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!


MIA KXL: Udall and Bennet ‘Noticeably Absent’ from Letter Urging Obama to Approve Keystone

According to a Wall Street Journal article, 11 Democratic Senators have sent President Obama a letter urging him to approve the construction of the Keystone pipeline, an issue that most Republicans (and Coloradans, for that matter) support. Contained in the letter is a deadline for Obama to make a decision – by the end of May.  Tick-tock, tick-tock.

While embattled Senators like Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Warner of Virginia, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska all signed on to the letter, our fair Democratic Senators from Colorado, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, felt no need.  The Journal‘s commentary on Udall and Bennet:

Notably absent from the letter are Colorado’s two Democratic senators: Mark Udall, who is up for reelection this year, and Michael Bennet, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and voted yes on a symbolic measure last year that was supportive of the project (though it didn’t technically force approval). A spokesman for Mr. Bennet’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Mr. Udall’s spokesman reiterated that he supports the administration’s process.

Udall is in a tough spot on this one.  Polling found that votes are less likely to back Udall if Keystone is rejected; however, Udall is BFF with Tom Steyer, one of Keystone’s largest opponents and potentially major funder of his campaign.  While families in Colorado support this measure, it looks like Udall is supporting Steyer.


DISASSEMBLED: Udall Backtracks and, Then, Makes More Promises

While the county assemblies over the weekend on the Republican side were largely uneventful, liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s appearance at the Denver Democrats’ assembly caused a stir.  No, it’s not because he actually showed up (shocking). It’s because he backtracked.  According to The Denver Post:

In an interview with The Denver Post, Udall on Saturday was asked about a statement he made to 850 KOA that implied he didn’t vote for the Affordable Care Act, when he did.

“I think, look, if I were there, I would say, ‘Here are some things that we should have done differently, here are some things that make more sense,’ ” he told KOA. Udall said he meant to say “If I were there again.” In hindsight, he said, he should have pushed back in 2010 for “better implementation and a clearer provision that you could keep your insurance policy if you like.”

If Udall thinks by saying on 850KOA that “if he was there” would distance himself from his disastrous vote and subsequent “Lie of the Year”, he’s delusional.  Kudos to The Denver Post‘s Referee of Rhetoric, Lynn Bartels, for forcing him to clarify his statement.  Udall was there.  In fact, he was one of the deciding votes on Obamacare in the U.S. Senate.

But, that’s not why he received the “Lie of the Year” award.  It’s because he told Coloradans that if they liked their plan, they could keep it.  Not true. Given the backlash from that tall tale, you’d think he’d shy away from making promises.  But, no.  He’s made another promise.  Quick, Sen. Bennet and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, take away his microphone.

…Udall said. “You can now keep your plan going forward.”

Of course, that’s now that over 350,000 Coloradans have lost their plans that they liked.  So, now that you’re stuck in an over-priced plan that you hate, you can definitely keep it.  We won’t hold our breath for the applause and gratitude.


MESSAGE TRUMPS MONEY: Bennet’s Fundraising Prowess Won’t Be Enough to Save Udall or Himself from Embarrassment

Some of the national political committees began announcing their fundraising numbers for February yesterday, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was able to boast an impressive haul of $6.8 million.  They even outraised their Republican counterparts by $1.3 million.

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet heads the DSCC, and for those of us who have been watching him the past few years, those numbers don’t come as much of a surprise.  Bennet is well known for his ability to raise massive amounts of cash.  Rich people, like Bennet, always seem to be pretty good at getting their rich friends to give money to pet causes.   However, before Bennet pulls a muscle patting himself on the back, we wanted to take just a quick minute to look at why being the better fundrasier isn’t going to save him from humiliation in November.

If there is one thing Amendment 66 taught Colorado political observers, it’s that all the money in the world cannot make up for bad policy and a bad message.  After being outspent 10 to 1, the opponents of the $1 billion tax increase were victorious because voters just couldn’t swallow what they were being fed, even though it was with a $10 million spoon.

