Friday, February 29, 2008

Washington Post Gets It Wrong - Again

Today's "The Fix" shows exactly why people on the east coast shouldn't be writing about Colorado Politics. It also demonstrates one of the several reasons that Washington is called "foggy bottom."

The Washington Post describes the Colorado race not as it is, but as it would like it to be. There is a big difference:

[ Dick ] Wadhams, a Colorado native, has been nearly perfect in the campaigns with which he has been associated in his home state. Can he keep the streak alive in Schaffer's up hill fight against Rep. Mark Udall (D)? Expect the phrase "Boulder liberal" to become a staple of Wadhams' vocabulary between now and November.

It is difficult to see how this race can be described as "up hill." There have been three polls that we know of, and all three showed a separation between the two of one percentage point. The first two showed Mark Udall to be ahead and the last one showed a slight Bob Schaffer lead.

This is still a conservative state, admittedly with a well gerrymandered left wing legislature and a chameleon governor, Bill Ritter who ran as a pro business moderate and is governing as an anti-business liberal. The Denver Post, which supported him in the 2006 election with comments designed to make him appear moderate has opined that he may be a one term governor.

In November Cillizza himself wrote: "a state that looks like it could stay in the GOP column if the right sort of race is run," so we want to know what has changed to make it "up hill."

As for whether Mark Udall can fairly be described as a "Boulder Liberal," The Fix would do well to note that Mark Udall is a self described Boulder Liberal. His campaign spokesperson, Taylor West, opined publicly that being called a Boulder Liberal wouldn't hurt him. The Denver Post recently called Mark Udall "solidly liberal" There is no evidence either that Mark Udall is running as anything but a liberal or that he can run as anything but a liberal. His friends in the msm and the liberal blogs have routinely called him "liberal," "reliably left wing/progressive," and "extremist." It has happened so often that we keep a scoreboard.

Given all of this data, it is hard to see how Dick Wadhams could avoid noting the obvious. He doesn't have to call Mark Udall a Boulder Liberal. All he has to do is restate the information here.

It is also hard to see how Chris Cillizza could have suggested that it would be wrong or inaccurate to call Mark Udall what he calls himself, a Boulder Liberal. Is this another example of the Big Blue Lie Machine in action? It wouldn't be the first time that the Washington Post was a big cog in that machine.

The Dangers of a "New Economy"

Bill Ritter, John Salazar, Ken Salazar and Mark Udall tout the "new economy" that renewable energy sources will supposedly bring to Colorado.

How solid is that economy? Does it have a foundation so solid that it would withstand the withdrawal of government subsidies?

How likely is the withdrawal of government subsidies?

It is more likely than one might imagine given the hype of the last year.

Geologic evidence suggests that we are between ice ages. 35 years ago, the scientific consensus (if there is such a thing) was that the greatest weather threat to civilization was a new ice age.

More recently, this past year was one of the coldest on record. Remember all of the hype about Polar Bears starving for lack of ice? Now they are starving because there is too much ice. Go Figure.

Anecdotal evidence of significant global cooling this past year is supported by:

All four major global temperature tracking outlets (Hadley, NASA's GISS, UAH, RSS) have released updated data. All show that over the past year, global temperatures have dropped precipitously.

If you want more evidence of global cooling, follow the link that slapstick politics provides.

Meanwhile, our message to Bill Ritter, Mark Udall, and Ken and John Salazar is: before the state and various cities in Colorado invest their future in technologies that fight global warming, we need to assure ourselves that this is not just a passing and unsustainable political fad. If that is what it turns out to be, Colorado is in big trouble.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mark Udall Loves Solar, But Why?

If Mark Udall gets beat in November, he will be looking for a high paying job. Peter Blake describes his prospects in a round about way in the Rocky Mountain News today.

It is enough to make anyone who thinks about it sick.

We sent an email to Peter Blake to try to determine if the figures he was using for kilowatt hour prices for wind and solar production were the heavily subsidized prices or the true prices. He didn't know:

A spokesman for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory said power from photovoltaic panels cost on average 22 cents to 25 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to 4 cents to 6 cents for wind power. But the law must be served, and it specifies that all Xcel customers, not just solar users, must pay extra so that Xcel doesn't lose any money.

Udall Mourns William F. Buckley

Politicker CO has the press release:
"Any American who reveres our constitution and admires intelligence, wit and integrity in public life will mourn the passing of William F. Buckley Jr. Like many others who grew up the 1960s and 1970s, I appreciated the provocative conversation in Mr. Buckley's interviews on his television program "Firing Line" - where he challenged political leaders from across the political spectrum. America's conservative movement obviously owes a great deal to the intellectual foundation of William F. Buckley's writing and philosophy, but his contributions to public life were not just ideological. Mr. Buckley was a grand debater, a great thinker and a brilliant personality. He will be missed."
Yes he will, Mr. Udall, yes he will.

Co-blogger Ben DeGrow also has a tribute to WFB.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Colorado Voter Registration Numbers And "Uncommitted" Dems Spell Trouble For Udall

Ben DeGrow points out in the previous post that Rep. Mark Udall captured only 67% of the Democrat vote in the Senate preference poll against a weak candidate, with 32% of Democrats polled remaining "uncommitted".

This is not good news for Udall the Senate candidate--the latest Colorado voter registration numbers have been released (more complete analysis at Slapstick Politics), and a growing unaffiliated bloc stands in contrast to a stagnant Democrat base, which Udall obviously hasn't fired up enough with 32% refraining from selecting him in an essentially non-binding preference poll.

Here is a quick look at those voter registration numbers (click to enlarge):

Both candidates and parties explicitly acknowledge the enormous importance of the "unaffiliated" bloc in Colorado politics, determining as it has the state's recent slide to purple with the election of Democrats at the state and local levels since 2004.

What these new voter numbers and causus poll results indicate is that both Bob Schaffer and Udall will have to "secure the base"--a much easier task for both without a nasty primary--and then move to gain an advantage among the unaffiliateds, who have grown by over 90,000 since early 2004.

A lack of party support in the form of "uncommitted" Democrat voters in a preference poll lacking a formidable primary opponent demonstrates the weakness of a Udall candidacy even within his own party (in spite of early declarations by the MSM and pundits that Udall was all but guaranteed Sen. Wayne Allard's vacated seat, and a hefty campaign war chest).

Though Udall, Sen. Ken Salazar and Gov. Bill Ritter are all Democrats, the latter two won state-wide elections on relatively "moderate" records and campaigned as such to garner support from the unaffiliateds in the "center". Udall's campaign has tried desperately to paint Schaffer as "outside the mainstream" when in fact it is the Boulder liberal Udall who faces the rather daunting task of trying to move to the middle by running from his own record (even while embracing it back in the People's Republic).

The larger point is that any sizeable unaffiliated advantage that Udall will be contrasted with a less-than-unanimous base. A strong candidate, running virtually unopposed (Benner was never a serious candidate) should garner a larger showing in a preference poll than 67%. Before Udall attempts to grab the great Colorado unaffiliated bloc, he should ask why his base was less than enthusiastic back on February 5.

Nearly One-Third of Democrat Caucus-Goers Give Udall Cold Shoulder

Earlier today, one of my fellow bloggers here brought attention to the demise of the faux candidacy of Democrat Mark Benner, "who was running aginst [sic] Mark Udall as a matter of form only." Benner received 1.2 percent of support from registered Democrat attendees of Colorado's February 5 caucuses.

However, after the initial post here, the Denver Post went back and expanded on the story:
Democrat Mark Udall, the five-term congressman, received 67 percent delegates in the preference poll, while the remaining 32 percent are uncommitted. The preference poll results released Tuesday are mostly complete, with a small number of counties left to report, said Pat Waak, Colorado Democratic Party chair. [emphasis added]
Strangely, either the writer or the editors thought the fact that more than 30 percent of the Colorado Democratic faithful chose "None of the above" over Udall was worthy neither of the story's lead nor of a follow-up question.

Well, here's a follow-up: If nearly one-third of Democrat activists think Boulder liberal Udall isn't worthy of support, where does that rank him among the state's mainstream independent voters?

Faux Candidacy Over?

The Denver Post is reporting that Mark Benner, who was running aginst Mark Udall as a matter of form only is likely at the end of his rope as a candidate:

Mark Benner, the insurgent Democratic candidate for Colorado's open U.S. Senate seat, got just 1.2 percent of the vote in the preference poll taken during the party caucuses Feb. 5, according to results released by the party Tuesday.

Although there is a slim chance that Benner could rally delegates in county conventions, his showing in the poll virtually ends his candidacy.

