Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bob Schaffer Accepts GOP Nomination

Bob Schaffer began his acceptance speech with a tribute to his recently deceased grandmother, Mary Schaffer, born in 1914, an inspiration to his life and campaign.

Schaffer began the substance of his remarks by highlighting the need for reform within the Republican Party and his independent record of challenging GOP leadership, on No Child Left Behind and on earmarks.

But Democrat leadership is wrong more often, he correctly observed. Schaffer compared Democrat calls for "change" to putting lipstick on a pig. The zinger of the speech: What do you call a system of sustained, liberal, one-party rule? "In Colorado, we call it Boulder." Without mentioning his opponent by name, Schaffer reminded the party faithful of Dennis Kucinich's Boulder-like Department of Peace proposal. Subtle, but effective.

Bob Schaffer then focused on the expected philosophical themes that undergird his campaign and unite him with the Republican Party:
- His support of free markets
- Protecting individual rights
- Empowering families to make the most important decisions about health care & education (aka school choice)
- The need for energy independence
- Freedom-based health care, not government-run health care

In case you need a sense of the audience, Bob Schaffer's biggest applause came from his citation of the Declaration of Independence, that our inalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" come from God.

Bob Schaffer closed on a personal note, honoring his wife Maureen, "another strong Schaffer woman" and each of his five kids: Mary, named for her great-grandmother; Sarah, with the best penmanship in America. His oldest three children are all military officers in training - Jenny, Emily, and Justin - which provided a springboard to credit those serving in our military overseas as an inspiration for those on the homefront: "Don't you think we owe them the same kind of courage here at home?"

The audience rose to its feet with the powerful conclusion that draws the clear contrast between Bob Schaffer and his opponent: "Freedom is better than bondage. Liberty is better than bureaucracy. Winning on the battlefield is better than losing."

Bob Schaffer Website Arrives at Last

It's a little later than we would have liked to see it, but Republican candidate Bob Schaffer has a fully-functioning, user-friendly, attractive, updated campaign website. More detail to come, but for now, check out the issues page to learn more of the tremendous distinctions between mainstream conservative Schaffer and - as Dick Wadhams accurately puts it - Boulder liberal Mark Udall.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mark Udall's Ranks of Undecided Superdelegates Continue to Dwindle

Grand Junction Sentinel political reporter Mike Saccone points out today that Colorado's list of undecided superdelegates has been whittled down to four: Congressman John Salazar, Sen. Ken Salazar, Gov. Bill Ritter and Congressman Mark Udall.

Superdelegate Mark Udall has 2 months, 26 days until the Democratic National Convention to state his preference. Most everyone seems to be taking it for granted that Barack Obama has all but secured the nomination. Is Udall waiting to be the last Colorado superdelegate to make up his mind?

Mark Udall says a decision is coming in June. We'll wait and see.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

CO Senate Race Remains A Toss-Up

According to The Cook Political Report's latest Senate analysis (May 22)--defining a toss-up as among "the most competitive races; either party has a good chance of winning."

Not a poll, but a non-partisan, out-of-state analysis that clearly believes that the number of factors aligning over the next 5 months or so for both candidates and discussed on this blog in great depth make the seat's acquisition or retention an uncertainty for either side--and therefore, greatly competitive.

On a related note, The Hill takes a look at automatic polling (by Rasmussen) versus other analyses--including Cook--and the variability of polling data this far out in the election cycle. The consensus is optimistic for Democrats' chances at picking up additional seats, thus reflecting the GOP's success in 2002 and the subsequent vulnerability of the party's candidates this year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Udall To Kick Off Campaign, Spread A Little Carbon

Our Green Man-Who-Would-Be-Senator kicks off his campaign for Senate today.

I know . . . I was pretty sure he's been running for months, too.

At any rate, here's his itinerary:

745 Colorado Springs
1015 Gunnison
1230 Grand Junction
300p Craig
530p Denver

Hey, look--candidates can do whatever they feel is necessary to win the office they seek. But THIS candidate--this particular candidate--should really be aware of the carbon footprints he's spraying around the state during the campaign.

Somebody might think to call him a hypocrite.

I wonder if he's going to fly over the Roan Plateau on his way around the state, burning up hundreds of gallons of foreign oil?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Udall 47, Schaffer 41 In Latest Poll

PolitickerCO has the rundown of the latest Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters conducted May 19:
A new Rasmussen Reports poll of the Colorado U.S. Senate race shows Democrat Mark Udall with a 6-point lead over Republican Bob Schaffer -- the first time a Rasmussen poll has shown either candidate with a lead outside the margin of error.

The poll of 500 likely Colorado voters, taken on May 19, showed Udall leading Schaffer 47 percent to 41 percent. The margin of error was +/- 4.5 percentage points.

In April, Udall had a statistically insignificant 3-point lead; March's poll showed Schaffer up by a single percentage point.

In the past two months, Schaffer's overall ratings have dropped: his overall favorable rating in May of 44 percent is down 3 percentage points since April and 9 percentage points since March. His overall unfavorable rating, meanwhile, has increased 7 percentage points - from 32 percent in March to 39 percent in May.

Udall's overall favorable rating for May was 50 percent -- up two percentage points from April, but down two points from his March favorable rating. The Democrat had a May unfavorable rating of 35 percent, compared to 37 percent in April and 34 percent in March.
The first credible outside-the-margin separation favors Udall, though the favorability/unfavorability of each is staying fairly close:

With the exception of the "very favorable" category where Udall holds a fairly large lead, the candidates are almost identical, and both still have double-digit responses for "not sure."

When asked if the Schaffer/Abramoff alleged scandal had given the voter cause for concern, here were the results:
"How concerned are you about the alleged relationship between Bob Schaffer and Jack Abramoff?"

19% Very concerned

18% Somewhat concerned

24% Not very concerned

17% Not at all concerned

23% Not sure
There is certainly traction for the story, but it is difficult to discern whether that concern comes from those voters likely or undecided to vote for Schaffer in the first place. A story with resonance only among Udall's supporters won't do much more than galvanize his base, and not result in vote switching or undervoting behavior. Bet on the Udall camp and his surrogates to push this story again and again this summer and fall.

Takeaways--it is clear that Udall has broken the margin of error stalemate, which would be assumed given the widespread consensus that this is a toss-up seat leaning in Udall's favor in the media and the punditry. Anything less would be quite a disappointment for the Dems.