Which brings us back to Bennet.  He’s got a lot of turf to defend this cycle and all his vulnerable incumbents continue to be proud supporters of Obamacare.  Bennet can’t even catch a break at home – his good buddy Sen. Mark Udall keeps f*$%ing up and his former aw-shucks boss Gov. John Hickenlooper even admits that two-thirds of the people he talks to hate Obamacare.

While Bennet might be feeling good today because of his fundraising success, we just want him to remember that what he’s actually feeling is a false sense of security.  When he wakes up tomorrow, Obamacare will still be law of the land, and Udall will still have voted for it.  No amount of money can change that.


GIVING UP: Is Governor Hickenlooper Throwing Sen. Udall Under the Bus?

Will the DSCC cut its losses in CO?

Yesterday, we reported on emails between the Hickenlooper administration and the Colorado Division of Insurance in which the Division of Insurance told the administration that the number of cancellations due to Obamacare was firmly at 250,000.  What nobody seems to have considered is that these emails were made public only because the Hickenlooper administration waived deliberate privilege, which is basically like waiving executive privilege.

This is pretty significant. Executive privilege exists so that heads of governments can have open and frank discussions about sensitive issues.  And they did that because they prized their image as a transparent administration over additional email facts that paint liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall into a cancellation corner.

We mentally bookmarked this yesterday for future reference, but we had no idea that Hickenlooper himself would throw Udall under the bus the very next day (today) during a BuzzFeed interview:

“I am concerned that it is going to be a difficult year for Democrats and I am going to be painted with that same brush,” he said. And while he pointed to a rare decrease in the rate of growth in health care costs as a sign that the Affordable Care Act’s cost-control measures are working, he says he doesn’t expect that to help much with the politics. He also said he doesn’t anticipate wanting President Obama (or any other out-of-state figure) to campaign for him.

“As a campaign thing, when I walk into a room and say how many people hate the ACA, half of the hands or two-thirds of the hands in the room go up,” he said.

The big question becomes, when will the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and it’s head, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) finally give up on Udall?  Rumor has it (by that we mean Bennet was Hick’s chief of staff, in case you forgot) that Hickenlooper and Bennet are tight – is Hickenlooper paving the way for the DSCC pullout?


DROWNING IN DEBT: Only Colorado Republicans Care about Fiscal Responsibility at Federal Level

When President Obama was sworn in, the debt ceiling was $11.315 trillion dollars.  As it passes in the Senate with the help of Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennett, the debt ceiling will be raised to $17.3 trillion dollars plus whatever the U.S. Treasury has to pay out over the next year.  With Obama having presided over five of the six largest deficits in U.S. history (with four of those over a trillion dollars), it’s easy to expect that $17.3 trillion to be quite larger next year.

In a state that believes strongly that government needs to live within its means, it is unconscionable that any representative, let alone the entire Democratic Congressional Caucus from Colorado should vote to increase it, while doing nothing to attack the fundamental problems that caused it.

We understand the debt ceiling is merely agreeing to pay the debt we already incurred, and to not do so is to create havoc for financial markets around the world.  Yet, dating back to the 1970s, it is because of these very immediate real-world consequences, that significant legislation has often been attached to any raising of the debt ceiling, as our Federal government seems to fail to take action unless there is a crisis. continue…


PeakFeed: NRCC Has 6 Questions For Andrew Romanoff’s DC Fundraiser

Barney Frank stumping for Andrew Romanoff (h/t Angela Williams)

A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) once aptly described BuzzFeed as “eating everyone else’s lunch” with their listicle and GIF-based mode of storytelling. In that spirit, NRCC spox and Colorado native TQ Houlton has 6 questions for Andrew Romanoff’s DC fundraiser today.

(Remember, Andrew Romanoff claims he is free of special interest money while spending time racking up the Beltway bucks. Voters aren’t stupid and the more coverage of DC fundraising he gets the clearer his charade will be to the electorate.)

1) Andrew Romanoff has been a longtime supporter of government-run health care. Will Romanoff now apologize to the 250,000 Coloradans slated to lose their health insurance due to ObamaCare?

