HAT TRICK: Polis Vs. Udall, Hickenlooper, and Romanoff on Fracking Ban Initiatives

“It’s my party, I can cry if I want to”

Liberal Rep. Jared Polis has been sent to time out.  First, Governor Hickenlooper surprised the world by declaring attempts to call a special session over (note: this happened while most of his staff is on vacation).  Then, embattled Sen. Mark Udall and Andrew Romanoff (D-Still Deciding), who is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s Sixth Congressional District, came out against Initiative 88 and 89.

Then, we received notice that Hickenlooper would be holding a press conference this afternoon to also denounce these ill-conceived initiatives.

This means that Polis is all alone in his corner with his radical environmentalists.  This cannot be how he imagined it would go down.  But, perhaps he shouldn’t be surprised.

The three who have banded together to denounce Polis’ temper tantrum-induced initiatives just happen to be Udall, who is stinking it up in the polls (see: Quinnipiac, Gravis); Hickenlooper, who is behind in polling compared to his Republican opponent Bob Beauprez; and Romanoff, who is facing an uphill climb against one of the hardest working Congressmen out there.  Is it any wonder that the three of them are sprinting toward the center on this (or any) issue?

Beyond the success of the initiatives, at stake for Polis is the possibility of leading the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  Word on the Hill is that he’s still angling for the job.  But, now that his fellow Democrats have already coalesced against Polis’ ballot initiatives to save their own hides come November, has Polis lost much of his leverage?

 

DESPERATE TIMES: Left Attacks Coffman On Troops

How dumb are liberals?  Nope, that’s not the start of a joke PeakNation™, it’s a legitimate question.  A new ad has gone up on TV by an extreme left group called VoteVets.org.  In it they attack Rep. Mike Coffman for not fighting for our troops.  Yep, you heard that right.  Mike Coffman— the Mike Coffman who served in both Iraq wars, the Mike Coffman who is leading the charge to improve the VA’s hospital care of veterans, the Mike Coffman who has been labeled as a “relentless defender” for veterans— is now not fighting for our troops.  Watch this absurdity:

Even Coffman’s opponent, Andrew Romanoff, said no one can question Coffman’s patriotism.  If Romanoff truly feels this way, and it’s not just empty campaign rhetoric, he should immediately call for this ad to be taken down.

The absurdity of the ad goes beyond questioning Coffman’s commitment to American troops by asserting that “America’s addiction to foreign oil helps fund the same terrorists that who would harm our troops fighting overseas.”  Know what would help reduce America’s addiction to Middle Eastern oil? Producing more natural gas domestically through fracking, and completing the Keystone XL pipeline that would increase the oil imported from our friendly neighbor to the north, Canada.

Coffman’s campaign responded immediately by unleashing one of the many veterans who are for Coffman.  As Kurtis Lee from The Denver Post reports:

In an email blast from the Coffman campaign Tuesday, Mort Marks, a WWII veteran and Arapahoe County Realtor, castigates the group for targeting Coffman, who himself served in the U.S. Army and Marine Corp. and did tours in Iraq.

“One of the brave men who has voluntarily served our nation in great and grave conflicts is our Congressman, Mike Coffman. Mike is the only member of Congress to have served in both Iraq wars,” writes Marks. “Mike is a veterans’ veteran.”

If the left and Democrats are already resorting to such blatantly false attacks, the numbers must be horrible for Romanoff.  Which means it’s only a matter of time before his newest campaign manager gets the ax.

 

WAR ON WOMEN: Sexist Former Governor Schweitzer Once Raised Money for Romanoff

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman’s searing criticism of Former Montana Governor Schweitzer’s ridiculously sexist comments inspired some pretty damning headlines yesterday.  But, Coffman’s opponent, Andrew Romanoff, was silent on the matter.  And, now we know why – Schweitzer was in Colorado seven months ago stumping for Romanoff.

In case you missed the furor, here’s the Mediaite report on this:

“Schweitzer said that Cantor sets off his gaydar and that Feinstein was ‘the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, ‘I’m a nun,’ when it comes to this spying!’”

Calling Diane Feinstein a prostitute-turned-nun is probably not the way to win friends and influence people, so we have to ask – will Romanoff denounce his fundraiser buddy’s comments?  We’ve reached out to his campaign for comment.  They responded with [drum roll] silence.

This is not the first time that a Romanoff fundraiser has sparked controvery, however.  Howard Dean came to town to raise cash for Romanoff, too.  And, he had some choice opinions like “Republicans are not Americans” and “Republicans should stay away from our country”.

They say you are who your friends are.  Perhaps this was never more true in this instance – Andy likes to portray himself as a moderate, but the truth is that he’s extremely partisan.

