The ads each spin out well beyond a normal 30-second TV commercial and now there are two of them playing in Colorado. They mimic an investigative TV news format and they tie together Republican U.S. Senate Cory Gardner’s voting record and stump speeches on energy policy and women’s reproductive rights. They’re not subtle. They’re titled “Deception I” and “Deception II.”
They’re the work of NextGen Climate Committee, a group backed by Tom Steyer, the California billionaire committed to supporting federal candidates in this year’s midterm election who will act to address climate change. The group argues in its “TV specials” that the Gardner campaign is built on a “pattern of deception.”
“When comparing Gardner’s public statements to his public voting record, the investigation found a pattern of deception,” NextGen Climate Colorado said in a release.
“Though Congressman Gardner claims to prioritize women’s health, his record indicates the opposite,” said Abby Leeper, the group’s spokesperson. “He’s led an eight year crusade to ban abortions and common forms of birth control. Gardner can try to deceive voters and run from his record but history doesn’t lie. He’s not the leader Colorado families deserve.”
Incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Udall’s campaign, and his defacto supporters like NextGen, have been criticized for focusing intensely on Gardner’s anti-abortion record and waffling statements about it. Udall defends the focus by arguing it’s an important and telling issue. He says Gardner is out of step with the state he is running to represent and that he reveals his approach to politics by refusing to answer charges on the topic in a direct manner.
The NextGen TV specials join the historic crush of TV and Web ads that have filled the state’s internet and airwaves this year. They are scheduled to air in Denver and Colorado Springs.