Poll: GOP Leads Dems in Senate Battleground States including Colorado

June 24, 2014

Sen. Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall

WASHINGTON — A new poll conducted by National Public Radio that shows Republicans leading Democrats by three points in Colorado has prompted an urgent fundraising plea from the camp of Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall.

The June 19th poll of 12 battleground states at the center of the fight for control of the U.S. Senate including Colorado shows Republicans ahead of Democrats 46 to 43 percent.

Another recent poll conducted by the National Mining Association on June 12 shows Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner leading Udall 47 to 45 percent.

“This is good news for Congressman Gardner who will surely seize on these poll results to boost his fundraising for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) primary deadline tomorrow,” Udall’s Campaign Manager Adam Dunstone said in an email to Rachel Gordon, the campaign’s finance director.
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Lawmakers Renew Investigative Hearings on Missing IRS Emails

June 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers here Monday will press the nation’s top tax collector to explain how two years of emails disappeared from Lois Lerner’s computer – the time period in which conservative groups were targeted by her agency for increased scrutiny.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen was defiant during the first day of questioning Friday as to why he remained silent about the computer malfunction for months after Congress began its investigation and demanded the documents be delivered to Capitol Hill.

Koskinen is expected to face tough questioning from Republicans when the hearing resumes at 7p.m. before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Read more »

Grouse hits 400,000 Acres Out of Energy Production

June 20, 2014

Gunnison Sage-Grouse by Noppadol Paothong

Gunnison Sage-Grouse by Noppadol Paothong

WASHINGTON — The federal government’s decision to ban energy development across a wide swath of Colorado and eastern Utah to protect the Gunnison sage grouse habitat has raised concerns the action would inflict economic damage.

Although the Obama administration was not expected to make its decision as to whether the bird warrants the endangered listing until November, the Bureau of Land Management’s decision this week effectively puts an oil, gas and coal moratorium on 400,000 acres – roughly 90 acres per bird.

The final decision was “pushed back until after the election, because when people understand the impact on jobs, people get mad,” said Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of the Western Energy Alliance.

“They know they’ve got a tight Senate race and they know that people in Colorado who are going to vote for the next senator are upset by actions that put jobs and economic growth off –limits,” Sgamma said. Read more »

Campaign Contributions Ensnare Udall in IRS’s Missing Emails Scandal

June 19, 2014

Sen. Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall

WASHINGTON –- Top GOP officials are concerned that missing among the IRS’s internal emails are communications with Sen. Mark Udall and a dozen other Democrats who received campaign contributions from the federal agency’s union.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) first issued Freedom of Information Act requests to the IRS last year seeking all electronic and written documents between top officials there and the Democrats who received the campaign funding, but the attempts have been repeatedly stonewalled.

Udall has accepted $13,000 in donations from the National Treasury Employees Union that represents IRS employees, according to the Center For Responsive Politics.

“Mark Udall hasn’t said a word about the missing emails and is sitting back rather than demanding answers,” said Brook Hougesen, NRSC press secretary. Read more »

Udall Says No to Keystone, Ducks Explanation on Vote

June 19, 2014

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mark Udall said one word Wednesday during the highly anticipated debate and vote on legislation to bypass President Barack Obama and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

When the clerk called the name of the Colorado Democrat to ask how he would vote, the seated Udall craned his neck upward to address him: “No,” he responded firmly.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted 12 to 10 to allow construction of the pipeline so Udall’s vote was not sufficient to defeat the measure.

But it was enough to put Udall on record as an opponent of binding legislation that would approve the application from TransCanada Corp to build the pipeline across the northern U.S. border.

Udall refused to take questions from reporters before or after the vote, admonishing one who approached him that he was in the middle of a briefing, and then he ducked inside a nearby bathroom. Read more »

Reid Hints at Regret For Insulting Rep. Gardner

June 17, 2014

Harry Reid

Harry Reid

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted on Tuesday that he made a mistake when he called Rep. Cory Gardner a “real loser” in a secretly recorded conversation two weeks ago.

“Well, I regret a lot of things I’ve said over the years,” Reid said at his weekly press conference at the Capitol.

He spoke in a wistful tone and did not elaborate on those regrets, but the Democratic leader from Nevada has been criticized for several outlandish comments over the years including his statement that President Barack Obama had “no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.”

Reid has also claimed “coal makes us sick” and called House Republicans “crazies.”

Reid publicly remarked at the official visitor center opening that he was grateful folks would no longer have to wait in lines outside in Washington’s scorching heat because “You could literally smell the tourists coming in the Capitol.” Read more »

GOP Uses Humor to Pan Udall’s Keystone Vote

June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — Thumbs-up from Alec Baldwin, Ron Burgundy’s Action News team jumping for joy, and a face-planting Stephen Colbert are part of the Colorado GOP’s humorous multimedia presentation on Sen. Mark Udall’s Keystone pipeline vote.

The witty take on a serious election season issue is a tumblr of the top five things to know about the controversy, including how many times Udall has voted against construction of the pipeline – Wednesday’s vote will mark the fourth.

The collage also notes that 66 percent of Coloradans support the pipeline, and that the State Department has reported “no major environmental objections.”

“If Mark Udall voted in favor of building the Keystone pipeline, he would risk losing financial support from radical environmentalist groups supporting his reelection campaign – including those sponsored by climate activist Tom Steyer,” the collage said. Read more »

Hagel: ‘Trust Has Been Broken’ over Bergdahl

June 12, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday admitted that “trust has been broken” between the White House and Congress during a hearing that examined whether the president broke the law in the Bowe Bergdahl exchange.

By releasing the Taliban Five from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for the sergeant without the 30 day required notice to Congress, the Obama administration has sparked a controversy in Washington that has some in his own Democratic Party questioning the wisdom of the president’s decision.

Rep. Adam Smith, the Democratic ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, did not quibble when he told Hagel the administration was wrong in its handling of the situation. Read more »

Udall Defends Obama’s Actions on Bergdahl, but Wants Full Account

June 11, 2014

Sen. Mark Udall

Sen. Mark Udall

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Udall defended President Barack Obama’s controversial prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high-level Taliban detainees but added that the administration will have to answer for its actions.

“We don’t leave anyone on the battlefield, and we should have a full accounting,” Udall said during a rare interview Monday night.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Udall is a subcommittee chairman, was briefed by the administration during a closed-door session Tuesday. The first public hearings begin Wednesday in the House Armed Services Committee.

Udall’s comments represent the first time Colorado’s senior senator has weighed in on the prisoners swap with the Taliban, which has sharply divided Congress. Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on Tuesday declined to discuss the issue.

Members of Colorado’s Republican delegation in the House have publicly criticized the administration’s actions. Rep. Cory Gardner, who is challenging Udall for the Senate seat, released a statement Tuesday calling on the Democrat to use his position and demand an investigation. Read more »

Majority Leader Reid Secretly Recorded Calling Rep. Gardner a ‘Loser’

June 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid inserted himself inadvertently into Colorado’s Senate race after a national publication reported that the Democrat disparaged Rep. Cory Gardner at a private fundraiser last Thursday.

Reid said the Colorado Republican was a “real loser,” according to Politico, which got hold of an audio recording at the event in support of a Senate Democratic hopeful. Reid concluded that Democrats would retain their majority in the upper chamber if the election were held today and criticized a few Senate Republican candidates by name, reporters Manu Raju and Burgess Everett wrote.

In addition, a political action committee made up of former Reid aides is paying $1.2 million for attack ads already on the air in Colorado against Gardner, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Read more »

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