NOT DC: Greeley Tribune Gives Udall Some Home Cooking by Serving up Big Fat Meatballs

Wow Greeley Tribune, we here at the Peak are looking forward to when our teams play each other in the softball league; those big fat meatballs you tossed at liberal Senator Mark Udall make us wonder if you didn’t secretly rescue Allison Sherry away from her exile up north.  For example:

GT Question: So, senator, why are you out and about today?

Translation: So, senator, what propaganda can we spread for you today?

GT Question: It’s believed Gardner will hit you particularly hard on the Affordable Care Act. Do you think that’s warranted?

Translation: You know that little law you said wouldn’t cause Coloradans to lose their health insurance or doctors?  Yeah, forget about trying to answer those questions, we’d rather just let you spew some 100% pure BS to us on how you didn’t pass this monstrosity.

Alright, PeakNation™ you get the idea of how lazy of reporting was coming from The Greeley Tribune, but Udall needed a friendly reporter after he was getting mauled by the DC press.  We don’t think he’ll be that fortunate when he sits down across from The Durango Herald editorial board later this week.  Might we be of service and suggest some questions:

  1. Senator Udall, you were pushing hard this last week on equal pay, citing numerous times that Colorado women make less 80 cents an hour for every male dollar; yet, when this same context-free statistic is applied to your own staff, your female staffers only make 84 cents to every male staffer dollar; using such talking-point driven statistics makes us believe you don’t take this issue seriously and are only using it as a wedge issue, how do you respond? And, when can we expect you to pay your female staff appropriately?
  2. Senator Udall, back in November your staff had quite the disagreement with CDI over cancellation notices; come this fall when these plans no longer have an option to renew, will you and your staff finally feel that these people had their health insurance plans canceled?
  3. In a related follow-up: back in 2009 when you said Coloradans could keep their health insurance and doctor if they liked them, did you say this knowing full well they couldn’t or had you just not read the bill closely enough?  Did you understand what you were voting on?  Knowing what you know now, would you vote for Obamacare again?
  4. You’ve repeatedly said you are for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, yet despite your fellow Colorado Senator Michael Bennet voting for it, and the State Department saying it would add no noticeable emissions, your staff told constituents that you are not in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Are you really for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy or is that just a political line you hide behind to protect your extreme environmentalist nature?  Does billionaire Steyer factor into this decision at all for you?
  5. Yes or no: will you campaign with President Obama?

Durango Herald-ites, feel free to call us in if you need help!


FROZEN OUT: The Peak Wonders if Allison Sherry Knows What She Signed Up For

It’s been sad here at the Peak offices. It’s not that The Denver Post’s Allison Sherry is moving on to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, but that people here lost a lot of money when “Udall’s Spokeswoman” did not win the “Allison Sherry’s Next Job” pool.

We’re sad to see her go as her columns were like a window into Udall’s soul, or, more accurately, how much he was freaking out over his scandals and desperately wanted to change the conversation.

Now how will we get the Democrats’ talking points for the day?

We were thinking of doing a Top Five Allison Sherry moments in honor of her departure, but there was not much to her reporting that we couldn’t get from liberal Sens. Udall’s and Bennett’s press releases. continue…


BREAKING: Sen. Udall Pressured Insurance Division to Revise Cancellation Numbers Due to Obamacare

Sen. Mark Udall

As first reported by Todd Shepherd at Complete Colorado, liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall and his staff pressured the Colorado Division of Insurance to revise the number of Coloradans whose insurance policies were canceled as a result of Obamacare.  From Shepherd’s report:

“At the height of controversy surrounding President Obama’s promises on the federal health care overhaul, U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s office worked assiduously to revise press accounts that 249,000 Coloradans received health care cancellation notices. Because the 249,000 figure was produced inside the Colorado Division of Insurance, Udall’s office lobbied that agency to revise the figure, or revise their definition of what qualified as a cancellation.”

According to an email uncovered by Shepherd, Jo Donlin, the director of external affairs with the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Insurance told colleagues on November 14th: continue…


NAUGHTY OR NICE: The Peak’s Gifts to Some of Our Favorites

It’s that time of the year PeakNation™ where we here at the Peak try to make up in one solid day all the naughtiness we sprinkle throughout the rest of the year in hopes Santa will bring us that Republican majority we’re asking for (we’ll also settle for the impossible-to-find PS4).

While giving coal is what we do for all the naughty Democrats out there the other 364 days of the year, in a blatant, naked attempt to curry Kris Kringle’s favor the night before he dishes out the loot, we’ve spent the past six minutes thinking of the perfect Christmas gifts for those nearest and dearest to our hearts taxes. So, here we go:

We know Governor Hickenlooper has had a tough time leading and making decisions this year, so we thought we would take it off his hands and give him a Magic 8-ball. “Will Coloradans grow to like my gun laws?” Very Doubtful “Will it be a tough year for me?” You may rely on it “Will I get reelected?” Better not tell you now

It’s been an especially tough year for former Senator Angela Giron who lost her job this year, but we hear she is especially fond of Denver so we got her 5280 Best of Denver restaurants issue. We know Hickenlooper consultant Max Potter would be grateful for our purchase. Ang, “Go Denver” to your heart’s delight.

