Archive for the 'Denver Post' Category

Hat tip to editor for posting scrubbed information but his reasons for deleting article still make no sense

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Denver Post Politics Editor Chuck Plunkett wrote a blog post yesterday titled, “No Facts Hidden From Coffman Story.”

The most effective way to convince us that no facts were hidden would be for Plunkett to explain his thinking as well as re-publish the entire Coffman article, which Plunkett removed from The Post’s website Tuesday night. The article, which offered new information about Coffman’s abortion stance, is readily available on the web anyway.

But in two blog posts, yesterday’s and in one the day before, Plunkett has instead been offering up key facts from the article, and to Plunkett’s credit, all the new information contained in Kurtis Lee’s original article is now living on The Post’s website. That’s good.

What’s still inexplicable, is Plunkett’s logic in spiking the article in the first place.

In trying again yesterday to explain his decision to remove the article, which was newsworthy for eight big, fat reasons, Plunkett wrote:

When I discovered near our print deadline that Coffman had been on the record for months with some of the same information we gained in a recent interview, I had to act quickly.

It’s true, Coffman supported an anti-abortion House bill, allowing for abortion-for-rape-and-incest, even though he’s opposed this exception throughout his career.

And at the same time Coffman continued to be on record (for years) in support of the personhood amendment, which bans abortion-for-rape-and-incest. He didn’t un-endorse personhood when he decided to support the House bill.

Given the totality of Coffman’s anti-abortion record, you’d still conclude that Coffman was opposed to abortion-for-rape-and-incest, even though you found out he voted for the House bill.

That is, until Post reporter Kurtis Lee asked Coffman about it on Saturday and wrote his deleted article, which was headlined: “Mike Coffman adjusts abortion stance in cases of rape and incest.”

In his blog post Wednesday, Plunkett suggested The Post might “write a different story,” based on the Coffman interview.

That’s a good idea, particularly if the article would go deeper into Coffman’s thinking about abortion, getting into why such a passionate anti-abortion advocate could have such a serious change of heart, as well as explaining what Coffman’s abortion position is now.

Eight reasons why a Denver Post reporter’s blog post, deleted by his editor, was newsworthy and should be re-posted on The Denver Post’s website

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

CORRECTION: This post describes the piece scrubbed by The Post as a “blog post.” It was actually  an article planned for the print edition.
——————

Here are eight reasons why Denver Post reporter Kurtis Lee’s blog post, quoting Rep. Mike Coffman about personhood and abortion-for-rape-and-incest, was newsworthy and should not have been deleted from The Post’s website.

1.  It was news! The core of Denver Post Politics Editor Chuck Plunkett’s written explanation for scrubbing the piece is that it was basically old news. But Lee’s piece advanced our understanding of Coffman’s thinking both on the personhood amendment (he opposes it under any circumstances; see number four below.) and on abortion-for-rape-and-incest (he supports it beyond he previous narrow support of it in a specific piece of legislation; see number three.)

2.  It was the first time Coffman made a public statement himself about un-endorsing the personhood amendment and withdrawing his longstanding opposition to abortion-for-rape-and-incest. These are major flips, and journalism is all about providing a record of actual statements by public officials, not their mouthpieces.

3. Lee’s deleted piece, for the first time, informed the public that Coffman has completely changed a long-held position and now broadly favors allowing a woman raped by her father to have an abortion.  Last year, as Lee noted in his piece, Coffman supported a provision in a bill allowing abortion for rape and incest. But this anti-choice bill focused narrowly on banning abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, and no news outlets covered Coffman’s position. It was completely unknown, until Lee asked Coffman about it, if Coffman favors broad rape-and-incest exceptions to his overall extreme opposition to abortion. It turns out his flip was complete. So Lee’s headline for his post reflected actual news: “Mike Coffman adjusts abortion stance in cases of rape and incest.”

4. Lee’s deleted piece reported, for the first time, that Coffman is opposed to any version of the personhood amendment, even of it were narrowed. In his deleted piece. Lee reported that “Coffman said there is no language he would change in the ballot initiative that would make him support it.” This advances Lee’s March 25 story, which quoted Coffman’s spokesperson, Tyler Sandberg, as saying only that Coffman did not support the personhood amendment in 2012 or this year, and the matter is settled because voters rejected it (not that Coffman’s thinking had changed).

