AD BLITZ: Crossroads GPS, Romney Camp Up With New Colorado TV Spots

As Allison Sherry reported yesterday, based on Washington Post numbers, Colorado is home to three of the four hottest media markets in the country this week. Helping drive that ad blitz are the triple threat of Crossroads GPS, Americans for Prosperity and the Romney campaign itself.

As part of their $25 million nationwide spree, American Crossroads is dumping $858,000 in the Denver, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs media markets on their new ad “Tried.” Over the next week the below ad will be running here in Colorado, as well as Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia:

The Romney campaign is also out with at least two new Colorado spots, one in Spanish and one in English, though the size and scope of the buys were not publicly released.

Read on to see the two Romney campaign spots…
The Spanish language ad, released yesterday and narrated by Romney’s son Craig, who is fluent in Spanish, is running in swing states with heavy Hispanic populations like Colorado, Nevada and Florida. It is the Romney campaign’s 8th TV spot in Spanish. Sherry reported it is running in the Colorado Springs media market.

Then today, the Romney campaign released a hard-hitting new ad called “No Evidence” that slams Obama for his misleading attacks and outright lies in his commercials, and again invokes Hillary Clinton’s line from 2008 “Shame on you, Barack Obama.” The ad quotes Factcheck.org in slamming Obama for having “no evidence” for their attacks regarding outsourcing at Bain Capital.

 

DEM BIG SPENDER: Private Equity Founder Black Buys Painting for $120M

The Wall Street Journal’s “Deal Journal” yesterday revealed that the anonymous winning bidder of Edward Munch’s “The Scream” painting was the infamous Leon Black, founder and CEO of Apollo Global Management, an alternative investment management firm specializing in leveraged buyout transactions and purchases of distressed securities. Black bested bidders from across the world to secure the highest-priced painting ever to go to auction. The $120 million painting was auctioned by the tony Sotheby’s in May.  According to Wall Street Journal’s Kelly Crow:

“[Black’s] $750 million art collection already includes drawings by Raphael and Vincent van Gogh, watercolors by J.M.W. Turner, Cubist paintings by Pablo Picasso and ancient Chinese bronzes. Three years ago, he paid Christie’s $47.6 million three years ago for a Raphael chalk drawing, “Head of a Muse,” a record auction price at the time for a work on paper.”

With all the declarations of class warfare by the left, you might assume this man is a Republican.  You would be wrong.  Black primarily donates to Democratic causes.  According to OpenSecrets.org, Black has given over $137,000 to Democratic candidates as compared to $25,000 to Republicans.  He’s also given $14,000 to party “switchers” like Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Sen. Lieberman, and Sen. Arlen Specter.

Black’s propensity to give to liberal causes doesn’t just stop with candidates – he’s given over $275,000 to Democratic Party organizations (e.g., DNC, DSCC, and more) as compared to Republicans to whom he’s given a “meager” $60,000.  All in all, Black gives four times as much money to Democrats as to Republicans.  See the chart for further illustration.

And, look, we’re not saying Black can’t give to whichever party he desires, shouldn’t have a great art collection, or ought not to pay $120 million for a 36”x28.5” oil pastel.  We’re just saying that it’s time for the Democratic Party to stop pretending that it’s not bankrolled by the super rich.

 

Removing the Public from Public Land

A commentary by Tea Party Patriot

The powers that be have decreed that the area of the Pine Ridge fire will be closed to humans for at least a year. No doubt they can show sound scientific and biological reasons for that decree.  Equally certain are the human backlashes that will follow and which will be misunderstood by the “experts” as ignorance.  I mean, after all, they are the experts and it is ridiculous that they would have to deal with the temper tantrums of those who just don’t understand.  And you can count on resentment from both sides of the issue; and the development of an us and them mentality.  

That’s what happens when a government bureaucracy decides to shut down your back yard because it’s in your best interest in the long term. It comes under the heading of greater good and they are the deciders.  Now never mind that they also believe that they can stabilize the desert southwest; a land that was carved by erosion, a land whose beauty was created by geological cataclysm and carved by the forces of nature, eons before the experts arrived on the scene.  

