Mike Coffman seeks vengeance against Colorado Ethics Watch

Representative Mike Coffman is usually a pretty cool customer -- but he's made little effort to mask his anger at Colorado Ethics Watch's Chantell Taylor, who he's accused of her own ethical violations in a letter to the state Supreme Court. Back in April, after members of the Independent Ethics Commission chose not to censure Coffman for alleged violations during his stint as Colorado's Secretary of State cited by Taylor and her organization, he issued a blistering statement that made it clear he wouldn't be letting bygones be bygones. Here it is:

"Today, the State of Colorado's Independent Ethics Commission put an end to a two-year frivolous and partisan campaign against me by a group that calls itself Colorado Ethics Watch. Make no mistake: Ethics Watch is a highly partisan political organization that disguises itself as a nonpartisan and nonprofit group dedicated to ethics reform. In reality, Ethics Watch is funded as part of the Colorado Democracy Alliance, an organization with an objective to discredit leading Republicans. In a disingenuous attempt to justify its tax-exempt status, Ethics Watch will occasionally target 'expendable' Democrats. The outcome of this case speaks volumes about Ethics Watch and its failed partisan scheme.

"At a time when Colorado is facing a serious economic crisis and our state budget is seeing dramatic cutbacks, Ethics Watch wasted precious government resources by falsely accusing me of corruption and criminal misconduct when they knew they had not a shred of evidence to support these outrageous lies. No one should ever take Ethics Watch seriously again.

"I provided leadership in the Secretary of State's office with the same honor and integrity that I have demonstrated in my service to our state and nation in the United States Army, the United States Marine Corps, as a State Legislator, the State Treasurer, and in my current role as a Congressman."

Of course, one could argue that Coffman is wasting his own resources by spending time seeking punishment for Taylor. But even the passage of time can't always extinguish fury that burns this bright.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts