KCOL Mornings with Jimmy Lakey, Cynthia Coffman, November 21, 2017

Station:    KCOL, 600 am

Show:       KCOL Mornings with Jimmy Lakey

Guests:    Coffman, Cynthia

Link:       https://600kcol.iheart.com/featured/kcol-morning-s-with-jimmy-lakey/

Date:        November 21, 2017


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GUEST HOST (FOR THE ABSENT JIMMY LAKEY), KAREN KATALINE:  This is Karen Kataline, having a blast, filling in for the great Jimmy Lakey. Without further ado, I want to bring in our guest. And we have Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, a good luck charm on my debut episode — hopefully — of Fox News Radio, KCOL, Chief Deputy Attorney General for 10 years under Atty. Gen. John Suthers.  She served on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, was Chief Counsel to Colorado Governor Bill Owens, received her law degree – oh, my goodness! — at Georgia State University in Atlanta. And I know her! Cynthia Coffman, welcome in to the program!


KATALINE:  [laughs] Good morning! I’m going to jump right in, because I know I don’t have you for very long, because you are a busy, busy Attorney General.  You sure got people talking since you entered the race for Governor. You got tongues wagging, giving you a chance to — I want to give you a chance to speak for yourself. At the end of your interview with Shawn Boyd on CBS4, she happened to say — this is what had everybody wagging — that you were pro-choice and pro-gay rights. But she didn’t ask you directly about that. So I get to do it, give you a chance to talk. Are you pro- — as she said – choice and pro-gay rights?

COFFMAN:  You know, I’m not sur—. [chuckles]. Shawn didn’t ask me about that. And –.

KATALINE:  I know!

COFFMAN:  So, I was surprised as most people to hear that.


COFFMAN:  But, I – you – uh, this may be a longer interview than we get to have. Um–.

KATALINE:  Well, I’ve got other questions, so talk short! Because I got questions! Oh, do I got questions!

COFFMAN:  Okay.  Um, I’ve had the same position on the choice issue, [inaudible].

KATALINE:  Well, you ran as pro-life when you ran for AG, right?

COFFMAN:  No! No, I didn’t. I refused to accept a label.

KATALINE:  Ah! Okay.

COFFMAN:  And I still do, because I — like many people, I think – fall and have opinions about this complicated issue that are somewhere not on either end of the spectrum. I personally would not choose abortion. I would choose life. But I also believe that this is settled law from the United States Supreme Court. And unless that law changes at some point, we have to follow it. Because we are rule of the law – a rule of the law nation.  And that’s my – that’s what my position is, as Attorney General, and would be as Governor.

KATALINE:  Okay. Well, as far as gay rights, I think that is way too broad a question. And that is how Shawn Boyd characterized you. So, the thing that people that I know are asking, just dying to ask you – [it is] such a pleasure to have you on! Thank you so much! — is the Jack Phillips Masterpiece Cake Shop. You filed a Friend of the Court brief in that case, and uh, and so, why did you do that?

COFFMAN:  Actually, ours was not a Friend of the Court brief. We are representing our clients, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in that case.  The case started when John Suthers was Attorney General. And under his administration, the office began representing the Civil Rights Commission in the case. And I have taken it on and taken it up to the United States Supreme Court after it was appealed by Jack Phillips [inaudible]

KATALINE:  Okay. On the basis of –?

COFFMAN:  Mm-hmm.

KATALINE:  On the basis of – what?

COFFMAN:  [chuckles] Uh, [it is] somewhat complicated. But on the basis of Colorado statutes on public accommodation. If it if you’re going to open your doors in Colorado, you can’t discriminate based on race, ethnicity, gender, or on sexual orientation.


COFFMAN:  Sexual orientation was added by the legislature in 2008. And so, that the basis of the case. That’s how the Civil Rights Commission made its decision that there had been a violation of the law.

KATALINE:  Okay. I have a couple –.

COFFMAN:  And we’re – go ahead. I’m sorry.

KATALINE:  I’m just – I’m rushing ahead because I was told you didn’t have much time for me. And so, I really, you know – I’m just so delighted! I’m excited that you got in the race, and I want people to hear what you have to say and your reasoning, because it should come from your mouth, not a media person. You know, as much as we like Shawn Boyd, she’s not you! So, um, I have a couple questions on illegal immigration and sanctuary cities. [Representative] Dave Williams [(R)-El Paso] is running a bill called the Colorado Politician Accountability Act, which would allow citizens who are victims of crimes by illegal aliens to file a civil action for compensatory damages against jurisdictions or elected officials. The rumor is — because it’s all rumor, at this point – that you don’t support that. Is that right?