How much do you suppose it will cost the “public” both in dollars and in lost revenue and lost access before the ‘experts’ realize what the public already knows.  You can’t stabilize an environment that is in a state of constant flux. It’s a fool’s errand, a pipe dream whose only connection with boots on the ground reality is that the effort (however misguided and impossible) will fulfill at least in part the bureaucratic agenda of job security (for the experts of course).  

What will happen to the drill rig sites that lie within the burn area?  Will they be forced to shut down and move?  No, they will be given special dispensation as will the other “special interests” that can afford it.  There will be a whole new layer of regulations, negotiations and the need for constant monitoring and enforcement.  But Joe Sixpack who can’t afford lobbyists; well they’ll be faced with a sign that says keep out.  

And the environmentalist’s groups from California and New York will have a field day filing lawsuits and demanding that the yearlong closure is not long enough; that the fragile landscape will require decades to fully recover.  The experts will fly in to testify.  There will be appeals and counter appeals.  There will be injunctions and contradictory court orders, and in the end the argument will be that the public has accepted the closure and it is for the greater good that the land remains closed to human use in order to preserve it for future generations of non human use.  And of course the experts, environmentalists and special interests will argue for and against inclusion of the burn area in an expansion of the “Wild Horse” sanctuary.

You don’t suppose it would be possible to start one of those sanctuaries for people do you; maybe tucked in somewhere between the wilderness areas, the oil company leases, the state parks and federally and state controlled land?  No probably not. Even with day use fees, special use permits, access fees, campfire fees, camping fees and the profits generated by the Marijuana Growers Association.  No, that would just be too much to ask; because there is no “public” in the greater good, at least other than as an address of where to send the bill.  

And this last part is just for the people of Debeque.  You want recreation? Then why not create your own entertainment.  Petition the BLM to open an area equal to the closure (in the nearest designated wilderness area) to motorized travel, drilling and other human recreational pursuits for as long as the closure of the burn area lasts.  Two things will happen.  You’ll have a war to watch and you’ll gain some valuable insight into a process known to the “experts” as the inevitability of gradualism and how it’s applied to benefit “their” agenda; “their” greater good.  

And when you go to the voting polls in November, maybe you too could serve the “public’s” greater good by voting for the people’s choice write in candidate; Dewey Needone.


 

PAY TO PLAY? Hickenlooper and the disgraced trustees

Published on July 12, 2012 by

As most Colorado news junkies know by now, 9 of the state's 10 appointed public trustees resigned this week and another “retired” following a Denver Post investigation into their offices' spending habits. While the Hickenlooper administration is frantically trying to distance themselves from the trustees he appointed, one thing they can't whitewash is the trustees' financial support of Hick during his campaign two years ago.

Perhaps liberal front-groups Common Cause and Colorado Ethics Watch could have addressed the trustees' contributions to the Governor instead of offering half-assed excuses in the Post article.  Among the trustees, eight donated directly to Hickenlooper:

Carol Snyder (Adams) $190 to Hick
Ana Marie Peters-Ruddick (Arapahoe) $900 to Hick
George Kennedy (Douglas) $175 to Hick
Thomas Mowle (El Paso) max $1050 to Hick
Margaret Chapman (Jeffco) max $1050 to Hick
Deborah Morgan (Larimar) $975 to Hick
Paul Brown (Mesa) $900 to Hick
Susie Velasquez (Weld) $125 to Hick

The other two trustees, Richard Gebhardt (Boulder) and Nick Gradisar (Pueblo), didn't donate to Hick, but have a history of donating to Democrats. While no one is suggesting Hickenlooper has stooped to Chicago-land “pay-for-play” politics, he wouldn't be the first prominent Democrat to reward campaign donors with cushy government jobs either.

The only question left is whether it will be a prerequisite for the trustees' replacements to also have donated to Hickenlooper's coffers.


