Reporters shouldn't be fooled by Rep. Mike Coffman's recycled attempts to paint his Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll as anti-immigrant. Coffman tried the same tactic in 2014 and failed.
The point needs to be made in light of the Coffman's campaign recent tweet that Carroll "supported [former Rep. Tom] Tancredo's immigration crackdown in the 2006 special session."
Coffman tried to attack Coffman's 2014 challenger Andrew Romanoff in the same way, and it failed, as exemplified in this Denver Post piece from a couple years ago.
During the summer of 2006, in his first term as state House speaker, Romanoff faced a critical decision: Have a broadly worded initiative appear on the November ballot that would strip state benefits and even some medical services from those in the country illegally -- including children -- or strike a legislative compromise.
He choose the latter option and staved off a late effort to revive the ballot initiative by spearheading a bill that pleased some hardliners and upset some in the Latino community...
Among the proponents of the ballot initiative that didn't make it to voters was Coffman, the state treasurer at the time.
With Romanoff in 2006 was Carroll--and Republicans like the Gov. Bill Owens. With Coffman in 2006 was Tancredo. (Read more of this history here.)
The Post's article from the last election cycle goes on to explain that Coffman opposed (and continues to oppose) a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, passed by the U.S. Senate. Carroll supports this measure, including its path to citizenship. (In addition to this, Coffman is opposed to birthright citizenship, which allows children of undocumented immigrants born on U.S. soil to be citizens. Coffman is also against a provision in the Voting Rights Act that requires some jurisdictions to provide dual-language ballots.)
Coffman's campaign acts as if Carroll's 2006 stance and 2009 vote against in-state tuition for undocumented students are somehow equivalent to or worse than Coffman's vast anti-immigrant record--despite the context of the 2006 special session and the fact that Carroll was a cosponsor of the in-state tuition bill when it passed in 2013. Carroll passed the bill giving undocumented students access to in-state tuition.
Bottom line: Reporters saw through Coffman's attacks against Romanoff on immigration in 2014. They shouldn't be fooled by Coffman this time around either.