Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just trying to put things in perspective.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet The Press: Bob Schaffer And Mark Udall Square Off

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

Friday, September 26, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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

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

Bob Schaffer--Catholic Knight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Udall's Record--The Last 10 Years

Udall Bipartisan? Not On Energy

Phony bipartisanship, maybe:

New National Journal Poll: Schaffer-Udall Race Within Margin of Error

A reader has tipped us to the release of a new poll in Colorado's U.S. Senate race that shows the two candidates within the margin of error. The survey was conducted from September 11-15 by Allstate/National Journal among 402 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent (no free link available):
M. Udall 41%
B. Schaffer 38
Undec 19
Not the most reliable of polls, but it follows the recent trend showing the race in a tie or a slight lead for Mark Udall. Interestingly, the raw numbers are the same as a Schaffer-sponsored poll released in late August.

Monday, September 22, 2008

In Taking Money from Those Undercutting Workers' Rights, Mark Udall Is Consistent

Mark Udall has received major fundraising support from retired sweatshop owner Susie Tompkins-Buell. On the other hand, Udall also has co-sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act in spite of "serious reservations".

Mark Udall has taken thousands of dollars from union leaders to undercut workers' rights to a secret ballot. Udall also has taken thousands of dollars from a former sweatshop owner cited for illegal interrogation and intimidation of underpaid immigrant laborers. What else can be said? At least he has demonstrated some level of consistency.

Of Charlie Rangel & Susie Tompkins-Buell: Mark Udall on Campaign Finance "Ethics"

With Friday's report from the Rocky Mountain News that Mark Udall refuses to return contributions from admitted tax cheat (and fellow Democratic Congressman) Charlie Rangel, the list continues to grow of dirty money flowing into the Udall campaign.

After all, Mark Udall is the only candidate in this U.S. Senate race to take campaign contributions from jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Do you remember Norman Hsu, indicted for federal campaign finance violations? Yes, Mark Udall gave $1,000 of his Hsu money to charity. But as blogger Chris Rodriguez pointed out last year:
On top of the $1,000 he's giving back, let's not forget the $5,000 he got from the Hsu funded "For A Change PAC", the $10,000 from the Hsu funded "Searchlight Leadership Fund" (Harry Reid's PAC), and $40,000 from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees, also recipients of large Hsu donations.
Norman Hsu. Charlie Rangel. What about Susie Tompkins-Buell?
[Tompkins-Buell's company] Esprit de Corp. was found by the National Labor Relations Board to have illegally interrogated and intimidated $2-an-hour Chinese workers, and then to have shut down a factory to keep them from unionizing. The Department of Labor found that an Esprit contractor doctored payroll records and refused to pay overtime.
Tompkins-Buell - whose "sweatshop" problems were detailed at length in the far-Left Nation magazine on May 16, 1994 - later sold Esprit for millions of dollars, which she now uses as a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser.

According to the Federal Elections Commission, Susie Tompkins-Buell and her husband Mark Buell each gave $2,300 to Mark Udall's campaign on June 19, 2007. Both Tompkins-Buell and her husband list San Francisco as their residence. Also on June 19, the Udall campaign took in nearly $50,000 from a series of San Francisco area contributors - his largest one-day California take in all of 2007. On May 31, 2007 - 19 days before all the funds poured in - the Udall campaign reported paying Tompkins-Buell $972.50 for "event personnel."

So was the retired "sweatshop" owner Susie Tompkins-Buell not only giving thousands to the Mark Udall campaign, but also organizing a $50,000 fundraiser for him? It sure looks that way.

And the Mark Udall campaign has the audacity to say what?
"Bob Schaffer may be the most ethically challenged candidate ever to run for office in Colorado," [Udall spokeswoman Tara] Trujillo said. "When Jack Abramoff's candidate rattles off about campaign contributions, he's getting really desperate."
More ethically challenged than Mark Udall, taking and keeping money from Jack Abramoff, Norman Hsu, Charlie Rangel, and Susie Tompkins-Buell? Puh-lease.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mark Udall's "bridge to nowhere works fine -- if all the elk know where the crossing is."

What a great one-liner from Bob Schaffer on the campaign trail, as he highlights Mark Udall's low threshold for approving taxpayer-funded earmarks.