 

EXCLUSIVE: Romney Raised $2.5M At Record-Breaking, Bipartisan Aspen Fundraiser

Sources tell Colorado Peak Politics that Mitt Romney shattered presidential fundraising records in Aspen while in town on Monday, pulling in a staggering $2.5 million at the event, which included an audience of 20% non-Republicans.

The event was hosted by long-time Obama supporter Susan Crown, who flipped on Obama in 2011 over the issue of Israel, according to The Washington Post. Crown's father and brother continue to support President Obama, with her brother James bundling between $200-500,000 for his re-election campaign by the first quarter of 2012.  

Prior to Romney's event, the previous record for GOP fundraising in Aspen was set by Texas Governor Rick Perry, who held an event in August 2011 for his Presidential campaign that pulled in $175,000, which was a new record at the time, according to The Colorado Statesman's Jody Hope Strogoff.  

During the fundraiser, sources say, attendees who were not registered Republicans were asked to raise their hands and 20% of the audience's hands shot up.  

Colorado has proven to be a strong fundraising base for Governor Romney. In June, when Romney and the Republican National Committee outraised President Obama and the Democratic National Committee by $35 million, Colorado "dramatically exceeded expectations" in donations to Romney, according to Politico.  

By comparison, the last time Obama came to Colorado for a fundraiser, in May, 150 people failed to show up for his fundraiser.

With Colorado likely to be a closely fought battle between Obama and Romney, the fundraising disparity in the state between the two campaigns can't be welcome news to Team Hopenchange.

——–

(Photo of Romney event in Grand Junction on Tuesday via Romney campaign’s Facebook page)

 

“I DON’T KNOW”: Congressional Candidate Sal Pace Trying To Dodge Obamacare Position

Congressional candidate Sal Pace (D-Urination) made a major mistake yesterday in trying to skirt The Denver Post's questions about his position on Obamacare. When asked whether he would have voted for Obamacare when it came up for a vote in Congress, Pace was caught flat-footed, saying "I don't know."

On an issue that defined the 2010 elections, and saw his former boss, now former Congressman John Salazar, ousted from office over it, you would think Pace would have thought through his public position. Guess not.

Reports Sara Burnett:

Asked by The Denver Post last week whether he would have supported the bill in 2010, Pace said “I don’t know,” and added that he has concerns with the bill’s mandate that Americans buy health insurance.  

“I certainly am a strong advocate of expanding health care access,” said Pace, who has represented Pueblo in the state House since 2008. “I think it’s a moral issue. No one should die in poverty because of one illness. But I think it makes economic sense too.”

Really? He doesn’t know?

The thing is, Pace does know, he just doesn't want to say he would have supported the highly unpopular legislation. With Obama likely to go down by at least double digits in Pace's 3rd Congressional District, Pace can't afford to be associated with anything else that unpopular in the district. 

The problem for Pace is he has an extensive record supporting Obamacare and even more left wing health care legislation. In 2009, Pace signed a petition by the Progressive States Network sent to President Obama and Congress that read:



"As leaders in state legislatures across the country, we urgently call on President Obama and the US Congress to take up and pass comprehensive health care reform in 2009."

When Pace signed that petition, urging an even bigger version of Obamacare that included a public (read: government) option, he had no idea he would be running for Congress in 2012. At that point, Congressman Salazar looked safely ensconced in his seat and Pace was happily representing a safe Democrat seat in Pueblo. There was no risk in giving a full-throated endorsement of Obamacare.

As a State Rep in 2009, Pace also co-sponsored left wing legislation, HB1273, to enact what the Rocky Mountain News called "a Canadian-style, single-payer universal health care system in Colorado." The legislation was considered so left wing that even Democrat Governor Bill Ritter went on the record opposing it

With a formal record on government-run health care like that, "I don't know" not only doesn't cut it, but it's a flat out lie. Pace does know, he just doesn't have the stones to say so. 

Well, Sal, just like your extensive criminal record, just because you don't want to talk about it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.    

