Blog Archives

Where’s Mark Udall?

June 16, 2014

Where in the world is Sen. Mark Udall?

We don’t mean politically, but physically, literally, where is the Colorado Democrat spending his time during a crucial election year?

He doesn’t’ seem to be devoting much of his schedule to pressing the flesh of Charlie and Cindy Constituent in Colorado, despite the tight contest with Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner.

In fact, his Senate schedule has noted only one public appearance this year – a May 17 meeting in Grand Junction to discuss turning the Colorado National Monument into a national park.

We’ve tracked down his Colorado appearances in the last few months and found that he also attended a meeting in Carbondale to voice concerns about energy development, and a Durango assembly focused on bringing televised Bronco games to the Four Corners region. Read more »

Rep. Bishop: How to Insult a Westerner

June 11, 2014

The Heritage Foundation held a forum Tuesday to educate easterners on the need to reduce the federal government’s control of public lands in the West – a topic near and dear to our hearts.

The panel was lead by Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, a contender to take over as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee next year, so we were particularly interested to hear his views on the never-ending battle between D.C. and the rest of us.

Bishop summed that up in a somewhat heated exchange with a reporter from U.S. News and World Report, who suggested public lands in the West could only be protected by lawmakers in Washington.

The reporter questioned whether special interest groups and lobbyists could effectively apply more pressure to state lawmakers to do harmful, untold things to “federal” land, in essence suggesting that members of Congress would never buckle to such pressure.

“What makes you confident that state legislators would be able to push back against that influence, such as with development that might go beyond what many people might be seeking, on these federal lands?” the reporter asked. Read more »

Guest Commentary: Sequester Results in One Layoff

May 13, 2014

Sen. Tom Coburn

Sen. Tom Coburn

Remember those doomsday predictions during the dark days of the sequester?

Threats of friendly policemen, neighborhood teachers, and small-town public servants losing their jobs as a result of nominal reductions in Washington spending?

Well, it turns out those horror stories never came true.

Throughout last year, President Obama told America that if sequestration cuts went into effect, the consequences would be dire. The White House’s apocalyptic “fact sheet” detailed myriad ways sequestration would put thousands of jobs at risk and jeopardize countless government programs.

But thanks to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicized by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, we now know those scare tactics were largely baseless – and that sequestration resulted in the grand total of one public sector layoff. Read more »

Our View: BLM is Riding Roughshod Over Us

May 1, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been running roughshod across the West claiming private land in Texas, threatening water rights in Colorado, and creating tougher restrictions on public lands that would curb energy development.

Now the BLM has decided to conduct an unprecedented retroactive environmental review of 64 oil and gas leases on the Western Slope, a move that energy supporters say is a backdoor attempt to pull the ten-year leases, some in areas where producing wells have already been developed and provide jobs.

The BLM claims the initial review conducted by the Forest Service was defective, and as part of their new and improved dog-and-pony show have held hearings in Aspen, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs to collect input from the public. Read more »

Our View: Udall Follows New Script on Obamacare

March 27, 2014

Vulnerable Senate Democrats up for reelection have a new strategy to deflect attention from their support of Obamacare and all of its failures and delays – abandon the defense line and just pledge to fix it.

That was the message from Democratic pollster Celinda Lake in Washington on Tuesday, who analyzed the results of a George Washington University Battleground Poll and said that voters don’t want the system scrapped they want it repaired.

“In terms of Obamacare, don’t defend it, say it was flawed from the beginning, and we’re going to fix it,” said Lake at a poll briefing hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

“Say, we’re not going to go back to the days of leaving you on your own with the insurance companies,” Lake advised.

Colorado’s Democratic Sen. Mark Udall had the playbook in action the following day telling KOA-AM that he stood by his vote for Obamacare, it just needed a little fixing. Read more »

Our View: Too Early for Campaign Mud Fight

March 20, 2014
Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

The rapid response team from Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign war room went berserk on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from their massive treasure chest of funding and onto their opponent’s wallet.