The Wall Street Journal's Brendan Miniter explains in his Political Diary:
Washington really is going to the animals. Rep. Mark Udall, a Democrat running for an open Senate seat in Colorado, is coming under fire for a $500,000 earmark to build an animal bridge. The funding would be seed money to construct a $10 million bridge over Interstate 70 so elk and large animals would, in theory, be able to cross the road without impeding traffic.
Miniter calls it a "bridge for nobody," providing a cute anecdote that by itself wouldn't mean much, except for the current mood of voters:
This year members of Congress are finding wasteful spending is a political liability.
That's bad news for Mark Udall. And good news for Bob Schaffer - one of the few true fiscal conservatives to serve in Congress in recent years.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Released in the Custody of his Lawyer

Subtitle: More Dribbles Out...

It seems that the Mark Udall campaign does have documents and has released some of them, but in a way that you have to know where to find them.

The joints were on the front seat. The three small bags were elsewhere. Other drugs were involved. It was a real Rocky Mountain High.

It took two cops to arrest him.

Magnum PI was on the scene in hours, just like on TV.

Maybe next week we will get the court order. If Mark Udall saves his clippings, he surely saves his court orders.

Yep, the campaign has released one for littering.

Isn't this fun???

Al Gore, MoveOn.org to Help Pay Campaign Bills for Boulder Liberal Mark Udall

The Lefty tag team of Al Gore and MoveOn.org are digging deep to raise funds for Boulder liberal Mark Udall. Further confirmation of the results of our "Mark Udall is not a moderate" scoreboard.

Rocky Mountain Right aptly notes:
The same people who branded General Petraeus a traitor are now raising money for Mark Udall, saying he would be a Senator in the mold of Al Franken
Funny - Mark Udall is trying so hard these days to portray himself as a bipartisan "independent leader." Yet during his career in Congress, Udall has voted with his party leaders 92 percent of the time - far more than his opponent Bob Schaffer.

Al Gore and MoveOn.org understand this reality. And Mark Udall knows on which side his bread is buttered. In the closing days of a tight election, Udall is leaning on his liberal friends to pay the bills.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mark Udall Undercuts His Own Excuse for Voting Against Second Amendment

Mark Udall really doesn't seem terribly interested in getting rid of the U-turn Udall label. From the March 26 Denver Post:
When the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week about the Washington, D.C., ban on handgun ownership, U.S. Rep. Mark Udall of Colorado issued a news release saying he hoped the court would affirm the right of citizens to "keep and bear arms."

But on four occasions when Udall, a Democrat running for an open U.S. Senate seat, could have voted in Congress to repeal all or sections of the gun ban, he did not.

Udall campaign spokesman Taylor West said the congressman did not support the 32-year-old ban but also didn't think Congress was justified in overriding the district while the issue was before the courts.

"He believes in self-rule and the rights of local government," West said. "The people should be able to set their own laws."
Then we noted Mark Udall's excuse for voting against D.C. residents' Second Amendment rights: local government control. But yesterday Mark Udall undercut his own excuse. He voted not once but twice in Congress to interfere with home D.C. home rule on Second Amendment issues - supporting HR 6842, the National Capital Security and Safety Act.

Mark Udall, the model of election year inconsistency: It almost makes your head spin.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mark Udall Mum on Overlooking Reported Scandal in Interior Department Agency

From the Denver Post this morning:
The alarm bells started more than two years ago about a culture of rule-breaking by government workers now embroiled in a scandal of sex, drugs and potential bribery.

A top government investigator repeatedly warned members of Congress that he had uncovered severe ethical lapses at the Minerals Management Service in Lakewood, where workers oversee billions of dollars worth of oil and gas leases.

He said it bluntly at House hearings in 2006. He said it again in early 2007. He warned a Senate committee in January of last year as well.

