Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Congrats, Senator-Elect Udall

It's official: Colorado is a Blue state. As much as it pains me to say it, congratulations to Senator-elect Mark Udall. I can only hope Republicans draw the correct lessons from this election result.

Farewell to the campaign. The eyes of Colorado are now upon Mark Udall to see how he will govern.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bob Schaffer's Most Confident Prediction Needed to Secure a Victory Tomorrow

The Pueblo Chieftain reports a confident prediction from the Republican candidate in Colorado's U.S. Senate race:
Former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer drew heavily on that theme Saturday morning as he spoke to about 40 fellow Pueblo Republicans about his Senate race against U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo, at the McCain-Palin headquarters Pueblo office on Main Street. Schaffer has been trailing Udall in recent polls but he argued that was also true for past GOP winners, including retiring U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard and former Gov. Bill Owens.

Noting that he'd sat with both men at a recent rally for Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain, Schaffer said, "Senator Allard told me he'd have been glad to be just 5 points down in the polls at this time (in 2002). And he went on to win by 4 points."
This is an exaggeration, but still contains hope for a shred of optimism. The final Denver Post poll before the 2002 election had Tom Strickland leading Wayne Allard 42-41. Allard indeed won by 4 points - a 5-point swing in his direction.

Trailing by 4 points according to the Post's final poll, Bob Schaffer would need a similar favorable swing to eke out a victory. Except the unpredictable dynamics of 2008 make this development far from a guarantee. We'll refrain from making our own prediction, but will report back to comment on the final results tomorrow evening.

And regardless of the polls, get out and vote.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Denver Post: Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall Race Closer Than Many Have Suggested

No one is saying that Bob Schaffer is exactly a lock, or even a favorite, at this point. But obituaries of his campaign have been written prematurely. Polls showing Mark Udall with a double-digit lead? You think they might be skewed a bit?

From today's Denver Post:
Overall, Udall leads Republican Bob Schaffer by 47 percent to 43 percent, a small drop from the five-point lead he enjoyed in a Denver Post poll a month ago and one that shows a significantly smaller lead for Udall than other recent polls.

Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey is the choice for 3 percent of voters, while 7 percent remain undecided.
The Post's survey mirrors the result of the Schaffer campaign's own internal polling, which Friday showed Udall with a 46-43 lead.

Tuesday will tell us the whole story, and turnout will be a big factor.

Does Colorado really need another Ken Salazar in Washington?

Although I've been listed as a contributor to Schaffer v Udall for some time, this is my first post here. The demands of two jobs, school, and teenage children at home have prevented me from being as involved in this campaign as I would like to have been. I thought it important that I weigh in now before the campaign is over, to give my perspective on the choice before us.

Back in 2006, Ken Salazar ran against Republican candidate Pete Coors for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Ben Nighthorse Campbell. During that campaign, Salazar assured us that he was a moderate, and would consider the views of everyone in Colorado. For his first two years, as a member of the minority party in the House, he did work in a bipartisan manner. Once the Democrat party took the majority, this behavior changed immediately.

Over the past two years, Salazar has been in lock-step with the Senate leadership, which has accomplished almost nothing during its tenure. Mark Udall, has done the same thing during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives. Udall was against drilling for our own oil before he was for it. Salazar is fine with us having to pay $10/gal. for gasoline. Senator Obama, whom Mark Udall supported as a Democratic Party Superdelegate wants to bankrupt the coal industry. This will cost Colorado a substantial number of jobs if he goes through with it, and Mark Udall will support him.

Many people talk about the unpopularity of our current President. There is no doubt that this is true. He has frustrated members of both major parties with his policies. Yet, there is another branch of government that is even less popular than the Executive branch. It is the 110th Congress, of which Mark Udall is a member. Their favorability ratings are half that of the President's; they have even seen single digits for the first time in history.

Change has been discussed often during this political campaign. Almost everyone will agree that we need some sort of change. The question I have to ask you is this: Will electing Mark Udall help to bring change, when he is currently a part of the problem?

Ultimately, this election comes down to character and trust. Mark Udall promised to vote against the summer House recess so we could have real debate on energy policy. He broke that promise because he was too busy meeting with fundraisers instead of doing his job.

Bob Schaffer keeps his promises. When he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives years ago, he promised to only spend two terms there. He kept his promise, even after a plea from the President of the United States.

We need someone in Washington to represent us that will keep his promises. We need someone that will fight for Colorado, not by bringing home bacon, but by strengthening the economy of the nation, and allowing us to utilize the natural resources that we have to our benefit and that of our nation.

We don't need another Ken Salazar in Washington. That's what electing Mark Udall will give us. We need a man of character, and someone that knows how to get things done.

The choice is clear. Colorado needs Bob Schaffer, for U.S. Senate.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Facilitating Fraud by Disabling Online Contribution Security ... Mark Udall, Too?

Apparently the disabling of basic security settings on online contributions isn't isolated to the Barack Obama campaign. According to Ed Sealover in the Rocky Mountain News, an intrepid Coloradan tested Mark Udall's contribution system:
Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams said that because Udall accepts money from sources such as prepaid credit cards that allow users to be anonymous, he can skirt campaign-finance limits and laws....

