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It was an interesting crowd in the press conference room today. Any thoughts on who would run a Coffman SOS campaign?

And here's a wild thought - what if Mike really plans on running for the 7th, but is going to play coy (like everyone else is doing) until he comes back?

Roger D

The Colorado Constitution is pretty clear about the Treasurer. There is absolutely no provision for a temporary or interim Treasurer. Coffman either resigns, or remains Treasurer in absentia. The issue of federal requirment that a job be held open for those called to active duty, simply does not apply here, (regardless of whether it could be construed to apply to elected officials).

If Coffman wants to remain Treasurer, he simply does not resign. He goes to Iraq and comes back.

Now there may be other considerations that could impact, but the only way the Governor can appoint a new Treasurer is if Coffman resigns or is otherwise removed from office.

The biggest issue is the official duties that only the Treasurer can perform, i.e. signing and certifying under oath each quarter the amount and deposit locations of the State's funds and other duties. I suppose that could be done from Iraq, and certainly the logistical day to day running of the office can be done by staff and Ben, etc., but I am not sure that some things could become problematic over the next 9 months.

There is also the potential issue of the clause in the constitution (which I cited in an earlier thread) that requires personal attention to duties by the state's officers.

This and the other above issues might be finessed and Coffman could officially remain Treasurer. However, I repeat, I don't think there is any circumstance in which, if he doesn't resign that anyone else can constitutionally be named Treasurer.

And if he does resign, the only way he could get his job back on his return is for whomever had been appointed, in turn resigns and the Governor then appoints Coffman.


Though let's be clear; Coffman simply said he was "stepping down".

Believe me - those words were chosen carefully. If he and the gov. can come to an amicable agreement, Coffman may very well “resign” – only to be “re-appointed” upon his return. It’s happened many times before in Colorado Politics, and could easily happen again.

It’s a nutty political word out there right now…


Coffman resigns, interim replacement appointed who resigns when Coffman gets back, Coffman reappointed.

What's the problem?


The Confederacy said that federal requirements simply does not apply here.

Donald E. L. Johnson

I don't expect Coffman to do anything that makes him look like Slick Willy or Family Values Bill Owens. He's managed to duck out of two races he can't win or doesn't want to run in as well as to get out of having to campaign against Ref C, which he has strongly indicated he opposes. Thus, he protects his record as a loyal R, finds a way to go to Iraq, take a break from Colorado politics and prepare fot the '08 U.S. senate run if Wayne retires or for a job in Washington or the private sector after he returns.


Very interesting POLITICAL move by the Treasurer. I say "political" because a commitment to Iraq short of a year and just in time for the 2006 elections has got to be seen, less as a patriotic move, and more as a political one. Why Secretary of State? After restoring democracy in Iraq, one would think a more lofty ambition is more appropriate back in Colorado? It would be interesting to know how the Marine Corps came to agree to this unusual arrangement?


Coffman agreed to the call. It was the Marines idea.

marine family

Ballotbullet - the Marines do 7 month deployments. Mike's going to Iraq for 7 months. What's the unusual part?

All you're doing is proving your unfamiliarity with the Corps.

Roger D

RedHawk, et al:

The scenario I suggested and you have affirmed as a likely possibility, is the only way that Coffman leaves has another Treasurer appointed and then returns to his job.

The one fly in the ointment under that scenario is that the Senate must confirm the new Treasurer.

The Guv can appoint after the end of the session next week and the new Treasurer can serve without confirmation until the Senate reconvenes (presumably in January of 2006, barring the calling of a special session). However, not only would the 'new' Treasurer need to be confirmed by the Senate after it reconvenes, if a subsequent reappointment of Coffman were to occur in March or such, then the Senate would also need to confirm that appointment. I remind you that the Senate is controlled by Democrats. Too much playing fast and loose with the Constitution might not play very well, and accusations of political gamesmanship will undoubtedly come up. It also, frankly, might not really play very well with the general public. Coffman's patriotism could disappear in a perception of political opportunism.

Owens could wait to name Coffman to the post after the 2006 session and continue to avoid a Senate confirmation process for Coffman, but again, I think there could be some negative political fallout to that kind of tinkering with the constitutional process.

