THE REAL BETSY MARKEY: Lifelong Bureaucrat not Private Sector Leader

Former Congresswoman Betsy Markey, now candidate for state treasurer, just loves to tout her “private sector experience.”  However, we have to take issue with this after reviewing Markey’s CV because she’s barely spent anytime there.  The bulk of career has actually been spent in government, and we get the feeling that she just can’t seem to find work elsewhere.  

According to Wikipedia, Markey entered politics right out of college working on the staff of U.S. Senator John A. Durkin (D-NH).  She later worked for a Congressional subcommittee.  Markey then spent most of the 1980s hopping between government jobs at the U.S. Treasury and State Department.

Later in life, Markey worked on the staff of for former Sen. Ken Salazar before announcing her run for Congress.  She won in 2008 and spent the next two years back in D.C.  After her defeat in 2010, Markey got what many believed was payoff for her vote in favor of Obamacare when she was appointed Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the United States Department of Homeland Security.  She recently resigned that post to run for Treasurer. 

Yes, Markey did spend a couple years in the private sector but the bulk of her career has been spent earning her living from the government.  If she were truly sympathetic to the plight of small business owners, as she claims to be, then she never would have voted for Obamacare in the first place.  It’s totally disingenuous for Markey to pretend like she’s got her thumb on the pulse of the private sector, and we wish reporters would stop letting her get away with it. 

Some people genuinely feel the calling to serve in public office, while others are just unemployable outside of politics.  We get the feeling that Markey falls into the latter category.


PAGING CO ETHICS WATCH: CFRR Files Campaign Finance Complaint Against Polis’ Group

Coloradans for Responsible Reform (CFRR) recently filed a campaign finance complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office alleging that liberal U.S. Rep. Jared Polis’ anti-fracking (aka local control) groups have failed to report contributions. Was it something we said?

From the press release:

“On May 19, Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy (CSCE), the Polis issue committee, reported that it had received contributions totaling $1.45 million from Coloradans for Local Control (CLC), another Polis-backed entity. Spokesmen for CSCE indicated to news organizations that they were not required to list the sources of CLC’s funding since it was not a registered issue committee, leaving the public in the dark about the funding sources for Polis’ anti-energy ballot issues.

However, CFRR has learned that Coloradans for Local Control designated Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy as its trade name on the same day that CSCE registered as an issue committee. For this reason, Coloradans for Local Control d/b/a Coloradans for Safe and Clean Energy is in violation of campaign finance laws by failing to report its contributions and expenditures.”

What’s the big deal, Rep. Polis?  Since you’ve publicly stated that you’re funding these ridiculously bad ideas, we’d think you’d be proud to be on TRACER. Unless, you’ve secured more funding from folks less palatable than you….  Perhaps Tom Steyer?  What about Michael Bloomberg?  He keeps popping up everywhere.  Who is on that list that is so super secret?  We’re dying to know.  It’s not like it’s the right that uses government institutions like the IRS to punish political opponents (ahem, Sen. Bennet, Lois Lerner and President Obama).

Perhaps the worst news here is that CFRR is not even a right leaning organization. This is lefties, such as Kelly Brough, former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, going after lefties.  If that’s the case, where were you, Colorado Ethics Watch?   You’re non-partisan, right?  RIGHT?


ANOTHER FRACKING ENDORSEMENT: Obama’s Own Secretary of Interior Says Fracking is Safe

Earlier this year, former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar came out in favor of fracking.  Now, the current Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has said fracking can be done safely.  Jewell who was appearing before a Congressional committee had this to say (via The Colorado Observer):

It absolutely can be done and has been done safely and responsibly,” Jewell said.

A former engineer at Mobil Corp., Jewell prefaced her comment by underlining her experience with the process of hydraulic fracturing.

“I may be one of the few secretaries of the Interior that has actually fracked wells before. I do understand the science behind this,” Jewell said. [the Peak emphasis]

The facts are not with fractivists.  It is only a matter of time before the average Coloradan starts to associate their science-denying ways with those of truthers and birthers.  Your new home fractivists?  The fringe.  Enjoy!


CENTENNIAL STATE SWAP, THE PREQUEL: Udall and Buck Have a Lot in Common

Liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s campaign has made much hay about Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck’s decision to abandon his race for U.S. Senator in favor of U.S. Rep Cory Gardner.  The campaign has even adorably dubbed the decision the “Centennial State Swap”, but as The Denver Post‘s Lynn Bartels writes, Udall may have firsthand experience with stepping down in a race when a better candidate is in the picture:

But Udall knows a little something about stepping aside in a U.S. Senate race.

Ten years ago this month, Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell unexpectedly dropped his re-election bid for the U.S. Senate.

