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."

Monday, October 27, 2008

And the Campaign Gets Weirder: The Bob Schaffer-Joe The Plumber Connection

From the Rocky Mountain News, proof that this campaign can get weirder and that Ohio really is a small place:
Bob the U.S. Senate candidate, it turns out, is related by marriage to Joe the Plumber.

Joseph Wurzelbacher, the now-famous Ohio plumber referenced by Republican presidential candidate John McCain in the last presidential debate, has a family connection to GOP Senate candidate Bob Schaffer. But before anyone starts requesting autographs, know this: Neither Schaffer nor his wife, Maureen, have met Joe.

The Schaffers are natives of the Cincinnati area. Since Joe came to light, Schaffer has found out that Wurzelbacher is a distant cousin of Maureen's father, who also happens to be a plumber.
There must not be much left new for reporters to tell on the campaign trail.

But Bob Schaffer sure fired up the crowd of 2-3,000 people tonight at the DTC Marriott, providing warmup for the Denver Townhall Talkers Tour. Schaffer yard signs and bumper stickers went like hotcakes, and plenty more volunteers were signed up to work on the Victory '08 campaign. Republicans in Colorado aren't going down without a fight.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How Big is Colorado's Barack Obama and Bob Schaffer Voting Contingent?

Over at Human Events, Ross Kaminsky notes the challenges faced locally by the GOP but says that Colorado races are "still in Republican reach". Kaminsky reprints part of his recent interview with U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, who answered the question how the campaign is doing:
Schaffer: The response we’re getting on the campaign trail is very encouraging, with large and enthusiastic crowds at our events, much like the enthusiasm we just saw for Sarah Palin’s recent events in Colorado. Our phone banking is contacting tens of thousands of voters every night. The response is extraordinarily encouraging. We even run across surprisingly large numbers of voters who identify themselves as “supporting Obama and Schaffer.” [emphasis added]
Bob Schaffer undoubtedly is going to need a large percentage of the late-breaking undecided voters to come his way, and that includes some Obama supporters, too. Yes, voting for Barack Obama AND Bob Schaffer seems like an odd combination, but plenty of independents will be shaking out their decisions in all sorts of ways that don't make sense to the political insiders.

What that means for outcomes on November 4 is anyone's guess at this point.

Fact Confirmed: League of Conservation Voters a Democrat Partisan Attack Arm

Remember the League of Conservation Voters (LCV)?
Well, this week has brought more confirmation that LCV is nothing more than a highly partisan attack arm of the Democratic Party:
An article in the trade publication Greenwire reaffirms the findings of Senator James Inhofe’s (R-OK) ongoing oversight investigation into the multi-million dollar funding and partisan political activities of environmental groups. The Greenwire article by reporter Alex Kaplun reported that “since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.”...

Greenwire excerpt: With the 2008 campaign in the homestretch, major environmental groups are spending money and time on a half-dozen or so congressional candidates who figure to play prominent roles in future Capitol Hill energy and conservation debates. The charge is being led by the League of Conservation Voters, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club. While the three have endorsed dozens of congressional candidates, each has focused on just a couple of contests. The environmentalists have spent more than $3 million in congressional races on "independent expenditures" -- essentially campaigns the groups are running to assist or attack a particular candidate, campaign finance records show. That amount does not include campaign contributions given directly to the candidates, though those dollars tend to represent only a small percentage of the amount the organizations actually spend in a typical election year. And while environmental groups have endorsed a number of Republican candidates, since the start of the fall campaign, every dollar spent by these organizations has been aimed at helping Democrats.
Hardly a shock to us, of course, but perhaps enlightening to undecided Colorado voters.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We Would Have Guessed Mark Udall Did His Campaign Shopping at Banana Republic

We don't have much to add, but we'd be derelict in our blogging if we failed to bring attention to this tidbit that the Grand Junction Sentinel's Mike Saccone uncovered: Mark Udall reported spending $524.04 on "ad clothing" at Eddie Bauer from his campaign funds.

That's funny. With his support of taking away the secret ballot from workplace elections, we would have guessed Mark Udall did his campaign shopping at Banana Republic. (Let the subtle humor sink in, if you must.)

NRSC Ad: Liberal Mark Udall in Lockstep with Nancy Pelosi 94 Percent of the Time

The latest ad from the National Republican Senatorial Committee - still in Colorado - reminds voters of Mark Udall's lockstep Left-wing voting record (voting with Nancy Pelosi 94 percent of the time):

Sure, the marching effect is a little weird, but it makes a point for undecided voters that we made about Mark Udall's record many months ago.

Bob Schaffer Ad Goes After Mark Udall for Votes Against Mortgage Lender Oversight

The Bob Schaffer campaign's latest ad attacks Mark Udall where it hurts:

Go here for more details on Mark Udall's votes against oversight of government mortgage lenders at the center of our current financial crisis. His hypocritical denial has only made the situation worse.

Rumored DSCC Pullout Leaves One of Two Possibilities of Democrat Deception

The Denver Post reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is pulling out of Colorado. Now frankly, I'm not ready to buy it, seeing as how the media jumped off the cliff last week with inaccurate reports about the DSCC's counterpart withdrawing from the state.

But if it is true, maybe there's a connection with this fundraising email sent out very recently from the Mark Udall campaign:
The bad news: Bob Schaffer's report revealed he has stockpiled a huge sum of money -- nearly $3 million -- for use in the final weeks before Election Day. That's a far higher "cash-on-hand" figure than we reported, an alarming advantage we must act to remedy right now.

So we've set an urgent internet fundraising goal of $250,000 -- which we absolutely need to reach to close the money gap before Election Day. Please contribute whatever you can afford towards this final effort.
Mark Udall is telling his supporters that his opponent Bob Schaffer has an "alarming advantage." Meanwhile, we're supposed to believe the PR of "state Democratic sources" that Udall "is comfortably ahead."

So we're left with two choices. Either:
  • Democratic leaders are lying to the Denver Post and its readers in an attempt to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, OR

  • Mark Udall is lying to his supporters to wring money out of them that he doesn't need
With undecided voters starting to tune in for the last two weeks of the campaign, now would seem an inopportune time for Mark Udall and the Democrats to cede the airwaves. We'll have to wait and see which alternative is indeed the case.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Krista Kafer Tells Why She is "For Schaffer"

Krista Kafer, a friend of SvU and a former Bob Schaffer Congressional staffer, explains why she is "for Schaffer", dispelling the Lefty caricature of a good man:
Bob is incredibly bright. I never had to write a speech; Bob could speak extemporaneously about any issue with clarity and thoughtfulness. He worked late and actually read legislation before voting it. Exclusive parties and elite dinners held no interest to him; when not working he wanted to be with his family. In stark contrast to other elected leaders in Washington, Bob is egalitarian through and through. From the head of NASA to the 16-year-old page, Bob treated everyone in the same unpretentious manner.
And Krista's compelling conclusion:
American needs a new kind of leader. Someone who will stand up for the forgotten man and woman in this election: the person who does not want what others have, the person who wants only to keep what she has earned. We need someone who understands that government is supposed to protect our lives, our liberty and our property, not take them away. I am that forgotten American and Bob Schaffer is the one who represents me.
Well said.

