I wanted to reach out to you, and let you know that the Adams & Broomfield Counties Victory office is open. We are in the same location we were in 2012, at the corner of E. 104th and York.
If Republicans are going to win this year we are going to need all the help we can get. We need to reach out to voters as many times as we can between now and November. Please consider spending some time making phone calls here at the office, or knocking doors in your neighborhood. The more times we reach out to voters the more likely we are to make an impact this year.
Adams & Broomfield Counties Field Director
2200 E. 104th Ave #103,
Thornton, CO 80233
The difference between the Adams County Republicans and the Adams County Democrats:
“We want to control our own life, not yours”
“We support every individual choice that does not take away someone else’s choice”.
“Freedom and Liberty vs. Control”
It’s an easy decision for us….
Don’t believe it? Just watch.
We deserve much much better than Joe….
DENVER—The Colorado Division of Insurance announced Friday a surge in health-care policy cancellations in the wake of Obamacare, just what Democratic candidates in high-profile races didn’t need less than three weeks before Election Day.
In a letter to state Senate Republicans, Colorado insurance commissioner Marguerite Salazar said that more than 22,000 Coloradans received cancellation notices in the last month, and that 192,942 Coloradans will lose their policies at the end of 2015.
That would bring the total number of cancellations in Colorado to more than 550,000 by the time the Affordable Care Act has been fully implemented and non-compliant plans have been phased out. Ten Colorado carriers have opted to continue offering non-compliant plans through 2015, Ms. Salazar said.
The report fueled a fresh barrage of Republican attacks against vulnerable Democrats, starting with Gov. John Hickenlooper and Sen. Mark Udall, both of whom are locked in tight reelection fights. Republican Rep. Cory Gardner issued a statement Friday blasting Mr. Udall’s continued support for Obamacare.
“Coloradans continue to pay the price for Senator Udall’s broken promise,” said Mr. Gardner, who’s challenging the Democratic incumbent. “It’s unfortunate Senator Udall has been so eager to please President Obama that he has forgotten thousands of Coloradans across our state.”
Mr. Udall has previously noted that the vast majority of those receiving cancellation notices have been offered new policies, although critics argue they’re not the same. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Citizens United, the conservative group behind the new film “Rocky Mountain Heist,” can run ads promoting the movie, but still risk answering for it in court, the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said.
Any person or group could file a complaint alleging the advertisements are election-time attack ads, not a means of reporting news, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert told Citizens United in an advisory opinion.
Citizens United announced Sunday it intends to spend $170,000 on TV ads and another $40,000 for online promotions of the documentary about how liberals have gained ground in Colorado between now and the Nov. 4 election.
“We are glad that the Secretary of State’s Office has recognized Citizens United as a media entity and that advertisements for our film ‘Rocky Mountain Heist’ will be exempt from reporting and disclosure requirements just as advertisements made by The Denver Post or any other media entity would be,” the organization’s president, David N. Bossie, said in a statement.
The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Citizens United should have the same protections as traditional media, meaning the Virginia-based non-profit would not have to disclose the donors who paid for the movie.
The court, however, said the Secretary of State’s Office could determine if ads that specifically name a candidate up for election qualify as electioneering, which would require disclosure.
She said she had reviewed the ads and they qualified for the exemption.
The liberal-leaning Colorado Ethics Watch and other critics of Citizens United claimed victory last week when the appeals court said ads that attack candidates could still be deemed an attempt to influence voters immediately before an election.
The first TV ad that could start showing this week is titled “You Don’t Know Hick,” as in Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is in a tight race against Republican nominee Bob Beauprez. The 30-second spot has 12 seconds focused on Hickenlooper.
“We expect Citizens United will comply with Colorado law and so no complaint will be necessary,” said Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch.
Though the ads don’t specifically cite the upcoming election or urge support for Beauprez, the law states that anyone who spends more than $1,000 on ads and names a candidate during the last 60 days before the election must disclose the source of that money, Toro said.
McIntosh highlights career, community involvement
During the more than 26 years Michael McIntosh has been with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, he has served in every division of the agency.