COFFMAN:  Well, I haven’t read the bill. And so, I don’t know how it would work. What I don’t support is sanctuary cities.

KATALINE:  Oh! Okay.

COFFMAN:  We – no. We are a society of law, and of the rule of law. And the federal government sets immigration policy for the United States. The states and the local governments should follow that policy. And if someone has committed a crime in addition to being in the country illegally, then they should not be granted sanctuary. [inaudible – “It should not be afforded” ???]

KATALINE:  So, I think the reason Dave Williams is running this bill is because of the Kate Steinle case in California, where an illegal alien shot her in the back and had been released and came back into the country and been arrested something like five times! So, Dave Williams’ bill, as I understand it, — and I certainly haven’t really read the, you know, the part and parcel of the bill, either — is that it gives a citizen who has been the victim of a crime the opportunity to actually sue and hold accountable politicians who are pushing these sanctuary cities. And I think people feel passionately about that issue. And so, if you’re against sanctuary cities, would that mean that you are for this bill?

COFFMAN:  Well, honestly, as I say, I would never say that without looking at the bill.


COFFMAN:  But I think what we are seeing is that the vacuum is being filled by local governments –

KATALINE:  Uh-huh.

COFFMAN:  –because there isn’t a federal immigration policy that is comprehensive that people are able to follow.


COFFMAN:  And the federal government isn’t — except for in the last few months, under the Trump administration — the federal government has not been following the immigration laws that we have in place.

KATALINE:  Right. So, as Governor –.

COFFMAN:  And as a consequence, you have people doing everything under the sun.

KATALINE:  So, as Governor, is there something that you could do, part of your platform, to address that issue?

COFFMAN:  Well, I certainly think that I can be part of the growing crowd of voices that says that Congress needs to address immigration policy.


COFFMAN:  And we need to have a secure border so that we are able to tell who is coming in and out of our country. And then we need to decide, as a country, in a public debate, how we’re going to treat people who are already in the country but came in illegally.

KATALINE:  Yes. That’s great.

COFFMAN:  And there are different categories of those folks. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Um, so –.

KATALINE:  There is something that has been bugging me to death, Cynthia. Can I call you ‘Cynthia’? We know each other. I mean, I saw you not very long ago.

COFFMAN:  Oh! Of course!

KATALINE:  It’s so – it is such a pleasure to have you on. I can’t thank you enough. COFFMAN:  There’s a bill – something that has been bugging me on immigration – and, the Denver City Attorney’s office put out a training video about an ordinance, – this is just amazing to me – the Public Safety Enforcement Priorities Act, which threatens police officers with discipline and fines and even incarceration for cooperating with ICE, in any way. They can’t ask questions! They can’t ask, “Where are you from?”  Nothing. And I saw the training video. It got leaked! What do you think about that?

COFFMAN:  No. Absolutely not. These – if someone is sworn in as a police officer, they want to follow the law. I can tell you, this isn’t the police wanting to conduct themselves this way.

KATALINE:  Oh, of course not!

COFFMAN:  They are there to protect public safety and to make sure that the citizens of Denver – of the state of Colorado, to the extent that we are talking about people who have jurisdiction – are safe. And we have this clash of ideology over what should happen with immigrants.


COFFMAN:  And I just think we will continue to see bizarre laws and ordinances until we have some clear direction.

KATALINE:  Yeah, it’s unbelievable!

COFFMAN:  We have people who have [inaudible] to enforce the law.

KATALINE:  I mean, they are actually asking police officers to not do their job and not keep the oath that they took to protect the citizenry. That’s why Dave Williams’ bill is so interesting, because you’ve got two sides to this thing and both sides are, you know, really trying to push policy in this way. Uh, I also heard — and then we want talk about your campaign, too – heard you didn’t endorse the Obamacare repeal. I’m trying to think, in what way would you not have endorsed that? You have a great deal of background in healthcare policy, and someone told me that you did not support that. Is that true?

COFFMAN:  No. I mean, I didn’t even take a position publicly, because that’s not something that comes within the Attorney General’s authority, or office.