2) Rep. Chris Van Hollen is the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and a co-host of Romanoff’s D.C. fundraiser. Does Romanoff support Van Hollen’s Democrat budget?

3) Will Andrew Romanoff support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House?

4) How many lobbyists and special interest group members will attend Romanoff’s fundraiser?

5) Senator Michael Bennet once called Romanoff a “dishonest, career politician.” How awkward will Senator Bennet’s appearance at Romanoff’s fundraiser be? (Hint: Probably this awkward.)

6) When Romanoff loses in 2014, will he throw another temper tantrum, sell his house, move back to Denver and primary Senator Bennet again?


BROKEN PROMISE: Bill Clinton Calls On Obama To Let People Keep Their Insurance

President Obama may have given his #sorrynotsorry apology for people losing their health insurance, despite his assurances to the contrary, but that’s not enough according to former President Bill Clinton.

In a rather off-message interview, Clinton called on Obama to alter the law to allow people to keep the insurance plans they have if they so choose.

Reports Business Insider:

Former President Bill Clinton said in an interview published Tuesday that President Barack Obama should make sure Americans can keep their existing health plans, even if that means tweaking the Affordable Care Act.

“I personally believe, even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they got,” Clinton told the site OZY in the interview.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) has introduced a bill that the House will vote on later this week. It would “grandfather” in all health insurance plans that existed as of Jan. 1, 2013, not March 23, 2010, meaning that insurers could continue to offer a number of plans that they have been forced to cancel under the Affordable Care Act.

Clinton preceded his comments by telling the story of a man he met last week, who he said doesn’t qualify for subsidies because he makes more than 400% above the federal poverty level. He has a wife and two children, and Clinton said his policy was canceled and replaced by one that doubled his premium.

“They are the ones who heard the promise, ‘If you like what you’ve got, you can keep it,’” Clinton said.

Here in Colorado, our two Democrat U.S. Senators promised Coloradans they could keep their insurance if they wanted, so in a way Clinton is also calling on them to fix their broken promise to the quarter million Coloradans who have had their insurance cancelled as of November 1.

Senator Bennet may have told The Colorado Observer he ‘can’t recall’ making that promise, but the video and transcript of his promise still sit on his own website. Senator Udall has so far remained mum on his broken promise.

The pressure from the Big Dog will make remaining mum much longer a near impossibility.


UNHEALTHY VOTE: Sens. Udall and Bennet Vote Led to Insurance Cancellations

On Friday, CNN reported that Senate Democrats were responsible for the clause in Obamacare that led to the cancellation of millions of policyholders’ insurance plans.  Did you get one of the cancellation notices?  Yeah, thank our Democratic Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet.  According to the article:

“In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it.”

Sens. Udall and Bennet, along with their Democratic colleagues, blocked the resolution.  At the time, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley from Iowa warned that “as many as 69 percent of businesses will lose their grandfathered status by 2013 and be forced to buy government-approved plans”. continue…


PeakFeed: Mark Udall Says Republicans Have A “5-6 Point Advantage” In 2014

In a tele-townhall last night with party insiders and key supporters, a source tells Colorado Peak Politics that U.S. Senator Mark Udall claims Republicans have a “5-6 point advantage” in the 2014 elections.

While Udall was using that figure to scare up donations from supportive Democrats on the call, our source on the call thought it was an interesting admission.

Someone should ask Udall’s Colorado counterpart, Senator Michael Bennet, if he agrees with that assessment, as Bennet is running the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Midterms election turnout tends to favor Republicans more than Presidential years, and with Obama in his second term, Democrats are destined to be facing stiff headwinds. Historically, the President’s party loses seats during second term Congressional elections.

Republicans need to pick up 6 Senate seats to take the majority.

As a longtime DC politician — Udall has been there since he won his House seat in 1998 — the stink of the DC swamps is all over Udall. That has to be a cause for concern no matter who his opponent ends up being.

Currently, Republican State Senators Owen Hill and Randy Baumgardner have announced challenges to Udall. State Representative Amy Stephens and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck are also rumored to be looking at the race.

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