Thank You, Rocky Mountain News, for Spotlighting Mark Udall's Pandering

You've seen the mind-numbingly grating ad. Well, yesterday the Rocky Mountain News called out Mark Udall for his silly pandering:
Udall believes the economy is totally rigged against average Americans? And he says he's going to solve it with tax cuts and new energy technologies? Next thing you know, some politician is going to announce that clean energy is the long-awaited cure for the common cold, such are the miraculous powers routinely ascribed to it these days.

If this economy were totally rigged against the middle class there wouldn't be a middle class for politicians to pander to with ads like Udall's. But in fact there is a huge swath of middle-income Americans. And while they are understandably worried about the future, they remain as well or better off by most relevant standards than their counterparts almost anywhere else in the world.
It's commercials like the one hacked apart by this editorial that make me nearly unable to withstand the wait for election season to end.

Mark Udall's own votes in Congress denied needed oversight to the government mortgage institutions at the center of the economic crisis. Then he hypocritically blamed his political opponents for "laissez-fail" policies that he alleged to be the cause of the crisis. Finally, Udall descended into silly and shameless pandering to the "middle class".

Thanks to the Rocky Mountain News for performing the small public service.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mark Udall Just Happens to Vote in Boulder (at least he remembered to vote for himself)

From Rocky Mountain Right:
According to the Rocky Mountain News, Boulder liberal Mark Udall turned in his absentee ballot.... in Boulder:

This just in: Mark Udall voted - for himself. The Democratic U.S. Senate candidate turned in his absentee ballot Monday at an early voting site at the University of Colorado.

Are we still supposed to pretend he's not from Boulder?
A fine question, and an interesting observation based on the remark of a reporter who has busily tried to deny the obvious about Mark Udall's place of residence. We've been over this territory before.

Westword: "Who wouldn't want a wiseguy representing Colorado?"

I'm not sure of any real education value to it, but this Westword blog piece on Mark "Wiseguy" Udall is sure good for a laugh. And a good laugh is about what we all need at this point in the campaign.

Question About Clothes vs. Charity Suggest It's Time for Schaffer-Udall Debates to End

With two weeks to go before Election Day and early votes already being cast, the final U.S. Senate debate in Colorado between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall draws headlines for this discussion:
Residents wanted to know how much Colorado’s two senatorial candidates spend on their suits versus their gifts to charity.

Both candidates Democratic Rep. Mark Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer faced the uncommon question as their first in a line of 16 in Greeley at the Union Colony Civic Center Monday night during their last in a series of debates.

“I’m into recycling my suits,” Udall joked.

He said he gives $5,000 to $6,000 a year to charity, while Schaffer said he gives 10 percent of his income. Both said they haven’t bought a suit in years.
The candidates also had 60 seconds to say something nice about their opponents.

What this all might indicate about the state of the race I am not going to venture to guess. But it probably suggests that now is a good time to stop the debates. What a relief ... home stretch, here we come!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mark Udall's Deceitful Attack Ends Up Exposing His Own Wasteful Record

So Mark Udall is falsely slamming candidate Bob Schaffer by suggesting that he "voted against veterans." The facts? Schaffer opposed the bills cited in the commercial for their tens of millions of dollars in wasteful pork projects.

Money for the Institute for Software Research, the Anchorage Zoo, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Gorilla Forest Exhibition, Sacramento Urban League Workforce Development Center, a Las Vegas job training facility, St. Petersburg Sunken Gardens the Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex, and projects to restore college libraries and historic property - to name a few. Schaffer voted against pet projects proposed by Democrats and by fellow Republicans. Perhaps this is why Citizens Against Government Waste has endorsed Bob Schaffer for U.S. Senate.

Not exactly the same as "voting against veterans." Mark Udall has shamelessly produced a misleading attack campaign ad in his own name. Hardly the stuff of a confident, allegedly bipartisan candidate on his way to victory.

Then again, maybe Mark Udall didn't notice because he was so busy voting for pork in Washington, and is only an election season convert to the cause of reducing wasteful government spending.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Debate Between Schaffer, Udall In Greeley

In Greeley:
This Monday, October 20th, is your last chance to see Bob debate Boulder Liberal Mark Udall. The Young Republicans and Young Democrats of Colorado are the hosts of the final live audience debate. The debate will be held at the Union Colony Civic Center (701 10th Avenue, Greeley). We invite you to join us at 5:30pm for a rally prior to the actual debate. You can reserve a ticket for the debate by calling 720-377-1600 or emailing teamschaffer@bobschafferforsenate.com. Upon reserving a ticket, you will receive a confirmation email with additional event details.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hill Consulting: Udall 43, Schaffer 38; Rasmussen: Udall 51, Schaffer 44

Facing a stiff national political headwind, Bob Schaffer no doubt is currently trailing in Colorado's race for the U.S. Senate. But polling distortions have Lefties gleefully imagining that Mark Udall leads by 11 - or even 14 - points. Okay, let's get real for a moment.

Hill Research Consultants, a firm with an excellent track record in Colorado, sent a memo to its client the Bob Schaffer campaign yesterday with some heartening news:
As you know, following the financial turmoil in the markets, ballot shares for the Republican candidates, John McCain and Bob Schaffer, were down. But I am pleased to report that in the past three days there has been a return to the Republicans, narrowing the deficit to just outside the margin of error.
What are the results according to Hill's tracking survey?

Mark Udall 43
Bob Schaffer 38
Other candidates 6
Undecided 13

And according to Hill, the characteristics of the undecided voting population indicate they likely will break in Bob Schaffer's direction. At this stage in the game, Mark Udall remains the beneficiary of some national anti-Republican sentiment and the favorite to prevail on November 4. Rasmussen has Udall ahead by seven, 51-44.

But it ain't quite over yet.

The Rumors of the NRSC's Demise in Colorado Are Greatly Exaggerated

Exuberant Lefties started prematurely popping the corks on their champagne yesterday, pouncing on rumors that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) had abandoned candidate Bob Schaffer - which would have effectively marked a victory for Boulder liberal Mark Udall. Even career .229 hitter Steve Balboni got in on the act.