We speculated that he never was serious and that this was nothing more than an attempt to make Mark Udall look more "centrist" in the same way Mike Miles made Ken Salazar look more centrist in 2004.

If the purpose is to make Mark Udall seem centrist, it has already backfired. The Denver Post, as our fellow bloggers pointed out yesterday called [ Mark ] Udall "solidly liberal" in response to the [ Mark ] Benner candidacy. Those are words it will find it difficult to take back.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

McCain and Udall Compared and Contrasted

This is in response to the Lynn Bartels article in today's Rocky Mountain News. We left a comment promising to explain why Bob Schaffer will not have a problem if Mark Udall tries to cozy up to John McCain.

We promised links. Many of the links we provide are links to other blog essays, here and elsewhere, which zero in on the issue and themselves have links to the original source. Even better than links are the "labels" at the bottom of the essay which you might want to follow.

Here goes:

Mark Udall and John McCain are two different people.

1. John McCain prides himself on running the "straight talk express." We have caught Mark Udall and his staff in lies so often that we developed a "Udall as a liar" label. We also have a "Big Blue Lie Machine" label for those less closely tied to Udall who are less than truthful. See below.

2. John McCain is a self described conservative though many moderates like him because he isn't an orthodox conservative. Mark Udall is a liberal's liberal. He calls Boulder his "touchstone" and his spokesperson has opined that being tagged as a "Boulder liberal" won't hurt him. Liberals and the msm routinely call him "liberal," reliably left wing, progressive, and twice extremist. We have documented over 40 examples of that happening. To see the documentation and our methodology, follow the bread crumbs backwards.

3. John McCain is a war hero and the son and grandson of Navy Admirals. Mark Udall has so little understanding of the apolitical traditions of the military and how they keep our democracy free from a military coup that he once sponsored a resolution that would have encouraged the politicization of military officers. Not content with politicizing the military, it would have encouraged officers to make political complaints to the congress and exhorted congress to pay heed to those complaints.

4. John McCain promoted the surge. Mark Udall promoted a Department of Peace.

5. Once John McCain learned his lesson with the Keating Five, he never again allowed the source of his political fund raising to cloud his judgement or compromise his integrity. The NY Times tried to claim that he more recently had helped a lobbyist, but that help was limited to two letters asking a regulatory commission to vote on a two year old issue while carefully telling them he was not telling them how to vote. Seems reasonable, though the NYT didn't think so.

Mark Udall is taking big bucks from labor unions and has publicly admitted that he had co-sponsored a labor bill that he doesn't like. He is taking even bigger bucks from the environmentalists who don't give a damn if the whole state burns to the ground so long as no forest roads are built that might allow the beetle killed trees to be removed, even dead trees adjacent to mountain towns.

Mark Udall is so deep in the grasp of his environmentalist paymasters that last year he proposed an amendment that would close existing roads which makes the problem worse. Even his heavily self promoted and under financed bill to remove dead trees around mountain towns didn't prompt him to speak out when the environmentalists objected to the road building that would be necessary.

6. Rush Limbaugh and James Dobson dislike John McCain. Daily Kos held a fundraiser for Mark Udall.

7. In 1971, John McCain was in a POW camp in North Vietnam and had been for years. In 1971, Mark Udall was in an Arizona court having his car confiscated and being placed on a year's probation for drugs.

8. John McCain is a man of proven courage, personal and political. We recently wrote that an appropriate bumper sticker for Mark Udall would be "Vote Udall: A Coward For Today In Every Way."

Lynn Bartels would do well to note that John McCain was praising and quoting Mo Udall, not Mark Udall. It isn't uncommon in congress to refer to one's mortal enemy as "my friend."

In the end, the election in Colorado will be about character. Udall lacks moral courage and says what he believes will get him elected. Schaffer just says what he believes.

If the subject comes up in a debate, Bob Schaffer can truthfully say "I know John McCain, John McCain is a friend of mine. You're no John McCain!"

Another Inconsistent Mark Udall Comment

Now that 2008 is two months old, Mark Udall is running from the anti-fossil fuels energy record that he has fought so hard to make since he entered public life.

The Stirling Journal-Advocate reports that Mark Udall said:

“For me, all paths lead to and from energy,” he said Thursday.

He said that while the U.S. needs to explore and develop alternative energy sources, we cannot completely walk away from fossil fuels.

It was just last year that Mark Udall fought as though his political life depended on it against drilling on the Roan Plateau. He would very likely still hold that position if Bill Ritter hadn't seen the pot of tax gold at the end of that rainbow. When Bill Ritter folded on the issue, Mark Udall couldn't do an about face quickly enough.

We would guess that this statement means that Mark Udall now supports development of ANWR oil, or does it? Mark Udall now is willing to promote oil shale development in Western Colorado, right?

In all of Mark Udall's long career, this is the only statement that we know of that even remotely supports US oil and gas oil development and use. Yes, he is willing to allow offshore drilling, but only off the Cuban coast.

Not long ago, Mark Udall dropped a similar comment about nuclear power which he has never before supported. He didn't follow up on it with legislation or a strong advocacy of nuclear power, he just uttered the word so that he could claim both sides of this issue.

We suspect that that is what he is doing here.

We are putting both of these comments under the tag "Udall as a Liar."

Monday, February 25, 2008

A New Udall Bumper Sticker

We've found another example of Mark Udall's running from his past positions, and this time we're not even sure why.

He might be trying to pander to voters who don't want the homosexual partners of legal immigrants to be admitted to the US as "family members." But to what end?

Those who care about the issue enough to object to Mark Udall's candidacy will already know about his past position and expect it to be his future position. Who does he think he is fooling by declining to co-sponsor the bill this year?

We think that this on again off again sponsorship of controversial legislation like the loon in the attic's Department of Peace and now the "Uniting American Families Act" speaks to Mark Udall's unwillingness to stand up publicly for his own positions, his own beliefs.

Our friends at immigration equality:

Representative [ Mark ] Udall was a cosponsor of the UAFA in the previous (109th) Congress but has not yet signed on in the current (110th) Congress. Hopefully y’all can persuade him to come on.

Those who are interested in promoting this bill might send Mark Udall their suggested letter.

Mark Udall's New Bumper Sticker: "Vote Udall: - A Coward For Today in Every Way"

Udall Remains Quiet On Superdelegate Vote

Mum's the word for Mark Udall on his own presidential preference:
Udall campaign spokeswoman Taylor West said the congressman, while remaining tight-lipped about his preference, is certainly not "ignoring" how his constituents in the 2nd Congressional District voted.
Bold. Boulder. Liberal. He won't even stake out a position on his own party's presidential nominee!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

An Ignorant Denver Post Editorial

The Denver Post published an amazingly ignorant editorial today that it called "With Friends Like These, The West Doesn't Need Enemies."

The bark beetle tree kill in Colorado has been historic in magnitude. With all this tinder lying around on federal land, you might think the government would be redoubling efforts to haul out dead trees, make the forests healthy and support fire management activities.

Unfortunately, that's not the reality reflected in President Bush's budget request for 2009.

His budget actually cuts funding by 11.2 percent for the region of the Forest Service that includes Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

To hear the Denver Post tell it, this is all President Bush's fault. It conveniently leaves out the fact that President Bush or his successor could direct the entire Federal budget toward getting rid of the dead trees and not a single tree would be removed.

Why? The Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and their congressional toadies like Mark Udall, Ken Salazar, and John Salazar have laws in place which prevent the building of forest roads necessary to do the work.

If the Denver Post did a Lexus-Nexus search, it would discover that the victims who lost their homes in last summer's Lake Tahoe fire were blaming the Sierra Club for going to court to stop the construction of forest roads. The roads were needed for the thinning that would have saved their homes and at least one life. The problem wasn't a lack of Federal funding. It was a lack of common sense by the Mark Udall's of the congress.

Mark Udall not only doesn't want new roads to be built, he wants existing roads closed. In 2007 he proposed an amendment to do just that.

Yes, the west has friends that it can do without. Ken Salazar, Mark Udall, and John Salazar along with their eco terrorist sponsors in the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society are much higher on that list than President Bush or his successor, Republican or Democrat ever can be.

Wake up, Denver Post, and put some pressure on these turkeys. Your editorial was a cheap shot that gives the real culprits a free pass. It was pure ignorance.

Registration Rolls Point Out the Path for GOP

But they also slap us down for the last decades' worth of mis-governing.

From the Saturday Rocky:

The latest voter registration figures from the Secretary of State show that Republicans outnumbered unaffiliated voters in January only by about 12,000 people, 34.8 percent compared to 34.4 percent. In January 2004, the spread was almost five percentage points, 37 percent to 32.2 percent. Since then, unaffiliated registration has steadily increased.