5. Coffman has been avoiding abortion issues for years, and so any elaboration on his near silence takes on added value and newsworthiness. During the last election, the only substantive statement Coffman made on abortion that I can find was this comment to The Post: “I am against all abortions, except when it is necessary to protect the life of the mother. Given the fact I’m running for federal office, I will not be endorsing nor opposing any state or local ballot questions.” Frustrated by the lack of media coverage in 2012, I asked him about abortion for rape and incest, and Coffman replied with his pat, “I’m not focused on social issues.” This is what he would also say in debates that year, and reporters didn’t insist that he elaborate.

6. Lee’s direct interview with Coffman, which Lee described as “brief,” might inspire other journalists, who manage to snag Coffman for a longer interview, to go deeper and find out more details about Coffman’s abortion stance, like what is it? Does he support Roe v. Wade? Why did Coffman flip on these deeply and long-held positions? Does he support the personhood concept but not the amendment? What was the evolution of Coffman’s thinking?

7. Lee’s article made The Post look good. I know other media figures in town have been trying to ask Coffman more about his personhood stance, since his spokesperson was interviewed by Lee on March 25, and Coffman has not made himself available. Lee showed enterprise by tracking down Coffman at the Republican assembly and asking him substantive questions about these serious issues. That kind of reporting earns The Post respect and subscriptions.

8. With dwindling staff and resources, the newsworthiness of an accurate and informative news story, once it’s been written, is greater than it used to be. In other words, the old newspaper adage that “the greatness of a newspaper can be judged by the stories that don’t see the light of day” is sadly part of a bygone era. The piece was not only written but already on the website! Why delete an accurate news story?

And finally, a reason why the story is even more newsworthy today than when Lee originally wrote it: Now that Plunkett has deleted the piece, a much larger number of people are curious about it. This adds to its news value. Not a ton, I know, but reader interest is a consideration of newsworthiness.

Obviously, Plunkett didn’t rob Kurtis Lee of a Pulitzer by deleting his blog post from The Post’s website. It wasn’t an earth-shattering piece, but it advanced, in its small way, an issue that’s important to a lot of real people as well as political elites.

Plunkett should re-post Lee’s piece immediately.

Media Omission: Tancredo and Beauprez get better treatment than Norton

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Colorado Independent’s Sandra Fish reported April 14 that gubernatorial candidates Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez were present at the GOP assembly in Boulder Saturday.

Fish reported:

Tom Tancredo, who’s already petitioned his way onto the gubernatorial ballot, was grinning as he left Coors Events Center a couple of hours before results were announced.

“I feel great,” he said. “It’s especially good for me. I’ve got a base that stays strong. The rest of these folks have to split up the rest.”

But neither Fish nor any other reporter explained why Tancredo and Beauprez, who are taking the petition route to the GOP primary ballot, were allowed to attend the event, while U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton, who also petitioned on the ballot, was banned by GOP Chair Dick Wadhams in 2010.

Referring to candidates like Norton who were petitioning on the primary, Wadhams told Denver Post’s Allison Sherryat the time, “If the convention is not good enough to participate in, it’s not good enough for them to have a presence. That’s their decision.”

Post reporter is first to interview Coffman directly about personhood flip

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Denver Post’s Kurtis Lee has done what no other reporter in Colorado could manage to do for three long weeks since Rep. Mike Coffman’s spokesperson sort of told Lee that Coffman had un-endorsed the personhood amendment.

Lee tracked down Coffman at last weekend’s Republican assembly and asked him to confirm his new-found opposition to the personhood amendment and to explain why his stance had changed:

Coffman: “There are parts of it that are unintended. … I think it’s too overbroad and that the voters have spoken.”

Lee noted that Coffman received high praise from personhood organizers in the past. (It’s true, plus personhood supporters don’t point to any elements of their amendment that are unintended, and Coffman didn’t point out any unintended consequence less than two years ago, when he was last lauded by personhood organizers.)

Lee also asked Coffman whether he opposes abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. Coffman has never personally backtracked from his steadfast opposition to abortion under these circumstances.

In fact, Coffman went out of his way in the past to underline his opposition to rape-and-incest exceptions.

But he told Lee that he now supports abortion for rape or incest victims, putting an exclamation point on an about-face that started last year when, as Lee points out, his office put out a statement saying Coffman supported such exceptions in a House bill. Still, this is the first time Coffman has talked about his flip himself.