Of course, none of them bothered to ask the NRSC if they were actually, you know, leaving Colorado. Jeremy Pelzer at Politicker was among the first to publish the factual account: "NRSC releases new anti-Udall ad, says it's staying in Colorado". Speaking of the ad, here it is:

It's still an uphill climb for Bob Schaffer, but he isn't quite out of it yet. Lefties might want to postpone their celebration for a little while.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pueblo Chieftain Backs Bob Schaffer

Having heard rumors that this decision was up in the air, and may even swing to Boulder liberal Mark Udall, it is good to see the Pueblo Chieftain has endorsed Bob Schaffer:
On the national scene, we believe Bob Schaffer would provide a rational, conservative voice to the Senate at a time when liberal Democrats hope to make greater inroads in growing government. Bob Schaffer is committed to limited government as the best way to assure our personal liberties.

A Sen. Schaffer would support nominees for the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court, who are constitutional constructionists. He, like we, believes in the separation of powers in the federal government, with legislation being the sole province of Congress and constitutional review of legislation being the sole province - the sole role - of the judiciary.

Bob Schaffer has made it clear that he supports American victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have too much at stake in assuring our national security to let the terrorists claim victory in the Middle East.
The Chieftain's editors go on to make an argument also made by the Grand Junction Sentinel in their endorsement - namely, that a principled and articulate conservative like Bob Schaffer will be needed to provide balance in a U.S. Senate that looks to be much more liberal next session.

Interestingly, conservative commentator Mike Rosen makes the same argument in his unsurprising endorsement of Bob Schaffer.

With the Chieftain weighing in, that makes two major newspapers coming down for Mark Udall (the Left-leaning Denver Post and Boulder Daily Camera) and two for Bob Schaffer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Citizens Against Government Waste Endorse Schaffer

Udall really is liberal--with your money:
U.S. Senate Candidate Bob Schaffer was endorsed by The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste Political Action Committee yesterday for his “outstanding record of fiscal discipline and fighting on behalf of all taxpayers.”

“Bob Schaffer continues to be the only low tax, pro-economic growth candidate in this race,” said Campaign Manager Dick Wadhams. “The current liberal congress has done nothing to curb out of control spending and earmarks.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste gave Schaffer a lifetime rating of 85 percent while he served in Congress from 1996 to 2002. He was named a “Taxpayer Hero.”

Boulder Liberal Mark Udall has only a 15 percent lifetime rating and it hit a low of 4 percent in 2007.
What's at stake?

Six years of spend, spend, spend.

Two More Debates Today Between Schaffer And Udall

Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall will square off twice today--covering economic and foreign policy:
The long road to winning Colorado's U.S. Senate seat is actually nearing its end as the candidates gear up for two more debates today.

Republican Bob Schaffer and Democrat Mark Udall are squaring off in a debate sponsored by Channel 7, the League of Women Voters and the Colorado Bar Association at noon at 7News studios at 123 Speer Boulevard. The half-hour debate will be aired on Channel 7 at 4:30 p.m. and at 10:35 p.m and will loop continuously on Comcast News Channel 247 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Tonight, both will speak to the Jewish Community Relations Council in Denver.

Economic issues have dominated the race as of late, as both candidates explain what must be done to fix a bailout package that neither supported. But foreign-policy questions are expected to crop up in today's events as well.
The Denver Channel and the Rocky Mountain News are liveblogging the first debate.

Fundraising Keeps Race Daunting for Bob Schaffer, Raises Questions for Mark Udall

Bob Schaffer has a steep uphill climb in the last few weeks of Colorado's U.S. Senate race. There's a lot working against him. And the third quarter fundraising numbers don't make it much easier:
Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall posted his best fundraising quarter of the campaign, raising $2.7 million through Sept. 30, about $800,000 more than his Republican rival, Bob Schaffer.

Schaffer collected $1.9 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, his campaign reported. That brings to $6.6 million the total the former congressman has raised.
Interestingly, though, the Denver Post also reports that Bob Schaffer has $2.7 million on hand, compared to $545,000 for Mark Udall. Schaffer needs to deploy that cash advantage strategically and aggressively to give his campaign any shot at pulling out victory on November 4.

Oh, and Politicker notes that "Udall's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for documentation of their third-quarter numbers." And the reports from both campaigns are not yet posted up on the FEC disclosure site, either.

In the meantime, a few questions for review:If for no other reason, it will be good to have answers to these questions for posterity. The FEC reports will shed the needed light.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fat Tony *Heart* Mark Udall

For those readers who want to see the seriousness behind the Simpsonized satire, go here. Thanks to the imaginative creator of Marx Udall for the use of the graphic - you can see more Simpsonized Udall cartoons on his site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can We "Agree to Disagree" about Last Night's Schaffer-Udall Debate in Pueblo?

Twenty-one days left before the election, and we won't have to hear more about the debates in which candidates Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall "agree to disagree". Nothing too remarkable happened last night in Pueblo that I can surmise from the news reports.

But there was this quirky observation from the debate that allows more boisterous audience interaction:
Udall's fans cheered his support of a line-item veto for the president, and Schaffer's responded to his support for strict-constructionist judges.
In the spirit of "bipartisanship," here's a cheer for both of them. Because I agree with both those issues.

Quite simply, though, there are plenty of things on which I disagree with Boulder liberal Mark Udall. He can be right from time to time, but not nearly enough to give common-sense taxpaying Colorado consumers a rational reason to support him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

George McGovern Chides Mark Udall for Trying to Deprive Workers of Secret Ballot

Stalwart liberal Democrat icon George McGovern has spoken out against the terrible legislation that is known as the Employee Free Choice Act:

Did you hear what George McGovern said? "It's hard to believe that any politician would agree to a law denying millions of employees the right to a private vote."

George McGovern, meet Mark Udall, co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act. Udall's "serious reservations" about sponsoring the bill appear to have been assuaged by tens of thousands in campaign contributions from the union leaders who McGovern justly fears "are turning their backs on democratic workplace elections."

But ultimately, Mark Udall doesn't have to explain himself to George McGovern. What about the workers victimized by replacing the secret ballot with the card-check process? And what about Colorado voters?

Despite his best attempts, Mark Udall has yet to explain himself out of a paper bag on this issue.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rossputin Takes Up Bob Schaffer's Defense Against Lefty Lies in Rocky Mountain News

At the risk of giving Ross Kaminsky (aka Rossputin) two free links in the course of one week, we recommend you take a look at his insightful column "Schaffer not exactly 'big oil'" in today's Rocky Mountain News. Consider it your weekend reading assignment, and ask yourself why the Lefty Big Blue Lie Machine has been so intent on painting this deceptive picture of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer?