He’s been a patrol deputy, detective, SWAT team leader, lieutenant and division captain, and now the division chief of administrative services.
“What I’m running on is experience, and I think it matters,” said the Republican candidate for sheriff.
As the division chief, McIntosh has direct oversight of training, IT, civil, human resources, finance, records and public information office sections. His resume also includes oversight of the Sheriff’s Office annual $58 million budget and oversight and administration of 520 full-time employees and sworn officers.
“Essentially, I’m running the business side of the sheriff’s office, and I have for the past five years,” he said.
He is also the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy directory and helped develop the regional training facility, Flatrock.
His ultimate goal as sheriff would be to suspend the municipal inmate cap at the jail, which has caused consternation among the cities within Adams County.
“I have a strong desire to completely get rid of the cap,” he said.
He said he did not like officers on the scene of an incident have to worry if his or her municipality has reached its cap and if an arrest should be made. He also did not like that people who are low risks to society are put in jail and face losing their jobs.
However, he added, “I’m a firm believer that if they are a threat to our community they need to be in jail.”
He said there were many different programs that worked in the past that the county should look into using to help reduce the inmate population in the jail.
If elected as sheriff, McIntosh said he would like to create a DNA lab in the county. Right now the county sends its DNA evidence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations lab, which can be time consuming, he said.
“DNA evidence has been so critical with most of our trials, so demand on processing evidence has expanded greatly,” McIntosh said. “(Our own lab) opens up the door for our investigators to develop and eliminate suspects quicker.”
While the state does not charge the county now for using its lab, McIntosh said he suspects a fee will be coming shortly.
McIntosh listed his involvement with the community: board member of the Community Reach Center and Community of Faith United; a committee member of the Metro North Chamber of Commerce, Business and Government Affairs; and board chair of Prairie Community Church.
“I’m not just focused internally on our employees,” he said. “I’m focused externally on the community to know what its needs are. I want to have a Sheriff’s Office that has an impact on the communities we serve.”
McIntosh has lived in Adams County for almost 40 years and graduated from Brighton High School. He served in the U.S. Navy before joining the Sheriff’s Office in 1988. He and his wife, Cathy, have two children.
Adams County resident and 27-year retired federal fraud investigator John Sampson filed a 9-page affidavit, that according to the terms of C.R.S §§ 1-13-1-1, requires the district attorney to “investigate, and, if reasonable grounds appear therefor, he shall prosecute the violator.”
Martinez currently sits on the Brighton City Council. She ran for the office unopposed in 2007 (and again in 2011), using a Brighton address — an Adams County property she co-owns with her mother. She also owns a Boulder County property in Lafayette where her husband, Brad Rieke, and their two children live.
The discrepancy arose because Martinez appears only to be using the Brighton address as a means by which to qualify her to run for office and serve in Adams County. Evidence acquired by Sampson shows she did not start using the Brighton address until she first ran for City Council, at which time she also changed her vehicle and voter registrations from Boulder to Brighton.
The eligibility of a candidate for county office is defined in Article XIV of the Colorado Constitution, which says a person must have resided in that county for one year preceding the election. See Hanlen v. Gessler, 13SA306, at *9-10 (Colo. 2014).
Sampson was initially hired by the Republican candidate for Clerk and Recorder, Stan Martin, to conduct an investigation after he heard persistent rumors and accusations that Martinez actually resided with her family in Boulder. Martinez was even recently quoted in the Denver Post as stating that her husband and two children do live at their Lafayette address.
In September Martin filed a lawsuit against Martinez in Adams County District Court, where Martinez failed to appear under subpoena along with official documents. Martinez continues to deny being served a subpoena, despite the fact it was done in the presence of police officers at her Boulder address. The presiding judge even ruled she was legally served “by refusal.” Given Martinez’s claim of 25+ years “in the legal field” , she should know that “service by refusal” does not excuse her from appearing in court.
The Court ruling noted that “many of the documents which may have been dispositive on the issue of Candidate’s residence were not provided by Candidate, even though they were ordered via subpoena.” Judge Warner ruled:
The Court finds that the totality of the evidence concerning the residence, and thus, eligibility for election is equivocal. The evidence raises a salient issue concerning the residence and eligibility of a candidate for public office that administers essential duties that go to the core of our democracy.
