Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zogby: Another "Outlier" Showing a Dead Heat Between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall

Zogby releases today a poll conducted in June - it might as well be ancient history. Yes, Zogby isn't as reliable as - say, Rasmussen - or Quinnipiac, but it's just another in the collection of "outlier" polls that show Colorado's U.S. Senate race to be essentially tied. Writes Zogby:
Democrat Mark Udall will need a larger share of the Hispanic vote to take this seat currently held by Republican Wayne Allard. Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer are even at 40%. One-half of Hispanics are undecided.
Interesting that the Zogby poll found the contest so close even before Bob Schaffer wiped the floor with Mark Udall in the first debate.

Fasten your seat belts. It looks like a bumpy ride - especially for Mark Udall.

Yesterday, July 30: A Day the Mark Udall Campaign May Look Back On in Regret

213-212. Less than 48 hours after he mad a promise to vote to keep Congress busy to deal with the nation's domestic energy problems, Mark Udall showed up a few minutes too late to cast an important vote. And that favorable interpretation requires taking him at his word.

You know, he was too busy raising funds for his Senate campaign to show up and cast important votes. It doesn't say much about how well Mark Udall would represent Colorado as a U.S. Senator.

Reports the Denver Post:
[Udall spokeswoman Taylor] West said that her boss would send a letter to Pelosi today objecting to the fact that the vote wasn't delayed long enough for him to make it from the Washington airport to the Capitol.
First, when did Taylor West - one of two people who believed Mark Udall actually won the first debate - resume official PR duties for the Udall campaign?

Second, Speaker Nancy Pelosi may have saved Mark Udall from choosing between breaking a public promise and voting against a long history of energy obstruction likely will be too transparent to work. But she didn't do Udall any favor. Pelosi is more concerned about saving many of her House Democrats seeking re-election from having to cast a vote on the issue than securing Colorado's U.S. Senate seat for her party. Translation? Nancy Pelosi threw Mark Udall under the bus.

Of course, this all assumes we give Mark Udall all the benefit of the doubt. After all, based on his record, there's absolutely no reason to believe that Udall has any serious intention to go against his entire Congressional career by seeking to improve America's domestic energy supply. Yes - the only place Mark Udall wants to drill is your wallet.

Fourteen weeks from now, on Election Night, the events of yesterday well may be looked back upon as a critical and decisive moment in the U.S. Senate race. And that would be bad news for Mark Udall.

U-Turn Udall Reneges On Monday's Debate Pledge To Vote Against Adjourning And Push For New Energy Bill

**Update--Udall claims he was "on his way" to the vote and couldn't get the vote delayed, but was able to vote on another resolution just 10 minutes later:
Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall missed a critical vote today that might have kept Congress from going into summer recess until it passed an energy bill, breaking a vow he made in a recent debate.

Udall spokeswoman Taylor West said the Boulder County lawmaker was on his way back to Washington at the time and that the vote was called with only 10 minutes' notice. Udall asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay the vote without success, and the resolution passed by one vote, 213-212.

With gas prices the No. 1 financial worry of voters, promising to try to keep lawmakers in session until they took action was a bold stroke, but missing that vote could be an equally costly political mistake by the five-term congressman.
Whoops! When even the MSM points out the failure . . .

There was an excuse a reason for the missed vote, of course:
Udall's staff said the Democrat stayed in Colorado to attend several campaign-related events, including a meeting with business leaders and a fundraising event — which Udall's Republican opponent quickly jumped on.

"While Coloradans are paying $4 a gallon for gasoline, I guess it wasn't important enough for (Udall) to show up for work this week," said Dick Wadhams, the campaign manager for Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer. "He made a commitment Monday, he didn't even show up for work Tuesday and then he missed the vote today."

West said that her boss would send a letter to Pelosi today objecting to the fact that the vote wasn't delayed long enough for him to make it from the Washington airport to the Capitol.
Udall missed the 1:04 pm vote on adjournment, but made the next vote just 10 minutes later.

Missing a vote you make a pledge on in debate just two days earlier should be a top priority. We expect Udall to do the job he has already been elected to do. If a campaign can't balance an actual work schedule with fundraising and campaigning needs, then Udall needs a better day planner or to reorganize his priorities.

By the time the debate yet-to-be-aired segment appears Sunday, it will already be clear--Udall can't keep his promises.

That's some U-turn.

The Rocky:
Rep. Mark Udall learned Wednesday there are some political promises he shouldn't make.

Like pledging to oppose sending Congress on its summer break — and then missing the vote altogether.

Wednesday, the House voted 213-212 to adjourn this week.

The vote came two days after Udall vowed, in a televised debate, to oppose recessing unless the House first took up a crucial energy bill.
. . .
But Dick Wadhams, campaign manager for Republican Senate nominee Bob Schaffer, said Udall not only broke a promise, but that his non-vote was worse than had he voted in favor of the adjournment resolution.

"It's one thing to vote wrong, but to not even show up for the vote? Even by 'U-turn Udall''s standards, that's extraordinary," Wadhams said.
Udall's campaign tries to explain the missed vote, but it doesn't seem to add up--if Udall asked for a delay, and most likely explained why it was needed (even symbolically), then why would the Democrats throw him under the bus and not hold off for a few minutes as he "raced up the stairs"?
Udall, who spent Tuesday campaigning in Colorado, had just landed in Washington Wednesday afternoon when he got word that the adjournment vote was imminent.

He phoned House leaders, asking them to delay the vote, but they didn't.

Udall was racing up the Capitol steps when voting closed. He was one of 10 members absent for the tally.

Tara Trujillo, press secretary for Udall's Senate campaign, said that the Eldorado Springs Democrat was "extremely upset" he was not allowed to cast a ballot.
Perhaps the Dem House leaders failed to grasp the significance of Udall's vote?


Well, that didn't take long--Mark Udall took less than two days to break a recorded promise made during Monday's Fox 31 debate to push for an energy solution and against adjournment for Congress:
Boulder Liberal Congressman Mark Udall reneged on a pledge to vote against an adjournment resolution until Congress passed an energy bill when he failed to show up for the vote today in the U.S. House of Representatives. Udall’s vote could have killed the adjournment resolution since it passed by only one vote, 213-212.

“Boulder Liberal Mark Udall not only did not fulfill his pledge to vote against adjourning for the summer until an energy bill passed, he didn’t even bother to show up for the vote,” said Schaffer for Senate campaign manager Dick Wadhams. “Boulder Liberal Udall’s u-turns are pretty common but this is extraordinarily low even by his standards.”

During a debate on Monday, July 28 at KDVR-TV Fox 31, Bob Schaffer challenged Udall to vote against adjourning for the summer recess until an energy bill was passed. Udall agreed to the challenge.
His failure to keep his promise aside, Udall also failed to show leadership and could have cast an obviously critical vote to keep Congress on task and in the business of finding energy solutions including domestic oil exploration rather than skipping out on holiday.

Ben was right--the only place Udall wants to drill is your wallet. And by failing to make any attempt to find any solutions now, Udall continues to let Colorado voters foot the bill.