But it is still May and the Democrats' battle over their Presidential nominee has still not been concluded. Udall has yet to declare how he would vote as a superdelegate, nor given any indication as to what terms he would debate Schaffer this summer. And finally, the Democratic National Convention in Denver could prove to be a showcase or a debacle for Udall and the Dems, helping or hurting the candidate. With all this to consider, it is still a long road to November for Udall.

SvU's updated tracking poll and trendlines (click to enlarge):

Udall's First Ad Subjected To Truth Test


Attack on Bob Schaffer's Energy Record from Tainted Group that Shares Mark Udall's Out-of-Step Agenda

Today the Denver Post highlights competing ads on Bob Schaffer's energy record. One ad praises Schaffer for a comprehensive support of traditional and alternative energy sources.

The other ad, produced by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), attacks Bob Schaffer for not taking a punitive stance towards companies that engage in oil exploration and production. Guilt by association has been a common thread of the Big Blue Lie Machine assault on Schaffer.

This LCV ad is lost in its own enviro-mythology that renewable energy alone can save American consumers with relatively little pain. LCV's views quite seamlessly align with those of Mark Udall, which we have deconstructed here:

- To Colorado's Detriment, Mark Udall Tries to Take Both Sides on Roan Plateau

- Mark Udall's Priorities Out of Whack as Skyrocketing Energy Prices Hit Coloradans

- Udall Rejects Gas Holiday, Offers No Meaningful Solution to Energy Dependency

- Mark Udall and Nancy Pelosi "Shed Crocodile Tears" Over High Gas Prices

- Mark Udall's Energy Plan Lacks Sense

- "Vote Mark Udall for Even Higher Energy Prices"

And Mark Udall doesn't seem to mind that the group performing attacks on his behalf is tainted with a recent history of campaign violations:
Wadhams pointed out that the group in 2006 ran afoul of Federal Election Commission laws, earning it a $180,000 fine....
Here's a copy of the FEC's findings against LCV. Outside groups like LCV may try to keep muddying the waters during this campaign, but we are glad to help clear them up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bob Schaffer's Reasonable Comprehensive Energy Policy: A Contrast with Mark Udall

This ad, touting Bob Schaffer's record in support of comprehensive energy solutions, also highlights a key contrast with Mark Udall. Schaffer supports extending tax incentives to renewable energy providers. So does Udall.

What's the difference? Mark Udall also voted to impose tax offsets on oil and gas companies - all part of Udall's efforts to raise prices on average, hard-working Coloradans who still depend on these traditional energy sources.

Bob Schaffer has a more reasonable and moderate approach that recognizes the advantages of renewable energy without running roughshod over the economic well-being of families and small businesses. Schaffer's solution - a comprehensive energy policy - is more sensible than Udall's, because it's friendlier to the pocketbooks of average Coloradans.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

League of Conservation Voters Hit Piece To Be Unveiled Wednesday

PolitickerCO's Jeremy Pelzer reveals early details:
The ad, called "Fingerprints," will raise "critical questions about former Congressman Bob Schaffer, who earned a place on LCV's Dirty Dozen List for consistently voting with Big Oil and against Colorado values," according to a LCV press release.

The group will screen the new ad Wednesday at the State Capitol, the release stated.
We'll post it when it becomes available online.

Udall Offers Praise To Family Friend and Liberal Stalwart Sen. Kennedy

Via PolitickerCO's Jeremy Pelzer:
“My prayers go out to Senator Kennedy and his family. He has devoted his public life to championing the hopes and needs of America’s working families. His many accomplishments are well known, but I am particularly affected by this news because his family and mine have enjoyed a warm relationship throughout the years.

“Senator Kennedy is a natural leader who has always reached across the aisle to bring Democrats and Republicans together to do what is best for our country. To echo what many have said today: Edward Kennedy is one of the most effective Senators to ever serve in Congress. I am confident he will be back at his post soon and I look forward to working with him again as a friend and colleague.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy is a formidable political opponent, but the thoughts and prayers of everyone at SvU go to the Senator and his family.

Udall Not Immune To Campaign Ad Troubles

Schaffer's recent ad was withdrawn and resubmitted once a photo of Pikes Peak was corrected--in Udall's case, the offending campaign was pulled once it was discovered in violation of House rules governing the use of floor footage for campaign purposes:
Udall was forced to pull a video from his campaign website last October that showed C-SPAN footage of him criticizing President Bush's Iraq War policy. House of Representatives rules prevent members from using floor speeches for campaign purposes. His campaign manager, Mike Melanson, said as soon as the campaign became aware that it was a violation, they immediately complied.
Of the two ads, it appears that the misuse of footage was more grievous than a photographic error.

But that won't stop the Big Blue "mountains out of molehills" Lie Machine.

New Ad Underscores Schaffer's Comprehensive Energy Achievements

From Coloradans for Economic Growth.

"Vote Mark Udall for Even Higher Energy Prices"

Highlighting Mark Udall's out-of-touch energy policy has become a recent staple of this site. In that light, it was interesting to read these comments from new blogger "Civil Sense" about Mark Udall's acceptance speech at the Democratic assembly in Colorado Springs:
It sounds more like American energy dependence on government subsidies, not energy independence. This is more like the broken windows fallacy. In this scenario, breaking a window appears to increase economic activity since the window needs replacement. However, the money that the owner uses to replace the window could have been used for a multitude of other items. Fixing the window is just displaced economic activity.

The subsidies to “green” energy work the same way. For the government to spend millions of dollars to subsidize more expensive wind, solar, and biofuel energy, it first must displace this money from the taxpayers. Due to the market distortion, the “green” energy sources become more competitive with traditional energy sources than they would without the subsidies.

The statement that a renewable standard for electricity would save money for Colorado families is ludicrous on its face. For the foreseeable future, fossil fuels will provide the cheapest, most reliable energy source. Nuclear power is another low-cost power option. Forcing utilities to utilize 15 percent as renewable energy means that 15 percent of the energy will be is actually forcing utilities to buy more expensive energy from Mark Udall’s friends and campaign supporters in the “green” movement.

This speech suggests another campaign slogan: Vote Mark Udall for even higher energy prices.
Of course, it was the slogan that elicited attention: "Vote Mark Udall for Even Higher Energy Prices." There's reason to believe that's just what Udall wants: strain the budgets of middle-class Coloradans to impose a new lifestyle on them. Sorry, those aren't Western values.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Udall Hints At Nomination Endorsement Timeline

Mark Udall has indicated that it will be the superdelegates' duty to make their feelings on the party's nominees known after the last primary, June 3.