Not the Republican opponents who are actually challenging the Democrat for the Senate seat, but private citizens who didn’t like Udall’s vote in favor of Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, a group primarily funded by Charles and David Koch, launched a $970,000 ad campaign Monday in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets criticizing Udall’s support for President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

It’s a drop in the financial bucket for the wealthy businessmen and philanthropist brothers, who recently donated $100 million to the New York Presbyterian Hospital to build an ambulatory care center. Read more »

Our View: Udall’s CIA Victim Story Doesn’t Wash

March 12, 2014
Sen. Mark Udall spilled the beans that the Intelligence Committee knew about the secret documents.

Sen. Mark Udall spilled the beans that the Intelligence Committee knew about the secret documents.

Contrary to what some published reports have suggested, it is highly unlikely that the CIA has been spying on Sen. Mark Udall or his staffers, nor did agency spooks sneak into the U.S. Capitol or hack into the senator or his staff’s computers.

The latest uproar in Washington that involves the Colorado senator centers on an investigation conducted by the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which Udall is a member, into the CIA’s contentious interrogation program during the Bush administration.

Speculation ran rampant after the New York Times published a story March 4 reporting that the CIA’s inspector general was investigating whether agency spies “were improperly monitoring the work of staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.” Read more »

Our View: Udall’s Hollow Words

March 10, 2014
Colorado has not been repaid for opening the park gates during the government shutdown.

Colorado has not been repaid for opening the park gates during the government shutdown.

Sen. Mark Udall continues to speak against the injustices committed when the park service overlords were forced to barricade its boundaries from the public in October to protest a squabble over government spending and the repeal of Obamacare.

In his latest press release, Udall applauded himself for being an avid outdoorsman and embraced a new park service report that bemoaned the impacts of the two-week shutdown they forced down our collective throats.

That report “underscores the destructive effect that partisan politics can have on these national treasures,” Udall said in the statement from his unofficial reelection campaign office in Washington.

“The reckless 2013 government shutdown and the pain it caused in Estes Park and across Colorado have only steeled my resolve to keep fighting to support and protect Colorado’s spectacular parks and monuments and the communities they support,” Udall said. Read more »

Our View: Udall Works Tirelessly so IRS Gets Paid

March 4, 2014
Sen. Mark Udall has demanded more paper forms so Coloradans can pay taxes.

Sen. Mark Udall has demanded more paper forms so Coloradans can pay taxes.

Congressional oversight of the IRS turns out to mean vastly different things to Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

House Republicans have tackled several bills to prevent the IRS from infringing on freedom of speech and targeting conservative groups for harassment.

Other bills passed by the House last week with mostly Republican support would block the revenue collection agency from asking intrusive political questions, limit audits, and prevent the agency from sharing taxpayer data.

Not to be outdone in the upper chamber, Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall issued a demand on Thursday calling for the IRS to rush to the aid of his constituents in rural areas and deliver paper forms so they can pay their taxes.

“Citing the upcoming deadline for Coloradans’ to file their income tax returns, Mark Udall urged the Internal Revenue Service today to swiftly ensure it supplies rural Coloradans with ready access to paper tax forms and other essential resources,” said the statement issued by Udall’s office. Read more »

What’s Behind Salazar’s Conversion to Keystone?

February 25, 2014
Where was Ken Salazar’s approval when it really mattered?

Where was Ken Salazar’s approval when it really mattered?

Ken Salazar’s recent conversion from President Barack Obama’s liberal Interior secretary to a supporter of the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking for natural gas has heads scratching from Colorado to Washington, D.C.

The Democrat and former Colorado Senator resigned from his Interior post April 12, which means he is forbidden to lobby Congress or any federal government agency for one year.

Salazar was hired in June by the international law firm of WilmerHale to add Denver to its roster of more than a dozen offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. In addition to its numerous lobbying roles, the firm also advises companies in the energy sector.

As one Washington insider told The Colorado Observer, just because Salazar can’t work as a lobbyist, doesn’t mean he can’t deliver speeches or talk to reporters about issues that would benefit the law firm’s current clients, or act as an advertisement to recruit new clients. Read more »

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