You can see part of Schaffer's challenge to Udall in a preview clip at myfoxcolorado (first video on the right). Udall ultimately concedes to Schaffer's challenge and says "yes" to voting against adjournment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mark Udall Pledges to Work Toward Energy Solutions Before Congressional Recess

At yesterday's pre-recorded debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall, the Boulder liberal Democrat candidate made a promise:
Schaffer, meanwhile, accused congressional Democrats of being more concerned with voting to recess at the end of the week than passing an energy plan. Agreeing to Schaffer's challenge, Udall said he would not vote for a recess until an energy bill comes up.
At The Colorado Index, Civil Sense highlights the importance of Mark Udall's promise and why it will be difficult for him to keep:
It is unlikely that Nancy Pelosi and the Delay, Don’t Drill, Do Nothing Democrats would allow debate on an energy bill before summer recess as this would force vulnerable Democrat House members to vote against their leadership. Time will tell whether or not Mark Udall will have to follow through or renege on his promise to vote against summer recess.
In addition to sitting on their collective hands on expanding domestic energy supply, Mark Udall and the Democratic Congress have failed to pass a single appropriations bill to fund the federal government, to fill numerous judicial vacancies, and to investigate massive corruption uncovered among trial lawyers.

Will Mark Udall keep his promise? Or will he come back to Colorado with an "aw shucks, I tried" that befits his dedication to radical environments over domestic energy solutions?

The Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall debate airs locally in Colorado on 10 PM Sunday on Fox 31.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Only Place Mark Udall Wants to Drill Is Your Wallet

This is a fabulous idea: How about bumper stickers that read "Your Wallet: The Only Place Udall Wants to Drill"? I'd put one on my car.

TV Ad: "You Don't Know Udall"

Via Rocky Mountain Right, the latest ad from Coloradans for Economic Growth that says "You Don't Know Udall":

It's the Mark Udall that Mark Udall doesn't want Colorado's independent voters to know about.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Schaffer Udall Fox 31 Debate--Photos

Behind the scenes at the Fox 31 debate--"Colorado 2031 to air next Sunday, 10pm, on Fox 31 after the news.

The set, bare just a few minutes earlier, has been prepared and awaits the candidates Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall, and the host Ron Zappolo.

Zappolo prepares his mic.

Host Zappolo encourages an "anything goes" atmosphere and what would become a "guided conversation" rather than a traditional debate.

Schaffer argues a point during the first segment, which of course focused on energy--what mattered most to Colorado voters.

What we have here is a not only a closeup of the Fox 31 camera, but an example of Udall's most frequently used gesture--the double "click" position.

Schaffer explains his positions on energy as Zappolo looks on.

Udall responds--there's those hands again.

Waiting his turn.


Yep. The hands. Again.

A view from the inside.

The host was able to see what the audience will see with the use of this monitor.

From the other angle.

A wide shot (the hands!)

A friendly exchange.

Udall's closing remarks.

Bob's closing remarks.

Schaffer--gotta bring down the energy prices.


A spirited and frenzied dialogue, and handshakes all around.

Media swarms Schaffer (foreground), while Udall (background, next to ladders and obscured by the reporter in the white shirt) answers a few questions after abruptly exiting the studio following the debate.

Udall gets his opportunity to chat with the reporters.

Schaffer Udall Fox 31 Pre-Debate Rally--Photos And Video

Photos/video of the rally outside--

Yep, it's evil.

Signs of the times--commuters along Speer and Lincoln were treated to a lot of signs, and responded with honking.

Anti-Udall protestors--from his left--brought out the impeachment signs and asked for Udall to bring President Bush and Vice President Cheney on charges.

The battle is joined--Boulder liberals welcome!

These guys have appeared at both of the debates--"Where is Mark Udall on EFCA?"

Showin' liberals a little love.

Like the "Veterans for Udall," it wasn't quite clear if those holding signs were actually veterans or firefighters.

There was a large youth contingent among Schaffer's supporters.

The wall of Udall supporters make their case--"M A R K, vote for Udall all the way!"

But the high cost of energy was on the minds of Schaffer's supporters--"drill here, drill now!"

Big Time Bob Schaffer fans brave the late July heat--with fan-favorite "U-Turn Udall" signs highlighting the Democrat's record.

Bob Schaffer greets supporters outside the Fox 31 Studio as Dick Wadhams looks on.

Schaffer chats with supporters before heading inside.

Washington Times: Big Oil Smear Backfiring on Big Blue Lie Machine

Reading an article like this one from today's Washington Times must make the folks at ProgressNow feel deservedly silly and their favored candidate Mark Udall just plain hopping mad:
Bob Schaffer's opponents have spent the past two months tarring him as "Big Oil Bob," an advocate of oil drilling and an energy-industry insider. Maybe he should thank them.

Two polls show Mr. Schaffer, the Colorado Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has erased a double-digit deficit and pulled within a nose of Democratic foe Mark Udall.

The reason, according to one poll, lies in fuel prices. Since gas hit $4 a gallon here, a majority of Colorado voters have come out in favor of offshore oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, said a Quinnipiac Poll released last week.

At the same time, Mr. Schaffer went from trailing Mr. Udall by 10 percentage points in June - 49 percent to 39 percent - to a 44 percent to 44 percent tie in July. The June survey of 1,351 likely Colorado voters had an error margin of 2.7 percentage points; the July poll of 1,425 likely voters had a 2.6-point margin.
ProgressNow of course has reason to feel silly, having spent so much time and money on a full-fledged Internet campaign to tar the candidate they hate as "Big Oil Bob." The absurdity of their facile ad campaign had been pointed out as early as April.

And why might Mark Udall be angry? Besides the plummeting poll numbers? Perhaps his wife Maggie Fox's intimate connection with the 527 group League of Conservation Voters so singularly obsessed with tarring Bob Schaffer?

Politics is a fickle game. At some point, enough of the public comes to see through the deception - though the ill winds may yet again work against common sense and decency for a time. But for now, it's sure funny to see the tar blow back on the Big Blue Lie Machine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Second Senate Race Debate Hosted By Fox 31

Monday July 28, noon, at the Fox 31 Studio, 100 E. Speer Blvd.

Bob Schaffer will address the rally before the debate, which will be filmed in a closed set and aired later this week.

I'll have pictures and video tomorrow afternoon.

Will the lack of an audience actually help Mark Udall? It'll be interesting to see which questions will dominate this debate, but I'm sure energy and the Iraq War will continue to play a major part in driving the conversation. Recent polls (a Dem pollster's 9-point Udall lead notwithstanding) have indicated a much tighter race, within the margin of error, than polls conducted earlier this summer.

Another apparent Schaffer victory in tomorrow's debate might help solidify not only his credentials and bolster his image, but also open even more questions for a somewhat disappointing Udall campaign showing of late.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Schaffer, Udall In "Dead Heat", Tied 44-44

Looks like Mark Udall is taking a u-turn in terms of support from Colorado voters.

One poll? An outlier.

