Wake Up! with Randy Corporon, Cynthia Coffman, March 10, 2018

Station:   KNUS, 710AM

Guests:    Coffman, Cynthia

Link:        https://omny.fm/shows/wake-up-with-randy-corporon

Date:        March 10, 2018

Topics:     Sanctuary City Policy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, Abortion, Adoption, Defunding Planned Parenthood, late-term abortion, Taxpayer money for Abortions, Cary Kennedy, Jared Polis, campaign for Governor, Assembly vs. Petition, Women Voters, Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, Jack Phillips, Masterpiece Cake Shop, Religious Liberty, Public Accommodations, Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Obstruction of Justice, Jeff Hays, Caucus Attendance, Redistricting, Michael Hancock Sexual Harassment Allegations, Peter Boyles Show, Jurisdiction, Attorney General jurisdiction, Securities Fraud, Worker’s Compensation,

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HOST RANDY CORPORON: [00:00:00] Well, let’s talk about some of the issues, then. Now, for the liberty activists, for the rock-ribbed grassroots conservatives in the Republican Party, your position on the abortion issue is a negative. So talk a minute. First, explain what that is. And then explain why your position makes you more electable, when we all know that the top target has to be to not have a Democrat governor, not only for the future of Colorado but especially for reapportionment after this 2020 census.

CO ATTORNEY GENERAL & GOP CANDIDATE FOR CO GOVERNOR, CYNTHIA COFFMAN: [00:00:37] Yeah, and I appreciate the question and the opportunity to directly answer the folks on the issue of abortion. First of all, my position hasn’t changed. And so, it’s been the same. I am personally in favor of life. I would choose life. But I also am a pragmatist. And I recognize that our United States Supreme Court has said that there is a right of a woman to choose an abortion, that the Supreme Court’s protecting that under federal law and equal protection. I don’t think a governor of Colorado is going to change that law. So, I think the focus has to be on reducing the number of abortions, on promoting adoption — which I am such a firm believer in. I encourage young women whenever they have come to me, — and I even had a young woman stay with me when I lived in Atlanta until she could have her child and put it up for adoption because she wasn’t welcome in her home. I think adoption is the choice. And I want to encourage that. I also want to empower young women to make gopd choices in their lives so they don’t get in a situation where they have to decide what to do about a pregnancy. And Colorado has been reducing the abortion rate, and that’s that’s a significant thing for us –30 to 40 percent reductions. But we won’t be there until we don’t have abortion. I do not believe in late term abortion. I do not believe in public funding for abortion. I believe that parents should be involved in the decision of a minor in whether or not to have an abortion. That should not be something a minor gets to decide on their own and do without parental consent. So, I’m in favor of all those restrictions on abortion and believe that the only way that we can, as a society, not have abortion is if we empower women to make different choices. And that’s my philosophy on abortion. So, I don’t like it. And I don’t fit in the category of ‘pro-choice.’ I’ve looked at the list of everything that is pro-choice, and there are a lot of things there I disagree with.

CORPORON: [00:03:07] Would you use the bully pulpit of the governor’s office to advocate for life, to advocate for those life options versus abortion even if if you’re unwilling to, you know, go up against the Supreme Court in the current status of the law?

COFFMAN: [00:03:21] Well, we’d have to have a case to go up against the Supreme Court–as you know as a lawyer.

CORPORON: [00:03:25] Sure, of course. In your advocacy?

COFFMAN: [00:03:27] But, yes! I think that –. I worked with Jane Norton and was in the Owens administration when we took funding from Planned Parenthood. Actually, Planned Parenthood decided not — they didn’t want to go for federal funding anymore because we were putting the pressure on them to meet the law in Colorado. And we worked — Jane Norton worked on adoption regulation, and making the adoption process move more quickly for people who want to bring a child into their home. And I think those are things that I absolutely would advocate for, and share my position with people — that adoption should be the choice and not abortion. 

CORPORON: [00:04:18] All right. One of the other big hot button issues for people who will be attending state assembly and helping nominate our candidate for governor is the Jack Phillips freedom of religion case. And so, as Attorney General, you are in a position where I — and maybe you can explain how much discretion you have in what cases you defend and how you advocate for them. And then what your personal belief and vision is with regard to the issue of freedom of religion. And, you know, contrast that against our public accommodations law here in Colorado.