Perhaps, as Kaminsky points out, to deflect from the authentic weakness of their own candidate, Boulder liberal Mark Udall:
During his five years in the energy industry, Bob Schaffer contributed substantially to the federal coffers while working for a local company on projects to increase supply and lower the cost of energy. During that same time, Mark Udall took his salary from the American taxpayers while doing everything in his power to make energy as costly as possible, following the wishes of every liberal and environmentalist group at the expense of the average American who needs to drive to work or heat his home.
It's a point we've made before - though perhaps not quite so elegantly or concisely. But with the truth fighting to get noticed in this frenetic campaign season, it can't be repeated often enough.

Grand Junction Sentinel Gives Nod to GOP's Bob Schaffer on Energy, Taxes, Balance

Round 1 of the major newspaper endorsements in Colorado's U.S. Senate race goes to Bob Schaffer. The Republican candidate yesterday secured the support of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:
We believe Schaffer’s staunchly conservative ideas are more in line with what Colorado and this country need right now than Udall’s liberal views.

Take energy development, for instance. Schaffer, who worked for an oil company immediately after retiring from Congress, has been a long-time supporter of opening up more areas for drilling along the U.S. coast, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the continental United States....

Similarly, on taxes, we believe Schaffer has the better approach. He would extend the tax cuts passed by Congress at the urging of President Bush early in this decade. He wants more tax relief for small businesses and seeks to maintain investment incentives. He also would like to eliminate the estate tax.
But here also is an argument that independent voters should strongly consider:
Finally, this is a year when there is a very good chance of Democrats winning the White House and maintaining control of both houses of Congress. But there is something to be said for a bit of gridlock, and for preventing either party from not only controlling both the executive and legislative branches, but from having a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Critical in that effort this year will be maintaining GOP control of the Colorado seat in the Senate now held by Republican Wayne Allard, Doing that means voting for Bob Schaffer.
It's difficult to speculate how much impact newspaper endorsements have in major candidate races any more (though the longer they wait to weigh in, certainly the less impact they will have). But you can be sure Bob Schaffer won't look a gift horse in the mouth: He's happy to have the backing of the leading newspaper on the Western Slope - a region crucial to winning the statewide vote.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rossputin Exposes and Debunks Out-of-State Lefty Attacks on Bob Schaffer

The out-of-state, Left-wing third party attacks on U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer have picked up in recent days. The primary offender has been Campaign Money Watch, the partisan project of a George Soros-funded, Left-wing 527 group known as Public Campaign Action Fund.

The must-read piece of the day is Rossputin's essay exposing the source of the recent attacks and debunking their weak claims about Bob Schaffer. George Soros and Campaign Money Watch aren't interested in the truth or what matters to people in Colorado - they're driven by the agenda of putting liberal Democrats in charge of Washington, D.C. Take it through that filter.

And understand that the untold amounts of money pouring into Colorado at this crucial time means the race for the U.S. Senate is up for grabs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Slow Learner Mark Udall Has It Totally Backwards on Anti-Secret Ballot Bill

Mark Udall never seems to learn. He still struggles to explain why he is co-sponsoring a bill that takes away workers' rights to a secret ballot in union elections, opening them up to intimidation. From Tuesday's Chamber of Commerce debate, via Channel 7 News in Denver:
Udall defended his decision to support the Employee Free Choice Act, which would allow labor organizations to unionize workplaces without secret ballot elections, saying it still provides many worker protections that he supports.

He said the Bush administration and the National Labor Relations Board have been "missing in action" in ensuring that employees are treated fairly. He said the act ensures that employees won't be intimidated by union leaders or employers. [emphasis added]
That is so entirely backwards as to be absurd. Taking away the secret ballot protects workers from intimidation? Mr. Udall, do you wish to reconsider that statement?

At least it appears that Mark Udall has moved past his "serious reservations" about sponsoring the Employee Free Choice Act, "serious reservations" that were overcome by tens of thousands of dollars in union campaign contributions.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Did Mark Udall Duck a Debate to Attend a Boulder Fundraiser with Nancy Pelosi?

An on-the-scene informant tells SvU that Mark Udall skipped an appearance at a candidates lunch debate today in Arvada. The event was hosted by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, and among the sponsors was retiring state senator Sue Windels, D-Arvada.

Bob Schaffer was there, so what more important activity did Mark Udall have to do? His public calendar shows no conflicts.

Perhaps Mark Udall was at the Jared Polis fundraiser in Boulder keynoted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with whom Udall votes 94 percent of the time. After all, Udall might want to thank Pelosi in person for staging a second recorded vote to cover for the fact he missed the crucial vote on energy he promised to make when she thre him under the bus.

Where was Mark Udall today? Inquiring minds want to know. (And bloggers can ask these sorts of questions.) Perhaps some intrepid reader who attended the Polis-Pelosi event in Boulder today can help definitively answer the question.

New NRSC Ad: Mark Udall Trying to "Temper His Image as a Boulder Liberal"

The latest in the litany of ads in the Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall race is from the National Republican Senatorial Committee:

I think the ad speaks for itself. At this point in the game, the information on Mark Udall is mostly review. More importantly, airing it now means the NRSC has every reason to believe this race is winnable for Bob Schaffer.

Uh-oh ... Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall Chamber of Commerce Debate Memorable for Civility

So reports the Rocky Mountain News - perhaps largely attributable to the fact that Bob Schaffer changed his tack:
And consultant Sean Duffy, who once worked for former GOP Gov. Bill Owens, said the debate lacked "electricity."

But Duffy praised Schaffer's even-keel performance, saying, "People watching this debate will see this is the Bob Schaffer who won a lot of respect when he was in office."

In previous debates, Duffy believes, Schaffer was "trying to score points too fast."
In a debate known mostly for its civility, the most memorable moment may have been Mark Udall's back-to-back flub at the end:
In his closing remarks, Udall thanked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for hosting the debate. Uh, that's the group that's spending $2 million on attack ads against him.

He realized his error and then thanked the "Colorado Chamber." It's the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

It's not terribly surprising that there has been low turnout at the last two debates.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Low Turnout For Schaffer-Udall Debates

Last night at DU--empty seats throughout the venue, even after the debate commenced.

Today's debate was actually delayed due to lack of turnout--half of the RSVP's hadn't shown--but the Rocky is liveblogging.