Lee described his Coffman interview as “brief,” and there are still big questions hanging out there for the next reporter that manages to snag Coffman. These include: What is Coffman’s current abortion stance, beyond being “pro-life?” Does he support Roe v. Wade? If he still believes life begins at the zygote (fertilized eggs), does he oppose forms of birth control, like IUDs, that threaten zygotes?

The headline of Lee’s article reads, “Mike Coffman adjusts abortion stance in cases of rape and incest.”  Trouble is, we still don’t know what his abortion stance is.

Post should do better job warning readers about its fake news

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Here’s how The Denver Post would look if it really hit the bottom.

On the Center for Western Priorities’ bog Friday, Erin Moriarty spotlighted a special advertising section that looks very much like the actual Denver Post.

Moriarty wrote:

Even the most seasoned Denver Post readers can be fooled by a new advertising ploy from oil and gas front group Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development (CRED), in which fake, industry-sponsored news stories are being published as part of a special “Energy and Environment” section on the newspaper’s website.

Each CRED-authored story uses the same font and layout as real Denver Post articles from real Denver Post reporters, undoubtedly attempting to pass CRED’s message off as real news. But, it’s not. It’s yet another paid effort that CRED is using to validate its now-dwindling credibility.

CRED is no stranger to promoting its message through paid advertising, as can be seen by the television, radio, online, and bus advertisements that the group has been running since its inception in September 2013. This time, the ad on Denver Post’s website boasts “news” about oil and gas development in the state, when really, the group is just peddling its own version of facts. In the “Energy and Environment” section on the Denver Post’s website, CRED’s advertorial features several stories on natural gas exports, local control amendments, and other energy issues Coloradans have been following for months.

The online version of the CRED ad is labeled in large letters across the top, “This Advertising Section is Sponsored by [CRED logo].” And “Advertising Supplement to The Denver Post” appears on top, in small, but not tiny, font.

Post reporter Mark Jaffe did the right thing by tweeting readers a warning about the fake content last week.

“Faux Denver Post. Industry group’s paid article looks a lot a Post story — it isn’t,” Jaffe tweeted April 9.

The six-page print version of the ad supplement, which appeared March 16, doesn’t even have the headline, “This Advertising Section is Sponsored by,”  and is over-the top deceptive, with the by-lined “articles” and news format, even though “Advertising supplement to The Denver Post” appears on top of each page in font equal to the size of the date.

The print supplement states that another “Energy and Environment” Section will be published April 20, next weekend.

The Post should use the same large-font “Advertising Supplement” headline in it’s April 20 print version of its “Energy and Environment” ad supplement as it uses online.

So-called “sponsored content” like this is nothing new, and its use is on the rise, as newspapers struggle financially.

Newspapers could easily die whether they push fake news or not, but at this point, credibility is still the newspaper industry’s most valuable asset, its point of differentiation from blogs, vlogs, Facebook posts, tweets, even local TV, etc.

The Post should take a clue from its own reporter, Jaffe, and do a better job warning its readers about the fake content of its next “Energy and Environment” section.

Reporting by multiple outlets casts doubts on Gardner’s campaign-origin story

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Political campaigns love to develop a narrative and connect it to everything they say and do. But sometimes they overdo it, and the campaign narrative suddenly looks cramped.

Thanks to reporting by multiple media outlets, GOP senatorial candidate Cory Gardner’s all-consuming Obamacare narrative is already smelling overdone and forced. It’s not just because Obamacare appears to be working.

Take, for example, Gardner’s foundational story about deciding to enter the Senate race.

Gardner: I thought about reconsidering running for the U.S. Senate, but it really picked up last year when we received our healthcare cancellation notice.

If that’s true, and Gardner has said this numerous times, then Gardner’s thoughts about entering the race “really picked up” in August, six months before he told The Denver Post in February that he was launching his Senate campaign against Udall.

So Gardner left his Republican opponents floundering for six months, even though he had publicly announced June 28, three months earlier, that he would not run against Udall in part because he wanted to get out of the way of his opponents who were “making their decisions” about running.

More doubts about Gardner’s foundational Obamacare campaign-origin story surfaced when Politico reported that Gardner decided to enter the race after seeing the results of a poll conducted by Republicans in Washington DC.

That was January, about five months after Gardner got his letter outlining his options for coverage under Obamacare.

January was also the time period when Gardner stepped up his attacks on Udall, as if his campaign against Udall was suddenly in motion. Gardner sent a Jan. 9 letter from his congressional office to the Colorado Division of Insurance asking questions about it’s interactions with Udall’s office. In mid-January, Gardner asked his own congressional committee to investigate. Gardner’s a member of the Commerce committee. And Then the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which, according to Politico, conducted the poll convincing Gardner to run for Senate, sent a Jan. 17 letter to Udall, with more questions.

