ECONOMIC INDICATOR: Lower Gas Prices Cold Comfort To Colorado Families

As this year's election is set to be decided in large part by the state of the economy, we at Colorado Peak Politics have decided to start tracking key economic indicators to give our readers a more holistic picture than just monthly unemployment numbers.  

Today, Bloomberg released its weekly Consumer Comfort Index, which noted that “consumer confidence rose last week for the third straight time as the drop in fuel costs helped shore up Americans’ finances and improved the buying climate.”  

The Index measures Americans’ view of the economy on three variables: "the state of the economy, personal finances and whether it’s a good time to buy needed goods or services.”  

Ironically enough, the price of gas has gone down due to the softening economy and the related weakened demand for gas (not anything the administration has done), which is not exactly accounted for in the Index.

But, this is all relative — let’s remember where we are. According to ColoradoGasPrices.com, the cheapest gas found in the last 24 hours has been $3.30 in Pueblo, and the most expensive gas has been found at a Conoco station in Frisco, which lists regular unleaded gas at $4.47 per gallon.  

When President Obama took office, gas was under $2/gallon in Colorado. No wonder the Purple Poll on Colorado found 57% think we're on the wrong track.  

While consumer confidence may be rising nationally, the Rasmussen Reports poll on Colorado released today found that 44% of respondents said their finances were getting worse, compared to only 25% who reported improvement. 

(Gas Chart via ColoradoGasPrices.com)


 

PRESIDENTIAL POLLING: Two New Colorado Surveys Show A Tight Race

Two Colorado polls on the Presidential election released today — Rasmussen Reports and Purple Poll — show the race for President to be exactly as the pundits predict, extremely close. Rasmussen has Romney and Obama tied at 45%, while the Purple Poll has Obama up two.

The Rasmussen poll was conducted on June 6 with 500 Likely Voters, with a margin of error of 4.5%. Sample was 32R/27D/41U.

The Purple Poll, conducted by the bipartisan public affairs firm Purple Strategies, was conducted May 31 – June 5 with 600 Likely Voters, with a 4% margin of error. No sample data was given. 

With the race staying pretty much the same in the ballot test numbers, you have to look beneath to see the important trends identified. 

A couple key findings:

  • Rasmussen: 44% of respondents said their finances were getting worse, to only 25% who report improvement.
  • Rasmussen: Fifty-two percent (52%) of Colorado voters say the choice between Obama and Romney is one they are excited about, while 39% say they’ll simply be voting for the lesser of two evils this election.
  • Rasmussen: Obama holds a very slight 49% to 47% edge over Romney among voters who are excited about the choice of candidates. Romney leads 48% to 39% among those who will be voting for the lesser of two evils.
  • Purple Poll: 57 Percent Of Colorado Voters Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track, While 37 Percent Think It Is On The Right Track. 
  • Purple Poll: Mitt Romney is closing the gap with President Obama across Purple States, as Republicans consolidate and independents lean toward Romney.

Colorado is likely to be one of the tightest finishes in the country, both polls find. No news there.

As analysts keep repeating, what is key to Colorado is swing, Unaffiliated voters. Those folks don't tend to get excited about candidates, which is why they swing back and forth, but instead vote for the lesser of two evils — which is why negative advertising works so well.

With that in mind, both Rasmussen and the Purple Poll have positive findings for Romney. Voters are seeing things get worse, not better, in the four years Obama has been in office. 

As Rasmussen finds, Romney leads among voters who will decide among the lesser of two evils, 48% to 39%. As Rasmussen oversampled Unaffiliateds that would seem to be a striking finding.

With an economy of 40+ months of unemployment over 8%, and Colorado's unemployment rising last month, it seems a safe bet that at this point in the race, Obama is not in an enviable place. 


 

(HONEY) BADGER STATE RECALL LESSONS: Red Sky In The Morning, Colorado Democrats Take Warning

The failed attempts by Democrats and organized labor to unseat Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday should serve as yet another warning to Colorado Democrats who hope to recall Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

Or to put it more nautically, a Republican red sky in Wisconsin yesterday morning, Democrats and liberals take warning.  

