Caplis & Silverman, Mike Coffman, 12/21/2010

Station: 630 K-HOW
Show: Caplis & Silverman Show
Guest: Mike Coffman
Date: 12/21/2010
Topics: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, 9/11 First Responder Programs, Food Safety Bill.
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Coffman: I think, clearly, to the New York state delegation, finishing the 9/11 thing is big. It’s a big plus up of dollars to their state. I know it sounds great on the surface, but the fact is that we’ve already passed a 9/11 compensation bill with $7 billion in it…after the 9/11 incident. And now this is on top of that. And it really creates an [entitlement?] when it really loosens up the criteria of who is eligible for it. And with no citizenship test and no way, according to the Congressional Budget Office, to really establish the causal like between an illness and between the 9/11 incident… This is really just about money for New York City. It’s not about, really I think, helping the first responders because we have already done that.

Beauprez: It is a very difficult vote to be no on though, isn’t it?

Coffman: Oh it’s hard. Politically its tough. And they know it. And that’s why this is really the [cause celeb?]. This bill is so vital to them politically. Because it’s obviously vote buying in New York City. But more importantly, I think…nobody mentions, not even the mainstream media, that we have already done this.

Beauprez: No, I’ve been watching a lot of reports and waiting for somebody to bring it up. And I see absolutely nothing. Where are you going to be on the vote it you have to take one?

Coffman: I’m voting against it. I voted against it the first time and I’ll vote against it this time. Anybody who is concerned about the budget…I’m obviously concerned about first responders and concerned even the construction workers, who have been compensated, who arrived on the scene to help. But we have done that. I think if it were pared down, where somebody could demonstrate we have some gaps in this. But this is really expanding this to create a long-term entitlement program. A multi-billion dollar program. And I think its wrong. Its open ended.

Beauprez: Where are we at on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Mike?

Coffman: I voted against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell….What I did, I asked the question on the study that I have yet to get an answer from the administration. I asked it in committee for a formal response. And that is to say, ok, they broadly defined combat to include combat service support elements. And so what I did, I wanted a breakdown. I want to know what people at the tip of the spear feel about reversing this policy about gays openly serving in the military. So I want you to tell me, give me a breakdown because I know you’ve got it, of non-commissioned officers and officers who are Marine Corp infantry and Army infantry. And I gave the specific military occupational specialty designators in my letter, because I served both in the Marine Corp and Army infantry. I know that those numbers are through the roof opposed. And I know that the majority of causalities that we are facing right now, the types of units faced are those very specific units are taking a disproportionate number of causalities. Certainly took them in Iraq and are now taking them in Afghanistan. And I think that we ought to be respectful of their opinion…I think that the study was more of a conclusion looking for a study than it was a real study. And I think that it is unfortunate. But its done…My issue was, for ground combat units, which I have been in, that there is an interdependent bond that develops that interjecting sexuality into that, whether it is homosexuality or heterosexuality, it breaks that bond from forming.


Beauprez: You brought up something that I think is often forgotten. Outward displays of sexuality, however we want to I guess let out mind figure out what that really means, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual, they create a problem on the battlefield.

Coffman: Well they really do. And I think it’s hard for people to understand that. But its young people. And its not you punch out and go home at 5 o’clock. And even if it is no overt sexuality, there is an emotional tension there where people can tell.

Beauprez: Yea, and that is not a good place for emotional tension.

Coffman: No it’s not.

Beauprez: You have enough of that going on.