The judge did not rule her in contempt of court because the court did not issue the subpoena and the plaintiff attorney never requested a bench warrant be issued. There was no time to address the issue, given the ballots had to go to print the following day. In fact, Judge Warner went so far as to state in the ruling that Martinez’s eligibility to run for office in Adams County was “questionable.”
In a press release, Martin said:
Mrs. Martinez concealing key evidence, imperative to this case, including state and federal tax returns, deed and mortgage documents, leasehold agreements, and driver’s license further proves she has something to hide.
After hearing that Martinez bragged at the Adams County Democrat Executive Committee meeting following the court ruling about beating the case without having to even show up, Sampson decided to take matters into his own hands and filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s office on October 1.
Sampson met with County investigators last Friday when he turned over all his evidence. In an exclusive interview with Watchdog Wire, Sampson said the investigators had already started looking into the matter prior to his meeting.
In a radio interview with host Ken Clark of AM 560 KLZ, Sampson also announced he would file a second complaint over Martinez’s most recent campaign finance report filing in which she listed her husband’s address as being in Brighton. On May 29, 2014, Rieke changed his voter registration from Adams County back to the Boulder address where he actually resides.
Sampson also discovered that when Martinez’s mom purchased the house in 2003, she did not disclose to the mortgage company that she was going to put her daughter on the property records and not on the financial records; this could also constitute a form ofmortgage fraud / occupancy fraud. Essentially one cannot give away property rights without attaching the financial obligation; otherwise, it would make it difficult for the financial institution to collect on a default note.
In his latest media release, Stan Martin said:
Ms. Martinez had a golden opportunity to put this contentious issue to rest; however, her lack of respect for our judicial process, her decision not to appear in court even though subpoenaed, and her refusal to produce key documents such as federal and state tax returns, mortgage documents and leasehold agreements has landed her in this position. If my opponent has nothing to hide, she would have appeared in court with those documents and exonerated herself.
The primary charge of duties for the Clerk and Recorder in Adams County is to be the Chief Election Officer responsible for enforcing and administering the very election law she appears to be violating. The Clerk and Recorder is also responsible for maintaining the county’s records, including property and real estate transactions for motor vehicles and real estate, for which she also apparently has no regard. According to Sampson, “The irony is inescapable and indefensible.”
It is unknown how much this investigation will cost county taxpayers. Referring to the history of scandals that has plagued Adams County, Martin also stated:
It’s extremely important the citizens of Adams County hire a Clerk and Recorder that is ethical and accountable. It’s imperative we put the corruption and scandals in the past, move forward in a positive direction and continue to rebuild Adams County’s credibility and image.
Watchdog Wire attempted to reach Martinez for comment, but our calls were not returned.
If Martinez wins the election and is found ineligible, then the voters of Adams County will not be selecting their new Clerk. Rather, a Democratic Party vacancy committee would appoint one in her stead.
ADCO candidates face off
Forum an opportunity to highlight experience, goals
Adams County assessor candidate John Schaul took exception to being called “handpicked” by his opponent Patsy Melonakis during a forum held last week.
Candidates for assessor, sheriff, treasurer, clerk and recorder, coroner, and board of county commissioners participated in a Candidates Meeting Sept. 30 hosted by the League of Women Voters of Adams County at Skyview Campus in Thornton.
The candidates had a couple minutes to tell the audience about themselves then they were asked questions by the audience. For the assessor candidates, one audience member questioned why Melonakis referred to Schaul as current Assessor Gil Reyes’ “hand-picked deputy” in her campaign leaflets.
Melonakis answered because Reyes chose Schaul to be the deputy assessor.
Schaul called that label a stretch and said he was asked to be the deputy in 2010 because Reyes had health and family issues.
“I was not handpicked,” he said. “I was there prior than most of the staff.”
Melonakis brought up the scandals that plagued Reyes. The current assessor pleaded no contest to charges of official misconduct in 2013. He was accused of lowering appraised values of properties owned by his top campaign contributor. Reyes also pleaded guilty in 2011 for failure to report gifts.
