PERRY: Back to your corners, Coffman and Carroll — swing at the issues, not lies


Hey, Morgan Carroll and Mike Coffman. Stop already with the lame-brain negative ads against each other.


Let me set this straight, and then let’s move on: Morgan Carroll, a Democrat state senator running against incumbent Congressman Republican Mike Coffman, is not a sleazy lawyer who used her position as state Senate president to get her or anyone else rich. Did not happen.

And Mike Coffman has never snuggled up to Donald Trump and is nothing like him. He probably despises the guy. Who in their right mind doesn’t?

Now stop beating each other over the head with these ridiculous TV ad claims and tell voters something that really might move the needle in one direction or the other in the race for Aurora’s 6th Congressional District seat.

Still not convinced?

Let me tell you about Mike Coffman. I’ve been writing about him so long that we were both young, handsome guys when I first wrote about his leave of absence from his state House seat to fight in the first Iraq War. It was before there was electricity. Now, we’re just old handsome guys.

Mike has always been a smart, savvy and passionate politician. And while he regularly defines himself as a military veteran, he is a career politician. He’s been elected to five very different government positions a whole bunch of times.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

As a legislator, state treasurer and secretary of state, Mike was obsessive about his work. Right or wrong — in my opinion or that of others — he’s always diligent. I’m as appreciative of his long public elected service as I am his exemplary military service. Having watched Mike all these years, I have no doubt his opinion of Donald Trump is only slightly better than my own. I’m not saying that Mike doesn’t deserve knuckle raps for standing silent on the obvious Trump disaster until it was too late to prevent it. In fact, I have said that. But Mike is a politician, and he has the self-preservation instincts and success record over these many decades to prove it — just like every politician I’ve ever met.

I can guarantee you, that if the roles were reversed and the Democratic presidential nominee was an outright lying, mentally unstable, dog-whistling-for-a-national-racist meltdown, fascist, Democrats would be handling this the same way.

They’re all political animals, and so is Morgan. She’s a lawyer, and a really good one. She’s incredibly smart and perceptive, listening to people describe problems and being able to quickly start offering solutions. It’s the lawyer thing. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer. And Barack Obama. And his wife. And Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. There’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer. For years and years she’s represented people who were victims and being taken advantage of. She’s the voice for people who don’t have a way to make their own voice heard. Some of that work has been for injured clients, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re in big-box store and suddenly get clobbered by a crate stored wrong, and the store owner says “toughies,” who are you gonna call? A plumber? Dial-a-prayer?

I’ve watched Morgan take in troubled people to her own home and her own life so they could get back on their feet and move on. She brushes aside political consequences for things like that, and does what she thinks is just right: help people. I’ve seen her work tirelessly to pass bills that have huge impacts in people’s lives, even though that bill may result in someone getting just a couple hundred dollars a year. Just a few weeks ago, she was pressing for ways to help disabled Colorado residents, probably our state’s most vulnerable neighbors, dig through the nightmare of legislation and regulations that prevent them from helping themselves.

She’s the patron saint of people in trouble.

Both of these candidates are smart, caring people. They’re politicians, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mike has spent the last few years focusing on Aurora’s vast immigrant population, and his critics say he did it all for show to try and keep his job in an increasingly liberal district. Maybe, but he really has spent a lot of time at a long list of events with immigrants and minorities, listening to them. Observing them. Nothing but good can come from that. Too many of his conservative peers make judgments without knowing who America’s immigrants really are. Knowledge changes everything.

And Morgan has spent her life being a voice for people under duress. It means she knows what happens when legislation goes bad, because she hears from constituents as a lawmaker, and from her clients as a lawyer when innocent people get strangled by red tape.

What does separate these candidates is their stance on critical issues, and, in full disclosure, that’s where Mike and I often disagree.

If you think climate change isn’t nearly as bad or imminently dangerous as scientists make out, and messing with the economy is a bigger worry, Mike’s your guy. If you think scientists don’t make this crap up and transitioning from a petroleum world ain’t nothing compared to mass starvation from devastating droughts, vote for Morgan.

If you think that we realistically must and morally should assimilate the millions of illegal Americans living in this country, except the felons, Morgan is your pick. If you think we can cherry-pick those immigrants, and wait-and-see what to do with the millions who don’t really fall into the “yes” or “no” baskets, Mike is with you.

If you’re outraged because a woman’s reproductive rights, abortion rights, are being chiseled away by pro-life lawmakers who do things like vote for defunding Planned Parenthood and backing weak-acid legislation, Morgan is at the front of the battle to make it stop. Mike? He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood with his pack.

Fix Obamacare and drive down prices with a public option? Morgan. Scrap Obamacare and try something else? Mike.

With these two candidates, issues are the issue, not their personal shortcomings, which seems to be what they’re fighting over. Do your research on the issues and pick the one that you want to vote in Congress like you would.

But if you just want a brilliant, handsome older guy who’s never been wrong and is funnier than a pig on a frozen pond, write me in.

Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]