The final recent ad comes from American Unity PAC, an interest group that sprang to prominence as a GOP ally to groups fighting to expand same-sex marriage rights. In this case, Coffman doesn’t support gay marriage, but he has stepped forward to support some gay-rights measures. Among his actions is signing on this year as a rare Republican co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. That bill is pending in Congress; Republican House leaders haven’t allowed it to proceed yet. The TV ad praises Coffman for reflecting Colorado’s values of “common sense and compromise” by supporting the ENDA bill and a few other bipartisan efforts, including the Violence Against Women Act and a bill to crack down on sexual assault in the military.
The group is spending $300,000 on the TV ad and five mailers that echo similar themes. They generally get the facts right, while loudly playing up Coffman’s bucking of his party. “Mike is a thoughtful and open-minded leader who works hard to represent all Coloradans, regardless of who they are,” said Jeff Cook-McCormac, a senior advisor to the American Unity PAC. It’s the kind of appeal that aims to blunt the intense criticism that Romanoff and Democratic groups have aimed at Coffman.