“You have to have the moral fiber to stand up for your convictions and do the right thing,” she said.
She added if she was elected, her first goal would be to familiarize herself with everyone in the assessor’s office.
Schaul pointed out that his knowledge and experience — two and a half decades worth — were going to be needed during 2015 because reappraisals were due.
Melonakis is the Republican candidate and has been in property management and a real estate broker for 21 years. Schaul, the Democrat candidate, is a state licensed appraiser.
Incumbent Adams County Coroner Monica Broncucia-Jordan, Democrat, faced off with Republican candidate Mike Arnall. Broncucia-Jordan highlighted her experience, mainly the past four years she has been the coroner.
Arnall highlighted his 25 years of forensic pathology experience and that he has done 4,000 autopsies and testified in 300-400 homicide trials in the nation.
“If residents want a coroner that is a certified forensic pathologist, they should vote for me,” he said.
Broncucia-Jordan pointed out that a coroner’s job was to administrate, and that the coroner’s office would have a certified forensic pathologist on staff regardless of who won.
“I hope that during the last four years in office I’ve earned your support and respect,” she said.
The candidates for clerk and recorder tangled about the county’s ability to streamline services at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Republican candidate Stan Martin said if he was elected into the office, he would work on decreasing wait times at the DMV. He said he has studied the Lobby Service System used in El Paso and the average wait time is 11 minutes.
Cynthia Martinez, Democrat, said that the DMV division was an agent of the state and that Adams County just could not implement change without its consent.
“When we talk about change it has to come through the state,” she said. “We work for them and they finance it.”
Martin rebutted: “We can absolutely put in our own lobby service system. We don’t need permission to do that.”
Martin has 23 years of experience in business management. Martinez is a current councilwoman in Brighton and has more than 25 years in the legal field.
Martinez said one of the things she would like to do is update the software in the Clerk & Recorder Office.
Aside from shortening the DMV wait time, Martin said he would like to look into why the office is spending $500,000 in overtime each year.
“When you’re working them too much they get tired, burned out and make mistakes,” he said.
The only candidate that was not able to make it was Steve Douglas, a Commerce City councilman, who is running against incumbent Brigitte Grimm for the treasurer spot.
Douglas, a Democrat, wrote a letter apologizing for his absence, explaining that there was an emergency council meeting he had to attend.
Grimm, a Republican, did share with the audience her background and qualifications.
The spotlight at a recent candidate forum shone on who was best qualified to manage the annual $58 million budget at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff candidates Republican Mike McIntosh and Democrat Rick Reigenborn faced off Sept. 30 during a County Candidate Meeting hosted by the League of Women Voters of Adams County at Skyview Campus in Thornton.
After a few minutes introducing themselves, the audience began asking questions. One dealt with the experience each man had handling a budget.
Reigenborn said he managed the budget for the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police when he served as the organization’s president.
“We always came in under budget,” he said. He added, “Being a single dad on a paycheck once a month I know about running a budget.”
As division chief at the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, McIntosh said he has overseen the budget for the past five years. The economical downturn forced him make difficult decisions about what to cut, he added.
“It’s real easy to spend within a budget when money is coming in,” he said, but it’s harder to do that during a financial crunch.
Reigenborn questioned how hard managing the budget could be when, he said, 70 percent of the budget is employee wages and most of the remainder goes to running the jail.
“It doesn’t take a whole lot of mathematics to figure that out,” he said.
Reigenborn has been in law enforcement for 23 years, and during his time with Adams County has served as field patrolman, instructor, SWAT team member, undercover narcotics detective and detective sergeant. He is now a sergeant in the patrol division.
Reigenborn’s campaign slogan focuses on getting back to the basics of law enforcement.
“Let’s get back to being cops, not politicians,” he said.
McIntosh has been with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office for more than 26 years and has served as a leader in every division.
“I think it’s important a CEO of this organization has that level of experience,” said McIntosh, whose campaign slogan is experience matters.
Both candidates said they would like to end the municipal inmate cap at the jail and bring back unity at the Sheriff’s Office.