Speaking of Potter. We hear that he’s awfully concerned about ham sandwiches, so, to put his mind to ease, we got him a gift card to Snarf’s. As an added bonus, it came with a side of gun rights.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been having a tough year understanding Coloradans, so we sent him some old John Denver CDs and a Colorado history book. We thought he especially would be interested in all the gun-slingers who have lived here, so we dog-eared those pages for him. continue…


AGAIN SEN UDALL? Embattled Senator’s Not So Accurate (NSA) Obsession

Sen. Udall, why do you make us write these posts every three months?  We’re tired of it, you’re tired of it, why must we do this again?  Did Democratic spokeswoman Denver Post reporter Allison Sherry put you up to this?  Once again, after finding himself in hot water on a critical issue (ahem, Obamacare), Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall goes back to his favorite hypocrisy topic – the National Security Administration’s wire tapping program.  Sigh.  This time, he’s written an op-ed in the New York Times – he even cites Benjamin Franklin.  Here is an excerpt from his New York Times piece, co-written with Sens. Wyden and Heinrich:

“[The surveillance reform bill recently proposed in the U.S. Senate] is not the true reform that poll after poll has shown the American people want. It is preserving business as usual. When the Bill of Rights was adopted, it established that Americans’ papers and effects should be seized only when there was specific evidence of suspicious activity. It did not permit government agencies to issue general warrants as long as records seized were reviewed with the permission of senior officials.”

Look, we recognize that Udall voted against the FISA Amendments Reauthorization in 2012, but his record on surveillance issues?  Not So Awesome.  We’ll drag this down from the attic, again, in case Colorado has forgotten exactly where Sen. Udall stands on privacy issues:

“Here is the truth about Udall’s record on privacy issues.  The gist?  In 2011, Udall voted for roving wiretaps, business record access (aka the “215″ orders)  and “lone wolf” wiretapping as part of H.R. 514. Then, he published a rant about how awful the provisions were.  Even worse, Section 215 orders are precisely what the NSA used to gather data from law-abiding citizens’ cell phones, according to the Washington Post.

Before Udall apologists start defending the Senator, let’s be clear.  Section 215 wasn’t buried in some obscure or lengthy piece of legislation.  The legislation dealt primarily with just these three issues – roving wiretaps, Section 215 orders, and ‘lone wolf’ wiretapping.”

You’re welcome, PeakNation™.  Sen. Udall – until next quarter?


MISSING THE POINT: Sherry Takes Wrong Lesson from 2010 Election Cycle

Here, at the Peak, we’ve never had warm and fuzzy feelings about Denver Post Washington D.C. correspondent Allison Sherry, primarily because she serves simply as a mouthpiece for the left.

So, it’s not surprising that she wrote an entire article dedicated to what Democrats are doing during the August recess to bolster their chances at winning the 2014 elections.  But, the lessons she took from the 2010 elections were puzzling at best.  Here is what she wrote:

“The momentum is spurred by lessons learned from years past, particularly 2009, when the newly galvanized Tea Party stormed Democrats’ August town halls, some in Grim Reaper costumes, denouncing Obamacare and the liberal agenda being pushed by the then-new president.

Democrats point to those town halls, many of which were hostile and drew national media attention, as a reason the Republicans gathered so much strength to take over the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010.”

That’s all well and good, but she’s probably taken the wrong lesson from the Democrats’ loss in 2010.  The simplest reason that Republicans took the House in 2010?  They were right on the issues, and they tapped into a growing unease with the direction our country was headed – more government intrusion, less personal freedom (and responsibility).

If liberals want to storm Republicans’ town halls this August recess (a recess, by the way, that 80% of Americans believe that Congress doesn’t deserve), that’s their prerogative.  In fact, we hope they do.  But, if the left thinks this is their golden ticket to controlling the entire Congress, plus the White House, they’re sadly mistaken.  Particularly with the scandal-ridden party leader, President Barack Obama.  With Obama’s poll numbers plummeting, plus the approval numbers of Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper sinking like a lead balloon, it’s going to take a lot more than a few rounds of kumbaya outside of a town hall to sway voters in their direction.


CHICKENLOOPER STRIKES AGAIN: Governor Hickenlooper Backtracking On Coming Tax Hike Campaign

Governor Hickenlooper is backtracking on his support for the coming tax hike campaign. The Denver Post might not have noticed it, but reporters and operatives across Colorado certainly did.