This timeline, casting serious doubts on Gardner’s story that his Obamacare letter pushed him into the race, was constructed with the record produced by journalists covering Gardner, day-to-day, month-to-month. It’s a small testament to why political reporting is important and how it creates a picture of a candidate for us to contrast with the messaging of his campaign.

Media omission: Will Beauprez be banned from Saturday’s GOP convention?

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Delegates at the state Republican convention will vote Saturday to decide which gubernatorial candidates will face off in the GOP primary election June 24.

But delegates will not have the option of voting for Bob Beauprez, who’s the only Republican GOP gubernatorial candidate who’s decided to skip Saturday’s convention and rely only on petitioning onto the June primary ballot.

The question is, will Beauprez be told not to attend the convention, like failed Senate candidate Jane Norton was in 2010 when she decided to forgo a vote at the assembly? Not only was her presence banned, but so were any Norton banners, signs, and literature. Presumably, Norton could have stood on the public sidewalk outside the convention hall, and indeed her signs were scattered out there in 2010, but Norton stayed away.

Then State GOP Chair Dick Wadhams was clear that no whiff of Norton would be tolerated, telling  The Denver Post’s Allison Sherry at the time:

Wadhams: “Any candidates for statewide office who forgo the caucus assembly process will not be allowed to speak,” Wadhams said. “They will not be allowed to have banners or signs or literature at the state convention. If the convention is not good enough to participate in, it’s not good enough for them to have a presence. That’s their decision.”

Media outlets have yet to determine if the same rules will be enforced, which makes for an interesting angle on equal-pay week. An email to GOP Chair Ryan Call seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

GOP candidates must receive 30 percent of the vote at the state convention to make the June 24 primary ballot. Additionally, they must garner at least 10 percent of votes to be placed on the ballot, even if they’ve collected enough signatures to make the ballot. If no candidate at the convention hits the 30-percent threshold, then the top to vote-getting candidates will make the primary ballot.

By skipping the convention, Beauprez eliminates any risk that his name would be struck from the ballot for getting less than a 10 percent of the convention vote, assuming he makes the ballot via the petition process. It appears that he will make the ballot via signatures.

Tom Tancredo has already petitioned on the primary ballot.

The winner of the GOP gubernatorial primary will take on Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.  Leading candidates, in addition to Beauprez and Tancredo, are Secretary of State Scott Gessler and Sen. Greg Brophy.

Earlier this year, State Chair Call clarified that GOP candidates are allowed to both petition on the GOP primary ballot and go through the assembly process.

Going to Safeway after reading Eating Dangerously, authored by two Denver journalists

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

I just went to Safeway after reading Eating Dangerously, by Denver journalists Michael Booth and Jennifer Brown.

I have to admit, the produce aisle was scary. The cantaloupes brought flashbacks from the book’s detailed recounting of the deaths of 33 people who ate Colorado cantaloupe in 2011. The shiny apples didn’t look clean. The bagged greens, which I love, bothered me. But I found a deceptively clean-looking bag and tossed in in my cart.

I moved on, just trying to implement some of the book’s ideas to protect myself.

Over in the fruit area, I decided to put my apples, oranges, limes, and bananas in one of my reusable bags, instead of just dropping them loose in my shopping cart, like I used to do to avoid putting them in wasteful plastic bags.

As Eating Dangerously explains, you don’t want your apples rolling around a shopping cart that’s been slimed with raw chicken and who knows what. It suggests wrapping them in plastic bags. I was glad I read the book for this advice alone.

I skipped the fresh raspberries. I’d been buying them lately for my daughter’s smoothie, even though I know they’re imported from somewhere really really far away with virtually no inspection. But the book helped me recommit to not buying raspberries in April. (I buy plenty of other foods from faraway places, but the raspberries got cut.)

I used to feel good about the organic/local section, but I was deflated because the book points out that organic food can carry deadly bacteria just like conventional food. Still, there are benefits to organic/local food, and I loaded some stuff in my buggy.

I didn’t want to buy meat at all, especially salmonella-laced chicken, but it’s so easy to toss a chicken in the oven. I reminded myself that I’d cook the shit out of the it, and I’d be safe.

