GOP targets Markey — and Obama — for vote on ‘national energy tax’

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As predicted, Republicans are hitting freshman U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey for her vote Friday favoring the sweeping energy bill narrowly passed by the House. The National Republican Campaign Committee on Wednesday unveiled a robocall set to start ringing on telephones in the Fort Collins Democrat’s 4th District, part of a campaign aimed at Markey and a dozen of her House colleagues.

There’s also a generic Web ad — Markey doesn’t merit the television ad campaign the NRCC is unleashing on Virginia’s Tom Perriello — featuring a clip from President Barack Obama, who said during the 2008 campaign that under his cap-and-trade plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

TPMDC’s Eric Kleefeld notes this is the first time this election cycle Republicans have used the wildly popular Obama “in a negative manner” in an attack ad.

While Politico reported Tuesday the NRCC was “planning to air TV and radio commercials and unleash robocalls” in its campaign against “vulnerable” House Democrats, there won’t be any TV or radio commercials airing in Colorado, just the robocalls.

NRCC spokeswoman Joanna Burgos told The Colorado Independent the robocalls will reach “thousands” of households in Markey’s district but wouldn’t be more specific. They’ll start running Wednesday and continue into the Fourth of July weekend. Burgos declined to say how much the NRCC was spending on the campaign.

Here’s the script for the robocall targeting Markey. Listen to it here.

This call is from the National Republican Congressional Committee, 202-479-7000.

Your Congresswoman, Betsy Markey voted this past Friday for a huge national energy tax – a tax on natural gas and electricity that will hit every American family and small business. The Wall Street Journal said this tax “will likely be the largest tax in American history.” A tax that will move more American jobs overseas while unemployment continues to rise. Even Democratic Congressman John Dingell called this bill “a tax and a great big one.” A tax Warren Buffett calls “huge – regressive” forcing “many poor people to pay a lot more for electricity.”

Call Betsy Markey now at 970-221-7110. Let her know that her vote on the Nancy Pelosi National Energy Tax is a vote against American families.

PAID FOR BY THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE. NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE’S COMMITTEE. THE NATIONAL REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE IS REPSONIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVERTISING. WWW.NRCC.ORG

If Markey were on the receiving end of the NRCC’s radio ad blitz, it might sound like this one, aimed at Arkansas Democrat Vic Snyder. But she isn’t.

And here’s the Web ad — watch for a title card urging viewers to “turn off the lights on Betsy Markey” at the end.

Markey’s office didn’t reply to an e-mail seeking comment on the latest NRCC attacks. She released this statement after Friday’s vote:

After much consideration and input from businesses, families and farmers across Northern and Eastern Colorado, I supported the American Clean Energy and Security Act. As with any critical piece of legislation, I took my time to hear from constituents, study the bill and work to make key changes. After critical adjustments were made to protect the agriculture industry and an amendment that I offered to help connect Colorado wind farms to America’s wider energy markets was accepted into the bill, I made the decision to lend my support.

It’s time we get serious about reducing our country’s energy costs and saving American families money. We simply cannot afford to continue to send billions of dollars overseas to unstable governments, while we have our own vast energy resources right here in America. It is critical to our long-term economic health.

I was also compelled by the unique benefits this bill brings to Northern and Eastern Colorado. The renewable energy industry is a reality in the 4th Congressional District and this bill brings jobs directly to our community. Quite frankly, Colorado and the Fourth Congressional District in particular, stand to see greater benefits from this legislation than other areas of the country. Latest estimates project that 41,000 households in the 4th Congressional District would see a net income increase as a result of this bill. This was a reality I could not ignore.

I worked hard with my colleagues on the Agriculture committee to ensure that Colorado’s farmers and ranchers reaped the benefits of this bill. I felt that the cost of regulating emissions from farms across Colorado would be far too expensive for agriculture and would result in relatively limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. I was pleased to see the agriculture industry has been exempted from the emissions provisions in the final version of the bill—this was a critical compromise and without it I would not have supported the legislation. I believe it is vital to Colorado agriculture that ethanol producers, beef farmers and rural electric associations alike are protected from rate increases.

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