CBS exit polling found that 60% of Wisconsin voters believe recall elections are "only appropriate for official misconduct" and 9% think they are never appropriate. Only 28% see recall elections as suitable for any reason. 

The Denver Post editorial board sounded a similar note after Colorado Democrats announced an intention to recall Gessler, saying recalls "should be reserved for corruption, incompetence and official misconduct, not disagreements, no matter how vehement, about policy matters." The editorial also said Colorado Democrats recall move "is an overreach that threatens to erode their credibility."

Colorado voters agree. In a PPP poll that oversampled liberals by 12% found that only 20% of Colorado voters support a Gessler recall. Of course, you could probably get 20% of the electorate to support recalling any politician. 

Colorado Democrats, led by by their flailing and failing Chairman Rick Palacio also "misunderestimated" Gessler's political savvy. Gessler has embraced his role as political warrior, and even the sarcastic nickname given to him by the Dems — Honey Badger.

Monday night at the Denver GOP's annual Lincoln Day Dinner, GOP Chairman Ryan Call presented Gessler with a T-Shirt declaring "I Am The Honey Badger."

Gessler has come to embrace his "Honey Badger" nickname so-bestowed, according to 5280, for his "rampaging through the Legislature, chewing up his opponents and creating all kinds of chaos." As we've noted before, he just doesn't let the ankle-biters bother him:

It cracks me up, because if you look at the [Honey Badger] video…the snake bites the Honey Badger, yet he still defeats the snake and survives and just goes on his merry way. If I’m the honey badger, [the Democrats] are the poisonous snakes—and by  the way, they get their heads bit off and the honey badger prevails.

In case you haven't see the viral Honey Badger video, check it out here.


 

MAY MAULING: Romney/RNC Outraised Obama/DNC Last Month By $16 Million, 93% Of Donors Under $250

Despite President Obama being too busy attending fundraisers to campaign for losing Wisconsin recall candidate Tom Barrett, the Campaigner-in-Chief still got handily whooped by Mitt Romney in the campaign donation department last month. The combined fundraising operation of the RNC and Romney's campaign raised $76.8 million in May, to Obama and the DNC's $60 million.

Before liberals begin their knee-jerk whining about rich donors lining the Romney campaign's pockets, they should consider one fact: 93% of donors gave $250 or less. As The Fix's Chris Cilizza tweeted about that little detail: Wowza. 

Impressive to conservatives should be the fact that Romney has $107 million cash on hand. The Obama campaign, notably, did not release their cash on hand figure. That's probably because they're spending cash like Obama does taxpayer funds, as in a drunken frat boy with his parents’ credit card. 

What makes this Romney fundraising romp even more damaging to the campaign narrative is that Obama has broken all sorts of fundraising records for Presidents — specifically he's attended more high dollar re-election fundraisers than every President since Nixon, combined

All the George Clooneys and Sarah Jessica Parkers of the world can't make up for the fact that Obama isn't working. His pathetic fundraising haul is proof that even Democrats get that. 


 

NANNY STATE: Hickenlooper Comes Out In Support Of Mayor Bloomberg’s Attempt To Ban Large Sodas

Earlier this week at the Aspen Institute’s Global Spa and Wellness Summit, Governor John Hickenlooper endorsed Mayor Bloomberg’s “war on soda." It is days like this we really wish former Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi was still living in Colorado. After all, he wrote a book on the "Food Fascists" of the Nanny State. 

From Hickenlooper's comments per Health Policy Solutions:

While conceding that he’s reluctant to mandate healthier behavior, Hickenlooper said he sees few other options to fight the costly obesity epidemic.  

“You run the risk if you’re in elected office of saying we need to all do this and pull together and take care of ourselves. That’s allegedly one step away from the nanny state,” Hickenlooper said.  

“And yet, I’m not sure what else is going to happen. Right? I don’t see any other way.  

“Every atom of my being resists this notion of some of the things that Mayor Bloomberg was trying to push in New York around these large helpings of super sweetened soft drinks. And yet, if we don’t begin looking at certain things like that, the costs are going to be enormous,” the Colorado governor said.

