EDITORIAL: Morgan Carroll will take CD6 values to Congress


Now, more than ever, actions speak ever so much louder than the tsunami of words unleashed by politicians.

Because of that, it’s clear that state Sen. Morgan Carroll’s actions mirror the people, the values and the goals of this vast and diverse Aurora congressional district. She’s earned your vote.

Carroll, a longtime state legislator who ends her term-limited tenure at the state Capitol as Senate President and minority leader, is trying to win the 6th Congressional seat from four-term Republican Congressman Mike Coffman.

Both candidates are passionate and devoted public servants. Coffman has long been a stalwart champion of veterans’ rights. The next administration would be foolish to pass him over as Veterans Administration secretary. He has doggedly pursued meaningful change within the dysfunctional VA and would bring immense credibility to reform efforts.

The VA has long been a problem, but it’s only one grave matter of many that have stymied Congress. Coffman has stood on the wrong side of several issues critical to Colorado and Aurora too many times. He won a once far-right congressional district about six years ago that was then redrawn deep purple. A survivalist, Coffman has become a master of political tightrope walking. But Colorado, his district and his country need so much more. Coffman regularly tries to appear less Republican than he actually votes when it suits him. Despite a lot of talk, his record represent a loyal Washington Republican and not the deep-purple values of his district.

On global warming, he slyly says things about climate change being very real, and as old as the earth. He has repeatedly said it is debatable that global warming is caused by human activity.

It is not debatable. Coffman stands with party stalwarts thwarting numerous attempts to move the Congress past denial and inaction.

Carroll has been vocal about the need to act swiftly to create a comprehensive policy that actively reduces carbon emissions in the U.S. Coffman points to inaction by other nations as a plan for addressing the problem.

On immigration, Coffman has backpedaled from his strident stance on deportation and enforcement, but he still would permit only select illegal immigrants to become citizens, and essentially only through military service. It leaves the fate of millions of immigrants in limbo.

Carroll has long backed comprehensive immigration reform, allowing non-criminals a way to come clean and get out of the shadows. It was a bipartisan plan shot down by this polarized and partisan Congress.

On health care, Coffman has backed repeated GOP efforts to undermine and repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying that he would approve a new system that attempted to force insurance companies to enroll older children and insure people with pre-existing conditions. But he well knows insurance companies only accepted this risk in Obamacare because of the insurance mandate that Coffman would repeal.

It’s double talk and by no means a plan for solvent and affordable health care.

Carroll has been a strong proponent of the ACA and understands that a “public option,” denied by Republicans, is the only way to force down insurance costs, a plan that Coffman has opposed.

On gun control, Coffman has earned a near-perfect grade from the National Rifle Association for working to turn back just about any and every type of federal limitations on firearms.

Carroll has been a strong supporter of commonsense limitations that respect Second Amendment rights, but at the very least don’t make gun violence easier to commit than driver-license fraud. Soon, the issue of mental health and gun access will come to Congress. When it does, Colorado will want a champion for public safety, not the gun-rights lobby.

On abortion rights, Coffman has consistently voted with his party to either directly or by contrivance limit a woman’s right to choose a safe and accessible abortion. He’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood, buying into a politicized, debunked smear campaign that has clearly endangered the lives of women across the country. Last year, he dubiously ran a campaign ad featuring the Planned Parenthood logo while at the same time working to undermine the organization.

Carroll has long been a champion for unfettered and unpoliticized reproductive rights for women. And not just issues important to women, but Carroll has worked her entire career to make sure big-money interests don’t steamroll people who often don’t have a voice in government. Now, more than ever, the downtrodden include the middle class.

We appreciate Coffman’s difficult position of trying to please three disparate constituencies: liberals, conservatives and moderates. But Congress needs concrete action and answers, not patronization.

His half-hearted and tardy rebuke of Donald Trump came off as well-calculated rather than heart-felt. Had Coffman and other Republicans castigated Trump the first, 10th or 50th time he said obscene, racist, dangerous things, Coffman wouldn’t be in the precarious political position he and other Republicans now find themselves.

Recently, Coffman told the Aurora Sentinel that “Donald Trump is running against the most corrupt candidate for president in modern political history. Richard Nixon has nothing on Hillary Clinton.”

It’s disturbing that Coffman not only believes the dishonest and destructive rhetoric Republicans have stalked Clinton with for years, but that he uses it as a political tool. That’s exactly what made a candidate like Donald Trump possible. And it’s exactly what Congress and America don’t need now.

Carroll has been the same, consistent voice, fighting for the same issues unwaveringly, for her entire career. We need that dependability and consistency in Congress. We need Morgan Carroll.