COFFMAN: [00:04:55] Mm-hmm. Well, as Attorney General, I represent clients. I represent state agencies, boards and commissions, and statewide elected officials. In the case of the Masterpiece Cake Shop, the attorney general’s office has a client and that [client] is Colorado Civil Rights Commission. This case started under my predecessor, John Suthers. And then [it] became my case when I became Attorney General. The Office made the decision that — and this is how we make decisions. We look at whether or not there is a legally defensible argument on behalf of the client in the situation. And if there is, then we represent that client, whether we agree or not with the position that has been taken. If our office chooses — says that there is no legal argument which we, under our ethical responsibilities, believe it can be sustained then we would choose not to represent a client. And the Governor then gets to appoint someone to serve as attorney in that situation. I think it is a dereliction of duty, as Attorney General, to allow that to happen if there is a defensible argument that we can make in court to uphold a state law. In this case, it’s a public accommodation law. And certainly, the precedent from the Supreme Court is that a public accommodation law like Colorado’s is legal and is constitutional. So, that — in a nutshell — is the legal background on it. And then, let’s go ahead and shift. Randy, why don’t you ask me, if you don’t mind re-posing your question?

CORPORON: [00:06:49] Well, sure. Yeah. The second part was. “What’s your personal perspective, your personal commitment, and the principle that you, you know, would live your own life around?” Or, if you were an independent practitioner, you know, the kind of case that you might go and defend, where do you stand on the issue?

COFFMAN: [00:07:06] Yeah, I certainly–. Yes. I believe in religious liberty. And in the constitutional guarantees that we all have as Americans, what you have in the Masterpiece case is a conflict between state law and what people believe are religious liberties that are guaranteed under the United States Constitution. The reason the United States Supreme Court took this case — took the Masterpiece Cake Shop case — is because I think they see that there are different differing interpretations of the law from different jurisdictions. And there is something here that they wanted to address. And based on listening to the argument, the questions that they have, I think they’re trying to decide if they can carve out an exception for Mr. Phillips in this case that won’t destroy the efficacy of public accommodation laws across the country.

CORPORON: [00:08:10] All right. And what’s your belief system around it?

COFFMAN: [00:08:16] Mm-hmm. I absolutely believe in protecting religious liberty. I also believe we have to — in some cases in this country we have had to create laws against discrimination. And I tend to agree that in this case that Mr. Phillips was being asked to provide a cake to a couple for a gay wedding, the expression in the cake is not the issue. The issue is whether or not there is discrimination in sales and in serving a particular customer. And there, I think you get down to a legal issue that the court has to resolve. But I wouldn’t have allowed the case to go forward with our representation if I didn’t believe that there was an argument on behalf of the Civil Rights Commission. They made the right decision

CORPORON: [00:09:13] It’s 20 minutes to go until 9 o’clock. I’ve got good news and bad news for you Cynthia.

COFFMAN: [00:09:19] All right.

CORPORON: [00:09:19] The bad news is you’re too late to become my 2500th ‘like’ on [Facebook page] “Wake Up with Randy Corporon” because we just blew through that with 2,511. So, thanks, everybody, for doing that. I’m still going be watching for that ‘like’ from you, though. And I’ll do the same.

COFFMAN: [00:09:34] You’ve got it!

CORPORON: [00:09:36] If you can stay with us, here’s what I’d like to do. We didn’t even talk yet about the powerful statement you released on Jeff Sessions’ decision to sue California for their sanctuary city policies. We haven’t talked about the progress in your campaign, fund raising, any of those things, or how people can help you. If you can stay with us through this last break before the end of our show, we’ll give you all the time that you want to answer those questions and talk about those things. Can you do it?

COFFMAN: [00:10:03] You bet! Yes! 

CORPORON: [00:10:04] All right. It’s 19 minutes to go until 9:00 o’clock. I’m Randy Corporon. We continue our conversation with Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Kaufman. Stay with us — 710 KNUS.

[commercial break]

CORPORON: [00:16:38] All right just a few minutes left as we wrap up our lengthy conversation with Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Coffman. The listeners of 710 KNUS just literally rock. I noticed my Facebook page “Wake Up with Randy Corporon” at 2,475. I made the target to get over 2,500 before the show ended. Forty people have gone there. We’re at 2,515 now. So, everybody, thank you very much! By the way, I know Stefan Tubbs has a new show page up. Make sure you give that a ‘like.’ I don’t know if Peter Boyles has one or not — [nor] Chuck and Julie. But of course, we have our 710 KNUS pages as well. And you can download the podcasts. Get the app, so you can listen on your smartphone. So many different ways to stay in touch with all of us here at 710 KNUS. We talked a lot about the Michael Hancock story, especially in the first hour. Craig Silverman will be here at 9:00 o’clock and he’ll be advancing that story with some new information when he interviews whistleblower Stuart Shapiro in Craig’s Lawyer Lounge. You are definitely going to want to stick around for that. But now I want to give Cynthia Coffman some time to talk a little bit about her gubernatorial campaign. You came out with a statement about Jeff Sessions’ decision to take legal action against sanctuary city policies in California. You said, “I applaud him for standing up to lawlessness in California, taking legal action against three of the state’s so-called sanctuary city laws.” Sanctuary city policies are disrespectful to law abiding Americans and all immigrants who followed the laws. They came to our country to pursue the American dream. California lawmakers blatantly disregarded federal immigration law when they passed these policies. And here’s the real Klinker — that’s the real, the shining moment here. As governor, I will not allow Colorado to become a sanctuary state. I will push back against harmful sanctuary city policies and instruct our state’s law enforcement officials to hold illegal immigrants accountable.” Now we heard the story of the illegal immigrant who drove his truck into a semi truck, killed the semi-truck driver, fled. Denver sheriff’s office says, “We cannot turn him over to ICE.” [The] truck Killed a semi truck driver fled Denver sheriff’s office says we cannot turn him over to ICE. What influence would you have or be able to exert on a situation like that as governor of the state of Colorado?