Influential ColoradoBiz Magazine Endorses Bob Schaffer for Colorado U.S. Senate Seat

Yesterday the influential ColoradoBiz magazine made its endorsement for U.S. Senate:
Examining the U.S. Senate race solely through the lens of business, we view Republican Bob Schaffer as a candidate better equipped to encourage economic growth, lure large employers to the state and create jobs than his Democratic counterpart, Mark Udall.
While the editors do give Mark Udall a little credit on renewable energy, the decision couldn't have been that difficult -- not with Udall's self-defeating U-turns on corporate taxes or his support of depriving workers of the secret ballot.

Schaffer And Udall Spar At DU

9NEWS broadcast last night's debate from DU (video of the entire debate).

The atmosphere was testy, as Mark Udall dropped some of his "bipartisan" pretense, and both candidates exchanged heated comments about the other's record:
“He (Udall) said I saw no reason to reach across the aisle, that’s just not true,” said Schaffer. “The notion that somehow I’m partisan and you’re not Mark, you know you voted 94 percent of the time with the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, you have one of the most partisan records in the United States House of Representatives.”

“When Congressman Schaffer was in the Congress he only voted for President Bush 83 percent of the time, but the other 17 percent he was to the right of President Bush,” responded Udall to which Schaffer shot back, “That’s not true either, Mark.”
This debate was a wash--Udall scored no major points, Schaffer was careful to deflect Udall's accusations of partisanship and other points he felt had been mischaracterized by his opponent and the media campaign, and the debate itself provided little new content for voters who have already decided how they will vote. The three debates this week will, however, be important for the undecided voters who should be receiving their ballots in the mail this week, or be able to vote early in about two weeks.

Aside from nearly getting thrown out for having a video camera--even though I was taking photos, not video (which would be a waste of time considering the debate was being broadcast live in its entirety and would be available online from 9NEWS)--overall the debate itself was poorly structured, the questions bordered on the lame, and the crowd was less than enthusiastic and the venue only 60% filled, if that (no doubt in large part to Monday Night Football).

"Lightning round" questions are particularly annoying, asking for rapid-fire yes or no responses on questions that often require more nuance than a simple one word response. Questions from audience members vetted beforehand work better in a town hall style format, otherwise they appear contrived. Unlike the debate moderated by Adam Schrager back in July that featured substantive questions and a highly engaged audience, the DU event was characterized by low-brow questions ("what is your favorite Colorado thing to do?" was among the "winners") and a decidedly inert crowd. Even with Schaffer and Udall sparring over campaign rhetoric, there was little opportunity for substance in either candidate's response, a problem attributable more to the format, not the candidates themselves.

Hopefully the debate tomorrow will provide even a slight improvement in highlighting the glaring differences between the two men in philosophical approach and legislative temperament.

SvU will have reports and a wrap of the debate tomorrow.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reporter's Claim that Mark Udall "Never Lived in Boulder" Borders on the Absurd

In her "25 things you might not know about Mark Udall" in Saturday's Rocky Mountain News, Lynn Bartels went out of her way to make this questionable statement number one:
1 He's never lived in Boulder, although he's referred to as "Boulder liberal Mark Udall" by his opponents.
I thought we'd been over this one before in discussing Bartels' "case-by-case" approach to airbrushing Boulder from Udall's name.

Lynn Bartels may wish to be more precise. Mark Udall's recent former residence of 6255 Simmons Drive - where he lived for many years, including through much of his term in Congress - doesn't appear to be quite within Boulder city limits. However, not only could you just about throw a stone from within city limits to the house, but also the City of Boulder recognizes it as part of a "subcommunity" known as "Southeast Boulder".

In addition, both Mark Udall's current home and the home on Simmons Drive listed Boulder as his mailing address, and for years he was recognized by the Congressional clerk as "Mark Udall, D-Boulder".

So maybe Lynn Bartels meant to write that Mark Udall has "never lived within the city limits of Boulder." If she had, she probably would have been technically accurate, but readers would have seen it for the pedantic and insignificant distinction that it is.

Why is it so important for Bartels to insist on repeating the spurious claim that Mark Udall has never lived in Boulder? Whether out of spite for Udall's opponent or some other reason, it's her prerogative to do so. But it would be nice at least to see her support for Udall printed in her byline.

Schaffer, Udall Debate Three Times In Coming Week

SvU will have coverage and analysis of the three debates taking place this week, starting tonight.

The Schaffer/Udall race is headed right where folks other than the MSM and hard core lefties predicted--down to the wire and most likely within the margin of error. Stay tuned to Schaffer v Udall for all the latest in perhaps the marquee Senate race of 2008.

There are three debates coming up in the next week--not sure how many tickets (if any) are left, best to call ahead or email the campaign:
Monday, October 6th, Bob will debate Boulder Liberal Mark Udall during a live television debate sponsored by 9News. The debate will take place at Gates Concert Hall at the University of Denver (2344 Iliff Avenue, Denver). We invite you to join us at 5:00pm for a rally to welcome Bob and cheer him on to victory! Following the rally, you are invited to attend the debate which will air live at 7:00pm on channel 9. You will be able to see firsthand the clear differences between Bob and Boulder Liberal Mark Udall.

The second debate is sponsored by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and will take place on Tuesday, October 7th at the Hyatt Regency Denver (650 15th Street, Denver, Colorado). We again invite you to join us before the debate at 1:30pm for a rally. The debate will immediately follow the rally at 3:00 pm. The chamber will host a reception with the senate candidates after the debate which you are invited to attend.

One of the traditional events of the campaign season, the Pueblo Chieftain debate, will take place on Monday, October 13th. The debate will be held at the Hoag Recital Hall on the Colorado State University-Pueblo campus (2200 Bonforte Boulevard, Pueblo). We invite you to experience the tradition for yourself and attend the debate at 7:30pm.

There are a limited number of tickets available for each of these debates. You can reserve a ticket by calling 720-377-1600 or emailing teamschaffer@bobschafferforsenate.com. Upon reserving a ticket, you will receive a confirmation email with additional event details.

Mark Udall Was For Tax Cheat Rangel Stepping Down Before He Was Against It

It appears Mark Udall is having second - or is it third? - thoughts about Congressional colleague and admitted tax cheat Charlie Rangel. Even after the revelations of Rangel's dirty dealings, Udall refused to return the $12,000 in campaign contributions from Rangel's PAC.

Then during last Sunday's Meet The Press debate, Mark Udall suggested that Charlie Rangel should step down from his committee chairmanship - even if Udall wasn't willing to return the campaign funds.