Per Hickenlooper's penchant for never taking a clear stance on anything that polls below 60%, the Governor wouldn't say exactly what actions he would take back home, but he doesn't see any other option other than setting laws that dictate the size of sodas that can be sold.  

He doesn't want to do it, in fact he resists the idea with "every atom in [his] being," but there is just no other way.

In New York that way is a law that bans any soda more than 16 oz in the city's restaurants, delis, food trucks, movie theaters and sports arenas. Regular soda and sports drinks would be affected, but diet sodas (and all of the controversial aspartame associated with diet soda) would not be included in the ban. That's because Diet Coke is healthier for you than Gatorade, at least according to Bloomberg's worldview.

Hickenlooper’s embrace of food dictates is a bit strange, considering he announced his Gubernatorial campaign's "Job Creation Roadmap" at the home of the Rocky Mountain Soda Company.

We wonder what the owners of Rocky Mountain Soda would have to say about Hickenlooper's sudden embrace of a position wholly opposed by their industry.  

 

PAC POISON: Ed Perlmutter Has Taken Nearly A Million Dollars In Union PAC Money Since 2008

In the wake of the crushing defeat of union asset Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in Wisconsin last night we thought we would take a look at Colorado's very own union asset, Congressman Ed Perlmutter. According to OpenSecrets.org, Perlmutter has received nearly a million dollars — $903,500 to be exact — from special interest labor union Political Action Committees (PACs) since 2008.

For comparison, Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette has taken in only $100,000 more from union PACs, but she has been in office ten years longer than Perlmutter. Broken down annually, Perlmutter is averaging over $225,000 in union PAC cash per year, compared to DeGette who averages slightly less than $73,000.

Consider it visually:

Considering 57% of Perlmutter's donations so far this cycle have come from special interest PACs, it's fair to say Perlmutter's political life is tied at the hip to union interests. Perlmutter's opponent, Golden businessman Joe Coors Jr, has taken less than 1% in PAC donations, from all industries. 

Remind us, Allison Sherry, whose source of campaign donations matter most.

Voters rejected the pernicious influence of labor unions in politics last night in Wisconsin. In five months, Colorado voters will have the chance to do the same. 


 

PAGING PAT STRYKER: David Axelrod Complains About “Self-Interested Billionaires” In Politics

Following yesterday’s smack down of unions in Wisconsin, senior Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod had this to say to The New York Times:  

“The fact that you’ve got a handful of self-interested billionaires who are trying to leverage their money across the country. Does that concern me? Of course that concerns me.”  

Axelrod’s statement is astounding considering that the “self-interested billionaires who are trying to leverage their money across the country” strategy was invented by his own Party.  

For anyone who has been hiding under a rock over the past few years, the book “The Blueprint” examines in great detail how “The Gang of Four” – four millionaires/billionaires including Pat Stryker, Rutt Bridges, Jared Polis, and Tim Gill – banded together to target, intimidate and unseat Republicans who didn’t advance the policy agenda (primarily gay rights) that suited the four. Of course, once the four realized that this was a winning formula, they took the show on the road to mixed results.  

Rich people – check. Self-interested – check. Using money to influence elections and policy around the country – check.  

Gee whiz – that sounds awfully familiar. In fact, for those on the left who would assert that Republicans are the party of big money, we submit to you this excerpt from “The Blueprint”:  

“Of the $3.6 million raised by the Roundtable's 527s, nearly $2.5 million — more than two-thirds — came from those four donors alone. By contrast, in 2004, the Republican House and Senate 527s (there was no separate field organization) raised a combined total of $845,000 — all told, less than Stryker's individual contribution to the other side.”  

Of course, if Axelrod meant that he is concerned because Republicans are finally leveling the political funding playing field, he’s probably justified in his concern. Payback is a b*tch.

 

FLASHBACK: Colorado Democrats Rally At Capitol In Solidarity With Wisconsin Unions

With Colorado Democrats and their allies in the left wing Colorado Democracy Alliance (CODA) suddenly, shockingly silent about the shock waves sent across the country by Scott Walker's win in Wisconsin last night, we thought we'd help remind them how much the race mattered to them before they lost.