COFFMAN:  But we need to fix Obamacare. And I think that people are extraordinarily frustrated — as am I — with Congress, and particularly with the United States Senate, that they are unable — after all of this time talking about it — to come up with a plan that they can get a majority vote on.

KATALINE:  Mm-hmm.

COFFMAN:  And I understand why the President is so frustrated with the Congress. I think — what I can say is that in Colorado, we’re going to have a government — under me, under myself as Governor – that, our government is going to run. And we are going to make decisions. And we are going to act. And I will work with the legislature,–

KATALINE:  Mm-hmm.

COFFMAN:  –both Republican and Democrat — to make sure that we do that. But we are not going to have the kind of gridlock that we have in Washington DC.

KATALINE:  Gotcha.  So, you know, obviously, you’re a woman who is independent-minded, and you take your own positions and you’re not just marching in lockstep, but you are taking a couple of classically contrary positions in the Republican Party. And so, people are speculating [chuckles] on where you’re sort of positioning yourself in this very huge gubernatorial field. Are you are you thinking maybe you’ll attract also – along with Republicans — the Republicans who can, the people who can vote in the primary this time around who are independent and they can now vote in the primary, which is a whole new kettle of fish for Colorado?

COFFMAN:  You know, it really isn’t a strategic decision, on my part, to follow the positions I believe in as an individual and as a leader in politics. I am taking the positions that I believe are right. I happen to believe that they – that many of them fit where the majority of Coloradans are.

KATALINE:  Uh-huh.

COFFMAN:  And we wouldn’t see the growing number of unaffiliated voters in Colorado if people weren’t dissatisfied with some of the positions that the Democrats and the Republicans are taking.


COFFMAN:  I think it’s fascinating. I ask everybody I talk to — the strategists – what do you think it means that unaffiliated voters can vote in the primary. Nobody knows. Nobody has a sense of how many people will actually choose to vote in the primary if they’re unaffiliated. So, I think we’re going to be part of a very interesting election cycle this next spring—

KATALINE:  Oh, absolutely!

COFFMAN:  –as it works itself out.

KATALINE:  I have to take a break. Can you stay with me until 8:30, do you think? Just like 10 more minutes, to take a break?

COFFMAN:  I can stay with you ten more minutes. Yes

KATALINE:  [screams with excitement] Oh, thank you so much! You’re listening to Attorney General and candidate for Governor, Synthany [sic] – Cynthia Coffman! And this is Karen Kataline, filling in for Jimmy Lakey on Fox News Radio, KCOL. We’ll be right back!

[commercial break]

KATALINE:  And this is Karen Kataline.  We’re going to get right back to our guest, because we only have her for five more minutes. What an honor and pleasure to have gubernatorial candidate – say that fast five times – and Atty. Gen. Cynthia Coffman with us. Thank you for joining us. Where can — so we don’t get cut off. Where can people find more information out about your campaign? [pause] Are you there?

COFFMAN:  We have a website – yes! – website at “cynthia2018.com”.

KATALINE:  [repeating] Cynthia2018.com

COFFMAN:  It has information that people will be need[ing] and we will be adding to that every week between now and the election.

KATALINE:  Great! Great. Um, one of the things – one other thing — that bothered me about that interview. I guess, you now, I guess I looked at that interview that you had with Shawn Boyd and the headlines said that Tancredo was a factor in your decision to run for governor, but it never explained why.  It’s like, “Okay, where is the journalism, here?” I don’t get it. So what — if she had asked you the question, which I don’t think she ever did, why was Tancredo a factor in you getting into the race?

COFFMAN:  Well, first let me clarify that I had made my decision to run before Congressman Tancredo got into the race. So–.

KATALINE:  I would think so! [laughs]

COFFMAN:  Yes, well before that.

KATALINE:  [empathetically] Aw!

COFFMAN:  And I think that what Shawn was trying to – what Ms. Boyd was trying to do – was draw a contrast between myself and Congressman Tancredo. And there is one! But we also agree on some things. And you know, I think that Tom goes too far, with some of his statesments and opinions in an effort to get people’s attention, and perhaps, actually, you knoe, throw a bomb or two into the election. I don’t think that is constructive. It’s entertaining. But I don’t think it’s what people want. People want a serious candidate who is going to talk about all the issues — talk about energy and water and what we are going to do about our infrastructure and how we balance the issues between rural communities in Colorado that are still not recovered from the recession versus the front range which is booming. I mean, there is a lot to talk about. This is not a single issue campaign. We are at an exciting juncture in Colorado, but we have a lot of decisions to make as a state about what we want to be in the future. And I think that’s where the focus needs to be, and to the extent that Congressman Tancredo has chosen a few issues to focus on, the contrast is that I am looking at the entire state of Colorado and all of the challenges that that we have. And I am a problem solver.