During the same time, the Democratic Party has remained at about 30 percent of the electorate even though the party captured the governor's mansion and the state legislature.

[notice the total for GOP/Unaffil has held steady at 69.2%]

I think the lessons here are fairly self-evident, but I'm going to point them out, anyway.
First of all, as I've written before, "We on theRight may not be able to get our act together to elect people; but the state of Colorado is still, on the issues, a center-right state. The more we do to delineate those issue differences for the voters, the better off we will be." When 69 percent of the electorate is Republican or Unaffiliated, I think that pretty much qualifies you as "center-right." Add to that the long list of referenda and initiatives that the Left has tried for and not succeeded with, and you get a picture of good center-right state.

Unfortunately, the party that should be enjoying the largesse of that profile has proven over the past many years to be either indifferent to everyday people or incompetent in power--I tend to think the latter. I believe that when people want to feel good, they elect Democrats to tell them how to assuage their guilt (whether they actually accomplish anything is a different story); I also believe that when people want to get things done and have competent governance, they tend to elect Republicans.

Those registration numbers don't mean the state is changing nearly as much as they mean the Republicans have blown opportunitites to capitalize on their plurality, and now there's a significant chunk of the electorate who are actively repudiating the Party.

But not the ideas.

And, while this is--or should be--a wake-up call for the GOP, it also points the way back to the promised land.

First: have ideas that mesh with the electorate

Second: be competent, be ethical, and be transparent.

You wouldn't think the first would be very difficult for the Party of Reagan and of Newt Gingrich; and the Colorado GOP is pursuing a very ambitious agenda in the legislature this session; but for a few years there, the GOP was in charge of a system (not of their making) that prevented increasing revenue while mandating increasing expenditures while . . . Sure, the GOP isn't completely responsible for TABOR and Amendment 23; but they happened on their watch, and they couldn't solve the problem. So they get the blame.

But that second one has proven to be a real problem for us. I think the Colorado GOP lost some good will when it tried to ram through redistricting in a stealthy way back in 2000, and that opened the door for the state party to be tarnished by Hurricane Katrina and Iraq and all the other problems of the national GOP.

So, . . .Note to Bob Schaffer's campaign: have ideas that are in sync with the state (not a problem) but ALSO make the case that your ethical standards are unimpeachable (you did keep your term-limits promise) in the face of Lefty smears and that you will get things done (unlike the Democrats who are flailing about haplessly in Congress right now). Don't think too much about the Udall campaign--you need to get this one message through to the electorate or it won't matter how goofy Mark Udall is.

And, preferably, you need to get that message through to the electorate soon, before the smear campaign starts in the Spring.

[cross-posted at BestDestiny]

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Schaffer Seeks to Connect Message with Voters; Udall Struggles to Find Mainstream

A story in yesterday's Longmont Times-Call highlights the positive message of the Schaffer campaign:
“We’ve just got to do a better job of articulating our message” in this year’s elections, Schaffer told more than 40 people attending a Longmont Republican Women luncheon at the Terroir restaurant on Thursday.

He suggested the GOP needs to convey that Republicans are pro-business and pro-economic growth, and that they oppose tax increases that would burden the middle class and deter capital investment.

Schaffer cautioned that it won’t be easy for Republicans in races such as his U.S. Senate contest with his likely Democratic opponent Mark Udall, an Eldorado Springs resident who represents Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District.

Schaffer, a onetime state senator and a former congressman from Colorado’s 4th District who’s now on the State Board of Education, acknowledged that he and other GOP candidates have “to hold our base together” but also will need support from non-Republican voters.

To do that, Republican office-seekers must “speak forcefully and articulately in a way that draws people back to us,” he said.
Toward the end of the article came this response:
Insofar as Schaffer’s remarks about Republicans representing mainstream Coloradans’ concerns, [Udall spokeswoman Taylor] West said: “Over the next several months, voters are going to have a chance to really get to know Mark Udall and his record and his reputation and his vision for Colorado.”
Well, for one thing, Udall's record is pretty well documented here at Schaffer v Udall. Here are just a few examples:

- Voted for the largest tax increase in American history
- Voting consistently against Second Amendment rights that Coloradans enjoy
- Sponsoring a bill to create a U.S. Department of Peace
- Sponsoring a bill to open up drilling in Castro's Cuban waters while stopping any energy exploration that would benefit Coloradans
- Throwing away workers' rights to secret ballot elections to benefit union bosses
- Voting to fund the National Endowment of the Arts at the expense of forest management vital to Colorado's natural beauty and economic well-being

Yet West had the laughable audacity to make this comment in yesterday's story:
She added, “I don’t think Bob Schaffer’s record holds up in the mainstream.”
Even as political spin goes, this remark ranks as very unconvincing. I don't think Udall and his crew could identify Colorado mainstream views to save their lives.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rossputin: Schaffer is "Better and Smarter Candidate"

Prolific Colorado-based libertarian blogger Rossputin posted on his site a letter he wrote that also ran in the Boulder Daily Camera, highlighting important differences between former Rep. Bob Schaffer and liberal Rep. Mark Udall.

The following is the opening and conclusion of his letter:
While there’s no doubt that 2008 will be a difficult year for Republicans, Bob Schaffer has a big factor in his favor: He’s the better and smarter candidate, and the more you know him the more you like him. The same can’t be said for Udall, who isn’t a bad guy but who doesn’t impress you more over time.

Schaffer’s biggest electoral problem is that many voters don’t have the true picture of him. Udall’s problem is that we do.
Check out Rossputin's site to read the whole thing. It will be interesting to see how much the issue of candidate intellect and competence becomes an issue in this Senate race, but it's hard to disagree with Rossputin that the balance there tips in favor of Schaffer.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

OK, We Don't Have Enough To Do

We've noticed that Taylor West, Mark Udall's spokeswoman has slipped into name calling mode. She has called Dick Wadhams "top below-the-belt attack dog." and twice within the last week called Bob Schaffer an extremist.

Meanwhile, she is trying to claim that the Mark Udall campaign is taking the high road and the Bob Schaffer Campaign is taking the low road:

"Mark Udall will be running his campaign on ideas to move Colorado forward; with Mr. Wadhams on board, we can expect Bob Schaffer's campaign to be one of constant negative attacks, not ideas," said spokeswoman Taylor West.

Schaffer's campaign isn't calling Udall names. Mark Udall's idea is to call Schaffer three names a week as if that will win the election.

If this happens again, we're going to start the Mark Udall as a hypocrite scoreboard. We don't have enough to do.

Guess We Have To Be Nice To Dick Wadhams

Now that Dick Wadhams is working for Bob Schaffer, we have to be nice to him or he will stop our paycheck.

Oh, I forgot, we are doing this for free, so we don't have to be nice to Dick after all. Darn!

Actually, Dick Wadhams is a nice guy. The Mark Udall campaign will try to demonize him, and already has.

"Mark Udall will be running his campaign on ideas to move Colorado forward; with Mr. Wadhams on board, we can expect Bob Schaffer's campaign to be one of constant negative attacks, not ideas," said spokeswoman Taylor West.

Hmmm. Wasn't Taylor West the woman who has called Schaffer an extremist twice in the last week? That's not a "constant negative attack," or is it?

Dick Wadhams has some catching up to do with Taylor West.

Out-of-Touch: CU Democrat Regents and Boulder Liberal Mark Udall

On a slow news day for the U.S. Senate campaign, attention turns to Rep. Mark Udall's hometown of Boulder, where partisan Democrat regents followed the lead of Left-wing smear groups and voted to deny Bruce Benson the job of University of Colorado president. Fortunately for common sense and the university's fiscal situation, the 6 Republican regents overrode their votes and confirmed Benson.

With this story emerging to show us once again just how out of touch the students and faculty (and the Democrat regents) on the Boulder campus are with mainstream Colorado, we're reminded of Udall's Boulder roots and affinity. After all, his campaign has pretty much resigned itself to the "Boulder liberal" moniker.

If he were really comfortable with the label, though, we might expect Udall to open his mouth to answer any questions about Bruce Benson and the University of Colorado. But we don't see that happening for awhile.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

She is a Nurse, Not a Photographer

We always like to have fun with our fellow bloggers, and when one comes up to make a comment, we oblige by bringing it forward with our reply. Most readers ignore comments, so it is a friendly way to acknowledge other blogger's work and give them a free link.

