Truth Check: Crow represented crooks but he also served his country

DENVER — The Truth Check team continues to look at the candidates and their commercials in the 2018 midterms. Every advertisement that claims something -- we will research and determine if the candidates are actually telling the truth.

You can watch our previous “Truth Check” segments here and you can read our criteria and standards here.

The latest Truth Check involves the highly competitive Colorado 6th Congressional District Race between Republican incumbent Mike Coffman and Democrat Jason Crow. In the commercial Coffman, who is officially sponsoring the ad, is attacking Crow. 

This race is particularly interesting because Coffman is in a district that went overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton. While Coffman won his race by more than 30,000 votes some believe an "anti-Trump wave" could negatively impact the sitting Congressman.

CLAIM #1 

Mike Coffman left office twice for duty in Iraq 

Exact quote in ad: "Mike Coffman has spent his life in service of country -- in the Army and Marines -- leaving office twice for duty in Iraq."

Verdict: True

Reason: Coffman left his job as State Treasurer for 9 months in 2005. In 1990, Coffman also took time away from the State House of Representatives to serve in the first Gulf War. 

CLAIM #2 

Coffman served his country while Jason Crow took a different path

Exact quote in ad: "A life dedicated to a cause greater than himself - Jason Crow has taken a different path."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: The ad makes no mention of Jason Crow's military service. Crow was an Army Ranger and is a recipient of the Bronze Star. Crow served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Truth Check  believes the claim is misleading because one might even suggest Crow has a similar path to Coffman - not a different one.

CLAIM #3 

Crow is a lawyer specializing in corruption and con men

Exact quote in ad: "Crow is a lawyer specializing in corruption. He has represented corporate con men who stole from schools, pensions, and even defrauded veterans."

Verdict: True

Reason:  Crow's campaign team does not dispute the representation. The Truth Check believes important context is needed.

Crow graduated with his law degree in 2009 and joined Holland and Hart LLP shortly thereafter. Crow was named a Rising Star among White Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys for several years.

Crow did represent a man who fraudulently sold insurance plans to individuals. Gerald Rising Jr. was sentenced to more than five years in prison in 2012. 

Crow also represented a VA official who defrauded the Department of Veterans Affairs.

However - Crow was a Junior Associate at Holland and Hart when he represented these clients. The Truth Check acknowledges that young attorneys have little say in which cases they take. Crow also was removed from the VA fraud case weeks after joining it.

Truth Check Team  believes Crow's work with the firm opens him up to fair and in many cases truthful criticism. The Truth Check also believes it is important to note that Coffman, according to FEC records, has taken campaign contributions from Holland and Hart, the same law firm he is criticizing in the ad.

CLAIM #4

Crow represents crooks 

Exact quote in ad: "Crooks and Con Men that is who Jason Crow represents."

Verdict: Misleading

Reason: Jason Crow has represented his fair share of "con men" in his career. But he has also represented others in desperate need of legal representation as well. He was named "Volunteer Lawyer of the Year" in 2010 by the Denver Bar Association. Crow also devoted over 1,000 hours of community service to Phoenix Multisport, a sober active community that helps addicts and their families recover.

AlertMe