If nothing else describes Rep. Mike Coffman, dogged determination certainly does. On Tuesday, Coffman held a sub-committee meeting at the State Capitol where he took to task a lack of leadership at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has led to cost overruns and delays in major construction projects needed by veterans. As The Denver Post reports:
Construction delays, cost overruns and litigation over the veterans hospital under construction in Aurora are evidence of systemic incompetence, members of a House subcommittee on Veterans Affairs in Denver said Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, introduced legislation in February to speed up the construction process and to require a project manager from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Coffman said Tuesday that lack of leadership and competence in large construction projects at the VA has caused a year’s delay, cost overruns of more than $470 million — bringing the project’s cost to more than $1 billion — and triggered lawsuits for failure to pay contractors.
“You’ve got problems at every project,” Coffman said to the VA’s head of construction, Glenn Haggstrom.
As election season comes up, Coffman’s track record of being one of the leading advocates for veterans in Congress (not to mention, his own combat military experience) certainly will have them lining up behind up him. Yet, the almost-rabid determination Coffman uses to ensure veterans are treated with the respect and dignity they have earned, as well as receiving the benefits every American owes them, will make a strong impression with all of Coffman’s constituents. If they have a problem, he will fix it. If their voice isn’t being heard in Congress, he’ll shout for them. Coffman has already demonstrated through his extensive outreach to the new parts of his congressional district that he feels responsible for representing each and every one of them. He takes his constituents issues personally.
That is why Andrew Romanoff really has no shot in this race. It’s not that he carpet-bagged into the district. It’s not that he shares more views with Nancy Pelosi than the average Coloradan. It’s not that he’s a career politician. The reason Romanoff can’t compete against Coffman is because Coffman has an iron will to get things done and a need to be the type of representative that he believes each of his constituents deserve. When those two qualities are combined, an honest opponent would bow out and admit there is no way he could be a better representative for the people of CD-6.
But then that would mean Romanoff would have to get a real job, so he’ll at least hang around until November.