Today, the Neon Nurse is up. She is a bit liberal for our tastes, but she is a friendly sort, and well meaning, if misguided in her politics, (lol). She made a comment to our Somebody Buy the Man a Comb post:

Be fair, he HAD just come from an earlier meeting at a wind farm. :)

Also, being a guy, you might not know that many women like that tousled look. Harrison Ford has certainly done okay off it!

If nothing else, please blame me as the photog. I'm still learning how to work my new camera.

This author has seen photos of Mark Udall in a committee meeting in congress (another wind farm, we concede) definitely in need of a comb. It has happened often enough that we created a label for it "udall comb your hair." It is not your camera, Susan.

Two private notes: 1. Take your railfan son on the Cumbres & Toltec railroad. He will enjoy it, but bring sun glasses for eye protection. Actually, you and he will enjoy it. Go the whole route.

2. You ought to take a look at the bill we discussed. If you read it carefully, you may not like what you see, especially toward the end. The longer that piece of trash sits in the legislature the more openly anti-public interest it gets. Few care and no one notices.


Bill Ritter: A Progressive or Brutally Regressive?

Bill Ritter would like his allies to believe that he is a progressive politician. That isn't the tag he would like to be used to publicly describe his policies because it is associated with far left wing politics. "Progressive" is a dirty word in Colorado politics.

We're starting to look at the policies that he proposes, and almost all of them have hidden regressive features about them. Some are quite ugly, to the point of being brutal:

If Bill Ritter raises fees on automobiles by $100 per year, that burden falls disproportionately on lower income citizens. A family that can afford three cars can easily afford $300 but a family that is on the edge and needs the single car they own to go to work cannot.

If Bill Ritter forces the young and healthy to purchase health insurance, the costs will fall disproportionately on less educated and thus poorly paid workers just starting out in life. Well educated young people likely already have health insurance through their employment. Only low income, less educated young people feel they can take a chance to duck the costs of health insurance.

Bill Ritter is forcing the utilities to pay much higher costs for coal plants in the hope of forcing them to move to renewables. Who pays a disproportionately higher part of their income for utilities, the poor or the wealthy? Who will disproportionately bear the costs of Bill Ritter's feel good environmental policies?

It seems very likely that Bill Ritter will go down as one of the most agressive regulators, most aggressive taxers, and the most regressive governors in Colorado history.

What does this say about Mark Udall, that proud self described Boulder Liberal? Aren't his policies also quite regressive?

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Not Clear Cutting Forests

No, this isn't a proposal for slap-dash clear cutting of forests.

One of the things that is so frustrating about watching Mark Udall and his environmentalist extremist allies in the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society is their refusal to do any kind of cost-benefit analysis on the things they propose.

We are reminded of this by a Walter E. Williams essay on Costs vs. Benefits that never mentions the word "environment" or "global warming." Instead, it tries to teach the basic concepts of cost benefit analysis:

If we look to benefits only, we'll do darn near anything because there's always a benefit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 43,443 highway fatalities in 2005. If we had a maximum speed law of 15 mph, the death toll wouldn't be nearly as high, probably not even as high as 500. You say, "Williams, that's a crazy idea!" You're right, but let's not call it crazy; it's more accurate to say: saving some 43,000 lives aren't worth the cost and inconvenience of a 15 mph speed limit.

Now, take Mark Udall's support of roadless wilderness.

What is the benefit? It is primarily aesthetic. If there are no roads, there can be no lumbering. If there is no lumbering, there can not be ugly areas of clear cutting. Yes, clear cutting is ugly but it can lead to healthier forests that are less likely to burn. Which is uglier, a 60,000 acre burned forest or a few 300 acre clear cuts? Which is uglier, a 600,000 acre fire that burned so hot that it fused the soil or a few roads that allow thinning and even clear cutting over a few thousand acres?

What is the cost of these aesthetic benefits? Higher lumber prices, lost jobs, and destroyed local economies that then have to be subsidized by either the Federal or state government. Who pays those costs? It is almost never the people who benefit. Higher lumber prices are a well disguised regressive tax on the poor whose housing costs are forced up to acommodate the more wealthy population's desire for aesthetics. Yes, the wealthy pay more taxes, but their costs never match the hardship their policies impose on others.

A secret cost, again never paid by those who benefit, or admitted by politicians like Mark Udall is the cost in lives expended fighting forest fires that could have been contained by well planned clear cut fire breaks.

Here in Colorado, the costs are enormous. We have 1.5 million acres of lodge pole pine forests that are infected with the pine bark beetle, with projections that by 2012 every mature lodge pole pine in the state will be dead. This is the direct cost of Mark Udall's no roads-no thinning policy, but he is not paying the cost. Instead, he is reaping huge donations from the west coast "environmentalists" who won't be coming to Colorado to look at their handiwork.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Update on Yesterday's Manure Post

The Gazette is reporting that Saturday's small scale test of a new pollution control device that scrubs out nitrogen oxide, sulfur, and may scrub out carbon dioxide was a success.

“Our first live test Saturday at the Drake Power Plant . . . greatly exceeded expectations in terms of its ability to capture pollutants,” [Inventor David ] Neumann said. “We showed that it could capture approximately 90 percent of the sulfur pollutants from the flue gas using only tap water as a capture fluid.”

The invention could revolutionize the power industry because standards for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions will be toughened in coming years. Though control technology exists for nitrogen oxide and particulates, none exists for sulfur.

Read more here.

Recall that Bill Ritter is committed to eliminating coal fired electrical generating plants and has appointed a committed environmentalist foe of coal, Matt Baker, to the PUC for that purpose. Not so fast, please, Governor.

Opps, Wrong Blog! This should have been posted on the Ritter Watch Blog. So many blogs, so little time, lol.

Global Warming Treaties and Mark Udall

One of the side effects of politicians like Mark Udall, John Salazar, Ken Salazar, and Bill Ritter supporting organizations like the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society in trying to blame everything on global warming is that others are listening.

Negotiations on a new treaty to fight global warming will fail if rich nations are not treated as "culprits" and developing countries as "victims," China's top climate envoy said.

The whole world must take action to confront climate change, but developed countries have a "historical responsibility" to do much more because their unrestrained emissions in the past century are responsible for global warming, said Ambassador Yu Qingtai.

Remember the Kyoto treaty? It required the industrialized nations to lower emissions but not India or China. While Mark Udall and Bill Ritter insist that Colorado should spend its treasure to get rid of coal fired electric plants, China is bringing 544 new coal fired electric plants on line.

Unless China finds a way to clean up its coal plants and the thousands of factories that burn coal, pollution will soar both at home and abroad. The increase in global-warming gases from China's coal use will probably exceed that for all industrialized countries combined over the next 25 years, surpassing by five times the reduction in such emissions that the Kyoto Protocol seeks...

Already, China uses more coal than the United States, the European Union and Japan combined. And it has increased coal consumption 14 percent in each of the past two years in the broadest industrialization ever. Every week to 10 days, another coal-fired power plant opens somewhere in China that is big enough to serve all the households in Dallas or San Diego.
Meanwhile, the Mark Udall's and the Bill Ritter's remain silent while the Chinese ambassador plays the victim card:

Yu disputed that view, calling China "a victim" of climate change and stressing that its economy only started to grow in the last 25 years.

Mark Udall wants to be a Senator in a body where any new treaty would be ratified. Would he silently allow the US economy to be destroyed by this kind of thinking and propaganda? His history and his political contributors scream YES!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Somebody Buy the Man a Comb

Mark Udall, that is.

Some Candidates Run on the Union Label - Not Mark Udall

The campaign for Colorado's open US Senate seat changed tone this week now that the Mark Udall campaign has made the decision to run openly as a "Boulder Liberal."

The conventional wisdom, even among liberals and the left wing blogosphere, was that Mark Udall could not win in colorado while running as an openly left wing politician. To win, they thought, he had to run as a moderate.

One of the unintended consequences of our keeping a scoreboard is that once liberal blogs and the msm discover that we are keeping track of how they label Mark Udall, they uniformly drop the label. They do want Udall to be elected, but they are afraid that openly admitting that he is "liberal," let alone a "Boulder Liberal," would damage his chances to win.

Taylor West, a Mark Udall Campaign spokeswoman has given these blogs and the msm the green light to refer to Udall as a "Boulder Liberal" when she said to the Daily Camera:

the Udall campaign doesn't think the "Boulder liberal" tag will hurt Udall as voters across the state get to know him.

We think that she is wrong, but only time will tell. Henceforth this author will refer to Mark Udall as "self styled Boulder Liberal Mark Udall," and we will do it just that way. It should be fun.