Two polls in a row? A trend--possibly.

Things aren't looking to good for our favorite Boulder liberal, Mark Udall:
In the U.S. Senate race, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall, the Democrat, and Republican Robert Schaffer are tied 44 - 44 percent, compared to a 48 - 38 percent Udall lead June 26.
Schaffer managed to erase (and Udall managed to lose) a ten-point deficit in under a month.

Some of the spinmeisters at ColoradoPols have been working themselves up into a lather making excuses about poll reliability, the fact its only July, etc., when only a week ago they were trumpeting the CQ politics "leans Dem" prognostication and the double-digit polls as unassailable proof of Udall's electability and Schaffer's weaknesses as a candidate.

Then we had the first debate . . .

The two newest polls showing that Schaffer has closed the gap in overall poll numbers, independents (Udall's lead shrank from 21% to just 4%), and favorability (tied at 54%).

Of course this is still July, but rumors of Schaffer's early demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated. If these two new polls represent a trend, then we can expect the race to continue to be neck-and-neck going into November, a true toss up, and one of the most watched races in the country.

And we still have more debates and the DNC to come.

Happy Birthday, Bob Schaffer!

A temporary respite from the give-and-take of the campaign... Today is Bob Schaffer's 46th birthday - Happy Birthday, Bob! The recent trend in campaign polling must be considered a nice present.

At the same time, we regret our oversight for not acknowledging Mark Udall's 58th birthday last week. Wonder how many cards he got from Hollywood liberals to go along with the campaign cash?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Democrat Staffer Right on Bob Schaffer's Tail to Stalk Him at Greeley Parade

Brought to you by the people who recently gave us some of the most laughable, absurd propaganda of the political season: It seems a Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) staffer had to hang really close to Bob Schaffer to stalk him with a camera at the Greeley 4th of July Parade.

I mean, that's really close. Maybe someone should buy the DSCC a zoom lens?

Then again, perhaps Mark Udall had asked for close-up footage of his opponent to study in preparation for the first campaign debate. If so, it didn't work too well. No wonder the DSCC felt impelled to try to spin the debate out of all reality into a Udall victory.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Schaffer-Udall Race Back Within Margin of Error in Latest Poll, 47-43

The latest Rasmussen poll, conducted July 21, puts the Schaffer/Udall race back with the margin of error, where it had been for most of the race until the last six weeks or so. With Udall leading 47-43, and a MOE of +/-4.5%, this is essentially a tie, with just a 3 point difference (49-46) when "leaners" are factored in.

More importantly for Schaffer is the favorability/unfavorability rating, with both candidates at 54% (Schaffer has a 2% lead in the "very favorable" category). Three months of dedicated partisan attacks on Schaffer appear to have given Udall a temporary "bump" in the polls, but haven't appeared to hurt Schaffer's ratings otherwise, and with the poll conducted July 21, could have factored in a full week of reports in the blogosphere and even the MSM that favored Schaffer over Udall in the first debate of the campaign season. Many partisan Dems, including the DSCC, have tried to spin the first debate as at best a Udall victory, and at worst a draw. They claim that one of Schaffer's best salvos of the debate was nothing more than misinformation, and that this hurts Schaffer's credibility.

Unfortunately for Udall, it was his debate rhetoric about "working together" that fell flat on its face.

This new poll comes on the heels of the CQ Politics reassignment of the race to "leans Democratic" from "no clear favorite"--a "lagging indicator" of recent polls or a general reflection of a switch in expected outcome (SvU suspects the former)?  This conflicts with the Cook Political Report out last week that still puts the race as a "toss up."

July polls are July polls. This election year that will be even more the case, especially with the DNC in Udall's back yard. Negative backlash from the convention, due to the events themselves (Hillary party crashing, Obama flub, etc.) or outside in the streets, could damage the Udall move to the center and solidify the "liberal" appellation that he has correctly been tagged with (Boulder liberal, Colorado liberal). He needs a virtually flawless DNC to escape with his independent/unaffiliated support undamaged.

What does Schaffer need? Continued debate success, in both style (clear winner last week) and substance (each side claimed victory). One thing is clear, Schaffer's supporters were clearly more fired up than Udall's, which may be a product of Udall's recent lead (confident supporters feel less afraid of loss). An increase in ad buys and presence in the media (not merely Udall and surrogate attack ads) will increase his visibility, and more highlights from future debates should play well in charging up Republicans seeking down-ticket rally points, since Sen. John McCain won't provide much in the way of coattails. Gas prices stalled at record levels and the expected vote over the Congressional moratorium on offshore drilling in October--the Executive ban having been lifted by President Bush last Monday--could cripple a Udall juggernaut.

Exit questions--with a smidge more than 3 months to go, what do you think of the polls? Will the DNC damage Udall? Can Schaffer reverse the GOP's recent electoral woes?

**Update--a report from a commenter at SquareState doesn't bode well for Udall, with only "lukewarm" support for the Democrat in Boulder

Flashback: Mark Udall's War Flip-Flop Puts Him Temporarily Out of Left's Favor

Our hats are off to Rocky Mountain Right (RMR) for repeatedly hitting the nail on the head about Mark Udall. The latest coup d'etat is a posted video showing Udall's highly strained relationship with the anti-war Left that had invested so much hope in their Boulder liberal candidate - especially after he co-sponsored the Department of Peace - the result of being hurt by Udall's violent flip-flopping.

Writes RMR:
Mark Udall's supporters are complaining that Bob Schaffer's "checkmate" moment over the Iraq War at the Senate debate was an unfair attack and are trying to make out like Udall is a darling of the anti-war movement. This YouTube video uploaded by anti-war activists last year shows that they don't seem to like him all that much and suggests that this may be a looming problem for Udall with the Democratic base.
Go and check out the video, watch Mark Udall dodge question after question (good thing he didn't have any of his constituents put in jail), and tell a Lefty friend to go with their conscience and give a second look at Bob Kinsey for U.S. Senate.

Monday, July 21, 2008

DSCC Tries the Ridiculous "Big Lie" to Spin Mark Udall out of His Debate Disaster

Here's a new dispatch from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Try to read it out loud without laughing - I still can't do it:
In the first debate between Democratic Senate candidate Mark Udall and far-right Republican Bob Schaffer, Udall came away the clear winner. Udall presented a clear plan for moving the country forward after years of Republican mismanagement of the economy, national security, and our energy policy.
Sorry, I should have warned you not to read that with food or drink in your mouth. Hope it didn't cause any unfortunate damage to your computer.

Anyone who actually watched last Monday's debate recognizes this as some of the most outrageous and absurd propaganda of the season. "Udall came away the clear winner"? Yes, if by winning the debate you mean "not tripping and falling on your face in front of hundreds of people." And Mark Udall "presented a clear plan"? What clear plan was that ... "working together"?

Hey, these guys at the DSCC ... it's their job to put a little spin on the campaigns. But sometimes they have to make themselves look like royal fools to do it - this is one of those instances for the DSCC. Hope they're getting paid well to publish this unbelievable drivel.