Congress did little to tighten the rules for the MMS.
According to the article, the costly problem of "severe ethical lapses" is finally being addressed now. Where was Mark Udall through all of this, though?
Reps. Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Springs Republican; Tom Tancredo, a Littleton Republican; and Mark Udall, a Democrat from Eldorado Springs, are on the Natural Resources Committee, which held a February 2007 hearing where [Interior Department Inspector General Earl] Devaney testified about ethical problems at MMS. He also said problems in calculating royalties may have cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The transcript from that hearing does not show any of the Colorado lawmakers asking questions. There is no roll that would show whether they attended. [emphasis added]
The relevant question is whether Mark Udall was at the hearing. If so, why so silent on the issue? If not, where was he: Sick in bed? Gone golfing with lobbyists? At an out-of-state fundraiser with wealthy liberal donors?
Udall, through an aide, did not answer a question about whether more should have been done earlier or what Congress should do next.
Is Mark Udall just hoping the story goes away before he has to answer any questions? Does he have to think up a tale? Cover his tracks? The answer is that we don't know. But his silence feeds the speculation. Lamborn and Tancredo aren't off the hook yet, either.

Perhaps what is most intriguing is that this story is coming out of a locally-based federal government agency that oversees oil and gas leases. Did the "severe ethical lapses" in the agency affect the ability to distribute leases? Given his longstanding opposition to domestic oil and gas exploration, what did Mark Udall think about this?

As noted of Mark Udall in a March 2008 Congressional Quarterly article (subscription required):
His uncle, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. And from his seat on the Natural Resources Committee, Udall can see a portrait of his father, who chaired the panel (then known as Interior) from 1977 to 1991 and wrote legislation doubling the size of the national park system and tripling the extent of the national wilderness system.
With such a family legacy both in the Interior Department and on the Natural Resources Committee, you would think Mark Udall would take a strong interest in a potential scandal there. Did he simply ignore the warnings? Was something else afoot?

More investigation and reporting is needed to answer these questions.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bob Schaffer on TV Highlighting Business Experience and Tax-Cutting Record

The election ads are coming fast and furious now. The Bob Schaffer for U.S. Senate campaign has released likely its best ad thus far:

In the 30-second spot, Bob Schaffer highlights his business experience and his record as a tax cutter, taking an optimistic tone about empowering average American citizens to help bring the economy back on track. The concise commercial is positive and on message.

Other groups are doing the work of exposing Mark Udall's liberal record.

New NRSC Ad Identifies Mark Udall as "Part of the Problem in Washington"

The National Republican Senatorial Committee tags Mark Udall's voting record as "part of the problem in Washington":

This is one of the clearer and more straightforward ads of the campaign season. Its claims are well-documented, as Boulder liberal Mark Udall has stood against domestic energy exploration, against middle class tax relief, and against funding our troops in harm's way. On these and other important issues, Udall clearly doesn't represent the values of mainstream Colorado.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More Dribbles Out From the Mark Udall Campaign

A knowledgeable someone left the following comment on the "The Ad That Mark Udall Thinks Could Destroy His Campaign" Post:

Mark Udall was charged with simple misdemeanor marijuana possession in 1972. There is absolutely nothing to indicate he was suspected of distributing anything, that's not what he was either initially charged with or convicted of. Your speculation is completely baseless and irresponsible, even by this pathetic blog's nonexistent "standards."

But that's okay, go over the top as far as you like on this, it's broadcasting to your dwindling readership everything they need to know. And not about Mark Udall.
Here's my answer:
1. Your campaign is dribbling the information on this out. When first released months ago, we only found out that Mark Udall had had his car confiscated and was put on a year of probation. Yesterday, in the Denver Post, we are told for the first time that he spent a night in jail and was fined $300. Also, for the first time, we are told that he had some joints and three "small bags" of marijuana. Today on this blog, you tell us that he was charged with simple misdemeanor marijuana possession, but you are withholding the day and place of arrest meaning that nothing you say an be checked. When you actually release hard facts that can be checked, the speculation will stop.

2. I am four years older than Mark Udall meaning that I know what the laws and customs were in 1972. Cars weren't being confiscated from users at the time. Cars were being confiscated from dealers. Mark Udall admits his car was confiscated, strongly suggesting, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary (evidence the campaign could provide, if it chose), that Mark Udall was being prosecuted as a dealer and had the charge plea bargained down, but still couldn't keep his car.