Udall's Press Agent: Boulder Liberal Tag Won't Hurt

It seems that the Mark Udall campaign has resigned itself to Udall being labeled a "Boulder Liberal" and embraced the moniker. The Daily Camera reports that Taylor West, a spokeswoman for Mark Udall's campaign said:

the Udall campaign doesn't think the "Boulder liberal" tag will hurt Udall as voters across the state get to know him.

We happen to think that being a "Boulder Liberal" is farther to the left on the political spectrum than just plain liberal and are taking this opportunity to increment the "relaiably left wing" part of our scoreboard.

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 11
liberal 30
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Long ago, we started using music titles to make it easier to find earlier posts and to differentiate scoreboard posts from other posts. Recently, Mark Udall admitted that in 1971 he had his automobile seized in a drug related arrest. Most states don't seize vehicles unless the amount of drugs involved suggests drug dealing. Mark Udall has been quite coy about what happened. An enquiring public wants to know. In that spirit, our future scoreboard entries will be titled Puff the Magic Dragon.

Political Commentary Through a Fun House Mirror

Newspapers match their readership or they won't survive. It is no surprise that The Gazette is somewhat conservative in its outlook given that it must sell papers in a conservative county.

Likewise the Boulder Daily Camera must be quite liberal or it will not survive. It comes as no surprise that its analysis of the Senate race tilts leftward.

They managed to find CSU political science professor John Straayer for some quotes that were very sloppy if someone wants an accurate analysis of the political climate in Colorado:

About Schaffer, he said:

"He's continually dogged by the image that began to be created when he was in the state Senate, and that's that he's close to the more right fringe of the party, particularly on social issues like abortion and gay marriage," Straayer said.

We have been carefully monitoring the campaign for six months. The msm and even the liberal blog political coverage never seems to mention any of these issues, nor does the Udall campaign. The big complaint from Udall supporters is that Schaffer hasn't given them any issue to latch on to, something Straayer leaves out. This makes us curious as to what campaign Straayer is watching.

Likewise, John Straayer dismisses the fact that Mark Udall's liberal allies and the msm routinely describe him as liberal, reliably left wing, and even extremist. Look at the first comment at the bottom of the Daily Camera article for another example of how far out of touch Straayer is:

Mark! Mark! Mark! Go Mark [ Udall ]! Boulder's Best deserves the upgrade from Congressman to Senator. The rest of Colorado will see that being a "Boulder Liberal" can be good for all. Mark is a "Coloradan's Coloradan."

Last summer, the political buzz was that Colorado would be an easy pick up for Udall and the Democrats. As poll after poll shows the race to be a dead heat, most knowledgeable observers are rating Colorado as a toss-up. Once again, John Straayer is in his own little world:

Straayer said Udall should be considered the favorite to win the race.

The Daily Camera appears to have reported Straayer's over all analysis of the Colorado political scene without giving him a direct quote:

Straayer and other political observers say there's ample reason to think Colorado, traditionally a strong Republican state, will be much more rewarding territory for the Democratic candidate this year. Recent history has been good to donkeys, starting with Salazar's victory in 2004, followed by Democrats winning control of both chambers of the state Legislature for the first time in four decades. In 2006, Denver prosecutor Bill Ritter -- a pro-life Democrat -- won the race for the governor's office.

What John Straayer leaves out is the excessively abusive gerrymandering that allowed Republican candidates to aggregate the most statewide votes in legislative contests but elect only 40% of the legislature.

He also ignores the Republican infighting that handed Ken Salazar and Bill Ritter their elections, infighting that seems to have subsided.

Straayer might also have mentioned that the Denver Post appears to have soured some what on the Democrats in general and Bill Ritter in particular, which will negatively impact the ability of leftist candidates to pretend to be centrists.

If John Straayer wants to have some credibility, he would do well to read, consider, and answer our September essay "why the left wing prognosticators are wrong." The left wing prognosticators have turned out to be wrong, realized that they are wrong, and modified their positions, all except for Straayer.

All in all, John Straayer comes across in this piece as a prognosticator operating in a fun house whose mirrors distort reality to the point that his comments cannot be trusted by either side.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fair Warning to Trout Unlimited

We find it sad that politicians like Mark Udall and Bill Ritter seek allies in the hunting and fishing community and then allow the environmentalist extremists and the gun control nuts to knife them in the back.

Bill Ritter promised shooting ranges across the state during the election, but the legislature can't seem to find the money for any. Instead, it spends its time and energy crafting gun control bills that Ritter is only too happy to sign.

Now, Trout Unlimited might want to start looking over its shoulder. Coloradoriverconservancy is reporting that the environmentalists are trying to rid the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon of Trout:

On June 2nd 2006, The Center for Biological Diversity and the environmental group Living Rivers gave formal notice of intent to sue the Arizona Game and Fish Department for violating the endangered species act if they stock Trout at Lees Ferry.

So what does all this mean to the sportsmen of Arizona? We must understand that the debacle that is occurring at Lees Ferry and in the Grand Canyon is the beginning of a movement to remove non-native sport fish from not just the Colorado River, but sport fish removal and eradication might just be coming to a river or lake near you.

Whose back is Mark Udall watching? His own. As long as the environmentalist extremists are willing to send him money by the bucketfull, he is willing to ignore what his allies have in mind for trout fishermen.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Mark Udall Criticized by Fellow Liberal for His Sellout to "Ambition"

Green Party blogger Dave Chandler has a message for Colorado Lefties who have observed Boulder liberal Mark Udall selling out his core principles in a calculated election year cosmetic political makeover:
The thing about Mark Udall as a Colorado Congressman and as a candidate of the Dimocrat Party for the U.S. Senate in 2008, is that his moves to the right -- for the purpose of fulfilling his ambition for higher office -- are so transparent that they further the cynicism and contempt people have for politicians and government.

At a time when Americans are giving voice to a desire for change, Udall sadly represents the kind of dynastic, risk-averse politics that have gotten our country into the current mess -- endless military occupation of another nation, economic malaise, abridgment of our liberties, corrupt corporatized political campaigns, and on and on....

My prediction is the Udall will not suddenly begin to display the kind of bold leadership that the people of Colorado and the United States are now calling for ... because you can't teach a sway-backed old dog new tricks.

That is why the Green Party has a candidate, Bob Kinsey, seeking our party's nomination for the U.S. Senate to run against Udall. For principled, conscientious voters who just don't want to play the "lesser of two evils" game anymore, a real, substantive alternative is available.

It takes courage to begin the process of rejecting the politics of the past for a 'politics of the future' ... the establishment will hurl all kinds of invective at you for "throwing away your vote." But any vote cast out of conviction and principle is more valuable for you and the fate of the Republic than those corporate politicians will ever be able to comprehend.
More proof that it's hard for Udall to be all things to all voters. Imagining that his very liberal voting record in Congress will sew up his support among his Boulder friends, Udall is desperately trying to recast his image as a political centrist. Not only does his recent "rightward" (about the only direction he could move after being so far Left) shift lack credibility with anyone who has observed his record, but the pandering has given rise to increasingly credible opposition on his Left.

Notice the words used by someone closely aligned with Udall's Boulder Left-liberal ideology: saying he is motivated by "fulfilling his ambition for higher office," that he represents a "kind of dynastic, risk-averse politics," and that he is "a sway-backed old dog" who can't be taught "new tricks." Alienating those who should be his natural allies, Udall is slowly pinning himself into a corner. Which way should he go?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Where Is Mark Udall's Common Sense and Compassion?

It used to be the environmental organizations and their toadies like Mark Udall who accused the timber industry of slash and burn tactics against our forests.

Now, they are being accused of slash and burn tactics against the economies of areas which used to rely on the timber industry and are now being asked to live off tourism revenues in burned out areas that no one wants to visit.

This is one of a series of articles and essays we are bringing forward to show just how dangerous, ruthless, and callous the environmental extremists like the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and their congressional allies like Mark Udall and John Salazar have become. What is happening in Oregon will happen here in Colorado.

Environmental groups and their allies [ like Mark Udall ] argue that tourism can take the place of the millions of lost timber dollars and revenues from these O&C public lands. But tourism jobs and revenues often simply cannot replace the family-wage jobs and tax revenues that have historically come from timber production on these lands...

Environmental groups have successfully fought efforts to salvage and replant burned areas in Oregon, even when it would benefit forest health. Tourists are not interested in seeing dead, dying and bug infested forests.

The author of this article can only be described as bitter toward the "environmentalist extremists." Before Mark Udall tries to get himself elected to the US Senate, he needs to explain how it is good public policy to allow well paid lawyers and environmental groups to destroy people's livlihoods when they don't pay taxes in the state they are laying waste to.

