Colorado’s 4th CD race gets visceral with new attack ads

Bring out the shovels: It’s going to take a lot of digging to get out of this mud.

The campaigns of Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and her challenger, Democrat Betsy Markey, both released television ads Tuesday that are highly critical of one another.

Musgrave’s ad calls Markey corrupt while Markey’s ad calls Musgrave a liar.

The advertisements are the latest installment in a congressional race that has turned highly bitter in recent weeks, and both ads play off a recent Musgrave television ad that accused Markey of steering government contracts to a family business while working as a field director for Sen. Ken Salazar. The Musgrave campaign has provided no proof of the allegation and instead has said it’s Markey’s job to clear her name of any wrongdoing.

Markey has denied that she was ever even in a position to steer public contracts to Syscom Systems, a company she once owned with her husband Jim Kelley, but from which she divested ownership in 2006. Kelley is still the primary owner of the company. Markey did, however, stumble last week when she tried to explain why Syscom Systems was still classified as a woman-owned business as recently as this year, an inconsistency Musgrave hammers home in her new ad.

Not holding back, Markey’s attack ad goes after Musgrave, calling her a liar and accusing her of trying to save her family tens of thousands in capital gains taxes by sponsoring a bill to reduce the tax on precious metal collections. Musgrave’s husband, Steve, owns an expensive precious metals collection and would benefit by the bill that has been stalled in committee for years.