3. The facts also might support an initial charge of DUI, except that I do not recall that cars were being confiscated for DUI, sending us back to drug dealing speculation. In 1972, I was an Army Officer who not infrequently busted soldiers for drug use, a too common problem in the army of that era. The easiest way to do a pot bust is by using one's nose. It would be useful to know what violation Mark Udall had committed to get stopped. What made the cop ask for permission to search the vehicle? Is the smoke pouring out of the Freedom's Watch van a metaphor for the smell escaping from a just stopped vehicle being driven by a congressman's kid? Did multiple joints suggest that he was using as he drove down the road? There are so many unanswered questions. If the Mark Udall campaign wants to "clear the air" so to speak, the best way would be to provide answers. Who stopped him and for what? Where and when was the stop made? Why was the car confiscated? How much pot was confiscated and where was it found? Where and when did the trial occur, or was there a trial? Did Udall get special treatment.

We'll worry about our audience. You worry about the answers.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Ad That Mark Udall Thinks Could Destroy his Campaign

Mark Udall thinks that this ad

could destroy his campaign and has had his lawyer send cease and desist letters to get it taken off the air.

Now, why would Mark Udall think that? Because it suggests smoking dope in quantities that also suggest dealing dope. While he downplayed the amount of drugs found in his car, it was enough to get his car confiscated and put him on probation for a year. He provided the Colorado Springs Independent those details earlier in the year, but didn't bother to tell the Denver Post?

Car confiscation wasn't a source of revenue for law enforcement until the 1990's. Voters will likely forgive the use of drugs, but will they forgive a candidate who was involved in the sale of drugs? That is a different ballgame.

And what legal argument did the lawyer use? Why, the bill didn't provide for the procurement of vans and therefore showing a van isn't truthful. OhhhhhhKay, I guess those peace academy cadets were going to walk.

I think CBS 4 Got It Wrong-Fact Checking the Fact Checker

In the late 1990's, I worked for the Strategic Defense Initiative Office (SDIO), sometimes referred to as "star wars," and now called BMDO.

One day, either Ben or Jerry of ice cream fame came by and wanted a million dollars to do anti-SDIO peace stuff. They didn't expect Congress to allocate an extra million dollars for their boondoggle. They wanted to take it out of the program's hide. We were polite to them.

Now comes the CBS 4 analysis of the peace department ad by Freedom's Watch which says in part:

Bottom line. [ Mark ] Udall did support what appears in hindsight to be a goofy legislative proposal. It's certainly fair game in a tough Senate campaign. However, to imply Udall withheld money from the troops because he wanted it for a department of peace, is a misleading claim unsupported by the facts.

I think they are wrong, but don't have the time to do the research to prove it.

Like Ben (or) Jerry of a decade earlier, Mark Udall wasn't asking congress to appropriate extra billions of dollars to fund his "goofy legislative proposal." If memory serves, he wanted billions taken out of the defense department budget and he didn't care whether it meant fewer bullets, fewer uparmored vehicles, or less care for wounded soldiers. If I am correct, and I think I am, to claim that Udall wasn't trying to take funds from programs that supported troops is a "misleading claim unsupported by the facts."

Otherwise, CBS4 did a good job on a humorous commercial produced at a time when humor is needed.

Mark Udall Evades "Serious Reservations", Bob Schaffer Stands Up for Secret Ballots

In a U.S. Senate race with plenty of stark differences between the two major candidates, one of the clearest differences came up in the recent YouTube debate between Bob Schaffer and Mark Udall. First, the question from Justin Wilson and Udall's evasive answer:

Mark Udall completely avoids answering the question, probably because co-sponsoring a piece of legislation that robs workers of the right to a secret ballot can prove to be quite embarrassing.

By contrast, here's Bob Schaffer's answer (H/T Labor Pains blog):

Bob Schaffer speaks for common sense: "You should have the right to privacy when you are casting votes on something so important."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Smoke-Filled Van" Makes Catchy Point about Mark Udall and Department of Peace

Freedom's Watch does it again. I think we've found another nominee for most creative ad of the political season in Colorado's U.S. Senate race:

You've heard of the proverbial "smoke-filled back room" in politics? In Mark Udall's case, it appears to be a "smoke-filled van."

Writing at The Colorado Index, a watcher speculates that the vehicle featured in the ad might be the missing car confiscated from Mark Udall three decades ago. I don't know about that, but it's clear that Udall's co-sponsorship of the Department of Peace has been good for humor more than once in this campaign - this time perhaps the best of them all.

Here's the other TV ad nominee from Freedom's Watch.