With news of Ebola, ISIS, and a plunging stock market hitting the airwaves in recent months, the obvious has become clear to me: The Republicans are going to win, and they are going to win big. Democrats, resting upon the laurels of their 2012 victories(largely fuelled by young women who care more about sex and contraception than they do about anything else), have shown sheer incompetence in their handling of these crises, and the American public is smelling the proverbial rat in the basement. Accordingly, Democratic numbers have tanked in recent weeks. With all that in mind, here’s how I see the elections playing out 23 days out.
Monroe wants to improve accessibility of mass transit
Having mass transit in the metro Denver area does no good when people do not know what is available and how to access it all.
If Rich Monroe is elected as District K director on the Regional Transportation District (RTD) Board, making navigating the system easier would be one of his main goals.
“I would like to make mass transit more transparent and easier to use for everyone,” he said.
Basically, he added, he would like for the website and written materials for the transit system to be easier to understand.
“I think a lot of the information is written by people who know how the system works,” he said.
District K encompasses Brighton, Commerce City, parts of Thornton and parts of unincorporated Adams County. Monroe has lived in Brighton since 2003.
An easy way to make the mass transit system more accessible, he said, was to connect the different modes. If there’s a commuter train station at 124th Avenue, there should be a bus that runs from there to the bus station at U.S. 85 and Bridge Street, he said.
“You should be able to catch the bus to the train station,” he added.
Another goal, he said, was to be sure RTD finishes projects in the north. Although there are plans for the FasTracks line to go up to 124th Avenue by 2018, the line is supposed to go up to 162nd Avenue.
“In 10 years we haven’t seen any progress until now in the 11th year,” Monroe said. “I want to see it all the way done.”
This is Monroe’s first run for political office. The RTD Board appealed to him, he said, because he’s always loved mass transit.
“I love trains. I love buses,” he said. “Ever since I was a kid I was that way.”
Monroe grew up near Pueblo and graduated in 1979 with an associate of applied science degree in electronics from Trinidad State Junior College. Monroe’s wife of 32 years, Jackie, passed away in July after a four-year battle with cancer. He has four adult children.
For the past 30 years Monroe has worked in manufacturing and currently is the technical maintenance manager with Circle Graphics in Longmont. He serves on District 27J’s Long Range Facility Planning Committee.
Monroe’s opponent, incumbent Paul Solano, declined a phone interview for his own profile story.
Hey Adams County Republicans!
The Adams/Broomfield Victory office is still hiring paid walkers/callers for the final push. They are offering $12/hour if you work under 30 hours a week and $14/hour if you work over 30 hours. They even will give you a $2/hour raise if you work weekends! If you want to help out our candidates in this crucial stretch, why not get paid for it?
Contact Kristian Hemphill
at 720-723-0211 or go to the office located at 2200 East 104th Ave. in Thornton. Tell your friends!
A new election law leaves the door wide open for abuse in hotly contested races.
By John Fund
Perhaps the most hard-fought Senate race this year will be Colorado’s showdown between Democratic senator Mark Udall and Republican congressman Cory Gardner. The RealClearPolitics average of polls in the race shows Gardner holding a lead of 1.3 percentage points. The outcome may determine control of the U.S. Senate, and the margin of victory could be less than the 11,000-vote margin by which Democratic senator Michael Bennet was reelected in Colorado in 2010.
“We have uniquely combined two bad ideas, both of which open the door to fraud and error along with creating huge administrative headaches,” warns Republican Scott Gessler, Colorado’s secretary of state. Along with the liberal Denver Post (the state’s leading newspaper) and a few Republican clerks from the state’s largest counties, Gessler fought passage of the law.
Wayne Williams is the clerk of El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs, the state’s second-largest city. He says HB 1303 was sold as a way to “modernize” elections and increase turnout, but it’s fixing a system that wasn’t broken. In 2012, Colorado was among the top three states in the turnout of eligible citizens. Its number of registered voters that year climbed 13.7 percent, well above normal population growth. At the same time, the state’s online voter-registration system processed 250,000 changes submitted by voters, ensuring a more accurate and less duplicative record of the electorate.