We'll keep you posted.

Bob Schaffer Highlights Energy Policy to Jewish GOP, Udall's Weakness Exposed

Joshua Sharf, candidate for Denver's House District 6, reports on Bob Schaffer's featured appearance last Thursday at the Jewish Republicans meeting. Joshua highlights what figures to remain a top issue throughout the campaign:
Schaffer made the point that our current energy prices are a combination of increased worldwide demand, and a deliberate policy by liberals, environmentalists, and socialists (er, is there a difference there?) to limit domestic energy production on the basis of aesthetics rather than economics.

So let's see: we turn our food into energy, which is an inefficient use of everything involved in the process: corn, fertilizer, natural gas (which is what you make fertilizer from), energy itself. We prevent drilling in Alaska, offshore, in-state. (Cuba apparently is less environmentally sensitive.) We streamline the nuclear plant licensing process at just the time when materials and design costs are double plant costs. We limit our exposure to the world natural gas market by preventing LNG terminals.

And then we're surprised when the cost of energy, relative to everything else, rises.
The insights of candidates Schaffer and Sharf follow points we have made here many times, most recently:

- To Colorado's Detriment, Mark Udall Tries to Take Both Sides on Roan Plateau

- Mark Udall's Priorities Out of Whack as Skyrocketing Energy Prices Hit Coloradans

- Udall Rejects Gas Holiday, Offers No Meaningful Solution to Energy Dependency

- Mark Udall and Nancy Pelosi "Shed Crocodile Tears" Over High Gas Prices

- Mark Udall's Energy Plan Lacks Sense

As long as energy policy remains a big issue, Mark Udall will have a tough time withstanding the careful scrutiny. Perhaps that's part of the reason he is hiding from Schaffer's proposal for unscripted debates.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Inconvenient Facts for Mark Udall and Big Blue Lie Machine's Assault on Bob Schaffer

The Catholic News Agency weighs in on the Big Blue Lie Machine's absurd claims that U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer turned a blind eye to forced abortions in the Marianas:
According to diocesan officials in Chalan Kanoa, they have received no solid evidence that forced abortions had in fact occurred.
One 1998 report from the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs found squalid living conditions for foreign workers in the Marianas. Investigators also said that at least one woman claimed that her company forced her to abort her child upon discovering her pregnancy.

Schaffer said that he “found the reports credible" and had “not seen them refuted."

During the five days that he spent on the islands in 1999, the legislator told the Denver Post that he tried to determine how often abortions occurred and to track down anyone with knowledge of forced abortions occurring.

Yet, according to Schaffer, every religious or public official he talked to could only say that they had heard the rumors that forced abortions were occurring, but that they never discovered any actual evidence or had anyone come forward with a claim.

When contacted by Catholic News Agency, Angie Guerrero, Catholic Social Services’ director, confirmed Schaffer’s assertion that evidence on forced abortions is lacking.

“We have heard that (of the claims of forced abortions), but none of the alleged victims have come out and said that they were forced to have abortion. So that’s all hearsay, because we can’t prove it; they’re only allegations,” she said.

As director of Catholic Social Services, Guerrero oversees pro-life ministries throughout the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, which includes the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian. Her office is currently working on a program to assess the number of abortions occurring in the region, but as of yet does not have exact figures. [emphasis added]
"All hearsay." "Only allegations." That's all it takes for Mark Udall and the Big Blue Lie Machine to start slinging mud at Bob Schaffer.

Do you think some Denver Post or Rocky Mountain News reporter could have bothered to make a call to Ms. Guerrero? Do you think an apology is forthcoming from "American Right to Life Action" or from the Lefty bloggers who swarmed to its aid to denounce Schaffer without thinking?

The lie has already circumnavigated the globe several times. But now the truth has its boots on. Time for Mark Udall and the Big Blue Lie Machine to recant and move on to another story.

Why is Mark Udall Hiding from Unscripted Debates?

The editors of the Rocky Mountain News follow up on Mark Udall's reluctance to respond to opponent Bob Schaffer's call for unscripted debates, in the famous Lincoln-Douglas style:
...[W]e know what Schaffer is getting at, and he's right: Let's have a series of free-wheeling debates in which candidates have the opportunity both to respond to each other's comments and question each other, in a format that doesn't impose rigid limits on the time devoted to any statement or topic.

Udall has unfortunately balked at the proposal, arguing that such wide-open exchanges might fail to address a host of policy matters that were important to voters. The 2nd District congressman says he wants to debate Schaffer this summer, but that the format should allow questions from moderators or the public.

Fine, but why not hold both kinds of debates?
That's a question that should continue to be posed to Mark Udall until he gives a clear answer or otherwise responds to Bob Schaffer's proposal. Why NOT hold both kinds of debates? A glance at the counter on the right sidebar will let you know just how long Udall has been hiding from Schaffer's request for unscripted debates.

The people of Colorado deserve something more than the sound bites and pre-packaged pablum that accompanies the overwhelming number of today's political campaigns, and Mark Udall seems determined to continue.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Mark Udall Puts Big Labor Unfunded Mandate Ahead of Taxpayers, Local Control

This morning, a watcher astutely points to another glaring contradiction in the rhetoric of Boulder liberal Mark Udall.

In March, Mark Udall took sides in favor of the Washington D.C. gun ban on the principle of local government control.

Now, Mark Udall is the co-sponsor of the Public Safety Employee-Employer Cooperation Act, which "would make the top officials at local unions the exclusive bargaining agents for public safety officers in every town or city with more than 5,000 people." An unfunded mandate that would impose unionization on local governments and make local taxpayers bear the cost? As a watcher correctly notes: "It looks a lot like local control to us, NOT."

So, let's get this straight. For Mark Udall, local control trumps the Second Amendment, but the Big Labor agenda trumps both. Does anyone else think Udall has been in Washington, DC, so long that he has confused the importance of the Constitution with the agenda of special-interest lobbyists? It sure looks like a reasonable explanation for Udall's hypocrisy and duplicity.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Well, I believe George Soros should take a long walk off a short pier...."