Last year, the SEIU organized Wisconsin solidarity protests across the country, including here in Colorado. On February 22, 2011 the left in Colorado gathered on the steps of the Capitol, with over 1000 people turning out. The Tea Party counter-protested, standing in solidarity with Scott Walker's reforms instead. 

And a whole host of House Democrats turned out at the protest, including many who are now in competitive re-election races. And of course, the union goons behaved as, well, goons do.

Rise and report:

Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood), Rep. Daniel Kagan (D-Denver), Rep. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood), Rep. Nancy Todd (D-Aurora), Rep. Pete Lee (D-CO Springs), Rep. Sue Schafer (D-Wheat Ridge), Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Denver), Rep. Matt Jones (D-Louisville), Rep. Sue Ryden (D-Aurora), Rep. John Soper (D-Federal Heights) and Rep. Judy Solano (D-Thornton).

Also spotted at the rally was Rep. Ed Casso (D-Commerce City). The Senate was in session during the protest, otherwise we’re sure plenty of them would have gladly stood alongside the SEIU and the rest of the now-losing side of the Wisconsin fight.

In case any Democrat tries to say last night didn’t matter, just remember, before they lost, it was like the most important election EVAH.  

 

WISCONSIN RECALL: Goons Lose. Freedom Prevails.

Remember when liberals used to use the term “Wisconsinize” to describe any political act they didn't like?  

Wisconsinize this. Wisconsinize that.  

Well tonight, that term has a very different meaning as conservative icon Scott Walker swept to victory in the Wisconsin recall election, slaying liberals and unions with the ease and grace of Thor in a midget wrestling tourney.  

Final results aren't in yet, but every major network has called the Governor's race for Scott Walker, as well as the Lt. Governor and four State Senate races for Republicans. 

Union goons lose. Freedom prevails. 

"Walker's victory in Wisconsin is huge," said State Senator Greg Brophy (R-Wray). "He isn't flashy; he just did the right things to solve Wisconsin's most pressing problems. Then, he ran on that record and won…in a blue state. Gives me hope for our country. Too bad Hickenlooper won't follow that lead."

Wisconsinize that, Colorado WINS.

(Photo via Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk)

 

JOE MIKLOSI: Call Your Office (And Ask For Your Staff’s Names)

Denver state Rep. and CD6 Congressional candidate Joe Miklosi has been caught in yet another staffer-related scandal. Colorado Peak Politics has obtained audio of Miklosi bragging about the Washington, DC-based Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) paying for his Congressional campaign staff and boasting that there are staff members in his campaign office that he doesn't even know.

This comes on the heels of a still bubbling scandal over a back pay complaint filed by Miklosi's former finance director — an issue that Miklosi has yet to address on the record. 

From the audio of today's scandal:


Here’s a transcript of the brief excerpt:




As long as I keep meeting certain benchmarks it’s a two-way street. They’re going to pay for my field program. They are paying for my staff. I have people in my office, I don’t even know who they are. [Peak emphasis]


No wonder Miklosi hasn’t paid his former finance director in full — he doesn’t even know who is working for him.



Miklosi’s Congressional campaign staff have been an unmitigated disaster so far. It took them an entire two weeks to put out a lame web video attacking Mike Coffman for his comments about Obama. Two. Weeks.



He’s also had his new campaign manager tweeting derogatorily about staff members seeking back pay and his top consultant was caught advising a company seeking school bond business to bribe the district with a free poll so they could “steal” $90 million in taxpayer funds.



The audio clip was obtained originally by the Coffman campaign and news of it came through a campaign press release that highlighted the fact that Coffman’s campaign team is all from Colorado, while Miklosi’s is made up of staffers sent by the DCCC in Washington, DC.



Democrats really couldn’t have picked a worse candidate for what is ostensibly a competitive district now. It seems every week Coloradans get a fresh reminder of that.



Joe Miklosi, call your campaign office (and ask for your staffers names). You have to know how to address them before you fire them.

 
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