WASHINGTON — Rep. Cory Gardner is fighting back against a $1 million television advertising campaign launched this week by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) that criticizes the Republican Senate candidate for supporting the oil and gas industry.
The Washington, DC-based special interest group accused Gardner in a 30-second ad of accepting $450,000 contributions from the industry and said it was “the wrong way for Colorado.”
The Center for Responsive Politics says that Gardner received $60,000 from the oil and gas industry out of a total $841,000 raised, according to the year-end filing records.
Gardner is challenging Colorado Democratic incumbent Mark Udall for the Senate seat. According to the center’s report during the same time period, Udall’s top contributors were lawyers, who added nearly $123,000 to the Democrat’s $5 million war chest. During his first campaign for Senate, Udall’s top contributor was the LCV.
Gardner called on Udall Thursday to return all of the Democrat’s campaign donations from the LCV, which the Republican described as “an extreme anti-fracking lobbying group.”
Gardner’s campaign says that Udall has collected more than $115,000 in campaign donations from the LCV, which opposes traditional energy production in Colorado including fracking, which supports 100,000 jobs in the state.
“Senator Udall’s extreme Washington donors will do anything to hinder Colorado’s energy exploration and crush American jobs,” Gardner said in a statement.
“Most Coloradans agree that responsible exploration of our abundant energy supplies lowers energy prices, creates jobs and reduces our reliance on foreign countries. But Senator Udall sides with Washington special interests that don’t understand Colorado. If he is loyal to Colorado, he will return the money he has received from this extreme organization,” Gardner said.
A recent poll from American Crossroads shows Udall has a slight lead over Gardner — 45 to 43 percent — within the margin of error.