Add Possible Conflict of Interest to Mark Udall's List of Energy-Related Problems

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports:
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall’s plans to encourage the use of renewable energy could end up benefiting several of the congressman’s investments, according to a review of his recent financial disclosure forms.

Udall’s May 22 disclosure to the Senate Ethics Committee reveals he has at least $31,000 invested in mutual funds and IRAs backed by clean-energy investments.

These investments could benefit from policies Udall has announced his support for both on the campaign trail and during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The top holdings for Powershares WilderHill Clean Energy, in which Udall has invested from $16,000 to $45,000, include First Solar Inc., an Arizona-based firm developing solar-energy technology.

Udall has purchased $15,000 to $50,000 worth of shares in the Winsloe Green Growth mutual fund, which also has invested in the solar-technology firm.

Udall purchased shares in both investments Nov. 13, according to his financial disclosure.
Mark Udall's relations in the energy world have already evidenced public hypocrisy and possible coordinated smear attacks against his opponent. What abouta little conflict of interest to top it all off?

If this story were about Bob Schaffer, it would be a blazing headline in the Denver papers. Will the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News dig deeper into Mark Udall's energy-based hypocrisy and apparently conflicted interests?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Even Mark Udall's Weak Debate Rhetoric on "Working Together" is Pure Fantasy

Rocky Mountain Right has outdone itself this time with a stinging 30-second video:

How bad was Mark Udall's Monday debate performance? Even his empty platitudes were based in fantasy. Udall voted along party lines 96 percent of the time. Bob Schaffer voted along party lines 84 percent of the time.

Who is more independent and non-partisan? Despite Mark Udall's weak rhetoric, the facts don't lie.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mark Udall Confronted about Cynical Sponsorship of Anti-Secret Ballot Bill

Via the Labor Pains blog, Coloradans for Employee Freedom caught up with Boulder liberal Mark Udall at what appears to be the July 4 Greeley Stampede parade:

EFCA = Employee Free Choice Act. Mark Udall seems to have forgotten his cynical sponsorship of EFCA, despite (as Labor Pains points out) having taken more than $1 million from Big Labor interests. Maybe because Udall realizes how dreadfully unpopular the anti-secret ballot measure is.

Mark Udall: Blindsided again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Colorado Senate Battle Remains A Toss Up

The Cook Political Report updated its list of Senate seats from May, and Colorado's battle between Mark Udall (D-Boulder Liberal) and Bob Schaffer remains a toss up, despite early leads in the polls for Udall.

Bob Schaffer Connecting with Voters During His Tour of Southern Colorado

Following the momentum from his Monday debate victory, Bob Schaffer has taken to the road. Schaffer is touring southern Colorado with his message of energy independence to contrast with Mark Udall's obstructionism.

The Pueblo Chieftain highlights Bob Schaffer's views on Pinon Canyon but offers little new. Traveling with Schaffer, Lynn Bartels of the Rocky Mountain News recounts day two of the trip, as Schaffer interacts with voters in Pueblo, Westcliffe, and Salida, including this aw-shucks anecdote:
Hillside resident Fred Berry took a Schaffer for Senate T-shirt provided by the candidate’s campaign.

"I'm getting work clothes for my wife," the 69-year-old Custer County rancher joked. "When she’s out baling (hay) she can be electioneering for Schaffer."
Of course, the advantage of grassroots energy in Schaffer's campaign was most visible recently at the turnout and enthusiasm of the debate crowd.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mark Udall Blindsided on Iraq Resolution - No Dept. of Peace to the Rescue

Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Right, the blindside on Mark Udall from Monday's debate:

The only question is what hopes Mark Udall had for his Department of Peace to govern our Iraq policy and to protect us from other terrorist dangers.

Mark Udall Campaign Drunken Sailor Spending Strategy May Be Cause for Regret

For two straight quarters, the Mark Udall campaign reports that it's spending like a drunken sailor:
Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams argued, however, that Udall is burning through money at an unsustainable rate, noting he spent almost $300,000 more than he raised from April through June. The $2 million cash-on-hand advantage the Democrat held over the former Fort Collins congressman in April has been cut almost in half by Schaffer, he said.

"The only thing that matters from here to the election is how much money you have in the bank, how many more bullets you have left to shoot," Wadhams said. "Even though he had a very good fundraising quarter, when you spend $2.3 million, it negates everything."
Back in April, we speculated about where the money was going:
Patent leather office chairs or golden bathroom fixtures at campaign headquarters? Solar-powered Blackberries? Or maybe it's being wasted on high-paid online staffers? Udall's friend Governor Bill Ritter probably wishes some of that money could be shared to cover his outstanding campaign debts.
This time some of the money was spent on buying television ads - which along with 527 smear ads, has helped to forge a small advantage for Mark Udall. But this rapid depletion of funds - combined with Bob Schaffer's more cost-effective strategy - may later be a source of regret for the Boulder liberal.

After all, there are more painful debate experiences to come.

Adam Schrager Analyzes Schaffer/Udall Debate Rhetoric


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Latest Poll Overstates Mark Udall's Lead - Bob Schaffer's Work Still Cut Out for Him

A new poll from the Democrat firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Boulder liberal Mark Udall with a 47-38 lead over Bob Schaffer.

What can we take away from the survey? That Mark Udall is still ahead, but that his lead may be starting to slip. Yes, Udall topped Schaffer 49-40 in the last Rasmussen poll, the same difference as yesterday's results. But the more recent PPP poll has a skewed sample of respondents: 40% Democrat, 36% Republican, 24% Other. Actual registration figures for Colorado are: 35% Other, 34% Republican, 31% Democrat.

With partisan affiliations factored in, Mark Udall's edge is trimmed to 46-39. Interestingly, the same calculation made in the Presidential race puts Barack Obama and John McCain into a virtual dead heat in Colorado - opposed to the 47-43 Obama edge touted by PPP.

Just because the latest poll gives Mark Udall an extra two-point cushion is no great consolation. Bob Schaffer still has a lot of work to do to persuade independent voters in an uphill election year for Republicans, but highly visible debates can only help his cause.

Mark Udall Healthcare Quips

A couple examples from the end of yesterday's debate help to highlight why Mark Udall isn't exactly in the same league as Barack Obama when it comes to drawing and inspiring a crowd.

Here are two Mark Udall quotes in response to a question about health care reform (access to the full 9News video - see Part 3 - is here):

"We have 800,000 people here in Colorado who don't have healthcare. Many of them feel like they're an illness away from being bankrupt. They don't know how they're going to cover their premiums for the next month. This isn't acceptable."

Those uninsurance premiums are really high, eh?

"Because this isn't only about our economy, it's about our national security. To win the war on terror, we have to have every American as healthy as possible. By working together we can do that."

Congress is going to work together to make us all healthy enough to win the war on terrorism? Um, okay....

And they say that health care is a stronger suit for Democrats.