Mark Udall's Real Constituency Not Colorado But Environmental Interests

That line in the sand keeps shifting, as Boulder liberal Mark Udall seeks funding from out-of-state donors at an environmentally-themed fundraiser:
Congressman Mark Udall of Colorado, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, will be in Austin for a fundraising lunch at Chez Zee on Monday. The cost is $100 a plate (organizers say they charge less for people who can’t afford that); donors of $250 or more can attend a pre-lunch reception.

Organizers are giving the event an environmental bent: “Like his father, the late Congressman Morris Udall (D-AZ), Mark is a leader on environmental issues,” reads an email sent out last week. “Thanks to Mark, the Rocky Flats nuclear facility is now a wildlife refuge. He is also a leader on alternative energy.”
. . .
What’s interesting to me is that Mark Udall is coming down to Austin at all. He’s in a pretty tight race, it’s two months till election day, and surely there’s a ton of money to be had in Colorado.

The Udall campaign tells me fundraising events are closed to the press. I’m waiting to hear back from a press secretary about the appeal of coming down to Texas.

Which out-of-state political candidates can you name, other than the presidential ones, that have come to Austin in the last couple of years to raise money?
Things must be getting a little tense for the sagging Udall campaign if he is traveling to Texas with less than two months to go until the election to buy votes raise cash for his campaign or for environmental concerns.

Shouldn't Udall be in DC representing his Colorado constituents instead of pandering to environmental special interests either on his or the cause's behalf, now that the long August break is over?

Sentinel: Mark Udall "a Johnny-come-lately" on Comprehensive Energy Solutions

I won't say the editors of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel have followed the lead of this blog's writers, but it's safe to say they've studied many of the same materials and come to a similar conclusion. From their editorial yesterday (you really ought to read the whole thing):
[Mark] Udall is a Johnny-come-lately to the we-have-to-do-everything-we-can solution to the nation’s energy woes. Of course, he really doesn’t mean everything, and some of what he wants to do is nothing more than silly ideas designed to do nothing other than generate votes for his Senate race.
Couldn't have said it any better ourselves. For just a few recent examples:
- Mark Udall: "Shifting Sand"
- Nailing Down Mark Udall's Shifting, Cuban-Centered "Comprehensive" Energy Policy
- Mark Udall Still Says "Heck No" to Offshore Drilling as Part of Comprehensive Energy Solution
- If Mark Udall Has Changed His Mind About Drilling, then What About ANWR?

High Heat From The Western Slope

The Grand Junction Sentinel nails Mark Udall to the wall:

Udall is a Johnny-come-lately to the we-have-to-do-everything-we-can solution to the nation’s energy woes. . . .

Udall said, “We need to throw in the kitchen sink” to solve the energy crisis.Maybe he’ll throw in the kitchen sink, but he won’t throw in drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. And it’s only been recently, like since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats it was OK to do so, that he has reluctantly agreed to support offshore drilling. He’s had more than one opportunity to vote for offshore drilling as a member of the House, but has declined repeatedly to do so.

And of course he wants to release oil from the nation’s strategic oil reserve to, he believes, help drive down gasoline prices. The strategic oil reserve is for national emergencies. Electing Democrats to the Senate is not, in our view, anything remotely close to an emergency.

Mark Udall fits the classic mold of the Western Democrat--pose for a while as a moderate, pretend your actual voting record doesn't exist, and then count on a HUGE money advantage to beat your opponent into the ground so you can have your election victory.

Sadly, four weeks of endless attacks on Bob Schaffer don't seem to be doing the trick for Udall.

Again, in what the Dems expected to be a pretty easy race, things are a bit dicey. Expect the really sharp elbows to come out soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Pet Peeve...Mark Udall Wouldn't Know The Truth If...

How can you tell if Mark Udall is lying to the public? Check to see if his lips are moving, either in person or in a commercial. Even the NRSC has noticed:

New Schaffer Ad Highlights Udall's Support of Higher Taxes

**Update--don't take Schaffer's word for it if you are so disinclined--just look at the falsehoods told not only once, but yet again in Udall's ads, even after being taken to task by the good folks over at 9NEWS.

Mark Udall--"Shifting Sand"

More on that earlier "Line in the Sand" ad touted by the Udall campaign.

Bob Schaffer Wins Round 1 of YouTube Debate, Exposes Udall's Gun Rights Record

In the first Colorado U.S. Senate election to have a YouTube debate, the first question is on the 2nd Amendment. You can follow the link to view the candidate's answers.