Colorado’s system works well enough that when progressive activists placed a measure on the state’s ballot to impose same-day registration in 2002, it was rejected by more than 60 percent of voters despite a massive spending advantage for same-day-registration supporters. “There was general agreement it wasn’t needed and would increase fraud and confusion,” Bill Cadman, minority leader of the state senate, told me. He notes that on the same day Colorado rejected same-day voter registration in 2002, voters in liberal California rejected it by a similar landslide.
Having suffered stinging defeat at the polls, advocates of same-day registration were careful in 2013 to have it approved by the state legislature instead of the people. They rammed through the bill without any bipartisan input. It allowed those running voter-registration drives to delay delivery of the registrations they accepted, reducing the time available to check the data on them. It stripped county clerks of the ability to review new voter registrations and forced every Colorado voter to receive a mail ballot, including 800,000 who had clearly expressed their desire to vote only at polling places. Ballots will be mailed to people who don’t vote and no longer live in Colorado, because the law makes it very difficult to remove names from the voting rolls.
Williams, the El Paso County clerk, warns that the law “takes us back to the corruption of 19th-century Tammany Hall” and will reduce public confidence in the integrity of the balloting. Having voting conducted on an “honor system” is one thing, but Colorado’s law actually creates incentives for mischief that would test the honor of many campaign workers. Williams’s office has posted a video to YouTube showing just how easy it is to commit fraud in this election; Williams is also sharing tips to prevent fraud.
All mail-in ballots in Colorado will be ripe for abuse because “ballot harvesters” are allowed to go door-to-door and collect up to ten ballots with no effective enforcement if they collect more and deliver them at other times. Amazingly, these operatives can be paid based on the number of ballots they collect. The potential for harvesters to pressure voters to turn over ballots, open ballot envelopes, alter ballots, or even throw them away is real. “Voters would never hand over their credit card numbers to strangers ringing their doorbell, but they’re allowed to surrender their ballot,” says Marilyn Marks of the Rocky Mountain Foundation, an election-integrity group. She notes that secrecy controls are so lax that election workers who receive mail-in ballots can figure out how individuals voted in many counties.
Secretary of State Gessler says the same-day-registration provisions of HB 1303 create added potential for mischief. “We were told that eleven other states have that system, but during legislative debate, warnings based on the experience of those states were ignored,” he told me.
One of the examples he cites is Wisconsin. In 2008, a 68-page Milwaukee Police Department report confirmed that in the last presidential election, claims that thousands “more ballots [were] cast than voters recorded were found to be true.” The report found that there had been an organized effort by political operatives from out of state to swing the election. It concluded “that the one thing that could eliminate a large percentage of fraud or the appearance of fraudulent voting in any given election is the elimination of the on-site or same-day voter registration system.”
Gessler also point to Minnesota. A statewide watchdog group called Minnesota Majority scoured the 2008 election results and identified 1,099 felons who had voted illegally. Even though violators must essentially admit their crime before they can be charged, prosecutors managed to secure 177 convictions of fraud by felons. Such numbers matter — in 2008, Al Franken won his disputed Senate race by only 312 votes, and a local TV station found that nine out of ten illegal felon voters in that race said they had cast ballots for Franken. The Minnesota Majority report concluded that “while some ineligible felon voters registered in advance of the election and should have been flagged for challenge, the overwhelming majority who evaded detection used Election Day registration, which currently has no mechanism to detect or prevent ineligible voters.”
Gessler hopes his fears about election chicanery in Colorado will prove unwarranted, but he is concerned that the effort to “politicize” election laws will spread to other states. “Colorado didn’t need these changes,” he says. “We had one of the highest of all voter turnouts, and people could register everywhere, from online sites to the DMV. We can make it easy to vote and tough to cheat, but the law here now makes it impossible to maintain a healthy balance in both areas.”
Opponents of HB 1303 worry that because the new law leaves the door wide open for fraud, it could cast a taint over the results in this November’s critical races for senator, representatives, governor, and state attorney general. They advise people to treat their mail-in ballot as if it were cash and cast it in person at their local clerk’s office or at “voter service centers” that are authorized to receive them. “Treasure what your ballot represents,” says Marilyn Marks. “It’s your voice in how we govern ourselves.”