Missing the Point of Bob Schaffer's Powerful Zing on Mark Udall's Iraq Record

The most striking blow in today's debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall came when 9News moderator Adam Schrager read a question submitted by a viewer: Why are we in Iraq, and how will we know when we we've won the war?

Bob Schaffer answered the first part of the question by reading from a Congressional resolution that included many of the charges against Saddam Hussein's regime - including his chemical weapons program, his state sponsorship of terrorism, and his treatment of the Kurds. A campaign press release said:
Schaffer then asked the crowd to raise their hands if they agreed with the resolution. Udall supports sneered and chuckled until they were told the resolution was introduced by Congressman Udall. An audible gasp was heard from the crowd.
Mark Udall's resolution called for more diplomatic action, but clearly left the military option on the table.

The point of this elucidating moment? That even in opposing the war, Udall clearly acknowledged the reasons that 296 other Congressmen (including 81 Democrats) reasonably relied upon to make their judgment for authorizing military force. And as Schaffer himself explained in the debate, those who voted to support the war didn't want to telegraph our nation's intentions to the regime that had perpetrated the things highlighted in the resolution.

The disagreement was not over the facts in evidence that justified the invasion of Iraq. But Schaffer's question to the audience demonstrated that those supporting Mark Udall fail to recognize the pertinent facts before the nation in Congress and 2002 that were weighed as we debated whether or not to depose the Saddam Hussein tyranny. And those facts remain, even if some conveniently seem to have forgotten them.

Over at the Dead Governors blog, one paid Lefty propagandist thought he caught Bob Schaffer in a gotcha moment - claiming that the Republican candidate "just makes stuff up." The propagandist may have a legitimate disagreement about a foreign policy decision, but he utterly missed the point. Still the Big Blue Lie Machine tries to churn out distractions to hide their candidate's pathetic showing on the debate stage today.

Well, for the sake of an honest debate, I suggest the paid Lefty propagandist give a more careful viewing of the video. But the outcome might just be too painful to watch.

For open-minded independent voters, the debate is a worthwhile watch. They can decide for themselves.

Schaffer v Udall Debate Photos

A popular sign at today's debate.

Schaffer supporters mill about, waiting for the doors to open.

All's quiet at the Udall table--with less than an hour to go, things aren't looking to good for the Boulder liberal (the union buses hadn't arrived yet).

Where, oh where, are the Udall folks at?

Fired up, ready to go.

Signs of support.

Adam Schrager poses a question to Udall.

Schaffer argues his point while Udall looks on.

Udall makes his rebuttal.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bob Schaffer's Clear Debate Victory over Mark Udall Sways Uncommitted Voter

The Denver Post has a decent story about today's debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall, but most interesting is this comment left by an attendee at today's debate:
I attended the debate as a guest of the South East Business Partnership (SEBP). I sat two rows from the speakers and saw everything live.

While I was leaning toward Udall for his record on aerospace, I couldn't believe his performance in the debate. A friend of mine (and staunch Udall advocate) was horrified and joked we should have sat in the back so leaving was an option. He was terribly concerned for his candidate following the dbate.

If I heard Udall say "We are all Americans" once more than the 32 times I counted I would have considered driving a srewdriver into my tempel to stop the pain.

This Schaffer guy wiped the floor with Udall who looked like a deer in the headlights. On enegry and Iraq Udall used the famous I voted for it before I voted against it - defense many times but using different words.

Schaffer dominated the debate and won handedly. Any unbiased observor would easily come to this conclusion. I was just sad to see your coverage so very different from the actual event I witnessed. Regardless of who the reporter supports he should report the truth.

It was like watching a wrestler sitting on top of his opponent in every round and reading an account in the paper that is was an even fight.

I want to do more research on Schaffer before saying I support him but based on the debate - the winner was much more clear than your newspaper reported. [emphases added]
Any assessment that I could make showing that Bob Schaffer won the debate hands down could not be so persuasive. A diehard Lefty Mark Udall supporter who watched the debate disagreed with one of Schaffer's main points of attack but had to admit his candidate's performance was "platitudinous."

Visuals from today's debate are available both at Rocky Mountain Right and Face The State. 9News has the complete video: Those who wish to watch the debate the old-fashioned way can tune in Sunday, July 20, at 10:30 AM, on My20, Comcast Channel 3.

Too bad for Mark Udall that this debate won't be the last one.

Schaffer v Udall Debate--Update, Quick First Impressions

**Update--no liveblogging (no wireless at the venue), but Ben will have a full recap, and I'll have photos/video posted later).

Quick takeaways and initial impressions--Schaffer clearly had the upper hand in the debate when it came to vociferous support (the Udall side was not full), a command of the issues and the details involved in policy, and in overall demeanor. Udall's answers were forced when they weren't simply regurgitations of campaign talking points, and his rebuttals routinely eschewed marked policy differences, and instead focused on rhetoric of "bipartisanship" and the notion that "we are all Coloradans, all Americans." Udall certainly didn't appear to be comfortable in his own skin appearing before the cameras and a somewhat more open style of Q&A, with questions drawn from email submissions to 9NEWS' Adam Schrager, who moderated the debate. Schaffer was on offense from the opening remarks, with Udall trying (and failing, miserably) to play catch-up.

As for the supporters themselves (and this will be revealed in the photos and video), Schaffer's proponents were motivated and loud--"fired up and ready to go." Udall's troops showed up much later, had very little presence inside the complex or on the street, and demonstrated a lack of coordination/organization and reflected poorly on a candidate up by 10 points in the latest polls. It will be interesting to see how the MSM plays the debate today--one that favored Schaffer in all meaningful aspects and really exposed Udall as a mediocre debater and Washington insider who would rather cater to special interests and promote delays and politicking with hashed reasoning (health care is a national security issue, ya know!) rather than dealing with issues head on.

Looking forward to the next debates, Udall faces quite a challenge. The format certainly favored Schaffer, and may be one of the reasons that the Udall campaign refused to sign on to Schaffer's debate series. It is clear Udall would prefer the closed-set, no-crowd debate format with canned questions from the host. To his credit Schrager ably kept the candidates in line and on topic, and dealt with unruly Udall supporters by threatening to halt the proceedings.

Painted into a corner by weeks of attack ads, Bob Schaffer came out swinging this morning in the first U.S. Senate debate of the season, accusing Mark Udall of flip-flopping and of being responsible for high gas prices.

Udall, a Democratic congressman from Eldorado Springs, rarely took the bait from his Republican opponent, responding most often that Congress must work together rather than continue its partisan bickering.

The topics of the debate, which drew a crowd of about 800 to the Wildlife Experience, ranged from energy to the Iraq war to the proposed expansion of PiƱon Canyon military training area. But one theme seemed to emerge throughout the morning: Schaffer accusing Udall of being unwilling to make a decision and Udall responding that he prefers finding consensus rather than rushing into a bad decision.

Emblematic of this was a question over whether Colorado needs to extract oil shale from the ground. Udall said that while research is under way to determine the potential of oil shale, Colorado should not be turned into a "national sacrifice zone."

Schaffer responded: "This is part of the reason I'm running for Congress.... I do not believe constant delay is a strategy for America's energy independence."

