffman: Well, what they did, is they targeted my seat in the redistricting process. A Democratic judge – you know, certainly his affiliation, I’m sure, — in Denver, signed off on their map, without any amendments, and it certainly is what they call a ‘D+1’ [‘D’ plus one] district. So, it’s a Democrat-leaning district. Obama carried it by five points last time. I’m the number-one target for any sitting House Republican by the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee.  And I’m proud of it. I need the support of all the folks out there who seeks to return to a constitutional government to the United States.

Listen to Coffman’s thoughts on redistricting on Hugh Hewitt 7.18.14

Hewitt doesn’t know enough about Colorado politics to be expected to correct some of Coffman’s facts here, so I’ll fill in for him.

First, there’s the politics. I read this as Coffman admitting that he’s not right for his own district. He’s pissed at Democrats for targeting his seat, and he’s mad at the “Democratic judge” for approving it. Yet, he wants to be the representative. Fine, but how far will he go (and can he go) not to be the square peg? That’s the heart of the matter out there in Aurora.

With respect to the facts (or lack thereof), Coffman’s claim that the judge was a biased Democrat is completely baseless and, honestly, makes Coffman look sour-grapes-desperate. Aside from the fact that Judge Robert Hyatt had no choice but to accept one of the proposed maps in toto, without amendments, Hyatt is widely respected and has shown it over the years.

As The Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels, wrote just before his redistricting ruling:

The Denver judge who will draw new boundaries for Colorado’s seven congressional districts already has shaped the state’s political landscape with rulings cheered and jeered by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Judge Robert Hyatt in June threw out a lawsuit from retirees who argued the state legislature had no right to reduce benefits from the Public Employees Retirement Association.

He kicked Marc Holtzman off the ballot in 2006, ruling the Republican didn’t collect enough petition signatures as required by law. That paved the way for Bob Beauprez to wrap up the GOP nomination for governor.

I’ve written a lot about media coverage of this race, but I’d forgotten just how red Coffman’s old district was at 46 percent Republican, 26 percent Democrat, and 28 independent. That’s why Trancredo happily held it before Coffman.

Before redistricting, Coffman was like a shade-loving potted plant, happy in his place under a Cottonwood tree. Then the Cottonwood tree blew down, and suddenly sunlight started streaming onto Coffman, and he has to become sun-loving or die. That’s a tough adjustment, and most plants can’t handle it.

That’s kind of stupid, but it illustrates the underlying dynamic that should inform reporting on the race.

*the Cuckoo bird lays its eggs in another bird’s nest, dumps out the other bird’s eggs, and leaves the other bird to sit on them and raise the babies. They’re imposter babies, hoping that they don’t get recognized as being nothing like the real babies.

Media omission: Coffman is Christie’s ally in saying Colorado going to pot

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

It’s one thing for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to drop into Colorado and tell us our quality of life is going down the tubes thanks to marijuana legalization.

But it’s another for our own elected officials to tell us as much. You recall Rep. Mike Coffman grumped on the KOA radio earlier this year that legal pot may scare giant corporations from coming to Colorado. (Maybe that’s a good thing, but that’s a topic for another blog post.)

Coffman: “I worry, ‘What about that Fortune 500 corporation that wants to move to Colorado?’ And the chief executive officer has young kids, and to say, ‘Do I want my children exposed to a culture where this is acceptable for adults? And will that influence their behavior as kids?’”

Contrast Coffman’s fact-free brain puff with what Christie said in April:

Christie: “For the people who are enamored with the idea … the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there.”

Coffman is saying Colorado’s lifestyle/culture is so diminished by pot that rich people, in particular, may not want to live here.

Coffman stands with Christie.

Yesterday, Christie didn’t back down:

Christie: “I’m not backing off an inch from what I said.”

Coffman’s not backing down either. Talking to Hugh Hewett Friday, Coffman slammed pot legalization:

Coffman:You know, I think it’s a horrible decision that Colorado made.”

Coffman added that he’s trying to help pot businesses get bank accounts because operating in cash makes the industry “even more prone to criminality.”

You don’t see too many top elected officials singing the praises of pot shops. Many blandly say they’re opposed, but will try to make it work. But Coffman has distinguished himself as being on the far end of the pot-hating scale, which is weird since 55 percent of voters approved legalization.

Some buzz-kill swing voters, who don’t like legalized pot, might be motivating politicians like Coffman, who’s facing Democrat Andrew Romanoff in one of the most competitive congressional races in the country. Romanoff is no pot cheerleader, but he’s been more restrained.

No one knows where this will go, but it’s a beautiful Colorado morning outside, and I think I’ll go on a quick bike ride.

Post reporter does good job sorting out past (and present) Romanoff-Coffman immigration positions

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee did a good job over the weekend of sorting out the past immigration positions of Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic challenger, Andrew Romanoff.