 

MONEY NO OBJECT: NRCC Drops Massive Ad Buy For Coffman

PeakNation™, if you don’t love political ads, you may want to move out of Colorado come Labor Day.  Local TV stations may soon be tempted to do their best imitations of Scrooge McDuck if the political ad buys keep flooding in like this.  Yesterday, it was reported by Politico that the National Republican Congressional Committee Independent Expenditure Unit has bought $3.3 million of airtime in the Denver area:

…the NRCC will pour more than $3 million into the race to defend Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado. Coffman and Democrat Andrew Romanoff are engaged in a hugely expensive fight over this seat in the Denver suburbs.

…CO-06: $3,300,000 (Denver broadcast) Mike Coffman

This is more than double the amount of ad time the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is reported to have bought ($1.4M) back at the end of May.  Such a disparate in ad buys will mean Andy Romanoff will have to eat a lot more crab later this summer when he attends a fundraiser for him hosted by Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley out on Maryland’s swanky eastern shore.  Sure, the optics of having a fundraiser with prominent far-left Democratic coastal elites will rub Coloradans wrong, but, let’s be honest, Romanoff can’t afford to have them here after what happened at his last fundraiser with an out-of-touch Democrat.

Then again, we here at the Peak could be reading this whole Maryland fundraiser completely wrong; Andy may be going out there for a job interview.  Having to fire his BFF campaign manager for incompetence makes us believe Romanoff will need to find a job come November.

 

PRIMARY MONEY: Quick Roundup Of Most Recent Fundraising Numbers

With primary ballots already out, and the last day to turn in ballots (June 24th) rapidly approaching, candidates across the state just released their fundraising numbers for the last reporting period (4/1-6/4):

US Senate:

The Starboard Group, the people in charge of Cory Gardner’s fundraising, are reporting he raised $1.5M during the pre-primary period and now has $3M+ cash on hand (COH).

Meanwhile, Chris Harris, Kansas native and Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign spokesman, is reporting Udall raised $1.7M and has $5.6M COH.  Hopefully all that money can undo the political damage he will cause himself when he stands next to President Obama next month.

CO-06:

The Denver Post is reporting Rep. Mike Coffman raised $336K and now has $1.96M COH.

They are also reporting Andy Romanoff (D- Carpetbag) raised $465K and now has $2.3M COH.  Rumor has it, Romanoff will try to use that money to cut out ten square blocks from his old, deeply blue, heart of Denver district, and transport it to the suburbs.  Like a guy who leaves New York City and complains he can’t find a good bagel anymore, Romanoff will be sure to include “this little, local place I used to walk to everyday that has fair-trade, organic coffee from a little farm in Costa Rica where they allow the coffee beans to be free-range.”

CO-04:

The race for Cory Gardner’s House seat is heating up with each candidate posting some of their strongest numbers yet.

Ken Buck

Raised: $153K

COH: $144K

 

Steve Laffey

Raised: $56K

COH: $80K

Personal Loan: $350K

 

Scott Renfoe

Raised: $55K

COH: $33K

Personal Loan: $200K

 

Barbara Kirkmeyer

Raised: $43K

COH: $27K

 

We’ll keep updating as more numbers roll in (we’re looking at you Lamborn and Bentley).

 

SMELLS FISHY: Romanoff Heads To Maryland To “Not” Accept Money At A PAC Fundraiser

Romanoff “not” accepting PAC money here

This is going to get awkward real quick.  See on one hand, perpetual political candidate Andy Romanoff (D- WhereverICanGetElected) promised not to take any PAC money; on the other hand, he’s one of five congressional candidates slated to benefit from a swanky fundraiser to be put on by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the PAC of current Democratic Governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley.  Now, this whole Andy Romanoff promise of not taking any PAC money is complete rhetorical-factual, reality-fictional BS, where he just makes the PACs jump through an extra hoop of having their donors send money directly to him.  This means, come next campaign finance report, the one where he reports after this PAC fundraiser, where he still technically has “no” PAC money, reporters will be able to ask him great questions like, “did you fly all the way to Maryland’s posh Eastern Shore just to sample the crab cakes?” or “Were you in Maryland scouting out the next location for your next failed campaign?” or “Is it true Nancy Pelosi is really 237 years-old and feasts on the souls of unicorn babies to stay alive?”

Rep. Mike Coffman’s campaign certainly had a field day with this recent turn of events, as shown in their press release:

If Andrew Romanoff makes it to Congress, he’ll owe a great deal of thanks to Nancy Pelosi and her set of well-heeled left wing donors. He’ll owe it also to the very events he decries on the campaign trail in Colorado, but gladly attends out of the view of Colorado voters.

