Even though the 2008 election is eleven months away, the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Representative Mark Udall and former Representative Bob Schaffer has many across the Grand Valley talking. A lot of that is due in part to one political ad that is fueling the fire.The Cuban bill was to open up an area for drilling - yes, with sensible precautions - but Udall took the extreme position of banning any drilling on the Roan under any conditions. This is an inconsistency his campaign spindoctors cannot hide.
If you've been watching TV for the last few weeks, chances are you have probably seen the Cuban Hero ad. It calls U.S. Representative Mark Udall (D) Boulder a Cuban hero for sponsoring a bill that would allow U.S. compaines to explore drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba.
"What they're trying to portray here is the fact that Representative Udall is supporting offshore drilling off the coast of Cuba when we need to be looking at drilling here," said Kent Baughman, a Republican.
The ad claims Udall's fierce stance on protecting the Roan Plateau from drillers contradicts his desire to let American companies drill in Cuban waters. The Udall campaign team says that's not the case, and the area they are looking at is not environmentally sensitive.
"The legislation specifically states the same precautions must take place with American companies exploring these waters as they would if they were exploring in American waters," said Mike Melanson, Udall's Campaign Manager.
Especially when they've been caught lying before on this very issue.
Now, according to the KKCO report, the Brer Rabbit spin is that the Cuban drilling line of attack is backfiring:
Udall's team says the negative ad is having the opposite effect on its campaign.First of all, the collective judgment of the Boulder Democrat defenders on the effectiveness of the Cuban Hero ad should be questioned, since they've already fallen on their faces attempting to inject nonsensical charges of racism into the debate. The distraction didn't work.
"We're certainly seeing an increase in our fundraising because of these commercials," said Melanson.
Now, perhaps the Boulder Democrat is having to tap into more out-of-state funding precisely because the ads have been effective and the race is not where the Democrats want it to be. They know this race will be desperately close, if they can keep pouring money into Udall's campaign. It seems likely Udall is not looking at investments, but subsidies, something Democrats know very well.
We can check out the January campaign finance reports to gain more certainty.