I put the bagged bird under the rest of my food, on the platform under my buggy, to separate it from the produce, which will be eaten raw. Good advice from the book, which is subtitled, “Why the Government Can’t Keep Your Food Safe…and How You Can.”

I strolled around a while longer, and at one point, I saw my buggy with the chicken dangling by the wheels of the cart. I realized, shit, the book recommended selecting stuff like chicken LAST, at the end of my shopping experience, not at the beginning, to limit its time out of the fridge.

I ran to my buggy, loaded up on a few more things, and headed to the check-out line.

Everything was going well until the checker dumped my apples, limes, oranges, and other fruit on the conveyer belt after he’d taken them out of my cloth bag and weighed them. If you read the book, you know the conveyer belt at the checkout-line in a grocery store has major potential to contaminate your food, especially stuff you’re not going to cook.

I was doing the bagging, and I lunged for the apples as they hit the moving belt, limiting the exposure to the contaminated area to just seconds.

I didn’t have the guts to tell the checker that he was exposing me, possibly, to deadly contamination by tossing my lemons on his moving black rubber pad.

Eating Dangerously recommends bathing certain foods in a bleach bath, but this is not practical for me. I’ll wash my food, especially the fruits that hit the conveyer belt today, more carefully than I would have before reading the book, and maybe my daughter won’t die, as a result. It could happen, as the book proves with reasoned and credible analysis, carefully cited.

And the sad part is, if someone were to die because their apples got contaminated at the check-out line, it’s likely his or her death would have been completely preventable, if our government could afford to implement simple common-sense regulations that, surely, most everyone would want, given the life-and-death stakes.

Booth, who just left The Denver Post, and Brown, who’s still there, make an irrefutable case that the gaping holes in our food-protection system, carefully documented in their book, reflect a gross failure of government. And, bottom-line, we could be eating more safely if more tax money were available for the food fight. Instead, budget cuts make us eat more dangerously every day.

You can argue about whether improving food safety should be the highest priority of our broke government, given the magnitude of death and destruction in our world at home and abroad. But one in six Americans will get sick from something they ate this year. Three thousand will die.

Correction: a previous version of this post inaccurately stated that contaminated cantaloupe were grown in Rocky Ford, Colorado. In fact, they were grown 90 miles from Rocky Ford.

Don’t forget Nugent called Colorado the “poster child” of “moral dereliction”

Friday, March 28th, 2014

I wrote a blog post a while back regurgitating rocker Ted Nugent’s appearance on KNUS Peter Boyles’ show, where Nugent said Colorado is the poster child of “moral dereliction” and the Republican Party has “no balls” because someone cut off “their scrotum with a rusty shiv.”

Exciting stuff that logged me 50,000 listens on SoundCloud.

The thing is, Nugent, who also called Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” is featured in at least three fundraising appeals for GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

A couple weeks ago, Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels asked Tancredo about his association with Nugent:

“Every time somebody asks me about it, I always say, ‘The thing about Ted Nugent that I like is he has given me the ability to say something that I have hardly ever before uttered in my life and that is the following — ‘” Tancredo said, but couldn’t finish his sentence he was laughing so hard.

“He has given me the ability to say, ‘I wouldn’t go that far,’” Tancredo said, cracking up.

After he calmed down, Tancredo noted Nugent had apologized for the remark. Critics said it was a half-hearted apology, and Nugent then went on to attack Obama, calling him a lying, law-breaking racist who engages in Nazi tactics. The apology came after Nugent was criticized by a number of Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona.

But Nugent has yet to apologize to Colorado!

Nugent: “If ever there was a poster child for apathy, disconnect, laziness, and abandonment of We the People, and moral dereliction, it is Colorado.” 

I’ve been trying to get Boyles to play Nugent’s Colorado insult to Tancredo on air and get his response. It would make great radio.

Meanwhile, here’s a March 25 conversation between Tancredo and Boyles with Tancredo’s take on the conversation he had with space reporter Bartels.

BOYLES: [inaudible] Only you!

TANCREDO: Oh, it’s just great! — A very successful fundraising activity where we gave away an AR-15, and that raised a really big sum of money for us, more than we’ve ever raised before. And, thanks a lot, of course, to Ted Nugent who sent out [laughing] the little email for us. Uh, but, the fellow that we want to give a shout out to at Gunsmoke is a fellow by the name of Brian Midol [spelling?] who indeed is providing the AR-15 for us. [laughing]

BOYLES: Yeah, that’s great! Tom, do this, real quick, can you do – we have got a little bit of time here. But do this, — about the Lynn Bartels phone call – and we—I love—

TANCREDO: Oh, yeah! Yeah!