In this race, only Bob Schaffer has consistently recognized an individual citizen's right to keep and bear arms. Mark Udall talks the talk, but has been on both sides of the issue.

Oh, and here is the documentation for Bob Schaffer's claims about Mark Udall's consistent F ratings from the National Rifle Association (though he did earn a D in 2006). In 2007 Mark Udall slipped back to receive an F-minus from Gun Owners of America. By contrast, Colorado Democrats Ken Salazar and John Salazar finished with a B and A-minus, respectively

Chalk up Question 1 to Bob Schaffer. Next question: higher education funding. In a very closely watched, neck-and-neck race, the YouTube debate could potentially have a significant impact.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bob Schaffer Signs Anti-Death Tax Pledge, No One Anticipates Mark Udall to Join Him

Bob Schaffer made an unsurprising but strong statement today by signing a pledge to continue the repeal of the "death tax"'s double hits on family businesses.

With his record of raising taxes on the middle class and general failing marks from the National Taxpayers Union, we would be very surprised to see Mark Udall also sign the pledge.

On this issue and many others, the contrast could hardly be clearer: Bob Schaffer is on the side of families, small businesses, and economic growth. Mark Udall is on the side of growing government.

Nailing Down Mark Udall's Shifting, Cuban-Centered "Comprehensive" Energy Policy

As reported in today's Grand Junction Free Press, from last Saturday's Club 20 debate:
[Bob] Schaffer pounced on [Mark] Udall for supporting drilling in Cuban waters of the Gulf of Mexico, something Udall said he backed in order to give Americans the opportunity before someone else got to it.
In the interest of general consistency, doesn't Mark Udall also want to give Americans the first opportunity at ANWR, oil shale, and most - or even all - offshore drilling in American waters? No. Meanwhile, drilling in Cuban waters appears to remain Udall's idea of "responsible drilling."

Mark Udall's energy policy is "comprehensive" - if by "comprehensive" you mean "any energy source that won't soon be profitable nor help quickly lead to energy independence for the American people, plus a little bit from Cuba, plus whatever else absolutely has to be done to win a few extra votes." That's the best definition I can come up with after following the issue for months. Any alternative suggestions?

Contrast that with Bob Schaffer's reasonable comprehensive energy policy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Left Contemplating Violence Against Mark Udall

For quite a long time this blog has kept track of the times and places where liberal blogs and msm (including the Denver Post) have referred to Mark Udall as a liberal. It is our scoreboard in the right hand column.

Imagine our surprise when we learned in today's Denver Post that calling Mark Udall a liberal is "hate speech."

The Republicans reveal their violent intentions by taking the first step towards violence, called objectification, in their ads. The attack ad presents Mark Udall as an inanimate object while it uses the script to demonize his record. Objectification of the “other” takes the role of dehumanizing the so-called enemy, eliminating the aggressors ability to identify with the other, and making violence psychologically easy to commit. It serves to objectify the entire group of people that the makers of the ad believe to be represented by this individual. Thus, they need to use some sort of disparaging slur to place this artificially identified group under the umbrella of. Racial and gender slurs have long been used for this process. Today Republicans just use the word Liberal as an umbrella slur for the dehumanizing othering of those who simply disagree with them about anything.

Since the msm and the left wing blogosphere were referring to Mark Udall as a "liberal" and more long before these ads came out, one can only draw the conclusion that they intended violence to Mark Udall.

It looks like the loony left is getting a bit desperate. Forgive us for the headline. It was like shooting ducks on a pond, fish in a barrel, Democrats in a campaign...well, you get the idea.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mark Udall Still Says "Heck No" to Oil Shale as Part of Comprehensive Energy Solution

Boulder liberal Mark Udall continues to put ideology over comprehensive energy solutions that could benefit Coloradans. The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has worked on new regulations to open up oil shale leasing in western Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. But Udall wants to fight to keep the oil shale leasing ban in place, no matter what the BLM says:
Republicans have targeted U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., and Rep. Mark Udall, D-Eldorado Springs, for criticism because of their support of a measure that prohibits the BLM from issuing final oil shale leasing regulations.