We've debunked the anti-Schaffer nonsense encapsulated in the ad from George Soros-funded Campaign Money Watch, but it's nice to hear the 60-second version of the rebuttal made for radio. Here's the ad produced and aired by the El Paso County Republican Party (H/T Politicker CO):

Now there's some Big Blue Lie Machine disinfectant for you.

Making Mountains out of Molehills

Pardon the poor pun, but it seems much of Colorado media today has been fixated on making a mountain out of a molehill:
The Republican U.S. Senate candidate on Wednesday unveiled his first television ad, with the theme "Colorado is my life."

"I proposed to my wife, Maureen, on top of Pikes Peak," [Bob] Schaffer says in the ad, gesturing behind him as the couple's picture appears with a snow-covered mountain in the background.

The mountain pictured in the ad, though, isn't Pikes Peak; it's Mount McKinley in Alaska.

The Colorado Democratic Party and Progress-NowAction, a liberal advocacy group, were quick to jump on the mistake, sending news releases noting that apparently all mountains look alike to Ohio natives like Schaffer.

Both news releases ridiculing Schaffer misspelled Pikes Peak as "Pike's Peak."
Okay. Mistakes happen. The Democrats and the Lefty attack groups know it's not likely that candidate Schaffer himself carefully scrutinized the final ad to observe the mistake. Of course, the mistake was quickly caught and corrected. And as long as the Republican candidate can laugh it off, the other side gets a one-day story out of it at best.

Fine. But isn't it also interesting that both the Colorado Democratic Party and ProgressNowAction made the same spelling error in their press releases? Is this evidence that the two groups coordinated their political attacks? Or is this evidence that both of them simply need a remedial course in grammar for state landmarks?

We can make mountains out of molehills, too.

First Bob Schaffer for Senate TV Ad

Introducing U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer to the general public:

This is the geographically-correct version.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mark Udall Now Running from "Boulder Liberal" Tag and Debates? A Connection?

Mark Udall appears to be waffling in his relationship with the liberal city of Boulder he has represented for 9 years in Congress. Politicker's Jeremy Pelzer tried to track down the definition of exactly where Udall lives:
Udall, a U.S. Representative and the presumptive Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, is regularly listed in the press as being from Eldorado Springs. That is what his congressional and campaign offices say, too.

Udall's home, however, is in unincorporated Boulder, about halfway between Eldorado Springs and the city of Boulder.

The Udalls purchased the home, about a mile and a half outside Eldorado Springs, in 2003; before that, they lived in the city of Boulder, said Udall campaign spokesperson Taylor West.

West said Udall's mailing address lists him in Boulder.

"But if you look at it on the map, it's pretty blatantly not in Boulder - it's Eldorado Springs," West said. "This is a Schaffer campaign attempt to distract what are extremely serious issues that people in Colorado are facing. If this is how they plan to run their campaign, that's fine. But we're going to spend time addressing issues that people in Colorado care about."
A pretty testy and defensive response from Ms. West, especially when just a few months ago she insisted the "Boulder liberal" tag would not hurt her candidate, and Mark Udall himself has insisted that Boulder is his "touchstone". So does Udall have a love-hate relationship with the "Boulder liberal" tag or what?

Further, West made a valiant but disingenuous attempt to accuse the other side of causing distractions. Yet only two days remain for Mark Udall's campaign to respond to Bob Schaffer's proposal for Lincoln-Douglas style debates to address the "extremely serious issues that people in Colorado are facing." And Udall accepted the debate idea before he was against it -- a real profile in "courage".

We at SvU hope that Mark Udall changes course, follows the lead of nonpartisan news and civic organizations and joins in Bob Schaffer's proposed summer debate series designed to discuss "extremely serious issues that people in Colorado are facing," or as Schaffer put it in his official proposal: "Let's give voters in every part of the state a chance to hear directly from us on issues important to them and to our state."

Mark Udall can give voters that chance, or maybe he's afraid that Coloradans will see there really is something to the "Boulder liberal" tag.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Aided by Denver Post, Mark Udall Launches Deceitful Attack on Bob Schaffer

It seems Mark Udall is comfortable practicing his own deception, and not simply relying on his friends in the Big Blue Lie Machine. Udall's latest deception came with an assist from a Denver Post article (H/T Mike Saccone's Political Notebook):
"I know that from what I read and the people I listened to, it was clear that there were abuses there . . .. I don't understand how you could leave the Marianas thinking everything was perfect," said Rep. Mark Udall, referring to a fact-finding trip Schaffer took in 1999 that was partly arranged by Abramoff's lobbying firm. Schaffer said he found problems in only one out of 20 factories he visited. [emphasis added]
"I don't understand how you could leave the Marianas thinking everything was perfect." Mark Udall distorted what Bob Schaffer reported on his visit. And the Post reporter (inadvertently or not?) helped him out, claiming that "he found problems in only one out of 20 factories he visited."

The problem is that even the original smear job story from the Post said "he visited more than 20 factories and found serious problems in only one" [emphasis added]. It appears the Post reporter and/or editors failed to read earlier issues of their own newspaper, much less read the actual reports and testimony in the case. Judging by his newfound interest in the issue of the Marianas Islands, Mark Udall is primarily concerned about making political points out of the issue, even if it means making the truth a casualty.

The ball keeps on moving for the alleged scandal here. When it was shown that Mark Udall was the only candidate in the race with a clear connection to Jack Abramoff, Abramoff ceased being the issue. When it was shown that Bob Schaffer's visits to most of the factories were unannounced and arranged on his own terms, the way the trip was conducted ceased being the issue. When it was shown that Bob Schaffer identified problems and reported them but proposed a different reasonable solution, the Big Blue Lie Machine fell back on name-calling and its hallmark: deception.

All the discussion from the Left has shed far more heat than light on this matter. Now, candidate Mark Udall himself has perpetuated a clear lie. And the Denver Post let him get away with it. But not here he won't.

Schaffer's Proposed Debates Draw Media Interest, Udall Silent

SvU's inside sources reveal that several Colorado news and civic organizations have contacted the Schaffer campaign in response to the candidate's proposed summer debate series.

With the visibility of a close, nationally significant Senate campaign no doubt helping to draw interest, and the potential absence of a continued Democrat primary (the Democratic National Convention notwithstanding), a Schaffer-Udall summer debate series under any format will be sure to entertain and provoke strong partisan political passions. It will also help to answer questions held by that enigmatic third bloc of Colorado voters--the unaffiliateds.