COFFMAN: [00:18:55] Well, what the Denver sheriff’s office does — and I’m going to meet with the city attorney and talk to her about this this week — they don’t honor ICE detainers, which is a form that an ICE official can fill out, asking a law enforcement agency to hold a person who could be deported. And they require a warrant, or something called a retainer. They say that a detainer can violate someone’s constitutional rights. OK? So that’s how I understand Denver is making its decisions. [I] don’t agree, but that is how they make their decision. In this case, what they said to me — and what the Denver district attorney said to me — is that they want to keep Ivan Zamarripa Castaneda in the United States, and prosecute him herer for that accident – – for that death. And if they turn him over to ICE, he will be deported. He will go to Mexico. He can come right back across the border. He never stands trial for his crime. And he never does time in the United States for a crime committed in the U.S.. That’s what they say. And that’s their argument for the way that they handled the case. But, as I said, I’m willing to have a conversation with them more carefully about this. They are a Home Rule City. They get to make some of those decisions for themselves, under Section 6 Article 20 of the United States Constitution. But we have to get to a point where we do not have sanctuary city policies that allow people to commit crimes and to have our local law enforcement officials not complying with federal law. The governor has a bully pulpit, has a position of power and persuasion over cities. And I don’t think that Governor Hickenlooper has exercised that, perhaps not at all. Because perhaps he agrees with the policies. I’m not sure. But it creates a reputation for Colorado that’s not unlike California in this situation, where we have cities that are disobeying federal law and federal law enforcement. And I do not want to have that reputation in Colorado.

CORPORON: [00:21:22] All right, Cynthia, we’ve got maybe two minutes left. So, it’s obvious what — if Jared Polis or Cary Kennedy become governor — what will happen to sanctuary policy in the state of Colorado. Cary Kennedy really knocked Polis hard in the Democrat caucuses. So it could emerge, if you become the Republican nominee, our woman candidate Cynthia Hoffman versus their woman candidate Cary Kennedy. Take about 90 seconds and make your best pitch why people should get interested in the candidacy of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman for governor.

COFFMAN: [00:22:01] Well, I’ve proven that I can win. And I’ve proven that I can win across the board, that I can appeal to independents, to Democrats. I think some of that is definitely a woman pulling a woman’s vote. Whether you like it or not, that’s the case. I’m a strong campaigner. I can get around the state — as I am now, traveling the state talking to folks. And I’ve taken my campaign to the grassroots. I’m going through the assembly process. I’m much happier about that than I would be about petitioning. I’m not a Bush. I’m not a Romney. I’m not a Mitchell, who has his own wealth. I can’t buy this election. I have to earn it. And I think that’s what the people of Colorado want. And I think that’s what our grassroots voters want. I will come out. I will answer any question that people have. I believe in this process. I believe that the way we elect a governor should be through the assembly process. And so that’s what I’m doing with my campaign. I want people to go to our website at “Cynthia2018.com” I want people to send me e-mails at “Cynthia2018.com.” And I want people to engage with us. I will engage with them. [I] spent time on the eastern plains, in the north — in northeast Colorado — this week, and it was great to be with those folks and hear their issues. There’s a lot to be done. We have to have a Republican governor to do it. We cannot let the state have another Democrat governor. We just cannot.

CORPORON: [00:23:36] All right, Cynthia. Well, thanks very much for coming on. You were very generous with your time. We addressed the issue regarding Peter’s show. We talked about the Hancock situation. And we spent a good amount of time, I think, getting the people who will determine at assembly who our Republican candidate is more time to get to know you. [I am] very, very grateful for your time. Hope to see out there on the campaign trail.

COFFMAN: [00:23:59] Thank you, Randy.

CORPORON: [00:23:59] Better believe it. Take care.