Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman donated $20,000 he received from disgraced Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock to a group that helps veterans’ families. He donated it just three days after Schock announced he would resign, according to a document filed with the Federal Election Commission.
The money went to a national organization called Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. The donation was made March 20.
As The Colorado Independent first reported, Coffman, who represents Colorado’s swing 6th District just outside of Denver, was a top beneficiary of Schock cash. Coffman received the campaign donations from Schock’s Republican Generation Y political action committee over the course of the last seven years.
As of this morning, Coffman’s office did not respond to messages The Colorado Independent sent asking him to confirm that the donation to the Tragedy Assistance Program was the Schock money.
“We donated the money after Aaron Schock resigned and donated it to a veterans organization,” Coffman spokesman Tyler Sandberg told Ernest Luning at the Colorado Statesman last week. Sandberg said the congressman “didn’t feel a need to trumpet the donation” and that “anyone with access to Google knows that Mike Coffman and Aaron Schock didn’t get along.”
Schock became a top fundraiser in Congress after he was elected in 2008. He was only 27, and he took fast to the high life, documenting his world travel, brushes with celebrity and stays at five-star hotels. After a story broke on his lavishly redecorated congressional office — tricked out to mimic a parlor-room set from the PBS British period drama Donwton Abbey — irregularities in his spending and reimbursement schedules began jumping into the news cycle at a regular clip.
Coffman, a military veteran, has served as a state office holder for decades. He is a top potential candidate to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in 2016.
Bennet recently donated $10,000 he received in 2010 from Sen. Bob Menendez’s New Millennium PAC. Menendez has been indicted on federal corruption charges.