But by Friday Mark Udall decided to clarify his remarks:
“My quotes were misreported,” Udall said in a brief interview outside the Capitol Friday morning, where he was to cast his vote on the financial rescue package coming before the House. “I said, in effect, that if I were in Mr. Rangel’s shoes I might step aside. But it’s up to Mr. Rangel. He’s an American hero, he’s an enormous asset to the Congress...” ...

Contrary to media reports, Udall said Friday, it was a mistake to read his comments as a call for Rangel to step aside.

“The headlines suggesting I called on him to resign couldn’t have been more wrong. I was saying if I were in his shoes I might step aside as chair of the committee and let the ethics process play out," Udall said. “But we need him. We need him." [emphases added]
So Charlie Rangel is a "hero" and "an enormous asset to the Congress" who is needed in his post, despite tax fraud. But Mark Udall said if he were the one who committed tax fraud, he would have stepped down. Why the distinction? Because Udall indeed is anything but "an enormous asset to the Congress," and no one else there would say they "need him"? Sounds like a campaign commercial I can believe in.

Either Mark Udall is chronically unable to make up his mind about important ethical issues, or he is working hard to obscure the truth from voters. Whichever it is, do Colorado voters need such (lack of) leadership in the U.S. Senate?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just Another Poll Showing Bob Schaffer- Mark Udall Race Heading for the Wire

The Denver Post reports today:
[Mark] Udall, who had been up by as many as 10 percentage points in previous polls, is favored by 43 percent of registered voters surveyed, to [Bob] Schaffer's 38 percent.

But with 14 percent of respondents saying they haven't made up their minds less than a month before the election, it's clear the race is much tighter than it appeared to be over the summer, said Brad Coker, managing director of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research.
The narrowing gap in Colorado's U.S. Senate race is part of a trend highlighted a couple weeks ago by Rasmussen.

The Mark Udall fan club might want to postpone popping the champagne corks.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mark Udall's "Laissez-Fail" An Indictment of His Democratic Party and His Own Votes?

Mark Udall quoted in today's Rocky Mountain News about our current economic crisis:
Congress must retain oversight of the treasury secretary's buyout and should get regular updates, [Mark] Udall insisted. And while it will be up to the next Congress and president to overhaul the financial regulatory system, this bill must outline a road map on how it will get there, he said.

"Clearly this is a laissez-faire attitude that's run amok and, as somebody quipped to me, now we have laissez-fail," Udall said.
But it was Mark Udall's Democratic Party that gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a free pass when oversight was needed. And it was Mark Udall whose votes in Congress let the mortgage lenders grow dangerously with low capital and high risk.

So I wouldn't exactly take Mark Udall to be a trusted expert on this issue. Then again, maybe he's just humbly hanging the laissez-fail label on his own shoulders.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Does Mark Udall Back Colorado Democracy Alliance's "Educate the Idiots" Campaign?

With the recent uncovering of the Colorado Democracy Alliance (CoDA) and its "Educate the Idiots" campaign, one has to wonder where Mark Udall fits into the scheme. More has to be dug out of the once-confidential documents first, but these are the first impressions left.

First of all, Mark Udall's campaign manager Mike Melanson is listed on an exclusive CoDA invite list as part of the "strategy group." The same person Udall trusts to craft his strategy is someone affiliated with the strategy of educating racial minorities as "idiots." All right.

Next, the AFL-CIO, the labor union assigned by its role as an "institutional member" in the Colorado Democracy Alliance to "Educate the [minority and dropout] Idiots," has given nearly $50,000 to candidate Mark Udall, according to the Federal Election Commission. It's not like Udall is unfamiliar with the agenda of "increasing union power", after all.

(Then again, what's a little more money from tainted sources for Mark Udall?)

And finally, there's a family connection:
Also involved in the operation of CoDA is a group called America Votes, an organization which until recently was run by U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall's wife, Maggie Fox. A September 21, 2006 high-level CoDA "election protection" meeting was held at America Votes' offices during Fox's tenure (PDF).
None of these facts puts a lot of confidence in Mark Udall's judgment, integrity, or choice of friends. But then again, Mike Melanson, Maggie Fox, and AFL-CIO leaders could come forward and clear the record, if they wish.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Would Mark Udall Explain Anti-Secret Ballot Stance to Union Intimidation Victims?

Last week we pointed to Mark Udall's feeble attempt to defend his co-sponsorship (with "serious reservations") of the poorly-named Employee Free Choice Act. The examples of South Carolina materials handler Mike Ivey and Kaiser employee Karen Mayhew demonstrated the destructive consequences of Udall's support for the "card-check" process over the secret ballot in workplace union elections.

A recent National Review piece by John Motley offers more examples:
As [former ultra-liberal Democratic presidential candidate George] McGovern warned with this system: “there are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked or intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues.” In hearings in the House of Representatives in 2002, Bruce Esgar, an employee of MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas described such a case when he testified that union organizers threatened that workers who did not sign union cards would lose their jobs when the union was recognized. In testimony in 2007, Ricardo Torres, a long-time organizer for the United Steelworkers felt compelled to quit his job, according to his testimony, after “a senior Steelworkers union official asked me to threaten migrant workers by telling them they would be reported to federal immigration officials if they refused to sign check-off cards.” Jen Jason, a former organizer for UNITE-HERE also testified in 2007 to the fact that they “rarely showed workers what an actual union contract looked like because we knew that it wouldn’t necessarily reflect what a worker would want to see. We were trained to avoid topics such as dues increases, strike histories, etc. and to constantly move the worker back to what the organizer identified as his or her “issues” during the first part of the housecall. This technique was commonly referred to as “re-agitation” during organizer training sessions.” [emphases added]
What would Mark Udall have to say to Bruce Esgar? What platitudes would Udall have for Ricardo Torres or the threatened migrant workers? How would Udall defend the tactics Jen Jason described? How would he explain his anti-secret ballot stance to Mike Ivey or Karen Mayhew? Even ultra-liberal George McGovern realizes how out of touch Udall is for holding this position.

But none of it matters that much, because none of these five eyewitnesses to union intimidation have lined Mark Udall's campaign coffers with tens of thousands of dollars like labor leaders have.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Meet the Press Debate: Mark Udall's Votes on the Wrong Side of Financial Crisis

Here's a great clip from Sunday's Meet the Press Debate in which Bob Schaffer calls Mark Udall to the carpet for his votes that helped to make the current financial crisis possible:

Notice how Mark Udall doesn't answer the charge, but only tries to shift blame with platitudes and campaign talking points. Hardly the kind of leadership Colorado wants or needs in the U.S. Senate.

Freedom's Watch: "Do You Know Where That Mark Udall Elk Crossing Bridge Is?"