Oil Shale: Mark Udall's Obstructionism vs. Bob Schaffer's Comprehensive Approach

Sunday's Grand Junction Daily Sentinel features dueling columns between U.S. Senate candidates Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall on the issue of energy production and the potential of western Colorado oil shale, in particular. A careful look at the two articles highlights a vital contrast

Mark Udall's piece is full of warnings about irresponsible oil shale development, but leaves only the vaguest of hints of what he thinks needs to be done in moving forward.

In one place, Mark Udall writes:
Put plain and simple: We still don’t really know how to develop oil shale in a way that makes economic sense and in a way that protects scarce water resources.

And if we don’t want to send the Western Slope into another economic crash, we’d better figure that out before we try to kick-start another crash program.
Classic doublespeak. It will be harder for oil shale extraction to make "economic sense" when environmental interests, to whom Mark Udall is beholden, press for additional unreasonable regulations that will make the already challenging process costlier. Udall also has advocated a one-year moratorium on oil shale recovery.

The fact that Mark Udall neglected to mention Royal Dutch Shell's Mahogany Ridge Project may speak louder than anything he actually wrote:
But a new technology has emerged that may begin to tap the
oil shale's potential. Royal Dutch Shell, in fact, has recently completed a demonstration project (The Mahogany Ridge project) in which it produced 1,400 barrels of oil from shale in the ground, without mining the shale at all.

Instead, Shell utilized a process called "in situ" mining, which heats the shale while it's still in the ground, to the point where the oil leaches from the rock.
Recognizing this reality and others,
Bob Schaffer's piece
is full of faith in American ingenuity. His approach to energy policy is comprehensive:
We should offer more incentives to grow a more robust renewable energy sector. We should hold out incentives for unconventional technologies such as oil-shale, oil sands and others. We should expand other clean-energy opportunities such as nuclear and geothermal.
Bob Schaffer's strategy for oil shale is reasonable and balanced. Among other things, he recognizes that energy companies have made dramatic technological advancements in oil shale extraction that respect the environment.

As MSNBC has reported, even Democrat Governor Bill Ritter has spoken out clearly about the promised benefits of oil shale extraction: "If we go forward with oil shale, it could be the biggest commercial development in the history of the state of Colorado."

Despite using the rhetoric of responsibility, Mark Udall's energy obstructionism represents irresponsible behavior. Bob Schaffer's plan respects the environment but gives incentive to speed a process that can give a huge boost to America's energy supply and a major boon to Colorado's economy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grand Junction Sentinel Joins Act of Airbrushing "Boulder" from Mark Udall

Rocky Mountain News reporter Lynn Bartels appears to have started a trend in airbrushing the "Boulder" label in quoted descriptions of Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall.

Mark Udall's opponent Bob Schaffer submitted an op-ed to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel that was published this morning. A copy of Bob Schaffer's draft was shared with this blog, bringing to light a couple interesting changes made by the Sentinel. (Emphases are added to highlight the differences.)

1. Here is Bob Schaffer's draft:
Sadly, some of the worst culprits are from Colorado. I’m running against one of them – Boulder’s Democratic Congressman Mark Udall.
Here's the edited version:
Sadly, some of the worst culprits are from Colorado. I’m running against one of them — Boulder County Democrat Mark Udall.
Nothing inaccurate in the original description, but that didn't seem to matter.

2. From Bob Schaffer's draft:
The liberal views espoused by Boulder’s Congressman couldn’t be more different than mine.
And then what the Sentinel published:
The liberal views espoused by Udall couldn’t be more different than mine.
Would the editors justify this change as an essential way to cut extra words and save space? Perhaps, but coupled with the first instance, it looks more like part of a policy that changes one candidate's words while ignoring pertinent facts about his opponent.

It looks like the Western Slope's biggest newspaper has adopted Lynn Bartels' "case-by-case" approach to deciding when and how the term Boulder can be used to describe the man who has represented Boulder in Congress for nine years, who for years was officially recognized by the Congressional clerk as "Mark Udall, D-Boulder", who has publicly referred to Boulder as his "touchstone", and who stated last year that he would not be affected by the "Boulder liberal" tag.

In what ways did the Sentinel edit Mark Udall's column?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Official Documents Refute Naked Partisan Attack against Bob Schaffer

This week the Grand Junction Sentinel ran with a story that made it look like Bob Schaffer was engaged in wrongdoing when he traveled in his role as an energy executive to discuss a development deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government. Reporter Mike Saccone elaborates in a blog post here.

As more facts have come forward in this case, there appears to be no wrongdoing whatsoever by Bob Schaffer or his former employer, Aspect Energy. In particular, the Denver Post's Michael Riley - clearly no fan of Schaffer - did a little more digging. Here's what he says about evidence he found that contradicts the allegations of wrongdoing:
Yet the Oversight Committee documents present a very different picture. They include internal Hunt memos describing meetings with U.S. officials in which they talked about the potential leases with no mention of any warning that they were a bad idea. They also include an e-mail from a State Department official in Iraq to Hunt Oil vice president Jeanne Phillips, in which the U.S. official chats amicably about the Kurdish deal and flags a new opportunity the company might be interested in: "Anything I can do from here to give info or whatever, let me know," it reads.

Those documents match what Schaffer says about Aspect's own dealings as the company was arranging the Kurdish lease - that they received no discouragement from U.S. officials in their efforts. It is still unclear exactly what the State Department said to Aspect executives as they worked to line up the lease in 2006, if anything.
More light is shed in today's Rocky Mountain News:
But both Wadhams and Alex Cranberg, chairman of Aspect, disagree that the State Department had a clear policy against such contracts. Cranberg said his company received government approval to visit the region.

"We were not asked by the State Department not to do this deal," he said in an e-mail.
Unfortunately, Mike Saccone - perhaps trying to give legs to the story he broke - misinterprets what Cranberg's message means, trying to suggest that "Cranberg said there was no communication between Aspect Energy and the State Department." But that's not what Bob Schaffer's former boss said. According to Cranberg, government officials gave his company no reason to believe they shouldn't move forward.

If Saccone could make the case that Aspect Energy had no communication with State Department officials, then he might be able to give traction to the original argument. But if State Department officials told Aspect Energy there was no problem, then Schaffer did nothing wrong. And the charge against the U.S. Senate candidate looks like nothing more than a naked partisan political attack.

Interestingly, Mike Riley appears to have correctly pinned the blame on the State Department for what, at best, appears to be sending mixed messages (though he understates its significance):
Documents suggest that the situation was much less clear cut. They show that State Department officials in Iraq may even have encouraged some American oil companies in their efforts to secure those leases even as it was publicly describing them as problematic. To the extent that's true, Schaffer and Aspect may be much less culpable than Democratic critics suggest and it may be the State Department that is most to blame for playing the diplomatic game of saying one thing in public and another in private.
Yet two critics with Left-leaning records and attachments to Democrat candidates have attempted to come forward allegedly as unbiased experts to perpetuate the myth of wrongdoing.