That ban is set to expire at the end of September, but Udall has said he is going to work to keep it in place. That position has drawn criticism from Bob Schaffer, a former congressman from Fort Collins, who is running against Udall in their battle to replace U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.
Oil shale isn't the panacea, and its benefits in energy supply can't be fully reaped right away. But there are 800 billion barrels of oil there, making it a significant part of a long-term solution for American energy independence.

Even so, Mark Udall is working to prevent any reasonable process from even starting. Udall is saying "No way" to oil shale, while also blockading efforts to open up ANWR and latching desperately onto the Gang of 10's restrictive plans on offshore drilling.

No wonder Environment America - a major lobbying group that opposes any drilling - has judged Mark Udall's U-turn on energy production insincere. When it gets down to it, Udall's shift toward the center has left him far from supporting a truly comprehensive energy solution. Mark Udall is trying to buy votes from middle-of-the-road, independent voters who want more drilling. To do so, Udall is supporting the least possible drilling that he thinks he absolutely has to support in order to appear that he's on the same side of the issue.

In other words, Mark Udall has gone from "The only place he wants to drill is your wallet" to "The only places he wants to drill are your wallet and off the coasts of four states that don't include the most promising areas for energy development." It doesn't fit on a bumper sticker anymore, but it still doesn't help struggling Colorado families. And it doesn't look much better for the Boulder liberal Congressman.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

To Think Mark Udall Once Made a Big Deal of Attacking His Opponent's Missed Votes...

This piece comes from deep in the archives. Mark Udall has had a hard time living up to the consequences of his very important missed vote that left the energy issue untouched while Americans continue to pay high prices at the pump. But once upon a time, when he first ran for Congress in 1998, he made his opponent's missed votes a centerpiece of his campaign (from the October 28, 1998, edition of the Boulder Daily Camera):
[Congressional candidate Bob] Greenlee said the ads are defamatory to his reputation and he is considering legal action against the Mark Udall for Congress Committee.

The ad accuses Greenlee of missing 800 votes as a city council member....

Greenlee responded Saturday that while it is possible he missed 800 votes as a city council member, those votes have accumulated over a period of 15 years. He said many of the votes the Udall campaign is referring to could have been on such matters as minutes and minor amendments. Greenlee said he has as good of a record or better than any other city council member.
Thanks to our current campaign finance laws, Mark Udall now has other groups to throw the slime at his opponent for him, so he doesn't have to account for the direct attacks on Bob Schaffer this time around. But just the reminder of how concerned he was 10 years ago about the issue of missed votes is kind of funny - since Udall's missed vote was much more crucial than the 800 votes to approve minutes and minor amendments for a city council combined.

Udall? ... Udall?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Puke and Snot in the San Luis Valley

As an off and on visitor to the Renaissance Festival, I was saddened to learn of the untimely death of one of the members of the Puke and Snot show shortly after their last performance in Larkspur last month.

It is nice to see that Puke and Snot fans Mark Udall and Ken Salazar were doing a revival in the San Luis Valley this week although news reports didn't say who was playing Puke and who was playing Snot. We'll improvise.

[ Mark ] Udall added, “I’ve always supported drilling — I’m opposed to destroying the environment.”

Those are code words for "I'm opposed to the use of fossil fuels in any form, so I have always opposed drilling, but I'm too much of a liar to acknowledge my record. For the next 60 days, I'll pretend to have always supported drilling and hope no one notices."

Puke again:
“Democrats aren’t against oil and gas exploration,” he [Mark Udall ] said, “but they just want it done right.”

Those are code words for "Oil companies can 'explore' all they want. We Democrats oppose 'development' and low gas prices." Nancy Pelosi said it best when she let the House adjourn without a vote on drilling (Mark Udall wasn't there, remember?): "I'm trying to save the environment."

And Snot piped up:
Asked about the use of corn in energy production and the belief that this is making food prices rise, [ Ken ] Salazar said less than half of the corn produced goes into corn-based ethanol.

He contended that the oil and gas industry is “actually demonizing green technology.”
If we remember correctly, it was the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times who first pointed out negative impact of ethanol on corn and food prices, not the oil industry. Before this author realized what a consistent liar Mark Udall was, we called him "cornfused" because he had a different story for every audience interested in ethanol. Now, he stands in silence while Ken Salazar pulls the same stunt.

Pure Vaudeville.