…When Andrew Romanoff last got caught for his PAC pledge hypocrisy in his failed 2010 Senate primary challenge to Michael Bennet, saying he was willing to take money from the PAC-funded DSCC, Bennet’s campaign put it best, saying:

“You cannot find better evidence that Andrew Romanoff is a dishonest, career politician than his admission that he would undermine his entire campaign platform, and presumably his beliefs, in order to win.” [the Peak emphasis]

For as long as Colorado Democrats have been claiming Andy Romanoff as their knight-in-shining-armor, we here at the Peak can’t help but feel this man is more apt at playing checkers than chess.  Then again, a man who has never won a race outside of the most urban parts of Denver, surely never considered running to the left of a sitting Democratic Senator in a decidedly purple state like Colorado could be politically fatal; he’d never known anything else.

Make no mistake about it, for all intents and purposes, this is Romanoff’s last stand.  When he loses this race, he’ll have lost two consecutive elections, and 2016 will be eight years from the last time he was in office.  He’s only a drinking-problem, some stretch marks, and a bum knee away from entering the washed-up hall of fame.

 

SHINSEKI FALLOUT ROUNDUP: Where CO Politicians Fall On His Demise

PeakNation™, we’ve already written on what Gen. Eric Shinseki’s resignation means for Rep. Mike Coffman– a man who has been on the VA’s ass for the past year, and one of the first to call for Shinseki to step down.  But, what about the rest of the Colorado’s Congressional delegation?  Where do they fall on this shameful act of negligence to our veterans?  Let’s find out.

The No-Action Caucus: Rep. Diana Degette, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Sen. Michael Bennet

Faced with a mounting pile of evidence of the VA’s incompetence and willful deceitfulness, the majority of Colorado’s Democratic Congressional Caucus felt there was no need to demand a change in leadership.  Apparently, this whole unmitigated disaster was not a failure in leadership.  Then again, with Gov. John Hickenlooper being the head of the Colorado Democrats right now, it’s possible Colorado Dems aren’t quite sure what leadership looks like anymore.

The Trail-Blazers Caucus: Rep. Mike Coffman, Rep. Cory Gardner, Rep. Doug Lamborn, Rep. Scott Tipton

While Coffman arguably led all of Congress in this fight, Gardner and Lamborn were both quick to recognize the grave nature of this issue.  As early as May 8th, Gardner was out front calling on Shinseki to resign for failing our veterans.  At the same time, Lamborn’s position on the Veterans Affairs Committee gave him an opportunity to be one of the first members of Congress to dig deep into this mess.  Tipton used his vote on H.R. 4031 and a Memorial Day press release to attack the VA’s gross mismanagement.

The Oh-S*#@, I’m Running for Reelection Caucus: Sen. Mark Udall

Udall was only stirred to action this past week after robocalls started going out against him and other vulnerable Democrats.  It’s disturbing it took a public shaming campaign for him to finally be spurred to action.  Veterans in Colorado and across our country who have fought for our freedoms were being neglected, and yet, Udall does nothing about it until his political career is threatened.  A man who thinks in such craven, political terms does not deserve to represent Colorado anymore.

 

COFFMAN’S VICTORY, VETERANS VICTORY: VA Secretary Eric Shinseki Out

UPDATE: Coffman issued a statement about Shinseki’s resignation:

“Secretary Shinseki was a great soldier who served our nation with honor and distinction in the United States Army,” said Coffman. “But as the VA secretary, he failed to lead. I urge the President to appoint a proven leader to take charge of the VA who will end the culture of corruption and bureaucratic incompetence that is hurting our veterans.  History will judge this president harshly if he fails to confront this great failure with decisiveness and vision.”

Republican U.S. Congressman Mike Coffman can add “holding VA accountable to veterans” to his pile of accomplishments as a Congressman.  After investigating delays at VA medical facilities for over a year and after being the first member of Congress to call for Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki’s resignation earlier this month, Shinseki has stepped down.

While many speculated that Shinseki’s “serious conversation” with President Obama would result in his departure, it was when U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who served as his deputy at the Department of Veterans Affairs, called for his resignation that was the final nail in the coffin.  Et tu  Brute?

Five years ago, when Shinseki was sworn in, he said: “at the end of each day, our true measure of success is the timeliness, the quality, and the consistency of services and support we provide to veterans.”  This was clearly a failure within the administration.  Coffman was the ultimate leader in demanding accountability for our veterans, even when Shinseki and Obama would not.