But nothing so far from Udall's camp.

Udall's response was sought by this Friday, May 16. If nothing is heard by then, SvU will add "Udall Debate Watch" countdown widget to the blog.

Tick, tock.

Will Mark Udall Renounce Big Blue Lie Machine Smear of Ethnic Minority?

The Big Blue Lie Machine is at work again. In particular, PlagiarismNowAction, a group that has done Mark Udall's dirty work in the recent past, is at it again. Their latest smear against Republican candidate Bob Schaffer is so dishonest and truth-challenged that Rocky Mountain News editor Vincent Carroll (who a couple weeks ago exposed the inaccuracies behind a PlagiarismNow-contrived label of Schaffer) has given it a thorough smackdown:
To this point, it must be said, the portrait of Schaffer is a paint-by-numbers smear, which my column disposed of two weeks ago (April 30, "Smeared with oil"). What distinguishes Huttner's latest attack and qualifies it for a Chesterton boomerang award is its claim that Schaffer "led the company's delegation in Iraq to lobby local speculators for oil contracts."

Local speculators? Savor that contemptuous description of the Kurdistan Regional Government and, by implication, the historically oppressed minority that it represents.

Aspect Energy, for which Schaffer worked, negotiated with Kurdish leaders for the right to explore for oil in the north of Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government is no more a "local speculator" in Iraq than Gov. Bill Ritter is a "local warlord" in the United States.

Huttner's use of "local speculators" was no accident. The term appears twice in his letter without any hint as to whom the "speculators" might be. When I e-mailed him in wonderment, he replied, "I'm OK if you prefer to use Kurdish government."

He's OK if someone else prefers the relevant fact. Just don't expect him to volunteer it.

It is true that the Baghdad central government is not happy with the Kurds for having cut a number of oil exploration deals with small- and mid-sized foreign companies; indeed, the oil minister considers them invalid. But it is equally true that the Iraqis have yet to reach agreement on a final oil and gas law, and that a draft completed last year has been slammed by both Kurds and Sunni Arabs (for different reasons). Meanwhile, the parties continue to talk.

The activists at ProgressNowAction are free to support the Arab vision of a state oil company controlling future production in Iraq - and they are equally free to suggest that such a future would best serve American interests, although it's hardly obvious that it would. But in his zeal to discredit Schaffer, Huttner simply airbrushed the Kurds out of existence - and crossed the line between aggressive opinion and outright propaganda. [emphasis added]
The Michael Huttner wing of the Big Blue Lie Machine doesn't have enough conscience to spare an oppressed ethnic minority in its deceitful attempt to politically smear Bob Schaffer and anyone that stands in its way.

The question is whether Mark Udall will renounce this vile propaganda or continue to let PlagiarismNow work on his campaign's behalf at all costs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reminder for Slow-Learning Left about Mark Udall, Harry Reid, and Jack Abramoff

A certain Lefty blogger betrayed the chronic case of self-denial that is plaguing the Big Blue Lie Machine (aka Mark Udall campaign surrogates) following the less-than-effective attempt to smear Republican candidate Bob Schaffer with innuendo, half-truths, and exaggeration.

Referring to Dick Wadhams, the Lefty blogger in the chorus writes:
It's now 2008 and his "bloggers" (if they are indeed that) efforts to spin for Bob Schaffer are amusing. Case in point, trying to allege that Mark Udall and Harry Reid have any connection to Jack Abramoff. [Link Added]
As usual, we are pleased to provide links to helpful information, because we can't assume that every Lefty blogger has read every post here.

So here's a blast from the recent past ("Five Unanswered Jack Abramoff Questions from Vote-Switching Mark Udall") that reporters and political observers might wish to review.

Let's start with the most absurd point in the Lefty blogger's characteristic off-the-cuff rant. It takes a certain brand of brash, self-imposed partisan blindness to assert the connection between Harry Reid and Jack Abramoff is merely alleged. Further, other links included in the post we wrote highlight Mark Udall's connection to Harry Reid, and yes, the money he accepted from Jack Abramoff firms - money that has a clear correlation with Udall's votes on Abramoff's Internet gambling legislation.

(And it's not that difficult to figure out who the contributors to Schaffer v Udall are.)

Memo to Lefty bloggers (and the rest of the Big Blue Lie Machine): Self-denial and self-imposed partisan blindness only reflect your inability to convince anyone beyond your fellow Kool-Aid drinkers.

Here's another approach you should consider: Wrestle with the facts. Think for yourselves. Open your minds. Be honest with yourselves, so we can have an honest debate.

On second thought, keep living in your fantasy world, contriving accusations, and making this blog the issue. It's more entertaining.

Udall: We're Starting To See A Pattern of "Courage" Emerging

Oh, Mark Udall . . . there's a danger in going into prevent defense mode so early in the campaign.

Schaffer told the group he wants seven unmoderated Lincoln-Douglas-style debates over the summer, a proposal he put in a letter he gave to Udall at the luncheon. . . .

But Udall later rejected Schaffer's proposed format.

Now that, by itself, is not so horrible. I'm sure there are dozens of candidates for Senate all over the country who are terrified of the idea of going off script and having a real debate with their opponent.

Oh, wait . . .no . . . there's even a Presidential candidate who's afraid of such a format.

At any rate, his excuse is lame, and comes after initially reacting positively to the idea.

First reaction on Friday:

“Of course we want to debate,” Udall said after the event. “Of course I want a chance to tell the people of Colorado why I’d be the best choice as the next United States senator.”

But just a few hours later--perhaps after his campaign staff got a hold of him (?):

"I firmly believe that the debates we do should allow us to answer questions from the people of Colorado about the issues that are most important to them, but Bob's proposed events do not,"

For really good coverage of this whole kerfuffle, check out the work of Ben and El Presidente at this site, and stay with them from now until November.

But I'm more interested in the emerging pattern of cowardice from Mark Udall. Consider this weak moment as entry number one; then think about this brilliant moment of nothingness from the Man-Who-Would-Be-Senator just a few weeks ago.

. . . when Petraeus came to Washington recently to report on progress in Iraq, Mark Udall let the whole hearing go by without asking a single question - tough or otherwise - of the General. (Hearing transcript available at Congressional Quarterly - registration required.)

Which, again, wouldn't be that big a deal--I suppose it happens occassionally that politicians pass up an opportunity to be on camera.

