Attack ads begin against Musgrave

If independent attack advertising is any gauge, it appears Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has another bull’s-eye painted on her back this year.

In the last couple days, two independent political action groups have announced spending sprees against the three-term Republican from Fort Morgan.

Citing an article in The Advocate, the political blog PolitickerCO reported the Gill Action Fund is targeting Musgrave this year after taking aim at her in 2004 and 2006.

The political group, founded by Denver billionaire Tim Gill, has focused its efforts nationwide on fighting anti-gay political measures, which brings Musgrave into focus each year.

With support from Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard, Musgrave previously authored an unsuccessful ban on gay marriage at the federal level. She has established herself as an outspoken critic of gay rights.

Another independent group, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, also began a negative advertising blitz against Musgrave this week on Denver television stations, paying $212,000 to remind voters of Musgrave’s ties to Big Oil.

In television ads that will run for the next two weeks, the group labels Musgrave a Big Oil lackey who has accepted $165,000 in campaign donations from the industry. The ads also point out her vote in Congress against raising CAFE standards.

The environmental action group will spend $500,000 on ads blasting Musgrave between now and November, according to an article in the Fort Collins Coloradoan today.

Musgrave has been targeted by outside groups each re-election since taking office in 2003.

As the ad campaigns build, Musgrave’s margin of victory decreases. Her latest win against Democrat Angie Paccione in 2006 came with less than a 3 percent margin, the smallest of any incumbent in the House.

Colorado billionaire Pat Stryker has joined forces with Gill in recent years to mount a blitzkrieg of negative advertising against Musgrave, and there are indications the two will try again this year.

With high gas prices gouging consumers at the pump, we expect many of the negative ads this year against Musgrave, similar to ads targeting many Republicans nationwide, to focus on ties to Big Oil.

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