Shinseki’s resignation follows a slew of mismanagement at the VA, particularly as it relates to the government-run medical care.  Last month, it was revealed that the Phoenix VA center had a secret waiting list that health care officials used to place “problematic” veterans.  As a result of these waiting lists, at least 40 veterans died waiting for treatment.  Earlier this month, an Inspector General’s report showed that the Fort Collins VA medical center had similar issues.

The final straw may have been the eighth Inspector General report that showed the VA problems were not isolated to one or two facilities, but were systemic.  There was no word on a new VA Secretary.

 

LATE TO THE PARTY: Udall Touts “Leading” Effort Asking for Shinseki’s Resignation…a Month Late

Embattled U.S. Sen. Mark Udall is so proud of himself for allegedly leading the calls for Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki’s head from the left.  That’s all well and good, but he’s about a month too late. Udall’s calls for Shinseki’s resignation now, when it’s politically opportunistic, is like that annoying guy at the bar who offers to pay the bar tab after it’s already been charged to someone else’s card.

Udall claims that his call for Shinseki’s resignation has to do with the new Inspector General’s report that showed just how bad things are, but let’s be honest.  His new-found outrage over treatment of veterans is more likely due to polling that shows this to be a winning issue.  And his claims of leading?  Yeah, he’s really late on this one.  U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman first called for Shinseki to resign on May 5, 2014, but Coffman’s investigation of VA hospital care has been ongoing for over a year.  Where was Mark Udall?

On May 5th, while Coffman and veterans groups were calling for Shinseki’s resignation, Udall was sending out press releases here and here about Cinco de Mayo and a third press release about the sage grouse.  Meanwhile, sick veterans were waiting and waiting for care.

Coffman may be more acutely aware of this situation as a combat veteran; however, Udall even lagged behind his 2014 opponent, U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, who called for Shinseki’s resignation on May 8.

Further, Udall, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Shinseki that clearly shows Udall understood the magnitude of the problems in the VA.  Here’s what his press release stated on May 14:

“Mr. Secretary, your experience as a senior military leader makes you ideally suited to resolve many of the challenges currently facing VA,” Udall wrote in his letter. “Unfortunately, given evidence of mismanagement on multiple fronts in Colorado and across the nation, it appears that you have either been shielded from the realities on the ground or have decided to keep your distance from critical issues and delegate site visits to others. In either case, the VA is suffering from an absence of public leadership and is foundering as a result.”

Udall’s letter pressed Shinseki to address the larger structural and leadership issues within the VA and to personally visit Colorado to address “the emerging pattern of mismanagement and a perceived lack of accountability [that] threaten to erode the faith and trust our veterans have in the care they receive from VA.”

This is just another example of Mark Udall refusing to fight for Coloradans until it’s politically popular.  The fact that Udall is trying to score political points for being nearly a month late in calling for Shinseki’s resignation is shameful.  But, the fact, that veterans had to wait an extra month for someone to fight for them in Colorado in the U.S. Senate is disgusting.

 

GIT ‘ER DONE: Coffman Praised For Being An Effective Legislator

Time Magazine singled out Rep. Mike Coffman as one of a handful of Congressmen who are actually getting work done in a Congress that is largely viewed as being completely devoid of passing legislation.  This spells bad news for his opponent, Andy Romanoff, who has been trying to brand him as a do-nothing Congressman.  As Time writes:

While gridlock and inter-party polarity may keep bills from turning into law, it hasn’t kept legislators from sponsoring new ones. They’ve introduced 8,327 bills and resolutions so far, putting them on pace to reach about 11,750 by the end of the session.

But not all congresspeople contribute equally to this tally. The most noteworthy members have sponsored between 69 and 78 bills this session.

Some of the more ineffective members of congress may want to ask the remaining two—D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Representative Mike Coffman—about their secret to getting bills passed outside of a leadership role. [the Peak emphasis]

This certainly is an inconvenience for Romanoff and the false narrative he’s trying to create that Coffman is an ineffective legislator.  Then again, Romanoff may believe his false narrative isn’t that outlandish.  We mean, he had no problem standing next to Howard Dean last week as Dean called military veteran Coffman un-American.  Then again, Romanoff probably equates his decision to move from his liberal-enclave of downtown Denver out to the suburbs to be just as brave as Coffman’s military tours during Desert Storm and the second Iraq war.

 

It’s more than a week later and Romanoff still has not released any public statements denouncing Dean’s outrageous attacks on Coffman.  Surely, the constituents of CD6 deserve a Congressman who won’t passively stand by as liberal-extremists rant.

Even the Left echo-chamber is beginning to wonder if their hero to the rescue is really a chump; last week they were self-soothing by remembering at least he wasn’t Joe Miklosi; damning with faint praise as Miklosi is viewed as one of the worst candidates in recent Colorado politics.

 
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