KUSA — Congressman Mike Coffman is the face of many political ads. Many of them, however, are produced by political action committees trying to get him out of office.
The latest ad by the Giffords PAC accurately highlights his contributions from the gun lobby and misrepresents his votes on gun background checks.
The first video of the political ad shows a scene from the Aurora theater shooting as it was covered on an ABC News special report the morning of July 20, 2012. The text on the bottom of the special report noted "at least 14 dead." At the time the story was unfolding, that was the first information released, but then it was corrected. Unfortunately, as we all know in Colorado, 12 were killed and 58 injured in the shooting. The Giffords PAC could have picked video that showed an accurate graphic.
CLAIM: "He has accepted more money from the NRA than any other member of Congress from Colorado."
VERDICT: This is true, though it's the National Rifle Association political action committee.
Since the 2007-08 election cycle, Coffman has received $41,650 from the NRA PAC.
Rep. Mike Coffman: $41,650
Rep. Scott Tipton: $19,950 (since 2009-10 cycle)
Rep. Ken Buck: $14,950
Rep. Doug Lamborn: $14,500
Sen. Cory Gardner: $5,950
This is only NRA PAC money and does not represent contributions from any other gun rights groups.
No Democratic member of Colorado's Congressional delegation have received NRA money.
Also, Coffman has consistently faced a Democratic challenger that received help from outside PACs, so it would not be unusual to see the NRA PAC give Coffman more in contributions than other Republicans in Colorado who did not have competitive races.
CLAIM: "When it comes to background checks that stop criminals and the severely mentally ill from buying guns, he voted to weaken them."
VERDICT: This is misleading because it misrepresents Coffman's votes.
In 2017, Coffman voted to repeal the rule submitted by the Social Security Administration relating to Implementation of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.
What does that mean?
Coffman voted to repeal an Obama-era rule that was going to require the Social Security Administration to notify the National Instant Criminal Background Check System of individuals who receive benefits because of a mental impairment.
The rule had not yet taken effect, when the rule was repealed with 235 votes, including Coffman's. His vote did not change any current law that currently prevents those with mental illness from obtaining a gun after going through a background check. His vote didn't weaken background check law.
Another vote referenced in the ad is more convoluted.
Shortly after the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas, lawmakers kept asking for a vote on a bill to enhance the reporting of mental illness to the NICS background check system. During a House floor discussion on a non-gun-related bill, lawmakers asked for an amendment to be added that, if passed, would force the discussion of the background check bill as soon as the non-gun-related bill was done.
Coffman voted "yes" to continue to discussion on the non-gun-related bill. He did not vote to weaken background check laws, his vote -- as well as the 244 others who voted to continue the non-gun-related bill -- kept the background check bill from being discussed.
BOTTOM LINE: Yes, Rep. Mike Coffman receives the most money from the NRA PAC than any of the other Colorado Congressional delegation. His votes that are referenced in this ad did not weaken background checks for the severely mentally ill. One vote kept a rule from taking effect, but did nothing to impact current law, and the other vote kept a background check bill from being immediately discussed, he didn't vote against the content of the bill.