I suppose.

But this follows on the heels of Udall getting himself placed on the Armed Services Committee to oversee the war more closely. Must have just been for show.

Oh, but then there's this statement from Udall at one point BEFORE the hearings:

"Taking over Central Command may give Gen. Petraeus context and perspective to answer the question he couldn't answer last year, namely, whether the war in Iraq has made America less secure."

Well, Mr. Udall, if that question were so hellfire important, then why didn't you ask it when you had the chance?

Maybe because you know that it doesn't play well in most of Colorado to attack Generals and substitute your own political judgment for their military judgment.

But asking that question would have taken courage, I suppose.

Like I said, we're starting to see a pattern.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Debate Format "Unacceptable" But Udall Indicates Further Discussion Warranted

Hold on to the kudos, Ben, the Udall campaign wants to "enter into talks" to establish a debate schedule:
Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer has proposed holding seven debates across the state over the summer, countering complaints that he's been slow to tackle the issues with a proposal for extensive debates long before most voters tune into state-wide races.

Democrat Mark Udall immediately said the proposed format — which would limit questions from moderators — was unacceptable. But Udall aides said they would enter into talks with Schaffer's campaign as soon as this month, and expected at least some debates would be scheduled before Labor Day.

"We could start as soon as Memorial Day week," said Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams, who conceded that he couldn't remember a proposal for such an extensive number of debates before Labor Day.

"Bob told him, 'Look if you don't want seven, we'll work on the number,'" Wadhams said. "We're open to the format even."

The Republican proposal reflects both a confidence in their candidate's debating skills and a dramatically altered 2008 landscape. An open Senate seat in a competitive state is a tantalizing target for independent groups, who are expected to spend millions in Colorado to frame the race with 30-second attack ads.

Schaffer's campaign said the debates would allow the candidates to frame the issues themselves.
This is clearly not a refusal by Udall--that much is clear--but a stalling tactic. We certainly hope that Udall's hesitation is over a clarification of terms and debate parameters, and not an indefinite non-responsive answer.

Any series of summer debates will no doubt be welcome--we'll bring you the info as it becomes available.

Kudos to Mark Udall for Accepting Bob Schaffer's Lincoln-Douglas Debate Proposal

A little while ago, El Presidente reported on Bob Schaffer's new debate proposal, pointing readers to a Rocky Mountain News story on the topic:
“Of course we want to debate,” Udall said after the event. “Of course I want a chance to tell the people of Colorado why I’d be the best choice as the next United States senator.”
I too am glad to see that Mark Udall has agreed to the concept proposed by Bob Schaffer, a plan modeled after the series of famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the 150th anniversary of which is fast approaching.

Seven summertime debates will do more to raise the level of the campaign and to reach out to citizens across Colorado than the bipartisan proposal of an online debate would have done, so maybe Mark Udall was just holding out for a better offer.

Anyway, kudos to both campaigns - to Schaffer's for taking the initiative and to Udall's for quickly jumping on board. As El Presidente noted, we will be providing more coverage here as details emerge.

Schaffer Challenges Udall To Summer Lincoln-Douglas Debates

For a total of 7 Lincoln-Douglas style debates between Memorial Day and Labor Day, one in each Congressional District (click to enlarge):

U.S. Senate candidates Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall found rare common ground today: there’s no debate that they will debate.

In their first-ever joint appearance, U.S. Rep. Udall, a Democrat, and former Rep. Schaffer, a Republican, both spoke to the South East Business Partnership annual luncheon, although they didn’t share the podium.

Schaffer told the group that he has proposed a series of seven debates between now and Labor Day.

“Of course we want to debate,” Udall said after the event. “Of course I want a chance to tell the people of Colorado why I’d be the best choice as the next United States senator.”

Udall said the debate schedule will have to be worked out, but said a number of groups traditionally hold debates, including Club 20, the Rotary Club and public television.
We'll update as the debate schedule emerges.

What Political Favor is Mark Udall Holding Out for from Hillary Clinton?

With momentum growing behind the Barack Obama campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination but an insufficient number of pledged delegates for either candidate to win outright, the heat is picking up on superdelegate Mark Udall and his Colorado peers.

Rocky Mountain Right asks the most penetrating question in this developing story of intraparty rivalry: "What did Hillary Clinton Promise Mark Udall?" Or, as he elaborates:
At this point holding out only benefits one person in the race: Hillary Clinton. In a state where practically the entire state party backs Obama it makes sense that Clinton supporters would stay quiet or risk political suicide. The question now is: what did Hillary Clinton offer Mark Udall that is compelling enough for him to defy 66% of his base and refuse to endorse his party's presidential nominee?
A good question I gladly echo here. Where is the enterprising reporter who will ask Mark Udall directly, or who will dig deeper to find out the rest of the story here?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Beltway and Local Conservative Agree: It's Time for a New Bob Schaffer Website

A new conservative D.C. blogger has pointed out a problem with the Bob Schaffer campaign that I too have become increasingly concerned and impatient about:
Problem: Despite the fact of knowing that this is going to be an extremely tough race for a Republican to win, it appears that this campaign has done very little (almost nothing) in terms of marketing themselves on the internet.

Even though their race will be expensive, they don’t seem to understand that one of the first places people go to get information on their candidate is the candidate’s website.

This is usually a good thing, unless you’re Bob Schaffer.

Please click here to see Bob Schaffer’s website.
Yep. The campaign has taken too long to get up a proper website with full capabilities. And it would be good to see the upgrade come sooner rather than later.

"DCRepublican" may be operating inside the Beltway, but on this point he has the agreement of the grassroots blogger in fly-over country. It's time for a new Bob Schaffer campaign website.

Thanks also to DCRepublican for the kind link.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Udall Watch Unveiled ... Mark Udall Says Decision to Come in June ... Coincidence?

Last Friday, Schaffer v Udall unveiled the "Udall Watch", giving a countdown to the Democratic National Convention for superdelegate Mark Udall to make a decision between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Yesterday the Grand Junction Sentinel reported (before the results from the Indiana and North Carolina primaries were made apparent):
Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall, D-Colo., said Tuesday he remains committed to being formally undecided until sometime in June.

“If the contest is still under way in June, I think it’s incumbent on superdelegates who are uncommitted to weigh in at that point,” Udall said.
Coincidence? Probably so.