BOYLES: I’ve known Lynn a thousand years, at The [Denver] Post, Bartels called you.

TANCREDO: [laughing] She calls me up and she says, “Tom,” she says, “I–“ Is this okay? She said, “Tom, I, uh, we’re getting all these emails. Every time you send out something by Ted Nugent, we get all these emails from Republicans and Democrats, saying, ‘This guy is terrible! He said these horrible things! He called the President a mongrel – a lying mongrel!’” And all this stuff. And I said, “Oh, Lynn! I am so glad you called me because I have this great line to use! [laughing] I thought, — when this first happened, I thought of it. And then I thought, ‘Who am I going to tell this to?’ And then here you are, you’ve given me a call.” And I said, “Why this really works out for me, is that, –and why I really like Ted [Nugent] for doing this,– is because –.”

BOYLES: For the first time in your life –.

TANCREDO: Yeah, “For the first time in my life I’m able to say something, that never before have I been able to utter!” And she says, “What’s that?” And I said, “[citing Nugent's comment that Obama is a mongrel] ‘Well, I wouldn’t go that far!’” [laughs]

 

Would a more tightly-worded personhood amendment be ok with Coffman? And other questions left hanging after Coffman’s personhood shift

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Media outlets are reporting that Rep. Mike Coffman has joined  Rep. Cory Gardner in withdrawing his support of the personhood amendment, which would ban all abortion, but, strangely, reporters aren’t asking Coffman (or Gardner) the logical follow-up question: What is your position on abortion?

Does Coffman still oppose abortion, even in the case of rape and incest? If he still believes life begins at conception, does he still think the government should somehow protect human “life” from fertilized-egg onwards? Does he think women should be given the power to make this choice for themselves, if they are pregnant? Does he oppose still Roe V. Wade? Does he believe a woman has the right to make all decisions about her own body?

Coffman himself has yet to make a statement about his alleged reversal on personhood, leaving the dirty work to his spokesperson, but Coffman’s record, even if you exclude his support for personhood, clearly reflects a true believer’s opposition to abortion

For example, Coffman once wrote the following letter to then KHOW radio-host Dan Caplis, to clear up any possible confusion about his opposition to abortion, even in the case of rape and incest:

Dan,

First of all, thanks so much for your help with my campaign and for inviting me on your show. During the debate, Craig Silverman was questioning me on the issue of abortion. My response was focused on arguing that Roe v Wade was bad law. During that exchange, Craig asked me about the issue of rape and incest. Apparently, my answer came across as supporting abortions under a rape and incest exception. I absolutely do not believe in that.

Dan, I would deeply appreciate it if, during your show, you could state that I wanted to make sure that my position was clear, unequivocally, that I oppose abortion in all cases of rape and incest. I believe that all life is equally sacred irregardless of how it came into being.

Thanks again,

Mike Coffman

Asked about this later, Caplis emailed me he wasn’t surprised that Coffman went out of his way to be clear that he was against abortion in the case of rape and incest. “Mike has always been such a champion of the pro-life cause that I think the issue was quickly resolved,” Caplis wrote.

In a statement after the last election, Personhood USA celebrated Coffman’s “100%” anti-choice stand, and the organization held him up as proof that a politician can hold be stridently anti-abortion and still win close elections. A local personhood leader called Coffman a “statesman.”

With this kind of paper trail hanging over your shoulder, it’s no surprise that Coffman’s spokesman has offered different explanations to The Denver Post and Denver’s Fox 31 for Coffman’s personhood shift, telling The Post Coffman wouldn’t support the personhood amendment this year and offering this to Denver’s Fox 31:

“There’s a reason Democratic Senator Michael Bennet called Speaker Romanoff’s attacks sleazy in 2010 – Romanoff is the Czar of sleaze,” said Tyler Sandberg, Coffman’s campaign manager. “‘Supported it at every turn?’ Mike didn’t in 2012. And he doesn’t in 2014.

“The voters have spoken twice, and the question is settled.  The initiative is over-broad and full of unintended consequences, sort of like Obamacare, which let’s be honest, all of this sleaze from Romanoff is meant to be a distraction from.”

You read this and you think again, what does Coffman really think, and what’s the explanation?

Maybe Coffman would like a more tightly-worded personhood amendment, and he’d be ok with it? That’s another question reporters should put to him.