Wealthy, tax-exempt groups such as the Wilderness Society also work to restrict public access to public lands like the O&C Lands. They work to prohibit the construction of roads into public areas for recreational or economic use. To the Wilderness Society and its executives, and other wealthy groups such as the Sierra Club, the public should be excluded from public lands and those areas shouldn’t be a tax base for local Oregon counties. Ironically, recreationists like hikers and fishermen often access public areas on old logging roads, built by those in the wood products industry.

Doing Yourself a GIANT Favor

If you want to inform yourself as to the sleazy and frightening way that Bill Ritter's Climate Plan came into being, invest 30 minutes of your time to watch tonight's Independent Thinking rerun at 5:30 on KBDI.

Paul Chesser is Jon Caldera's guest.

It is scary when an agenda driven non-profit can come into Colorado and hijack the process to the point that our climate plan is a close cookie cutter version of the plans produced in 20 other states by this same non-profit. How does it serve the public when they produce a list of mandates that they want imposed without any requirement for cost-benefit analysis or any proof that their draconian mandates impact the climate in any way?

Is Bill Ritter so corrupted by the environmentalist extremists and so inept a manager that he sees no need for a cost benefit analysis on any of these proposals?

No matter your position on the political spectrum, this could be the most important 30 minutes you spend in 2oo8.

We stole this from Ritterwatch, a blog well worth visiting.

Video: Berkeley Bans U.S. Marines ... How Will Udall Respond?

A new video produced by the National Republican Senatorial Committee raises questions about the Congressional Democrats and their priorities:

Notice not only the radicals' self-absorbed, boorish behavior but the local law enforcement's capitulation. If Berkeley insists on boycotting the U.S. Marines, the proposed solution of withdrawing federal earmark subsidies only makes sense.

Then maybe down the road we can consider voting to let Berkeley secede from the union and from our military protection.

But seriously, given his recent troubles with Far Left anti-war activists, how will Mark Udall vote? Or will he beg Nancy Pelosi to keep the proposal off the floor?

Cross posted at Mount Virtus

Puff The Magic Dragon

The Denver Post wanted so much to attach the "liberal" label to Mark Udall that it found a way to sidestep actually putting the label on him:

The fact that Udall would be considered liberal by most voters...

We will be counting that in our scoreboard today.

The Mark Udall is not a moderate scoreboard:
extremist 2
reliably left wing 10
liberal 30
moderate 0
conservative (chuckle)

We started this scoreboard when we noticed that liberal blogs and the msm were routinely calling Mark Udall a "liberal," "reliably left wing," and even "extremist." We do not count comments from conservative blogs and we didn't count a comment on a liberal show by a conservative politician. Those who would like to check our methodology can follow the bread crumbs backwards.

Long ago, we started using music titles to make it easier to find earlier posts and to differentiate scoreboard posts from other posts. Recently, Mark Udall admitted that in 1971 he had his automobile seized in a drug related arrest. Most states don't seize vehicles unless the amount of drugs involved suggests drug dealing. Mark Udall has been quite coy about what happened. An enquiring public wants to know. In that spirit, our future scoreboard entries will be titled Puff the Magic Dragon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Campaign Quote Raises Questions

Mark Udall was quoted in the Cherry Creek News:

Speaking about the coming campaign and the issues to define it, Udall said “the outlines are clear- Iraq, the economy, immigration.” Udall said that undocumented immigrants must “travel the path to citizenship— pay a fine (for being in the U.S. illegally), speak English, have committed no crimes.” “We must address... the health care system where families are one illness away from bankruptcy.”

Udall, a westerner, said that Colorado issues would play a key role in the Senate race: water, transportation and creating more transit options. He also emphasized that Colorado’s position for renewable energy and the jobs it could create was strong, given our resources and the presence of the National Renewable Energy lab in Golden.
Someday we must remember to ask if Mark Udall considers it acceptable for (as he says) an undocumented immigrant to gain his citizenship if he went through Bill Ritter's agricultural trespass plea bargain mill.

Note that Mark Udall is not all that interested in talking about his part in the bark beetle crisis, his refusal to allow either clear cutting of fire breaks to reduce the size of a probable forest fire or the harvesting of dying trees by lumber companies.

We wonder if Mark Udall will be willing to talk about his part in his staff's railroading of Caroline Bninski into a one year jail term.

Is Mark Udall proud to be associated with Daily Kos to the point that they were setting up his own personal blog on that site?

So many questions and so few answers. Oh, and our favorite, the Department of Peace?

Rasmussen Poll: Schaffer 44, Udall 43 ... The Dead Heat Continues

The highly-reliable Rasmussen tracking poll has released fresh results for Colorado:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey found that former Republican Congressman Bob Schaffer holds a statistically insignificant lead over Democratic Congressman Mark Udall 44% to 43%.
Following the last Rasmussen release in late November, when Schaffer led Udall by an equally narrow and insignificant 42-to-41 edge, the race remains unmoved.

Based on the new Rasmussen survey, we now see one more reason why the Left is orchestrating a campaign to smear Schaffer early - their own candidate lags slightly in favorable opinion:
The two Congressmen have very similar favorability ratings. Schaffer is viewed favorably by 48% and unfavorably by 35%. Udall is viewed favorably by 46% and unfavorably by 39%.
Get ready for the liberal slime and distortions to begin pouring in soon to try and bring down public opinion of the Republican candidate, as a way to make Boulder-based Udall seem less unappealing by comparison. But don't expect their expensive attacks to change the fundamental dynamic of the race: a closely-contested dead heat between candidates with clearly distinct records.

Udall Staffer Promoting Salazar for VP

In a curious little blurb, Politicker is claiming that there is talk of Ken Salazar running as Hillary's vice president. This began on the Sunday Chris Matthews show when one pundit claimed that Salazar would make a good VP candidate and one obscure Colorado blog picked it up.

Politicker ran down a Mark Udall spokesman for a quote:

“Mark [ Udall ] knows Ken [ Salazar ] would make an excellent choice, both as a nominee and as Vice President,” said Udall campaign spokesperson Taylor West in a statement Wednesday morning. “In addition to the judgment and experience he’d bring to the job overall, he’d also be a strong voice for the West and for rural America.”

“We’d certainly miss his work as a U.S. Senator, but having him in the executive branch would be great for Colorado and great for the country,” West concluded.

If there is one thing that might strengthen Mark Udall's chances of becoming a US Senator, it would be Ken Salazar sucking up the oxygen in Colorado as a VP candidate. While the liberal bloggers and the msm recognize that Mark Udall is well to the left of liberal Ken Salazar (as you can verify by following our scoreboard "bread crumbs"), the Colorado public probably doesn't know that yet.

They will begin to find out how liberal, even left wing Mark Udall is as the liberal circus that is the Democrat National Convention comes to town. If Salazar were on the ticket, he would be the news. Of course Taylor West and Mark Udall would like to see that happen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Udall Staffer Tells a Fib

According to the Longmont Times-Call:

Speaker after speaker at a Tuesday night Boulder County Republican dinner emphasized the importance of electing GOP candidate Bob Schaffer to the U.S. Senate.

In the interest of balance, the Times-Call got a quote from a Mark Udall spokesman:

Udall campaign spokeswoman Taylor West dismissed “that whole Boulder-liberal thing” during an interview later Tuesday night.

This a very curious quote as on October 6, 2007, the Times-Call found Mark Udall at a similar Boulder gathering and reported:

Said [ Mark ] Udall, who lives in Eldorado Springs: “It’s wonderful to be home.” He said Boulder County is “home base for me. This is the touchstone; this is where I take my inspiration.”

We're not Colorado Media Matters and we are not trying to emulate that ethics challenged site, but it is fair to ask why the Times-Call didn't match these two quotes up as we just did. Mark Udall wasn't running from his Boulder liberal roots then. Indeed, he was embracing them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Competing for the Left Vote

Claire Ryder, Chairwoman of the Denver Green Party objected to the Denver Post article announcing the entry of Bob Kinsey into the US Senate race. Her objection came in the form of a letter to the editor that stated in part:

With more than 70 percent of the American public against the occupation of Iraq and a majority of the American public in favor of impeachment [according to some polls], I would hardly call this a “narrow group.” [ Mark ] Udall’s insistence of continuing the funding of the war, in the guise of “supporting of troops,” is unpopular with many of his potential voters. These well-informed voters have been following his voting record in Congress.

Her facts are wrong, or at best outdated. If they were right, Harry Reid would again opine that "The war is lost" and be scheduling weekly defunding votes like he was last Spring. We haven't heard a peep out of Congress in months.