Mark Udall's Energy Plan Lacks Sense

Mark Udall is really good at proposing political solutions that don't work in the real world. Case in point: In an attempt to avoid the real issue of increasing domestic oil production and updating refining capacity, Udall has made diverting oil supply from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve the centerpiece of a new energy plan, according to today's Grand Junction Sentinel:
Udall, who unveiled his proposal Tuesday, said gasoline prices could fall by 25 cents a gallon by not storing away millions of barrels of oil every month.

“We know from history that it’s worked when you suspend filling the (Strategic Petroleum Reserve),” Udall said.
Which history is that? Certainly nothing cited in this article. It would be good for journalists to follow up with Mark Udall on this point. Meanwhile, Udall received reinforcements from one of his Democrat colleagues:
Congressman John Salazar, D-Colo., said he likes Udall’s plan to stop storing oil away in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

“I would support putting a moratorium on that, so that we can actually make more available on the marketplace,” Salazar said. “That always seems to have an immediate impact.”
It does? Here are a few inconvenient facts and bits of expert analysis:
The Energy Department, Mr. Cusimano points out, is not actually buying the oil. But, he says, a DOE examination has found that holding the oil has been a positive investment. Currently, the average "acquisition" cost is $27.73 a barrel.

In recent times, the SPR has been tapped twice. After hurricane Katrina, which destroyed pipelines, the government released 11 million barrels of oil [about 2 days supply]. In 1991, during the Gulf War, it released 17.3 million barrels [about 3 days supply].

Energy experts are divided over whether it would make any difference to release oil today. "It's a tight market, an incredibly tight market when every drop matters," says Tim Considine, who has done a study on the SPR and is a professor at Pennsylvania State University. "But looking at the SPR to alleviate market pressure is only a short-term fix."

Phil Flynn, an oil trader at Alaron Trading in Chicago, doubts it would have any impact. "It is such a small amount of oil," he says. [emphases added]
The Sentinel reports the rest of Udall's plan:
Udall said he hopes to combine his plan for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve with eliminating tax breaks for oil companies, increasing drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and removing barriers to ethanol imports, which should lower gas prices over the long term.

“We’re not going to drill our way out of this,” Udall said.
Removing trade barriers to ethanol is a good idea. Credit the Boulder Congressman for that one. But if he's serious, Mark Udall would end the ethanol subsidies, too.

And how in the world is eliminating tax breaks for oil companies going to bring down gasoline prices? (Does Udall really want gas prices to come down?) Will it increase supply? No. Will it cut back demand? No. But it sure makes somebody feel warm and fuzzy inside.

The final question for Mark Udall's incoherent plan: Can we really take his idea to drill in the Gulf of Mexico seriously when he has worked to kill a modest plan to drill on Colorado's Roan Plateau? Or is he only opposed to energy production that would enrich Colorado communities in the form of jobs, economic growth, and funding for public colleges and universities?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Robert" Schaffer Supported by a National Mainstream Pro-Life Group

Not surprisingly, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer won the endorsement of a major national mainstream pro-life organization. Interestingly, the headline and the first sentence of the release introduce the endorsee as "Robert Schaffer." You won't see that kind of formality often.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mark Udall and Nancy Pelosi "Shed Crocodile Tears" Over High Gas Prices

Kudos to Boulder liberal Mark Udall for recognizing the federal gas tax holiday is a misguided approach. But, as el presidente pointed out, not only has Udall offered no real viable solution in its place, he also is engaged in his own kind of pandering:
While no doubt worthy of discussion for meeting our long-term energy needs, Udall's plan avoids dealing with the present--playing the "short-sighted Washington game" that caters to environmental special interests that prevent the United States from becoming more energy self-sufficient by drilling for oil here rather than relying on the Middle East and other corrupt regimes.

As the gas prices soar this summer, ask yourself whether or not your elected representatives, including Rep. Mark Udall, are doing everything to alleviate the pain at the pump and not just engaging in more political grandstanding and issuing platitudes about "diverse energy portfolios" while sticking to the "game" he is so quick to criticize. Temporarily ceasing to add to the strategic petroleum reserve or even tapping it briefly provides only limited, ephemeral, calculated relief.
So Mark Udall hasn't brought forward any serious proposals to address rising gasoline prices. But National Review's David Freddoso takes the argument one step further:
...[T]he real problem — and the reason [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi really does deserve blame — is that Democrats’ political goal of reducing carbon emissions continues to trump their populist rhetoric on gasoline prices. The two stances are impossible to reconcile. Try as they might to blame oil companies for the pain Americans feel at the pump, the Democrats want higher prices for gasoline — and for all forms of energy that emit carbon.
Despite all their rhetoric to the contrary, Pelosi Democrats - such as Mark Udall - indeed are glad to see gasoline prices rise. As Freddoso reminds us, Nancy Pelosi and Mark Udall have lied about their concern for the economic health of the nation and individual Coloradans:
High gas prices are bad for the economy, but the point here is not to make moral judgments about the trade-off between high gasoline prices and reduced carbon emissions. The point is that Democrats have taken a dishonest public stance with false promises of lower gasoline prices that they never intended to honor. Democrats are shedding crocodile tears for the end consumer of petroleum. If they say they hate to see you eaten alive by Big Oil, it is only because they would prefer to devour you themselves.
Of course, Nancy Pelosi thinks gasoline costs about $2.56 a gallon right now. Has anyone asked Mark Udall how much it cost him the last time he filled up at the pump?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Udall Rejects Gas Tax Holiday, Offers No Meaningful Solution To Energy Dependency

Mark Udall took a shot at Sen. Hillary Clinton and GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain in rejecting a "gas tax holiday" proposal:
Yesterday in Indiana, Hillary Clinton challenged every member of Congress to go on the record with a position regarding her proposal to temporarily suspend the federal gasoline tax, and state whether they were with her or against her. Senator McCain has offered the same proposal, despite experts from all sides declaring that this plan will not actually lower costs for drivers.

Today, Congressman and Senate candidate Mark Udall responded to the challenge:
. . .
"Senator Clinton claimed yesterday that I either stand with her on this proposal or stand with the oil companies. To that I say: I stand with the families of Colorado, who aren't looking for bumper sticker fixes that don't fix anything, but for meaningful change that brings real relief and a new direction for our energy policy. We can't afford more Washington-style pandering while families keep getting squeezed.