Freedom's Watch continues to amuse and enlighten us with colorful insights about Boulder liberal Mark Udall's record. From the group that brought us "Skip Udall" and the "Smoke-Filled Van," comes a new ad without any human actors - "Hey Elk":

As Bob Schaffer has pointed out, Mark Udall's "bridge to nowhere works fine--if all the elk know where the crossing is."

Denver Reporters Catch Mark Udall in a Self-Damaging U-Turn on Taxes

Better late than never, I say. Last Friday we brought attention to Mark Udall's hypocritical attacks against Bob Schaffer on the repatriation tax issue.

Today both the major Denver dailies have caught on. The Rocky Mountain News notes that Mark Udall not only supported a 2004 bill that contained the same corporate tax cut provision for which he criticized Bob Schaffer, but also gave a speech on the House floor praising the idea:
In a floor speech before the final vote, Udall said the bill was flawed and filled with unnecessary provisions, according to the Congressional Record.

But he also said, "I will vote for it because it includes provisions to encourage American corporations doing business abroad to repatriate their overseas earnings for investment here at home. This has great potential to stimulate investment in new plants and equipment as well as in the research and development that support innovation, job creation and prosperity."
Meanwhile, the Denver Post confronted the Udall campaign with the facts, forcing his spokesperson to admit the falsehood and recant:
His spokeswoman, Tara Trujillo, said last week that Udall had voted to strip that proposal out of the bill, but that turned out to be wrong.

The campaign is now admitting the mistake, but only after Schaffer's campaign manager pointed to Udall's own floor statement on the bill in which he praised the tax-holiday provision.
Mark Udall has to be careful. Sometimes when he makes his infamous U-turns, he ends up crashing his own campaign bus.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mark Udall's Votes Abet Economic Crisis, Aided by Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac Money

When it comes to the current economic crisis, liberal Washington insider Mark Udall once again proves he is more a part of the problem than of the solution. In February 2005, then-Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan warned Congress of letting the bloated institutions Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to grow with low capital and high risk.

On October 26, 2005, Udall voted against amendments that would have added capital to the mortgage lending giants and authorized them to sell off or acquire assets or liabilities, "if an asset or liability is deemed to be a potential systemic risk to the housing market, the capital markets or the financial system."

Let's be honest here. There are Democrats and Republicans in Congress who screwed up by making these votes. Mark Udall is with them on the wrong side of history.

More interestingly, according to the Federal Election Commission, Mark Udall has taken $3,000 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Now that's not nearly as much as Barack Obama has taken from the failed financial institutions.

And it's not as much as Udall has taken from tax cheat Charlie Rangel's PAC, from retired sweatshop owner Susie Tompkins-Buell, or from campaign finance violator Norman Hsu, and twice as much as Udall received from jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Just trying to put things in perspective.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mark Udall Gripes about Stretching Military Thin As Though He Thinks It's a Problem

The Darke Blog notes about this morning's Meet The Press debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall:
In response to a question from Tom Brokaw (Meet the Press) about Iraq, Udall goes on a rant about how the war has weakened the miliatry [sic]. Udall blosters his opinion by pointing out his position on the Armed Services Committee. And then he shames the military by declaring (for all the world to know) that we have no capacity to defend the homeland.
Yes, this is the same Mark Udall who has voted many times against military funding, including providing body armor for combat troops.

And we're supposed to believe Mark Udall really thinks it would be a problem for the United States military to be stretched thin? Just more empty talk from Udall.

Mark Udall Says Tax Cheat Rangel Should Step Down, But Keeps Rangel PAC Money

From this morning's Meet the Press debate with Bob Schaffer, Mark Udall gave a tepid call for admitted tax cheat and fellow Democrat Charlie Rangel to step down from his committee chairmanship:
"I think it would be helpful if Charles Rangel steps down," Udall said of the New York congressman, who is being investigated for failure to pay taxes on a condominium he owns in the Dominican Republic even as he presides over the House's main tax policy committee.

Made almost as an aside, the comment may create problems for Udall after he said last week that he wasn't going to return a $12,000 contribution from Rangel's PAC to his campaign. [emphasis added]
You don't say? Mark Udall doesn't seem terribly interested in returning Rangel's money, or the money raised from retired sweatshop owner Susie Tompkins-Buell.

And inquiring minds want to know if Mark Udall took money from terrorist coddler Jodie Evans at this weekend's Hollywood fundraiser. Someone needs to ask the tough questions.

Meet The Press: Bob Schaffer And Mark Udall Square Off

Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall met on Meet the Press this morning, moderated by Tom Brokaw:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mark Udall Attacks Himself For Not Supporting, Then Supporting, Then Opposing Repatriation Tax Relief

Bob Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams is not always known for the precision of his quotable quips. But sometimes, like yesterday, he delivered a blow square to Boulder liberal Mark Udall's chin. He couldn't have done it so effectively, though, without the help of Udall's big mouth and voting record.

As observed by reporter Mike Saccone in his Political Notebook, Wadhams called out Udall for an attack that the Democratic candidate might as well have delivered to himself.

At issue is the repatriation income tax levied on companies that bring their operations back onto United States soil. Mark Udall went after Bob Schaffer for his support of temporarily reducing the repatriation tax.

Then Saccone notes:
Turning the tables on Udall, Schaffer and his campaign quickly pointed out that Udall voted in favor of a 2004 bill to lower the repatriation tax during the 2005 tax year. (Udall voted against the bill in June and for it in October.)

And finally:
Never one to let this sort of faux pas slip, Schaffer’s campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, wrote in a statement: “While trying to shoot down Bob Schaffer, Boulder Liberal Mark Udall turned the gun on himself in a blazing act of hypocrisy and contradiction.”
Pow. Right in the kisser.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Will Mark Udall Take a Donation from Terrorist Sympathizer Jodie Evans?

We have confirmed that Jodie Evans of Code Pink fame did not endorse the slogan "We Support the Murder of American Troops" - as plausible as that may sound.

Why does it sound plausible, you say? Because she announced public support for terrorist groups in Iraq, professed sympathy for 9/11 terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, and gave personal embrace to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Most recently, she led a delegation to personally kowtow to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, leader of the repressive anti-American Iranian regime. (H/T Campaign Spot)

So what does it say if Mark Udall accepts a Jodie Evans donation at this weekend's Hollywood fundraiser? Or will Udall have the courage to say "Thanks, but no thanks"?

Another Far-Left Hollywood Fundraiser for Mark Udall Raises More Questions

Update: Edited to remove unfounded section originally quoted but later removed from Townhall article.

