Monday, July 28, 2008

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.


alan said...

Kick ass, Ben, you go right on trumpeting your one outlier poll and Moonie Times article. If you really think Dick Wadhams' and the Republicans' naked deceptions on the energy issue ("Democrats have halted exploration for 20 years," etc.) are going to stick for the next 100 days, you're the one who's going to feel "silly" on Election Day.

The Pueblo Chieftain says Udall wasn't taking the bait at yesterday's debate--where's your witty rejoinder? No resolutions to selectively quote?

Congressman Mark Udall came out swinging Monday against GOP challenger Bob Schaffer in the second of nearly a dozen planned debates in their U.S. Senate race.

Udall, a five-term congressman, repeatedly attacked Schaffer on his energy stance, calling the former congressman an oil executive who likes to see high gas prices.

Schaffer countered that Udall's attack is just what the American people are tired of hearing - politicians bickering while motorists pay more than $4 a gallon at the pump.

"I think any time Mark Udall defends high gasoline prices, it sends a clear message to voters," Schaffer said immediately following the debate.

"They heard a promise to continue a commitment to restricted energy development. Listen, I'm just in favor of putting every option on the table and pursuing every strategy to lower energy prices," Schaffer said. Udall said Schaffer is more beholden to the same oil companies for which he once worked, adding that the former congressman only mentioned renewable energy once on the floor of the U.S. House during his eight years in Congress.

"There's a clear contrast here," Udall said. "I'm clearly somebody who's going to work across the board to drive down gas prices. Congressman Schaffer talks about the situation we're in, but he doesn't acknowledge that he played a key roll in getting us in this situation."

This is an education issue, Ben, and there's plenty of time to make the case before November. And fortunately for us, our case does not rely on the presumed ignorance of the voters.

Alan said...

While we're on the subject, do you have any explanation for this?

"It was untruthful in that I didn't cut a deal with the Iraqis, with the Kurds. That's not why I went there."

Which defies, as you may be aware, the entire known record reported by every major newspaper in the state about Schaffer's trip to northern Iraq on behalf of Aspect Energy. What do you suppose he meant by this statement?

Don't hurt yourself trying to contort out an answer...

Ben DeGrow said...

Schaffer said what he meant, and what he said was the truth. His professional role during his one visit to the region was not to cut a deal, and he didn't cut a deal. He led what is known as a "business entry" mission, which included scientific and governmental research, as well as various meetings to inform local officials of Aspect Energy's interest in a possible contract. That reality just doesn't seem to fit your pre-ordained narrative. Facts often can be inconvenient.

We at SvU investigated for ourselves, as did Ross Kaminsky - which reporters seemed not to have done. You can choose to tar us with invective and ad hominem, or you can investigate, as well. It's easy to do, if you're not too invested in your own silly "Big Oil Bob" propaganda to risk finding the truth.

Ben DeGrow said...

Sorry I didn't respond to the first comment. It was really too silly ... the Pueblo Chieftain? So what? Mark Udall is to be congratulated for doing somewhat better in this debate than the first one where he fell flat, but Bob Schaffer put in another consistently strong performance.

Otherwise, your attempts to distract and obfuscate the real issues at hand are worthy of being ignored.

Alan said...

Oh, okay Ben, so he didn't "cut a deal," he just went there to "inform local officials" that Aspect wanted to cut a deal. Thanks for making that all-important distinction.

(rolls eyes)

And yes, it's too bad Schaffer is fresh out of deceptive Iraq war "gotchas!" isn't it? Now that things are becoming reality-based (as you righties like to say), your boy Schaffer is screwed--ten debates to go and your bogus talking points already have no purchase. I'm going to well and truly enjoy this.