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GOP super PAC takes aim at Army vet Jason Crow’s record as advocate for veterans

Author: Ernest Luning - August 24, 2018 - Updated: August 24, 2018

Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow is pictured in a Congressional Leadership Fund ad attacking the Army veteran for his record on a state board that advocates for veterans. The ad was set to begin airing on Aug. 24 in the Denver media market. (via YouTube)

The leading House Republican super PAC is launching an attack ad Friday targeting Democratic congressional candidate Jason Crow, a decorated Army combat veteran, for missing meetings of a state board while the VA scandal brewed.

The hard-hitting 30-second ad, set to air in the Denver market and on digital platforms, is the Congressional Leadership Fund’s first salvo in the hotly contested 6th Congressional District race, which pits Crow against five-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Army and Marine Corps veteran.

One of dozens of military veterans nominated by Democrats in hopes of winning the House majority in the upcoming midterms, Crow served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with regular and special forces and was awarded a Bronze Star.

The ad links Crow’s service on the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs from late 2009 until mid 2014 — a tenure pitched by his campaign as one of the first-time candidate’s strongest assets — to the scandal over delayed patient care that engulfed the Veterans Administration at about the time Crow departed the state board.

“Jason Crow didn’t show up for work, skipping a third of the board’s meetings, neglecting veterans,” the ad says.

According to board minutes, Crow was marked absent at 35 percent of the 51 board meetings that took place while he was a member.

A spokesman for Crow said the campaign wouldn’t comment before seeing the ad, which was made available to Colorado Politics before its public launch.

“Jason Crow is another all talk, no action politician who turned his back on Colorado veterans,” said Courtney Alexander, CLF’s communications director, in a statement. “It was Crow’s job to advocate for veterans, but Crow failed Colorado veterans, and they suffered because of mismanagement at the VA.”

The PAC, aligned with outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan, has reserved $2.2 million in ads for the race in the suburban district, which spans parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties on the east side of the metro area.

In addition to serving on the state board — tasked with monitoring and assessing all veteran-related programs in Colorado — Crow co-chaired the Military and Veterans Affairs Transition Committee and was named volunteer lawyer of the year by the Denver Bar Association for his pro-bono work.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.