In an interview yesterday with the Post‘s Democrat blogger, Allison Sherry, Hickenlooper shifted position and said he was still “undecided” on supporting the tax increase that will be on the ballot this fall.

WASHINGTON — Gov. John Hickenlooper said Wednesday he was still undecided on whether to back a ballot measure this fall that would fuel a new $1.1 billion tax increase necessary to pay for a newly overhauled system for administering the state’s education dollars.

But, Hickenlooper said it would be “crazy to put more money into the system unless you change the structure of the system.”

“I think it’s likely that we will support something,” he said.

That’s interesting, because when he was signing the bill attached to the tax increase, SB213, he said he’d support any tax increase proponents came up with. 

Why yes, Kristen, he has. Flashback to reporting by the Durango Herald‘s Joe Hanel on Hickenlooper signing SB213 in May:

Hickenlooper pledged Tuesday to campaign for the tax increase once the sponsors pick a single initiative.

It’s possible that after seeing the dramatic drop in his poll numbers in the latest Quinnipiac poll, Hickenlooper decided he no longer had the political capital to spare to support an unpopular tax increase.

If that’s true, and Hick is backtracking on the tax hike, it will only further cement the view that the governor is incapable of tough decisions.

It also would explain why the President of the largest teachers union in Colorado took to Twitter recently to trash Hick for hiding on the tax increase.

Post-Dunlap, it looks like Chickenlooper is here to stay.


CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Will Curtis Hubbard Pitch The Post’s Allison Sherry On Mark Udall Coverage?

Many serious questions have been raised about the unholy conflict of interest created by The Denver Post‘s former news editor and editorial page head Curtis Hubbard moving to a Democratic consulting firm, OnSight Public Affairs.

So far the Post has not disclosed whether Hubbard recused himself from coverage related to his new clients while he was negotiating his employment and partnership at the firm. Based on the slop spewed in his own columns and unsigned Denver Post editorials it certainly seems he didn’t.

We’d like to raise a new question.

Will Hubbard pitch the Post‘s DC-based blogger, Allison Sherry — who he hired — on stories related to his new client, U.S. Senator Mark Udall?

When Sherry was shipped out to Washington, Hubbard was the Political Editor at the Post. He got her that job…is she planning on returning the favor?

As Hubbard has become a full partner at OnSight Public Affairs, which counts Udall as a client, his ties to members of the media should be fairly scrutinized.

When it comes to someone who owes their job to him, isn’t it fair to assume they’re likely to take his calls and pitches more seriously?

As we mentioned on Twitter, aren’t former reporters going to work for political firms the media equivalent of lawmakers getting picked up by lobbying firms? Just as there are laws in place to require a cooling off period for politicians before they can lobby their former colleagues, shouldn’t the same be in place for members of the media?


QUESTION: Will “Privacy Watchdog” Mark Udall Demand Heads Roll For The IRS Attack On Conservatives?

The Denver Post‘s liberal blogger Allison Sherry called Senator Mark Udall a “privacy watchdog” in a glowing press release-turned-news story last week. 

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Udall has worked to carve out a reputation on Capitol Hill as the Senate watchdog to the Obama administration on intelligence gathering and privacy issues.

He successfully fought to prohibit the IRS from reading Americans’ e-mails without a warrant. He pushed last year to amend federal law to better protect Americans from having their communications collected. He opposed the reauthorization of the 2011 Patriot Act because it gave the federal government extensive access to private records and the power to wiretap individuals. 

With a Nixonian-scale privacy scandal exploding in the White House’s face, we had to ask (and hope Sherry will too)…will Udall call for heads to roll over the outrageous abuse of power by the IRS?

Or did Udall, like Bennet, push the IRS to engage in the fundamental political privacy violations that a “privacy watchdog” should decry? 

Just asking.


REWIND: NYT & Now DBJ Shed Light On Bennet Debt Story That Denver Post Still Ignores

The Denver Business Journal is out with a new story on the least covered scandal in the last decade — then-DPS chief Michael Bennet’s risky pension bail-out that cost Denver Public Schools millions.

From the DBJ:

Denver Public Schools has quietly put the rest of its controversial variable-rate bonds with swaps on the market to sell as fixed-rate debt.

Five years after issuing a 30-year, $750 million school pension bond that turned into a financial quagmire for the district, DPS is selling $519.8 million in fixed-rate, refunding certificates of participation (COPs), set to price during the week of April 15, according to an announcement Friday from Fitch Ratings.

…Based on the fact that the district is issuing nearly $520 million in COPs this month to fix out the remaining $396 million debt, it would indicate that DPS is paying about $124 million in swap termination fees.

The district didn’t issue a press release about the bonds.

For those who missed or have forgotten the details on this salacious episode, here is a refresher from the 2010 New York Times story:


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