— John Fund is national affairs correspondent for NRO and co-author, with Hans Von Spakovsky, of Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.
By Alexandra Jaffe
Colorado Democrats are fretting that Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) “war on women” battle cry against Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is starting to sound like a broken record.
After a series of polls this past month have shown the race statistically tied or even with Gardner up, some Democrats are urging Udall to find a new refrain against his opponent, lest Republicans claim the seat in November.
“Gardner gave him a lot to work with on that subject, but a lot people think he may have overdone it,” said one well-connected Democratic operative in the state.
Starting essentially from Gardner’s entry into the race, Udall’s main line of attack on the GOP congressman has been his support for a federal “personhood” measure, which would effectively ban abortion and restrict many forms of birth control.
Gardner, however, has said he regretted his past support for the statewide initiative and has also helped mitigate hits against him by coming out for over-the-counter birth control — the first in a string of GOP Senate candidates to do so.
The problem is not that the attacks on Gardner haven’t worked, Democrats say — it’s that Udall is swimming against a far tougher tide than many had initially expected, even when the party was preparing for a tough cycle.
They point in particular to President Obama’s underwater approval rating in the state, and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper’s own tougher than expected reelection thanks, in part, to self-inflicted wounds.
“There’s a little dissatisfaction with Obama that translates down the Democratic ticket,” admitted Mike Feeley, a former Democratic state Senate minority leader. “I think Udall is trying to overcome that.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading
Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Udall and his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, square off in their second debate, offering sharp differences over the issues of health care, climate change, and immigration.
Gardner, like other Republican challengers this cycle, attacked Udall for voting too often with the President and his policies, which Gardner says are on the ballot this year.
“President Obama made it clear that his policies are on the ballot,” Gardner said. “And Senator Udall voted with him 99% of the time.”
Udall said Gardner’s voting record in the House is “out of the mainstream” and tried to paint Gardner as an out-of-touch conservative who wants to take the state backwards on energy, climate change, immigration and health care.
“Let’s look forward and embrace the future” Udall told the audience. “Congressman Gardner looks backward.”
Gardner told Udall that 340,000 Coloradans lost their health care because of the Affordable Care Act.
“Did you break your word when you said they can keep their insurance?” Gardner asked Udall.
Udall defended his vote on the ACA, saying we can’t afford to go back to the way things were before health care reform.
Udall slammed Gardner as “reckless” and “irresponsible” for supporting last October’s government shutdown, during what Udall called “biblical” Colorado floods, out of misplaced loyalty to the tea party. Gardner responded by telling Udall that he was politicizing a tragedy.
“I know you want to play politics and politicize things that I believe are out of bonds,” said Gardner.
Gardner struck a similar cord to his Republican counterparts in Alaska and Iowa on the issue of climate change, acknowledging it exists, but refusing to concede its causes are man-made. The Republican used the topic to criticize his Democratic rival on supporting the controversial cap and trade policy that some say raises energy costs.
“I believe that the climate is changing but I do not believe in destroying the economy over policies to address that,” Gardner said.
Udall chastised Gardner for not believing that climate change is occurring and reiterated his support for putting a price on pollution. Gardner jumped in to press Udall further on a specific cost to taxing carbon emissions.
“People talk about how they want to put a price on carbon,” Gardner said. “But they won’t talk about what that price is… I refuse to support a climate tax bill that would cost farmers and ranchers over $5,000 per sprinkler.”
Udall said that Gardner is for “de-facto amnesty,” an unusual attack from Democrats in a political environment where the GOP uses the same line against Democratic candidates.
“Congressman Gardner says he’s for immigration reform,” Udall said, “but he hasn’t lifted a finger in the House of Representatives to make it happen.”
In contrast to Gardner’s criticism of President Obama threatening to use his executive authority to overhaul the immigration system, Udall said that he was “disappointed” over the President’s failure to act. Udall said that President Obama has a responsibility to use his authority since the Congress has been “missing in action” on this issue, continuing his assault on Gardner’s votes.
“Just look at Congressman Gardner’s record,” Udall said. “ He’s voted to deport dreamers.”