KATALINE:  Oh, great! And so, what is, like, one or two of the issues — and my apologies for not talking at the very outset about some your platform issues. But we have a couple minutes. What’s one issue that you’re particularly interested in, that you have, like, a policy that you want everyone to know that you are going to run on, so people can get a better idea of what you’re –[what] a Coffman administration would look like in Colorado?

COFFMAN:  Mm-hmm. A general theme for me – and I just mentioned it. As I have traveled the state as Attorney General, and visit rural and frontier communities, as well as the front range, I see that have some different issues that face us.  In the front range, we have a very low unemployment rate. We have a booming economy, but our infrastructure — our roads have not kept up with that growth. And that’s an extremely important place to focus: on transportation, and how we resolve those issues. But in the rural communities, while they want roads, they also want broadband. Business needs to be connected to the internet, they need to be able to do business, to get kids educated in schools, and to have the same kind of opportunities to attract business that we see in the front range.  And so, that’s one of the places that I intend to focus, is, “How do we bring all of Colorado along, and have a successful and prosperous state?”  And we also –.

KATALINE:  Do you have a –. Go ahead. Sorry! Sorry, sorry! Go ahead.

COFFMAN:  No, we also have to look at the resources that we have, the most scarce of those being water. And we have to plan more effectively for the growth that we are experiencing in this sate. And we have some great water projects that are on paper and in , but we have to move those forward so that we have the water storage that we need to keep up with the development in the state.

KATALINE:  Wonderful! Do you have a position on the highly contentious issue of fracking? Everybody – God, if you run against Jared Polis, fracking, I’m sure, is going to be a hot issue.

COFFMAN:  Well I — from what I can tell, Congressman Polis and I could not be further apart on this issue. And although he seems to be trying to change his position –

KATALINE:  I’m shocked, Cynthia! I’m shocked!

COFFMAN:  –in his run for governor to attract energy voters. But, hydraulic fracturing has been around for decades. And it is a system, it is a process that has been perfected as time has gone on. And I think that much has been made of it in an effort to stop oil and gas development. And it really is a straw man. It should not be an issue anymore, because it’s a safe process and it’s the way that we can extract more oil and gas more safely. We have oil and gas industry in Colorado that is highly regulated. And the people who are in the business are conservationists. They don’t want to spoil the environment. They live here, too.

KATALINE:  Mm-hmm.

COFFMAN:  And they get a bad rap for that, because it’s easy for people to polarize. I think we see this in so many areas in politics, and I think it’s what frustrates voters.

KATALINE:  Well, this country is very split. And the Party is split. Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I wanted to ask you –. I did mean to interrupt. I’m sorry. [laughs] Um, this split in the Party about, who are ‘never-Trumpers’ and who are “Trumpers”, and as Governor of Colorado, uh, people are going to be asking you that a lot. Where do you stand on Donald J. Trump? And how could you work with him? And like, in what ways do you agree [with him] or disagree? I know. That is like a multiple question, but, just what are your thoughts on that? How would you work with the President of the United States?

COFFMAN:  Well, we have a President.  And we are not going to go back in and relitigate the election of 2016. I think folks need to move on, move past it. And I frankly am very happy that we have a Republican President who believes in the values of individual rights and state sovereignty. It’s a relief, after having had to fight the Obama administration for the last couple of years–


COFFMAN:  –on federalism issues, that we don’t have to do that. I foresee a good relationship with the folks in the administration in Washington.

KATALINE:  Yeah. I’ve taken enough of your time. I, uh – [show producer] Sweet Petals is telling me we have to take another break, so I’m not going to keep you any longer, Attorney General. Thank you so much for honoring me with my debut thing here, on Fox News Radio, KCOL. Good luck with the campaign! Please feel free to come back anytime I’m on – probably Jimmy would love to have you, as well. Thank you!

COFFMAN:  Well, congratulations to you!

KATALINE:  Oh! And congratulations to you for getting in the race!