On the night of March 9, then-Congressman Udall dialed reporters. “I’m in,” the mountain climber said. “I’m packing my sleeping bag and racking my ropes, and I’ll have more to say about it tomorrow.”

But think-tank founder Rutt Bridges already was in the race, and Attorney General Ken Salazar had decided to run. The next morning, they ate breakfast at a Westminster restaurant and talked about what to do. Udall and Salazar both still wanted to run.

That afternoon, Udall climbed the steps of the state Capitol and stood by Salazar’s side as Salazar announced he would seek the Democratic nomination. Salazar won that November.

What kind of a deal had been reached in those few hours?

There wasn’t one, Udall’s then- chief of staff, Alan Salazar, said at the time. After breakfast, Udall and his wife and friends huddled together talking about how important it was that a Democrat reclaim the Senate seat.

“Wouldn’t it be really bold,” Udall finally asked, ” if a politician could put aside his ambition and put the party first?”

Funny.  One could almost replace Udall’s name with Buck’s name and Salazar with Gardner.  Oddly, the left is clinging to this “backroom deal” narrative despite having nearly invented the maneuver.  It’s really too bad that Udall has done nothing over the past six years and is now struggling to figure out how to market himself.  One thing is certain – he shouldn’t be throwing stones in his biodegradable, energy-efficient, solar-powered glass house.

HAMMER DROPS: Americans for Prosperity About to Unload on Udall, Udall Left Between Rock and Hard Place

Senator Mark Udall’s Rasmussen poll numbers published last week  might be as good as it gets for the embattled Senator.  Starting this week, Americans For Prosperity are going up on TV with this ad for a buy of $500,000 that will run over the next three weeks as reported by Politico.  This will be paired with a simultaneous buy for the Colorado Springs TV market to the tune of $340,000.  The Professional Left has already come out hard against the ad trying to disparage it in any way they can.  Noticeably absent in their many critiques is the content.  It’s not so much who is saying the words, as the words themselves:

From the ad:

“And millions of people have lost their health insurance.  Millions of people can’t see their own doctor.  And millions are paying more and getting less.”

Bang the table and shout at the top of your lungs Lefties because these statements are true and Udall is fully culpable for each of them.

We’ve linked to earlier AFP ads that have gone up around the country to great effect saying at the time:

We’re betting Senator Mark Udall is praying Americans For Prosperity runs out of money before the organization gets a chance to unleash these devastating ads against him in Colorado.

Not only has AFP not run out of money, but it seems Udall has jumped quite a few other vulnerable Democratic U.S. Senators in line as an AFP target.  We can’t blame them as bad news on Obamacare and various miscues have taken Udall’s re-election chances from bad to worse.

This has left Udall in need of drastic measures.  On one hand, he can go all in after this week’s bedtime story and whore himself out to billionaire Tom Steyer in hopes Steyer’s eco-dollars can combat AFP’s money.   While this will endear Udall to the far left (and his wife), polls have shown the majority of Coloradans are in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline, something Steyer refuses to support in any form.  On the other hand, he can try to neutralize Keystone XL by pulling a Ken Salazar, but this route kisses Steyer’s dollars goodbye and makes for some awkward backtracking (not to mention it reserves him a spot sleeping on the couch for the foreseeable future).

Looking around and realizing there’s nothing but bad options is a sure sign of a failing campaign.


HEIGHT OF ARROGANCE: Angela Giron Wants to Be Secretary of State

We literally laughed when we heard the news that recently-recalled state Sen. Angela Giron had designs on running for Secretary of State.  Kelly Maher of Compass Colorado noted:

“It’s confounding to think that after being fired from the voters of her district now Senator Giron thinks she needs a promotion.  Giron’s condescension and her failure to listen to constituents is the albatross around her neck. There’s no reason to believe that it would be any different in a higher office with even more people to represent.”

A recent report found that the reason for Giron’s recall was, well, Giron.  According to a focus group: continue…


SIX DEGREES OF LOUIS BACON: Salazar PAC Benefactor Has Bloomberg Ties

Surprise, surprise.  Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and former U.S. Senator Ken Salazar has teamed up with billionaire conservationist Louis Bacon to form America’s Conservation PAC.  And, wouldn’t you know it, but Louis Bacon is BFF with another billionaire with ties to Colorado – on his way out New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Where have we run into him before?  That’s right – he’s been meddling in Colorado politics, funding by the millions out of touch, extreme organizations.  He’s also funded “beloved” candidates like former liberal state Senator Angela Giron, who was so hated by her constituents that she lost her Senate seat that had a 19-point Democratic advantage.  We can’t wait for this political action committee to get up and running. continue…


SALAZAR’S SOLAR FLOP: Zero Bids On Colorado Federal Solar Panel Projects

During former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s time in the Obama administration he constantly touted his spearheading of commercial-scale solar projects on federal land.