 

LEGACY: Andy Kerr Compromised PERA

Recently, Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association unveiled its 1.9% return on investment for 2011.  While PERA touted the returns, Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton sounded an alarm about the low returns given the 8% per year assumed ROI.  Late last week, the Denver Business Journal learned that three of PERA’s 16 board members voted against publishing its annual report on June 26 over concerns, again, about PERA’s 8% per year ROI assumption.

In short, this high assumed rate of return for 30 years means that pension funds could be grossly underfunded, especially in light of its 25% loss in 2008.  Of course, that’s where State Rep. Andy Kerr comes in.

At a time when Colorado PERA was struggling to bounce back after substantial losses in 2008, Kerr sponsored legislation that increased the burden on the fund by merging more than 6,000 retirees (and thousands more future beneficiaries) from the Denver Public Schools pension plan into PERA.  His efforts increased PERA’s unfunded pension liability by hundreds of millions of dollars as of December 31, 2011 (when it was last published).

According to PERA’s 2011 annual report, made public two weeks ago, the Denver Public Schools Division of PERA now carries a $638 million unfunded liability, and this assumes the controversial 8% projected return on plan assets. 

To put this into perspective, if that return assumption is reduced by just 1.5%, to a 6.5% projected return on investments, the Denver Public Schools unfunded pension liability balloons to $1.27 billion.  Even worse, PERA’s investments returned 1.9% in 2011, and had an annualized return of just 2.1% over the past five years. 

The detail of PERA’s expected return on plan assets cannot be overlooked, as small changes in this assumption have a dramatic impact on the funded status of a pension plan. Lower projected returns result in drastically higher unfunded liabilities, and to bridge this gap, the necessary funds only come from two places:  employee contributions and employer contributions (read: Colorado taxpayers). 

Recently in Wisconsin the nation witnessed the dramatic and pathetic spectacle that occurred when teachers and other government workers were asked to contribute slightly more to their retirement accounts.  Could the same thing play out in Colorado?  Who knows?  But the taxpayers in Colorado certainly did not need Andy Kerr throwing gasoline onto the fire.

(Photo Credit: Colorado News Agency)

 

COLORADO DEMS FLOUNDERING


LATE BREAKING:

The Denver Post just reported that 500 more possible noncitizens are on Colorado's voter lists. This increase happened between a March 8 letter by Secretary of State Gessler to the Department of Homeland Security and this month. And it equals 1.5% of the Democrats added to Colorado's voter lists in the last 90 day. This additional cloud on Colorado's vote integrity really calls into question the quality of Democrat's voter registration efforts analyzed in this column. Have Democrats and fellow-travelers fallen back on their old trick of creating phony voters?

Obama's campaign, purveyed by reporters, says it will boost Colorado's Democratic election participation. “Obama raises the bar” the headline proclaims. They plan to “dwarf” the '08 operation. (Back then, Democratic registration grew at twice the pace of Republican or Independent growth.) Quoting a female volunteer who owns a million dollar range country club home, Obama's campaign will be “more detailed and systematic than last time.” The four pillars of Obama's reelection, as reported? Social liberals, environmental enthusiasts, Hispanics and educated women. (If you don't vote for Obama, you must be uneducated?)

Set the puffery aside. In Colorado, at least, Obama's reality is remarkably unimpressive. With worse to come, national sources report.

In three months of boots on the ground effort, liberal supporters and Obama forces face this:

Without effort Republicans basically matched Democratic registration growth.

In the Colorado media wars, WaPo reports Obama spent $8 million to Romney's side of under $6 million … with this result:

Obama has a slim three point advantage (RCP).

Read on for the gory details. (My job used to be evaluating campaigns' actual efforts … separate from the things they told PACs whose support they wanted. Campaigns always exaggerate, and reporters may lack the time to test their brags.)


Obama faces difficulties – especially with Hispanics

Hispanic voting has been stagnant as a share of all voters, Census numbers show. Hispanic registrants are down. Compared to election participation in 2008, June's Republican active voter registration is down 32,000, but Democrats, of all races and ethnicities, are down 134,000. It's this huge deficit in registered voters that Obama must correct to win.