Who are these two? Lawrence Korb performed the bidding of Congressional Democrats to attack the credibility of General David Petraeus back in 2007. Democrats and Korb since have been left with egg on their face, after Petraeus has led a successful military strategy in Iraq and quashed their defeatist agenda.

Rand Beers has been a senior foreign policy adviser to Democrat Presidential candidates John Kerry and Barack Obama. Beers recently went out of his way to attack John McCain for his honorable military service, in particular the suffering he went through as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.

A couple of Democrat operatives are trying to keep the story alive for Mark Udall's sake - to score political points. But the problem here very much seems to be with officials in the U.S. State Department. Mike Saccone should do the decent thing and publish a follow-up story bringing the new, relevant information to light - and helping to expose the agendas of those behind the original attack.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mark Udall Has Current Edge, But New Campaign Phase About to Begin

From CQ Politics' latest analysis, Colorado's U.S. Senate is the fourth most likely to change hands in this fall's election. After noting Mark Udall's recent lead in the polls, they add:
The state still is closely divided politically and Republicans say they are confident that their candidate, conservative former Rep. Bob Schaffer, will hold the seat by proving to voters that Udall, whose political base is in the liberal college town of Boulder, is too far left for Colorado....
Mark Udall currently has the edge, but the race is sure to tighten up as it enters a new phase in which:

1) Bob Schaffer gets to ply his natural edge in televised debates with Boulder liberal Mark Udall
2) The arrival of the Democratic National Convention provides an opportunity for independent voters to see some of Mark Udall's less respectable cousins up close and personal
3) Voters across Colorado get engaged with the issues and the campaign while still paying four dollars or more per gallon at the pump

While Schaffer v Udall has been covering Colorado's U.S. Senate showdown in earnest for more than a year, the longest and most in-depth part of the campaign lies ahead.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Latest Silly Denver Post "Expose" Reminder of Need for Serious Debate to Discuss

The Denver Post's Michael Riley - whose ongoing assignment seems to be dredging up the most nonsensical attacks against Bob Schaffer - makes the stunning discovery that the U.S. Senate candidate served on the board of an online university with a classical education curriculum, that served as "an academic haven for conservatives." Um ... okay.

Someone will have to tell me why this is a story, except that the Post is blind to its own narrow liberal bias and is not familiar with a traditional classical education curriculum.

Bring on that debate so we can talk about the substance of the campaign.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Despite My Mistake, Mark Udall's Still Dishonest about 9/11 and Dept. of Peace

When an error of fact is pointed out, I'm quick to make a correction. One of our favorite commenters absurdicus noted that I uncritically quoted a misstatement in this post about Mark Udall's deceitful statement that 9/11 changed him. In that post I quoted a watcher, who wrote "Mark Udall's co-sponsorship of the Department of Peace bill didn't take place until after 9/11."

Absurdicus comments in response:
wrong, wrong, wrong. He signed on as cosponsor on JULY 11, 2001. Last time I checked July came before September.

If you and grandpa mcgrumpy are gonna lie and lie and lie, at least make it something where it's not so easy to find proof of your lies. But, nice job at projecting. That, you do well.
Absurdicus is correct (and I invite you to follow the link), but foolishly attacks our speck while the beam bulges from his candidate's eye. If 9/11 truly changed Mark Udall's views about the Department of Peace, it seems he would have revoked his co-sponsorship, oh, relatively soon after 9/11. It hardly matters to this point whether Udall first co-sponsored the Department of Peace legislation two months before 9/11 or two months afterward. The question of importance is when he terminated his co-sponsorship.

As the National Republican Senatorial Committee documented well, it took Mark Udall two-and-a-half years after 9/11 to drop his co-sponsorship of the Department of Peace: March 17, 2004. Coincidentally, though, it came one week after he first announced he was running for U.S. Senate. Does anyone still want to argue credibly that he changed his position on the issue because of 9/11? Or is it much clearer now that the move is part of Boulder liberal Mark Udall's careful calculation to remake his image as he runs for statewide office?

To absurdicus, I know you were trying to take the heat off Mark Udall and to make us look bad. You're just doing your job. But I also appreciate the opportunity to correct my minor error quickly and to explore the issue again - to re-emphasize the fraud in Udall's claim that 9/11 changed his views on the Department of Peace.

I'm willing to acknowledge and correct my mistake. But the problem with Mark Udall's statement about 9/11 and his support for the Department of Peace remains. Is he willing to acknowledge and correct his "mistake"?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Politicker's Silly Dig at New Schaffer Staffer: Another Sign Debate's Time Has Come

More proof positive that Colorado's U.S. Senate race apparently lacks substance and that the first debate can't arrive soon enough....From Politicker today comes this report about the Bob Schaffer campaign's hiring of a new press secretary, one-time Wayne Allard staffer and former schoolteacher Kelly Brady:
"Kelly is an excellent addition to our hard working staff," said Schaffer in the first release issued by Brady. "She brings a wealth of knowledge and insight into the issues affecting Colorado voters."

We assume that Brady wrote the Schaffer quote herself.

And that's all she could come up with about yourself [sic]? have a pen...use it.
Actually, a little modesty and a sense of perspective is quite refreshing. Kelly Brady recognizes it isn't all about herself - a sort of elementary discovery that has escaped many on the contemporary political scene.

Quite simply put, we at Schaffer v Udall are looking forward to the first debate, too.

Don't Forget....

Don't forget to submit a question for the July 14 Bob Schaffer-Mark Udall debate sponsored by 9News.

Greeley Parade Officials Boost Mark Udall, Leave Out Own Board Rep Bob Schaffer

Northern Colorado 1310 AM KFKA radio talk show host Amy Oliver notes an odd fact about this year's Greeley Stampede Independence Day parade:
Also, how did Congressman and Boulder liberal Mark Udall (D-2nd CD) get his own entry in the parade? Udall doesn’t even represent this area. The Democrat candidate for US Senate had an entry very early in the parade which guaranteed him TV time along with a seven paragraph puff piece that was read by 9 News as it broadcast the parade. The script on Udall read like a campaign ad except it didn’t say “vote for Mark Udall.”

And where was Republican candidate for US Senate Bob Schaffer? According to two sources, the 4th Congressional District Representative to the State Board of Education and Vice Chair of the Board was not on the Stampede Parade Committee’s “select group of elected candidates” invited to have their own entry in the parade. Even after Schaffer asked to have his own entry, the Stampede said no. The committee did indicate it would talk with Schaffer after the parade (and after all Udall’s free publicity). So the elected official that represents this area did not get his own parade entry while the elected official who doesn’t represent this area did. Hmmm…. [emphases added]
That something like this could happen borders on the silly and laughable: It makes me wonder if the actions of parade officials are based in a recognition that Boulder liberal Mark Udall needs all the extra free help he can get, while attendees somehow would be tainted by seeing conservative Bob Schaffer. Officials ought to give a public explanation for the obvious lack of evenhanded treatment.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Does Mark Udall Really Not Remember When the 9/11 Attacks Occurred?