Lee noted that Romanoff pushed compromise immigration legislation through the Colorado legislature in 2006, in order to deflect a more extreme immigration measure from making the Colorado ballot and being locked in the state Constitution.

Lee is among the only journalists who’ve reported on the context of Romanoff’s 2006 immigration legislation, which was opposed by some immigrant advocates.

During the summer of 2006, in his first term as state House speaker, Romanoff faced a critical decision: Have a broadly worded initiative appear on the November ballot that would strip state benefits and even some medical services from those in the country illegally — including children — or strike a legislative compromise.

Lee reported that Romanoff “chose the latter option and staved off a late effort to revive the ballot initiative,” which was supported by Coffman.

Among the proponents of the ballot initiative that didn’t make it to voters was Coffman, the state treasurer at the time.

Coffman later headed to Congress to represent the then staunchly conservative 6th Congressional District, touting positions as a hardliner on immigration reform and following in the footsteps of his predecessor and a man he called his “hero” — Republican Tom Tancredo

Moving forward in time, Lee again correctly reports that Romanoff supports the comprehensive-immigration-reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate, while Coffman backs, in Lee’s words, “piecemeal reforms.” Lee does a good job of clarifying that Coffman doesn’t just stand for vague “reform” but a piecemeal approach, with the pieces glaringly undefined.

Lee should have noted that just over a year ago, Coffman announced his grand support, in a much-read Denver Post op-ed, for “comprehensive immigration reform.” This startled the three people paying attention because it ran counter to Coffman’s past positions.

But now Coffman’s “comprehensive immigration reform” is out the window, and he wants piecemeal legislation. Coffman has said that a “comprehensive approach doesn’t have to be a comprehensive bill,” but if you’ve ever had a conversation about immigration among people with differing views on the topic, you understand why that’s not true. Comprehensive reform allows for compromises to be folded together, with different pet issues included, so everyone can hold a nostril or two and vote yes, like Senators in their compromise by a 68-32 margin.

Lee, who’s leaving The Post Wed., probably won’t be able to delve into the question of whether piecemeal reform, with only a small piece (citizenship for minors via military service) actually on the table, is more than empty rhetoric, especially with the Senate bill ready to go. But maybe another reporter will pick up the thread.

Media omission: Gardner un-cosponsored legislation in 2011, showing how how can un-cosponsor personhood legislation now

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

One of the biggest election-year hypocrisies hanging out there, waiting for a civic-minded reporter to jump on, is the fact that senatorial candidate Cory Gardner remains a cosponsor of federal personhood legislation, even though he’s told the world, both in interviews and even in a paid advertisement, that he’s “learned more” about “personhood” and changed his mind about supporting it.

To un-cosponsor the federal personhood bill, the Life at Conception Act, Gardner must give a speech from the floor of the House of Representatives. Why hasn’t he done this?

Now is the time for the aforementioned civic-minded reporter to jump in and remind Gardner that he’s trotted down to the floor of House and un-cosponsored at least one bill before.

Back in 2011, Gardner, along with fellow Colorado Congressmen Coffman and Tipton, cosponsored legislation offering tax credits for natural-gas-powered vehicles.

But the oil-loving Koch brothers caught wind of the legislation, and pressured co-sponsors of the bill to withdraw their names.

As the Sunlight Foundation reported at the time:

But some companies, led by the oil refining conglomerate owned by the politically influential Koch brothers, have campaigned against the legislation, according to a report in The Hill newspaper. Their efforts have resulted in 14 members of Congress withdrawing their support for the bill.

Gardner, Coffman, and Tipton apparently felt the Koch pressure, and speaking from the floor of the House, one by one, they asked that their cosponsorship of the natural-gas bill (HR 1380) be ended. Click at the bottom of the page here, on “Show cosponsors who withdrew.”

Here’s C-Span video of these exciting acts of remorse and regret. In the first video, Gardner is not pictured, but you hear Gardner say:

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: For what purpose would the gentleman from Colorado like to address the House?

GARDNER: Thank you Mr. Speaker. I ask unanimous consent that my name be removed from [H.R.] 1380.”

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Without objection.

Then you see Rep. Scott Tipton make the same request. In the second video, you see Rep. Mike Coffman do it.

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj7VRXfTKg0&feature=share&list=UUSj-lO7VwQBYZBK-56FXN7w

WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMq3Ya_OjFw&list=UUSj-lO7VwQBYZBK-56FXN7w&feature=share&index=2

If Gardner can do this in 2011, why won’t he do it now?

During an interview on with CBS4′s Shaun Boyd in April, Gardner went out of his way to distinguish between state and federal personhood proposals, as gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez has also done, indicating that he may not take back his support of federal personhood, even though the state and federal measures would do the same thing. And Gardner has defended his anti-abortion record on the radio.

It was only June of 2013 when Gardner first added his name to the list of cosponsors of the Life at Conception Act. Maybe he’s fine with it. It’s a question that deserves to be asked.