Coffman's best bet is to resign, go do his duty, return and run for the 7th in a noble fashion. He gains nothing by becoming involved in manipulations. What does he care if he returns to the Treasurers office in March or later. Being free of responsibility allows him to run unfettered and as a war hero. He can devote full time to winning a primary and possibly a general election. Running as the Treasurer at that point does not really bring much to the table for him.



The Marine Corp called him up. He is not running for the 7th.
No manipulation bubba.


Keith - he wasn't "called up" in the usual sense, this was the end result of a year of conversation with his friends in the Marine Corps. It was voluntary.

 marine family

And another thing, for those of you who wich to cast political aspersions on the length of Mike's deployment. To suggest that the Corps would alter their procedure to accomodate the political whimy of a soldier is nothing short of ludicrous. The Corps just don't work that way.


I understand. He was asked.


So it was ALL the Marine Corps idea? Good thing Mike didn't attempt a run for Governor. Are things going so badly in Iraq that the Marine Corps has to call up forty-something office-holders? I thought you had to be on active reserve to get called-up? I am still not convinced something isn't quite right about this...

I know

Guys, this is really pretty simple. Coffman was approached a year ago to do this (help restore a Democratic Government.) He loved the idea but didn’t think it was realistic at that specific point in his life.

For at least nine months, he’s known that his expertise was needed (civil service, legislative and monetary background and, not to mention, Combat Qualified and an Expert Shot) and asked for a 90 day rotation.

The Marine Corps said no-go; they needed a full commitment.

Coffman prayed about this, discussed the possibility with Cynthia and his Mother, and decided that this was the path for him. He agreed to the Marine Corps offer, sees it as an important contribution to the Freedom or Iraq, and feels humbled to be able to do this.

And – just like thousands of other Coloradans who voluntarily serve overseas, he’d like to know that he has a job when he gets back.

Where’s the confusion??


I don't think it was all the Marine Corps idea. I think Coffman wants to serve his country.

I'm sorry I used the term "called up".

I Know

It's no secret - the Marines keep tabs of every retired officer. When they need doctors, they know who to call. Same with JAG officers, Accountants, Construction Engineers, etc.

Coffman offers CIVIL SERVICE EXPERTISE and is still in great shape, remembers his M16 training and knows all about the lay of the land. Literraly.

May I say? It seems we have a lot of folks in this conversation who neither understand nor appreciate the NEED TO SERVE.


Good for Coffman for wanting to serve his country. I'll be more convinced that this wasn't tainted by political ambition -- if he has the integrity to resign as Treasurer. If he fails to do that, I don't care how much time he serves or what his specific duties might be overseas -- the thing will look like a political "deployment."


I will never understand this about Dems. They love to use the fact that our military is stretched thin in Iraq, yet at the same time they will sarcastically assume that 40 year olds dont get called up. You can't have it both ways.
I know many officers in Iraq who are over 40. Some over 50. Do you think they are all 20 year old grunts?


I think I agree with 'I Know'. Mike wants to serve, and wants to know there will be a job for him when he returns. He's just like countless other reservists and national guardsmen.

Give the guy a break.

Gov Owens - let the guy do this for our country and let him know he'll have a place when he comes back. It's the least you could do.


Folks - speculating over his motives is a waste of time. What truly matters are his actions and the bottom line is that he is going to Iraq to serve. People have a whole variety of reasons for serving, financial, career and yes even political...but, what is important is the action of service.

Nathan Hale

This isn't the first time that Coffman has done this sort of thing. If you remember correctly Coffman took an unpaid leave of absence from the Legislature in 1990 to serve in Desert Storm. I think Coffman's intentions today are just as admirable and it is wrong to criticise anyone who for whatever reason who has decided to "serve."

Nathan Hale

Hey - there can't be too Nathan Hale BLOGGER's around here.

I think Mike is a great American and one of the last of his kind, the real men in politics.

We should pray for his family and soon to be wife.

Donald E. L. Johnson

I don't think Mike will have a problem finding a higher paying job or starting a business when he returns. Thus, it is funny to watch Norma Anderson, a R who wants to give the Rs' candidate to succeed Mike in '06, say he should resign even though he doesn't want to. And then the Denver Post editorial says he should get his job back when he returns---so that a D will have a chance of winning the seat in '06.

YOu've just got to give Mike and his bride-to-be a lot of credit for their courange and eagerness to serve in our increasingly successful War on Islamic Terrorims, of which Iraq is a major front.

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