Read the rest, here.

Denver Post Article on Bob Schaffer

There is a very solid article on Bob Schaffer in the Denver Post today. Mark Udall's spokesman called Schaffer an extremist, which he has to do because Udall has not run away from his own labels-see the scoreboard at the right.

Note the third comment on that article. There isn't much point in repeating what we said here.

The article is sufficiently fair that we predict that Media Matters will be all over it, demonstrating again how mean spirited they are. They live in their own sad little world.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Acting Against the Public Interest

Our son married into a very liberal family. Since we often have joint grandparent events we see each other often. His inlaws live on a ridge at the top of Coal Creek Canyon. They have a view to die for, perhaps 200 square miles of unbroken forest.

Today, we had lunch and had occasion to talk about the refusal of the environmentalists like Mark Udall to cut fire breaks until there is a fire. It defies common sense, and even staunch liberals can see that. Will that change their vote?

They've been life long liberals, but even liberals can see when politicians are acting against their interests. Less dedicated liberals might shift their votes. These people won't.

Daily Kos Diatribe

DailyKos has published a lengthy diatribe from ColoTim with a poll. We didn't vote in the poll - we never do - but only three of the 24 kossacks think Mark Udall is doing a fine job. 15 thought Udall should be supporting impeachment. Only four thought impeachment a distraction.

Keep in mind that while Mark Udall claims that his fundraising success is an endorsement by the people of Colorado, he is doing a lot of fundraising on the West Coast, some with Kos as a host. Kos tried to defuse the fundraising with this curious, somewhat disjointed post (We edited out the reduncancy and added not a word):

...liberal Mark Udall is already too liberal for Colorado ... The event ... organized by ultra liberal blogger Markos Moulitsas, ... scheduled to take place ... San Francisco...

Recall that we caught Janus at DailyKos admitting that he had the password to Mark Udall's Kos blog account.

Even Mark Udall's friends aren't so friendly.

Buddy Moore Strikes Back

The inimitable Buddy Moore - who earlier was turned down by the Democrats in his quixotic quest to run for Colorado's U.S. Senate seat - has re-emerged (apparently) as a Republican (?) candidate, based on a bizarre Speakout letter published in the Rocky Mountain News today. His agenda includes government-run healthcare, international arms reduction, government regulation of media outlets, impeaching the President, global warming hysteria, and decreasing defense spending.

Hmmm. A real committed Republican. Not much more can be said, unless readers are looking to have fun in the comment section.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Stealing Delegates

One of the most interesting comments on this morning's talk shows was speculation that the Hillary Clinton camp might attempt to steal caucus delegates before they are locked in by their state conventions.

We wonder what Mark Udall's position would be if that were to happen.

Superdelegates In The News

Who would have guessed just two months ago that Hillary's inevitability campaign wasn't so inevitable after all?

Who would have guessed that there is great fear among Colorado Democrats that Mark Udall won't "do the right thing," what ever that may be?

News2 in Denver is writing about Diana DeGette, but it illustrates Mark Udall's problem:

"I've supported [ Diana ] DeGette for a long time and I'd like to be able to continue to support her," [ Obama activist Margit ] Henderson said. "But this is a make or break situation. She has a lot of power as a super delegate to silence the voices of the people who came out, who got babysitters, did everything we could to make our voices heard and it doesn't feel right that she [would] override that."

Given Mark Udall's demonstrated level of courage on any issue except funding the war, we would guess that he wishes he could crawl under a King sized bed during the convention.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mark Udall Predicted to Support Obama

The Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University is trying to model the Democrat Superdelegates.

While Mark Udall, as the Denver Post noted, lacks the courage to say for whom he will vote at the convention, CCPS says that he will go for Obama.

They claim to have a 73.5% accuracy, which is better than flipping a coin.

Essentially, we are using information about the superdelegates who have pledged their support for a candidate to try to predict how the unpledged superdelegates might go. Our model includes information about whether the delegate is black, hispanic, or female. It also includes the percent who voted for Bush in 2004 in that delegate's state or congressional district. In addition, we have information about the percentage of the population in the delegate's state that has a college degree, that belongs to a union, and that lives in an urban area, since these have all been factors affecting whether states have supported Obama or Clinton

A Profile in Courage, Not

The Denver Post humorously observed that Mark Udall and Ken Salazar can't seem to screw up the courage to tell the public who they will vote for as a Democrat super delegate.

Mark Udall operates on pure fear, but Ken Salazar has well thought reasons for not going public. After all, Barak lives in the same builing as Salazar does and Hillary was polite to Salazar's mother for a few minutes:

Colorado's soon-to-be-senior-senator makes this assessment of the candidates: He lived in the same Washington, D.C., building as Obama, with whom he works out. And he is grateful to Clinton for having chatted with his elderly mom at a reception.

"Picking between the two would be akin to choosing between family members," said [ Ken ]Salazar, who was willing to campaign for Joe Lieberman after the Connecticut senator defected from the Democratic Party.

As for Udall:

Udall also is loath to alienate voters as he vies to replace Republican Sen. Wayne Allard.

Udall has mustered the political courage to oppose bark beetles. Yet on the question of who should run the free world, he remains uncommitted.

But, is this true? Mark Udall has not had the courage to oppose the Sierra Club's and the Wilderness Society's do nothing, let 'em die, let Colorado burn attitude.

We do admit that Mark Udall did have the courage to co-sponsor a Department of Peace - that is until he decided to run for the Senate, when he lost even that level of courage and withdrew as a co-sponsor.

Susan Greene sums it up best:

But officials who try to be everything to everyone risk winding up as nothing to anyone. In politics, guts matter.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Boulder Daily Camera Not Happy

The Boulder Daily Camera editorial board came out against the "Foot on Throat" campaign proposed to, if not promised by Tim Gill and Pat Stryker:

Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer are running for the U.S. Senate and are poles apart on policy, but share some common ground. They've amassed years of public service, and they both seem to hew to their principles.

Honorable civic service deserves some respect, regardless of how we might differ from an individual candidate philosophically. Bear that in mind this election season, because the race is bound to get ugly

The funniest quote was this:

Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams told the News that the Dems were planning "character assassination," from which, we are supposed to believe, he recoiled. Please. Wadhams' middle name is "scurrilous innuendo."

The next time we see Dick Wadhams, we will try to remember to ask him if that really is his middle name, lol.

Meanwhile, we think it speaks to Mark Udall's character that he hasn't said a word about this kind of tactic.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Today's Chuckle

We're not going to link to this, but Mark Udall put out a fund raising email that had among it's many curious statements this most curious statement:

Act for change. Contribute today and give me the advantage I'll need to defeat Bob Schaffer -- and keep this seat out of extremist hands!

That's strong stuff. It seems to us that the msm was calling Mark Udall an extremist, but we don't recall any such label attached to Bob Schaffer. So many people, msm and bloggers alike have called Mark Udall a progressive or reliably left wing that it is hard to keep up, but we try.

Apparently Mark Udall's campaign strategy is to freely admit that he is a flaming (as in forest fire) Boulder liberal but to call Bob Schaffer an extremist.

We're laughing at Mark Udall.

Not Everyone Can Run Against Mark Udall

It turns out that Buddy Moore wanted to run against Mark Udall as a peace candidate, but he hadn't been a Democrat long enough. Politicker reports:

On Jan. 9, a 52-year-old former police officer and ski patrolman named Gail "Buddy" Moore walked into Colorado Democratic Headquarters in Denver and said he wanted to run for the United States Senate.

"Nobody knew who he was," said state Democratic party political director Billy Compton. "We had to look him up."

Unfortunately for Moore, state law and Colorado Democratic Party rules require political candidates to be registered with the party for at least a year before the November general election: Moore only signed up to be a Democrat last December...

Moore’s campaign site is

Senator John Ensign Speaks

Yesterday, Senator John Ensign hosted a blogger's conference call.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Who Does Udall Want at the Top of the Ticket?

With a little time now for the Super Tuesday results to sink in, and a desperately close and hard-fought primary campaign in the cards for the Democratic Party, who is Boulder liberal Rep. Mark Udall's campaign secretly rooting for? The candidate who makes him look like someone with a wealth of foreign policy and military experience, or the candidate who makes him look honest as a Boy Scout?

Just wondering who Udall would rather have standing by his side at the DNC in Denver, and to campaign with him this fall. Inquiring minds...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mark Udall is the Worst Kind of Rubber Stamp

We saw a Google Digg Alert claiming that Mark Udall is not a rubber stamp. That sounds really good because voters shouldn't want their politicians to be rubber stamps. Bob Schaffer certainly wasn't a rubber stamp when he was in congress.