Update: Thanks to the commenter's prompt catch, I have posted a correction here.

Over at The Colorado Index, a watcher calls Boulder liberal Mark Udall on a glaring misstatement - a statement in which he claimed to move away from his wacky co-sponsorship of the Department of Peace because he "changed after 9/11".

A watcher astutely and accurately notes:
Mark Udall's co-sponsorship of the Department of Peace bill didn't take place until after 9/11. He only dropped out as a sponsor after he decided to run for the US Senate.

The quote implies that he became more realistic after 9/11. The opposite is true. Mark Udall lies again. The amazing thing is that Ed Sealover didn't catch the lie, or at least didn't note it.

Mark Udall isn't moving to the middle. His campaign is using the classic propaganda tool. Tell a big lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.
Either Mark Udall's memory and other mental faculties are too Swiss-cheesed for him to competently serve as U.S. Senator, or he indeed has been caught in an outright lie.

Does Mark Udall really not remember when our nation was invaded by terrorists? Will we get a retraction and explanation from the Udall campaign?

Mark Udall Winning on Internet Ads, But Obstructing Energy Solutions for Colorado

Long weekend, slow political news cycle. Lynn Bartels at the Rocky Mountain News writes about how Democrat Mark Udall's campaign is absolutely cleaning up on the Internet advertising front:
Udall's campaign has turned to the Internet for an advertising blitz that puts the candidate's face on more than 250 Web sites. Browsers who click on Udall's ads are sent to his campaign Web site, which recently received rave reviews from a blog that grades such sites.

"We hear people say they see Mark's ad in lots of places," said Taylor West, Udall's campaign spokesperson.
Heck, I'm surprised Mark Udall hasn't bought ad space on this site. (It's a joke. Ha.)

And Taylor West was replaced as official campaign spokesperson weeks ago. How long has this story been in the can?

Mike Saccone at the Grand Junction Sentinel also reports that Mark Udall is winning the not-yet-meaningful Facebook rivalry.

Meanwhile, the issue of rising gasoline prices raises the profile on oil shale extraction in Colorado. But Mark Udall stands in the way of energy relief. Smaller newspapers get the importance of the issue (H/T Coyote Gulch). The technology is there to do this far more cleanly than in the past.

Hopefully the discussion of campaign Internet advertising will give way soon to substantive campaign issues, like Mark Udall's obstruction of sensible energy solutions that would benefit consumers.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thanking Mark Udall for the Gas Price Pain that Keeps Many Home This Fourth of July

An important holiday weekend is almost upon us, so you won't see much more posting here between now and next Monday. But here's something unpleasant to think about, especially for those Coloradans planning to travel in celebration of the long Independence Day weekend:
Record high gas prices likely await motorists this Fourth of July weekend.

Nationally, regular unleaded gasoline averages $4.092, an all-time record according to AAA. That's more than $1 above the price a year ago.

In Fort Collins-Loveland, the average price Wednesday was $4.017, just below the record of $4.018, set Sunday. The average price a year ago was $3.136, according to AAA.

High gas prices will likely keep many motorists home this year, AAA predicts.
If you're one of those who has opted for the "stay-cation" because of high gas prices, you still need to remember your manners. Be sure to drop a thank-you note to Boulder liberal Mark Udall for the chance to stay home and spend more time with those close to you. If you're feeling generous, you could also congratulate Udall for finally achieving the goal of inflicting intense consumer pain at the pump that fits the radical agenda of his environmental interest group friends.

You see, Mark Udall and company don't mind imposing some poverty on hardship and families as they impose their will on society. Some middle-class families' belt-tightening includes passing up the opportunity to travel around Independence Day. Are Mark Udall and his environmentalist friends trapped near their homes - be it Boulder, Eldorado Springs, Denver, or Aspen?

The rest of us would like to see an increase in domestic energy supply to tide us over until truly affordable and usable renewable energy is available. I'll let new blogger Civil Sense sum up, since he does it so well:
One of the reasons America is so free is the nearly limitless personal mobility that the automobile allows. Tomorrow’s technology will solve the energy problems of tomorrow. Today, we need to develop our own domestic oil resources to keep energy prices lower until these new technologies are ready to compete at a larger scale on the energy markets.
That's Bob Schaffer-style common sense, so much at odds with the painful Mark Udall experiment in social engineering. Enjoy your long weekend at home!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Mark Udall Obstructing Reasonable Solutions to Skyrocketing Gas Prices

Gas prices in the Denver area are hitting new records again. Meanwhile, syndicated columnist William Hamilton, in mountain Granby's Sky-Hi News, lays out our nation's current energy problems and where our policies have gone wrong:
In December 2007, Congress adopted the Rep. Mark Udall Amendment to prohibit oil-shale development. As recently as May 15, the Senate rejected Sen. Wayne Allard’s attempt to overturn the Udall Moratorium. Obviously, Congress still doesn’t get it.

Meanwhile, the Law of Unintended Consequences remains in effect. Attempts to legislate against brand-name Big Oil will negatively impact the no-name Little Oil companies that develop 90-percent of our domestic oil and gas wells. Little Oil produces 68-percent of our domestic oil and 82-percent of our natural gas. Oil wells cost between $1.5 million to $3.5 million to drill. Most of the time, no recoverable oil is found.

Because corporations do not pay taxes (the consumer does), mandating an excess profits tax on our domestic oil corporations just means we pay more at the pump — albeit a highly efficient way for Uncle Sam to take in more cash.

If Congress wants to be constructive, it could rid us of the oil futures speculators. That would have an immediate downward impact on gasoline and diesel prices.
But the long-term solution to our energy needs rests on the fundamentals of: increasing supply, reducing demand and on a fundamental belief that American ingenuity will, someday, invent a fossil-fuel alternative. [emphasis added]
Hamilton correctly identifies Mark Udall as a leading force obstructing our nation's efforts at reasonable energy independence. While it's a major factor, it's more than just because the oil-shale exploration moratorium bears his name.

Mark Udall also is actively trying to "punish the innocent" in his confused populist crusade to raise windfall profits taxes, sure to hurt consumers.

A watcher concisely explains how Mark Udall's green ideology could well push him out of favor with independent voters:
The ugly truth is that four dollar a gallon gas, going to seven dollar gas is a deal breaker. Mark Udall's politics are too idealistic. He wants the public to go from an economy of plenty to an economy of poverty. That might be possible over a long period of time. It is not possible over a small number of years.
Sensible people like Hamilton place a premium on "American ingenuity" to develop affordable and usable alternative energy, but also recognize it takes time and that government fiat will only make getting there harder.Unlike Mark Udall, Hamilton understands basic natural market forces and the need to increase oil supplies as part of the intermediate solution.

Hamilton says that "Congress doesn't get it." But I think he's being too generous - at least in the case of Mark Udall. Udall and Nancy Pelosi are glad to see gas prices skyrocket at consumers' expense to muscle through a costly, restrictive, and economically harmful green agenda. Seven bucks a gallon, anyone?