Wadhams said that after he'd gotten a tip that Udall, a Democrat, allowed the same practice, a Schaffer supporter made two $1 donations under the name of Steve Mason and included a fake address without questioning from Udall's Web site. The unnamed supporter tried the same thing with Schaffer's site but was prohibited from doing so, Wadhams said.

Schaffer finance director Janel Domenico said the Republican's Web site requires credit card users to input their billing ZIP code and rejects anyone whose ZIP code does not match with the cards. This is standard practice among stores, too, and a campaign would have to disable part of its security settings to accept prepaid cards without a billing address, she said.

Without any proof of who the donor is, a campaign could take money from individuals who want to give more than the $2,300 limit or from foreign residents who are banned from donating, Wadhams said.

"It opens the door for fraud," Wadhams said. "I don't understand why they would do it."
Nor do I.

Is this in the Democratic playbook for 2008? Congratulations if they've found a legal loophole whereby they can disable basic security and collect funds from who knows where. I'm sure once they're in power over all branches of government, closing the loophole will be at or near the top of their reform agenda.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Latching On to Bridget Johnson's Live-Blog of the Final (Phew!) Schaffer-Udall Debate

We here at Schaffer v Udall are too burned out for the final debate between Colorado's two major U.S. Senate candidates. The Rocky Mountain News' Bridget Johnson live-blogged the CBS4 showdown. Here are a few key excerpts we enjoyed:
The closed captioning on TV says that Udall just said "filly blusstering," Schaffer fires back -- still with that forced smile -- about how he would represent values in U.S. Senate.
Udall asks what Schaffer even did in Congress. Bob is on a tear, rattling off stuff from the CDC to ranchland to missile defense.
Lynn asks about Department of Peace moonbattery proposal. Udall said it was "duplicative" and "made some sense at the time." He said he made his point and then it was time to move on. Is Congress just for grandstanding, then? No wonder nothing gets done. [link added]
Udall is asked on card check, without the panel describing that it's a labor bill for the folks at home. Schaffer happily provides the explanation and goes after Udall's jugular on it. The closed captioning called it "car check." This debate is so unfair to the deaf. [link added]
And finally:
Schaffer is on a cool tear against socialism. No redistributing of wealth and take from those of ability to give to those in need, he says.
Thanks, Bridget. We look forward to meeting you in person some day.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bob Schaffer's 11th Hour Campaign Ad: The Plea for a Balanced Congress

Bob Schaffer's Character, Record Explain His Support of Ted Stevens' Resignation

Bob Schaffer is a proven man of integrity who kept his term-limits pledge and left Congress in 2002, so his response to a question of whether he supports the resignation of convicted corrupt Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), the answer was a no-brainer:
Pressed today by a reporter on whether Stevens should step down, Schaffer simply said, “Yeah.”
Enough said. Bob Schaffer's character and record speak loudly.

Bob Schaffer Barnstorms Western Slope In Search of Late-Breaking Undecided Votes

Some have given up on his cause. He embraces the label "underdog". Yet as reported in today's Rocky Mountain News, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer is touring the Western part of the state to churn out every vote from where internal polling shows the most undecideds remain:
He came to the Western Slope armed with messages about cutting taxes to spur the economy and increasing domestic energy production - something that played especially well with the employees of the natural gas company he addressed in the morning. But more than usual, Schaffer emphasized the need to keep Democrats from winning nine more Senate seats this year and holding a filibuster-proof majority.

In answering a question at one event, Schaffer implied that the integrity of the U.S. Constitution is at stake if Democrats control all top federal offices.

Debates over international treaties and Supreme Court justices will not happen if Democrats can cut off dissenting Republican voices, Schaffer told voters at five different stops.

"It will ensure a strategy toward higher taxes," he said. "It will ensure a strategy toward surrender and defeat in the war on terror. It will ensure a strategy on energy that involves less production instead of more."
A similar argument for divided government was made by both the Grand Junction Sentinel and Pueblo Chieftain in endorsing Bob Schaffer.

Next week's results will tell us how successful was Bob Schaffer's last-minute pitch to western Coloradans.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Analysis: Mark Udall's Agenda Would Boost Federal Spending by 55 Billion Dollars

From the National Taxpayers Union Federation cost analysis of Colorado's U.S. Senate candidates' policy proposals:
[Mark] Udall has offered 54 proposals that would affect federal spending -- 25 of which would increase annual outlays, three of which would decrease expenditures, and 26 of which have unquantifiable fiscal effects -- for a net annual spending hike of $55.3 billion. [emphasis added]
By comparison, Bob Schaffer's proposals would increase federal outlays by a net amount of $5.8 billion. Not terrific, but nearly $50 billion better on taxpayers.

For those interested in reining in government spending, there's simply no contest. Mark Udall will be too costly for Colorado. If you think the recent record of the Bush administration in increasing federal government expenditures is one we need to continue, by all means vote for Udall. If you think we need to shift gears and head toward greater fiscal responsibility, Bob Schaffer is a much better choice.

Mark Udall Wants to Redecorate Your Future Fourth of July Celebrations

Rocky Mountain Right is correct. I can't add any (serious) comment to this unedited quote in the Rocky Mountain News:
"Green is the new red, white and blue," [Mark] Udall said. "We need new leadership in this country."
You might want to consider re-ordering those Fourth of July decorations. Or just swap them out for the St. Patrick's Day paraphernalia. "Top o' the nation's birthday to ye."