He told The Denver Post‘s Mark Jaffe in 2011 that the locations chosen were the “sweet spots.”

Well, it turns out those spots weren’t so sweet after all. When an auction was held yesterday for the solar industry to bid on the federal plots in Colorado, a grand total of zero – yes, zero – bids were placed.

Reports E&E News (behind paywall):

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A first-ever competitive auction held here today that was supposed to drive future development of commercial-scale projects inside solar energy zones across the Southwest was a dud, drawing no industry bids.

The auction results startled top officials with the Bureau of Land Management, who conceded the agency may now have to go back and review its plans to get developers to commit to projects inside the two solar energy zones (SEZs) up for bid at today’s auction in Colorado, as well as 17 other SEZs spread across six Southwestern states.

BLM had wanted the first competitive bidding auction here to serve as a model for how to guide solar development in the SEZs across the West. Today’s auction involved three parcels, including a 1,064-acre parcel in the so-called De Tilla Gulch SEZ in Saguache County, and two parcels covering 2,600 acres inside the Los Mogotes East SEZ in nearby Conejos County.


KING ABDULLAH SAYS شكرا: Hick’s Hiding Kills Energy Jobs On Western Slope

A natural resource right in Colorado’s backyard that could supply the country with enough oil for 100 years and billions in revenue for schools and roads – not to mention thousands of high-paying jobs – just got a little further out of reach. Thanks to Governor Hickenlooper’s inability to stand up to anti-energy extremists in his own party, a major oil shale project is leaving Colorado for greener pastures…in Jordan.

Reports The Colorado Observer‘s Audrey Hudson:

WASHINGTON — A decision this week by Shell to shutter its oil shale operation in Colorado to pursue other ventures in Jordan and Canada highlights the difficulties faced by developers in the state as they wrestle with uncertain rules under the Obama administration.

Royal Dutch Shell was one of the most successful companies in the state in its efforts to develop a cost-efficient technique to extract oil from shale rock. But the final act of Ken Salazar as Interior secretary earlier this year to rewrite industry rules left companies in limbo with undeterminable royalty rates, and blocked them from obtaining leases for a majority of federal lands that hold two trillion barrels of recoverable oil…

In statements to the press, Shell said its decision evolved from plans to develop other oil shale assets in the company’s holdings in Jordan and Canada.

“We plan to exit our Colorado oil shale research project in order to focus on other opportunities and producing assets in our broad global portfolio,” the company said.

What happened? Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, an ally of Governor Hickenlooper, threw a monkey wrench into the project as a parting shot in his final days in the Obama administration and Governor Hickenlooper didn’t lift a finger to fight for the Colorado projects:

However, just days before Salazar stepped down as Interior secretary, he declared 66 percent of the available acreage off-limits to development, and created onerous new bureaucratic red tape to discourage production.

While environmentalists will surely blame the challenge of oil shale as the reason for the project’s failure, they will be ignoring the realities of the market. Right now the price of energy used to heat the oil shale — natural gas — is near historical lows, while oil prices remain extremely high. You couldn’t ask for better market conditions for oil shale than right now.

No, it’s not the market. It’s certainty. And Shell was given none by Salazar’s Interior Department.

That’s A-OK with Hickenlooper apparently. The Executive Director of Hickenlooper’s Department of Natural Resources, Mike King, editorialized that Salazar and the Bureau of Land Management’s red tape was the right course of action, calling it a “careful and thoughtful approach to potential development of our oil shale resource.”

Calls for Hickenlooper to intervene on behalf of Colorado’s interests have gone out since Salazar’s BLM first released a draft of the rules in 2012 that effectively led to Shell canceling their project.

But Hickenlooper did nothing. And Jordan reaps all the benefits. King Abdullah says thanks.


STAFFING UP: Lt. Gov Garcia’s Hire of Union Boss Hints At Higher Aspirations

News broke last week that Lt. Governor Joe Garcia had hired union boss Scott Wasserman, of state government union Colorado WINS, to be his Chief of Staff. We’d be remiss if we didn’t note the subtext to that announcement.

Wasserman, the first big boss of the union created by one-term Governor Bill Ritter’s controversial executive order unionizing state government, shows that Garcia is beefing up for a run for something, probably governor in 2018, according to our sources.

Some old guard Dems and liberal operatives have allegedly been saying that former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and State Senator Mike Johnston are a better choice, but Garcia isn’t apparently eager to take a dive for Salazar (D-BP).

Earlier this year Democrats floated Garcia as a potential candidate against Republican Congressman Scott Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District. That apparently went over like a lead balloon, as Tipton’s seat is rather safe at this point and Garcia doesn’t seem interested in wasting his time in an unwinnable race.

Garcia’s hiring of Wasserman seems to indicate he’s set his sights a bit higher than Congressman.

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