The problem is that Mark Udall is a rubber stamp for the environmentalist extremist movement.

We have a growing crisis in Colorado with our mega acres of dead trees. Common sense says that we should be clear cutting fire breaks to keep the whole state from going up at once.

The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club say that we shouldn't. Burn, Colorado Burn, is their mantra. Mark Udall is a rubber stamp for this insane position. Mark these words: Mark Udall's position will cost fire fighters lives.

Does he care? Not that we can tell.

Another Wild Card

The Denver Post is reporting that:

Bob Kinsey, a Denver peace activist who in a 2004 congressional race was able to peel off significant votes from the major parties, says he'll run as a Green Party candidate for Colorado's open Senate seat...

Kinsey declared that he'll focus on a core of issues he says are being skirted by the major candidates — immediate withdrawal from Iraq and the impeachment of President Bush among them. Both issues are top concerns for a narrow group of progressive voters who otherwise would likely support Udall.

The last third party candidate to make the statewide ballot in Colorado was Ross Perot, the man who made Bill Clinton President and who may also have gifted the nation Hillary.

Third party candidates can impact the outcome of an election. It will be interesting to see how and if that happens in 2008. Mark Udall's campaign manager, Mike Melanson, didn't seem very worried, perhaps because having a Green Party candidate in the race gives the impression that Udall has moved to the center without his having to change a single position.

Committed Green Party activists will likely remember publicly the ploy Mark Udall's staff used to get Caroline Bninski a one year jail term. It was doubtless intended by his cynical staff as a Sister Souljah moment, but it was ham handed in its execution.

Udall's staff had made an agreement with Bninski for a peaceful anti-war demonstration that lasted over a period of weeks. Until the last day, she followed the agreement.

She announced that she would perform an act of civil disobedience on that last day. The cops were called about 30 seconds later. Udall's staff reportedly told the judge that she had disrupted office operations for weeks. While that may have been true, her conduct was protected by her agreement with the staff and by the First Amendment's right to petition.

The Denver Post reported the incident in the most deceptive way possible, claiming that she got a $500 fine and a month in jail. She actually got a year in jail, all but 35 days suspended, and a $1,000 fine, half suspended.

It will be an interesting election.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Answering Our Criticism

Our friend David at Liberal and Loving It responded to our criticisms of his debate questions:

A couple of comments on your feedback about the online debate.

1) I went for a number of questions about the person because the candidates stands on the issues are pretty similiar and well covered on their websites.

2) The problem with questions like that is you don't know in advance which ones will strike gold. I discussed my take on the results of each and some worked better than others. The funny thing is, the bucket list question got the most interest.

3) Looking forward 100 years was I thought one of the best questions. No a person in 1900 could not predict Hitler or the arc of Communism. But German & Japanese militarism was a clear issue (see war of 1870) as was the global economy which was well on it's way then, until WWI pushed it back. And I think the answers they had for this question were incredibly good guesses based on what we know today.

I emailed you about seeing if between us we can set up the online debate. Definitely would be fun.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Clear Cutting

It is hard to understand why the environmentalists oppose clear cutting dead forests to establish fire breaks to stop or slow down a massive forest fire.

If forest fires are contained by creating hasty fire breaks in its path, and environmentalists like Mark Udall's Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society do not object to that, why would they oppose well planned deliberate fire breaks.

This opposition makes no sense. It needlessly puts firefighter's lives at risk because the fires will be fought, and they will be fought with fire breaks.

Perhaps Mark Udall will take time from his busy schedule to explain why he opposes deliberate fire breaks and does not oppose hasty fire breaks.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mark Udall Must Have Been Last In Line For Brains

It took the Wilderness Society less than 24 hours to attack Mark Udall's legislation, even while admitting that they hadn't read it:

Such waivers, known as categorical exclusions, have been misused in the past for widespread tree cutting, said Michael Francis, director of the national forest program for the Wilderness Society.

But isn't that the point? We want the dead trees cut down now, not after years of courtroom wrangling.

It turns out that Mark Udall remains intent on preventing the establishment of clear cut fire breaks. He told the Wilderness Society:

"These lands that fit in the categorical-exclusion category have to be very close to a community, and they have to be part of a community's wildfire-protection plan," Udall said.

The Udall bill allows the exclusions for land within 1.5 miles of an affected area. The Wilderness Society supports only a half-mile limit, Francis said.

"When you start going out, you're not getting any protection, and you're spending an awful lot of the taxpayers' money," Francis said.

We think that a failure to have clear cut fire breaks at the Hayman fire area has cost the taxpayers in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars so far. Michael Francis has no interest in protecting the taxpayers when he can protect dead trees by claiming to protect the taxpayers.

Udall admits that his bill won't allow for either fire breaks more than 7000 feet from a community or the roads that would support them:

The bill keeps in place protections for land in wilderness areas, where new roads can't be built or where the land is fragile, Udall said.
Colorado voters will be well rid of Mark Udall. He totally lacks common sense. Fragile land that is encrusted by a hot forest fire doesn't support any kind of life. Ask the folks who live near the Hayman burn area.

With Friends Like These...

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) sent out a release yesterday attacking Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer under the heading "Will "Bobby Boy" Schaffer Break His Silence And Tell Bush To Stop Threatening Roan Drilling...?":
George Bush will touch down in Denver today to raise money for the Senate candidate he affectionately refers to as “Bobby Boy,” former Congressman and current oilman Bob Schaffer. Since the fundraiser will take place behind closed doors, no one will know what the two men actually discuss, but Schaffer has the perfect opportunity to show Coloradans he can stand up for them by urging the president to stop pushing to open the Roan Plateau to oil drilling.
Someone should have told the DSCC to check first with their candidate - Boulder liberal Mark Udall. After all, it was only less than a month ago that Udall agreed to "support expanded natural gas production on public lands atop the Roan Plateau".

Is the DSCC press release therefore a tacit admission that Beltway Democrats believe Udall won't stand up for Coloradans? Is Udall in the pocket of President Bush? Or maybe, as the Rocky Mountain News intimates, he was motivated by a self-serving "political calculus"?

If a 100% off-limits, pristine Roan Plateau that undermines Colorado jobs and the energy economy is part of the DSCC agenda, maybe they should make sure their own guy is on board first. With friends like these pointing out his inconsistent and convenient environmental policies, Udall has got to be a little disconcerted.

On Line Debate

David at Liberal and Loving It left a comment two days ago. Since I don't approve comments, I don't see them unless I go looking to see if there are any comments. I just looked a few minutes ago. David is lucky, I suppose. It took me a week to find a comment from someone else.

Anyone who wants to email me already has my email or should be able to decipher it from my Colorado Index site, so if I don't respond to a comment, please send me an email.

Anyway, here is David's comment:

I would love to do an online debate between Udall & Schaffer - do you think there is any way I could get them to agree to it?

ps - what did you think of the questions {your post is clear what you think of the answers :) }?

I know for a fact that staffers from both campaigns regularly read this site. How I might know will be left to your imagination. You've planted the seed. Wait a week or so and let it germinate then ask them yourself.

I don't speak for or communicate with the Schaffer campaign, so they will find this about the same time that the Udall campaign finds it.

I wouldn't mind seeing an online debate that was jointly moderated by you and Ben DeGrow. Each of you come up with six questions. (Ben doesn't know I am writing any of this.)

As to your questions, some were too touchy feely. They pretty much fit the 2d CD and the candidates, but would they fit the whole state? I didn't like the bit bucket one-it was a waste of an opportunity to ask a more serious question. Because of the way blogs work, last in, first out, it made your very serious project appear less serious to readers who don't actually read.

Your 100 year question had potential but you made it so broad and so long that you got shallow answers. Most politicians don't think 100 years out on any subject, and none of these three did. But can they? Think back to how three politicians of 1908 might have answered this question and how far off the mark they would have been. They couldn't forsee the 16th amendment, 1929, Hitler, the rise and fall of communism, Sputnik, an oil economy, a global economy, or China and Japan as ecconomic powerhouses. In 1905 the Japanese Navy cleaned Russia's clock with a navy that hadn't existed 20 years earlier, but could any 1908 politician have used that event to predict an attack on Pearl Harbor using airplanes, when flight was a technology that was only five years old?

The questions could have been different, but they were a good first start, and the effort noble. I'm glad you did it.

You ought to talk to Ben and make a proposal.

And my predictions for 100 years out? Why not nuclear powered railroad engines for freight trains?