Townhall columnist Scott Bensing clues readers into a big Hollywood fundraiser this weekend for Mark Udall and some of his Democratic Senate candidate buddies. Of course, the usual out-of-touch, vapid Hollywood Lefties will be there to bolster the Udall campaign.

But Bensing also points out:
Most upsetting of the event attendees is Jodie Evans. Is she a movie star? No. A Hollywood power-player? No. Evans is a hero to the liberals of Hollywood because she is a representative of the dominant wing of the Democrat party – she is the co-founder of Code Pink.

If Reps. Allen, [Mark] Udall and [cousin Tom] Udall along with Kay Hagan, Jeff Merkley, Al Franken, Jeanne Shaheen and Mark Begich don’t agree with these views, why would they take such generous donations?...
Good question. Mark Udall really isn't trying to distance himself from the theme of this Freedom's Watch ad, is he.

But here are a couple other relevant questions: First, is this Hollywood fundraiser going to outshine Mark Udall's San Francisco fundraising event hosted by retired sweatshop owner Susie Tompkins-Buell?

And, maybe more importantly, will Barbra Streisand be there?

Rasmussen Says Schaffer-Udall Race Hasn't Been This Close Since February: 48-46

Rasmussen Reports, the gold standard of polling, released the latest results in Colorado's U.S. Senate race, showing an ever-tightening trend since June. The last time the showdown between Mark Udall and Bob Schaffer was so close was in February: Udall 48, Schaffer 46. This result confirms the recent but less reliable National Journal survey results that also showed Udall leading within the margin of error, 41-38.

Lefty bloggers have been doing their bazookie dances over two other recent polls showing Mark Udall leading 48-40. One of them, conducted by Democrat-sponsored Public Policy Polling, skewed results by oversampling Democrat voters. Nice try. Quinnipiac has a bit more clout, but hasn't polled as consistently as Rasmussen.

The gold-standard Rasmussen and the less reliable National Journal paint a more nuanced picture of the state of the race than the hallucinating triumphalists on the Left will admit. But that's okay. The hard numbers should have Mark Udall supporters a little more uneasy. Complacency suits them just fine.

Bottom line: this race is going down to the wire, with a critical nationally-televised debate coming this Sunday on Meet the Press.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall Meet The Press Debate Set to Air This Sunday Morning

This Sunday, September 28, brings the key nationally-televised debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall on Meet the Press, moderated by media dinosaur Tom Brokaw. It is scheduled to air at 9 AM on Denver's Channel 9, the local NBC affiliate. Check local listings, and check back to Schaffer v Udall afterward for coverage and analysis.

Bob Schaffer--Catholic Knight

A pleasant non-political story about Republican Bob Schaffer's charitable work, courtesy of Jeremy Pelzer at PolitickerCO.

Mark Udall "Debunked" by Stories of Abuse from Udall-Funding Union Leaders

Mark Udall has unleashed a new "debunker" page to give his side of the story on issues where he feels his record is being misrepresented. So what does Udall do? You guessed it. He turns around and misrepresents his opponent Bob Schaffer's record -- yeah, that solves the problem.

But going further, some of Mark Udall's responses in defense of his record are just plain weak and laughable. Today I'll focus on his support of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA):
Mark Udall does not support elimination of the secret ballot-- in union elections or anywhere else. Mark Udall has consistently fought for working families in this country and his support of Employee Free Choice Act confirms this.
Yes, we already know about Udall's "serious reservations" about taking away workers' secret ballots, and the thousands of dollars he accepted from labor leaders to co-sponsor the bill anyway.

In that light, Mark Udall's description of the EFCA reads like he has drunk the Big Labor Kool-Aid:
Right now, employees can form a union by conducting a secret ballot election or by having a majority of workers sign cards asking for union representation. However, right now, employers can reject organization by the card-signing method. This is problematic because employers can then delay the vote and use the time to put pressure on employees not to organize.

EFCA would change this law so that employers can't reject the card-check process if that's how workers choose to organize. This does not mean that EFCA will do away with secret ballot. Instead, it strengthens the rights of employees because it requires employers to respect a card check vote that wins over 50% of the staff.
The problem of course is Mark Udall's ridiculous assumptions: first, that unions are quite adept at pressuring employees, too; and second, that signing a card in a union organizing election indicates an employee's free will.

Perhaps Mark Udall should talk to South Carolina materials handler Mike Ivey, who testified:
Employees are told at off-site meetings that signing a card only certifies that they attended the meeting. Employees are also offered a free t-shirt if they sign a card. What they are not told is that these cards are a legally binding document, which states that the employee is pro union -- thus placing the union one step closer to their goal of complete control of the employees’ workplace life without the employee even realizing it.

In the work place, the employees running the organizing campaign for the UAW are relentless in trying to get the employees to sign union cards. This has created a hostile work environment, with employees who once were friends who are now at odds with each other. [emphasis added]
Watch Mike Ivey here:

The United Auto Workers that deceived and harassed Mike Ivey and his colleagues through the card-check process have contributed $50,000 to Mark Udall through the years (Source: Federal Election Commission).

Or, since Mark Udall touts Kaiser as the model for implementing EFCA, the testimony of Kaiser employee Karen Mayhew is especially relevant:
When we were told that 50% + 1 had signed the union’s authorization cards, and that no election would be held, it did not take long for many employees to announce that they would not have signed the cards if they had known that there would be no election. Knowing that the union had just a one-person majority in our department at the time of Kaiser’s recognition, I filed Unfair Labor Practice charges against Kaiser and the SEIU union with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), based in part on the realization that some in our department had signed cards solely due to the union’s misrepresentations....

Throughout this whole ordeal, my colleagues and I were subjected to badgering and immense peer pressure. Some of us even received phone calls at home. While I let my feelings toward this union be known early on, I still was attacked verbally and in e-mail by my pro-union colleagues. I believe this abuse directed towards me was at the request of the union in an effort to intimidate me and have me back down. [emphases added]
The Service Employees International Union that deceived and intimidated Karen Mayhew and her colleagues has given Mark Udall $48,000 in contributions (Source: Federal Election Commission).

Yes, the Employee Free Choice Act technically doesn't outlaw secret ballot elections. But given recorded history, doesn't the EFCA open the door to ensure union leaders will use their "free choice" and organized clout to take the easy route of deceit, intimidation, and abuse of uncooperative workers? A secret ballot protects the integrity of workers' decisions, and Mark Udall is willing to cast the protection aside to appease labor bosses who have loaded his campaign with money--$98,000 from just these two examples alone.

Way to go, Udall. You really "debunked" that one.