Hispanic election participation has two measures: intermittent Colorado exit polls (some accessible only through the Wayback Machine) and US Census surveys in each election November. They don't match well. Exit polling shows wide variation. Census data, the last column below, show most Colorado elections have about an 8% Hispanic share of all voters. This stability of Hispanic voting suggests it will be hard to shift the paradigm.

Hispanic Share of Voters

  • Election | Exit Poll | Census
  • 1996 | 8% | 7.7%
  • 1998 | 7% | 6.8%
  • 2000 | 14% | 10.2%
  • 2002 | N/A | 8.0%
  • 2004 | 8% | 8.4%
  • 2006 | N/A | 9.1%
  • 2008 | 13% | 8.4%
  • 2010 | 12% | 7.9%

The Pew Hispanic Center (HT/Mark Hugo Lopez) prepared a detailed report on Census (American Community Survey) data for Colorado. Many Hispanics in Colorado are not citizens and thus ineligible to vote – even with the non-citizen exodus since '08. The Pew data clearly shows that the demographic characteristics of Hispanics (younger, less educated, poorer, lower rates of home ownership) all produce lower election participation rates. (See the table of Census data.)

Colorado Hispanics (,000) in 2010 & 2008

  • GROUP | 2010 | 2008
  • Population | 629 | 590
  • Citizens | 455 | 380
  • Registered | 214 | 225
  • Voted | 144 | 195

This double whammy makes pollsters' lives difficult. The recent Colorado Marist poll, for example, used a sample that was 16% Hispanic, lower than the 20% from the 2011 ACS, as Marist poll director Barbara Carvalho told me. Marist's samples stick to the gold standard, but over-report Hispanic participation by almost double compared to the last two presidential elections. (And the practical effect of this is to artificially inflate Obama's vote.)

Democrat's Paltry Registration Efforts

Overcoming these dismal facts requires more than talk. The real question: Are Democrats and liberal fellow-travelers engaged in voter registration drives … ones that make a difference? This must occur for Obama to win in November, since Census reported 11,000 fewer Hispanics registered in 2010 than had been registered in 2008. A review of registration change from February (when new district data truly became available) to June of this year will show any Democratic activity, especially if we focus on State House districts.

Registration drives probably occurred in these districts with statistically high Democratic registration gains. The table shows active Democrat numbers (source: Secretary of State):

  • District – County | Feb | June | Change
  • HD 2 – Denver | 17019 | 18464 | 1445
  • HD 5 – Denver | 11754 | 12663 | 909
  • HD 6 – Denver | 18460 | 19422 | 962
  • HD 7 – Denver | 13630 | 14716 | 1086
  • HD 8 – Denver | 22070 | 23405 | 1335
  • HD 10 – Boulder | 18356 | 19331 | 975
  • HD 13 – Multi | 18422 | 19344 | 922
  • HD 14 – El Paso | 4751 | 5182 | 431
  • HD 15 – El Paso | 4996 | 5465 | 469
  • HD 16 – El Paso | 6768 | 7301 | 533
  • HD 17 – El Paso | 5440 | 6130 | 690
  • HD 18 – El Paso | 9993 | 10834 | 841
  • HD 21 – El Paso | 4505 | 5021 | 516
  • HD 42 – Arapahoe | 8436 | 9186 | 750
  • HD 46 – Pueblo | 16220 | 17137 | 917

IF the goal were to add Hispanic voters, several of these are sensible. Missing, however, are pieces of Adams County, core Greeley, the San Luis Valley and central Aurora. Some of the El Paso districts (also worked with registration drives in 2010) don't seem likely to boost minority registration. HD 10 and HD 13 (both Boulder) make sense purely for registering Democrats, but not for minorities.

Left-leaning registration drives? Yes. Hispanic registration drives? Not so much. A lack of enthusiastic volunteers for Obama? Gallup just reported that swing state Obama supporters don't match Romney backers in the “extremely enthusiastic” category.

These districts added 12,781 new Democrats and 8,611 Independents. This is one of those “kiss your sister” facts, however.