"It is exactly the kind of short-sighted Washington game that keeps us from getting real results to our energy problem. Experts across the ideological spectrum agree that it will increase the deficit, drain money away from Colorado roads and bridges, and hurt the environment, all without actually making prices lower for drivers."
Udall's campaign philosophy on energy avoids any realistic solutions and instead offers a "diverse energy portfolio" solution that neglects current needs while dwelling instead on future energy substitutes for petroleum:
To meet this challenge, we need a more diverse portfolio of energy sources, including renewable energy. A stronger push for energy security based on renewable and sustainable energy sources like solar, biomass, wind and hydrogen does not mean that we can easily abandon oil, however. Other important energy sources like natural gas, coal and nuclear must be part of the mix. A diverse energy portfolio means that we should responsibly develop-and also conserve-these resources. Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region are blessed with many of these resources, including abundant natural gas and cleaner-burning coal. We can find the right balance in developing these resources responsibly, but we cannot drill our way to energy security. A substantial investment in renewable energy is essential if we want our children and future generations of Americans to be more prosperous and secure.
While no doubt worthy of discussion for meeting our long-term energy needs, Udall's plan avoids dealing with the present--playing the "short-sighted Washington game" that caters to environmental special interests that prevent the United States from becoming more energy self-sufficient by drilling for oil here rather than relying on the Middle East and other corrupt regimes.

As the gas prices soar this summer, ask yourself whether or not your elected representatives, including Rep. Mark Udall, are doing everything to alleviate the pain at the pump and not just engaging in more political grandstanding and issuing platitudes about "diverse energy portfolios" while sticking to the "game" he is so quick to criticize. Temporarily ceasing to add to the strategic petroleum reserve or even tapping it briefly provides only limited, ephemeral, calculated relief.

Udall Watch and the Difficult Decision of Colorado Democrat Superdelegates

Not only are Mark Udall and other Democrat superdelegates paralyzed with indecision about which candidate to support, the Rocky Mountain News reports today that Colorado Democrats themselves are still undecided about who one of their superdelegates should be:
Mayor John Hickenlooper and former Mayor Federico Pena will likely face off this month to be named Colorado's one at-large "superdelegate" to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The two are the only nominees for the slot, which could have national implications because superdelegates likely will decide the contest between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama.

Unlike delegates who are pledged to a candidate based on the outcome of their state's primary or caucus, superdelegates are free to vote for whomever they think has the best chance of winning in November.
In honor of all the recent news about Mark Udall's superdelegate troubles, Schaffer v Udall this morning has unveiled Udall Watch - a countdown clock until the Democratic National Convention and the Boulder liberal Senatorial candidate's impending decision: Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

On Superdelegate Mark Udall's "Recurring Nightmare"

In a Los Angeles Times column today, political scientist Norman Ornstein highlights the serious challenge faced by Democratic superdelegates:
As the front-runner, Obama is playing it cool, although he is still using his spare moments to call superdelegates and chat. If Obama wins Indiana, odds are that a pent-up flood of supers finally will endorse him on May 7, signaling an early end to the process. If he holds Clinton's edge in Indiana to somewhere close to 2% and wins North Carolina by anywhere close to the 15% margin he holds in the polls, odds are that a trickle of superdelegate Obama endorsements will become a steady stream, resulting in a slower May decision.

If neither of these scenarios pan out, the supers will try mightily to resolve the issue on or after the last active voting on June 3, to keep their convention from careening out of control. But they need a good reason to end their torture. Ambiguous results, damaging enough to Obama to keep him from closure but not definitive enough to move these reluctant power brokers to the Clinton camp, are their recurring nightmare. [emphases added]
Superdelegate Mark Udall, the Democrat U.S. Senate candidate from Colorado, has as much or more to lose than any of his fellow undecideds - especially if the Denver convention does careen "out of control."

A "recurring nightmare" is not a good way to get a good night's sleep.

A Tale of Two Fundraisers: Dana Perino for Bob Schaffer vs. Daily Kos for Mark Udall

One of the major necessities of political campaigns is fundraising - this is especially true for a high-profile office like U.S. Senate. Tonight Colorado residents are holding a fundraiser for Republican candidate Bob Schaffer. The guest of honor is local Colorado woman Dana Perino, who happens to work as the President's press secretary. This was enough to set off the alarm bells from the Mark Udall camp:
"Bob Schaffer's agenda is all about continuing the policies of the Bush administration that have failed our families, our national security, and our economy," said Udall's campaign spokeswoman, Taylor West.

"It's no wonder that President Bush, Dick Cheney, and now even their employees are doing everything they can to prop up his candidacy."

Schaffer's campaign manager, Dick Wadhams, said the Udall campaign "should be ashamed of themselves for attacking a Colorado woman who has distinguished herself as a spokeswoman for the president of the United States.

"I think she does an excellent job," Wadhams said.
There's a little political back-and-forth jousting not uncommon for this campaign, though as demonstrated here before, you do have to be very skeptical of what Taylor West says. Especially when West tries to take attention away from her own candidate's Washington insider, liberal ties.

But the more important distinction missed in the story is that Bob Schaffer raises more money from Coloradans (including myself: a small contributor), while Mark Udall is collecting more money from out-of-state liberal interest groups. Perhaps that's why Udall's fundraising events with Far Left groups like the Daily Kos don't make the local news. But they do tell a lot about the candidate.

Why Not Ask Mark Udall if He Supports Department of Peace Initiative?

Questions have been raised about the fairness of Politicker's Jeremy Pelzer recent approach to interviewing the two major party U.S. Senate candidates. On this slow news day, it seemed like a good time to put forth a key example.

From Pelzer's interview of Republican Bob Schaffer:
PolitickerCO: [American Right to Life Action head Steve Curtis] also said that you had not weighed in on the personhood referendum, proposed referendum-
And later:
PolitickerCO: I should ask you - what do you think of the proposed referendum to recognize an embryo as a person? Do you have an opinion on that?
Note that it's far from clear at this point that this initiative will collect enough signatures to be on the ballot. And reasonable pro-life advocates disagree on whether this is the right approach. Schaffer declined to answer the question.

Yet, speaking of relevant statewide initiative issues, why didn't Pelzer ask Mark Udall whether he supported the Department of Peace initiative? After all, Udall once was a co-sponsor of a very similar measure in Congress.

But the Department of Peace initiative hasn't even collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot, you say? Exactly. Just looking for a little consistency.