Statewide Democrats added 33,301 more Democrats with all these seeming registration drives. Republicans, with zero effort, added 32,408 more Republicans statewide. So, after months of effort, Democrats closed the registration gap by fewer than 1,000 new active voters.

What this reminds me of is not Obama in 2008, but Bush in 1992. In that year, too many preppie rich kids thought volunteering meant spending time in the shopping malls, not at the doors or on the phones. The faulty link between these types and working class voters showed in Roper Center data: working class voters' Bush support dropped almost 20% from his 1988 win.

Can wealthy liberal ladies really persuade poor religious Hispanics to vote for the guy who failed to fix our economy? Color me skeptical.

If his lopsided advantage in TV ad buys can't shift Colorado voters decisively to Obama, what happens when Romney's fundraising lets his side reach advertising parity?

In 2010, Colorado's top-of-ticket candidates faced sharp fundraising deficits that doomed their efforts. Republicans won every other statewide race.

Now WaPo says, “it seems likely that Romney will not only be able to equal Obama on air but, with an assist from the Republican super PACs, over take him between now and November 6. And that’s a very scary proposition if you are on the Democratic side of the aisle.”

 

Mitt Romney urges people to vacation in Colorado. The Left disagrees.

Published on July 11, 2012 by

Governor Mitt Romney during his visit here to Colorado Springs today asked people to help out here in Colorado by vacationing here and use those tourist dollars to help us out in our time of troubles.

From the Washington Post

Stay at hotels,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee urged his fellow Americans on Tuesday, “go to restaurants and purchase local merchandise.”

A Romney aide said the candidate made the suggestion at the request of some of the fire victims he had met with, who asked him to urge people to vacation in Colorado Springs

But apparently having people come to our state and spend money doesn’t sit well with the WP’s writer.

Never mind that many Americans in the current economy – a new Romney campaign banner dubs it “Obama’s Upside-Down Economy” – cannot afford to take summer vacations.

And you can view comments from the Post’s article as well as comment’s from The Hill, Democratic Underground, and others via googling.  The idea of coming to Colorado, enjoying both the natural wonders and the man made attractions, and spending money to help support communities damaged by the wildfires is one the Left obviously hopes no one heeds.

 

WHEN POLS ATTACKS: Woman Trouble Rears Ugly Head…Again

It turns out that yesterday’s “oopsie-daisie” attack on Robert Ramirez and his family, in which Colorado Pols insinuated that Ramirez was having an affair with his 14-year old daughter, wasn’t an isolated incident. Just two weeks ago, on June 21, front page editor “Progressive Cowgirl” attacked Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, because she owns a horse that qualified for the U.S. Olympic dressage team. Progressive Cowgirl had this to say about Mrs. Romney:

“Ann Romney is an elitist, tone deaf rich bitch who genuinely thinks she's just like you, despite her family's estimated net worth of $200 million.”

Wow. We think somebody (ahem, Progressive Cowgirl) is jealous that her horse didn’t make the Olympic team. Look, we’ll admit that we giggle during the videos of dressage, which has been likened to “horse ballet”. Of course, the video below is our favorite dressage video.

All silliness and horse ballet fun aside, Pols treatment of female relatives of candidates – and female candidates themselves – is troubling.  We’ll admit, we’ve made fun of Michelle Obama’s excessive traveling and spending; however, the attacks described above are more personal and over the line.

Ann Romney initially became interested in dressage as a therapy for her multiple sclerosis. In the May 2004 issue of Dressage Today, Mrs. Romney notes that “because of her riding and alternative therapies, she is now off all medications and doing well. "I have so much joy in the moment and love each horse I'm on."

She also told her interviewer that “when she began riding, her condition had weakened her muscles so badly that she could barely sit on a horse.”

Honestly, it’s just not that funny to make fun of someone’s debilitating illness, or to shine a spotlight on a 14-year old girl. We challenge women and voters to take a hard look at the way that the left treats women and decide if that’s the party that speaks for you.  


 
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