Doesn’t Everyone Feel a Little Vulnerable?

Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is vulnerable to defeat in November, writes Karen Crummy of The Denver Post:

Dissatisfaction nationally with Republicans and aggressive campaigning by a Democratic challenger have some questioning whether Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave’s Colorado seat is in jeopardy.

“There is something going on. This race is now competitive,” said Amy Walter, senior editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which analyzes the country’s congressional races. “Musgrave is vulnerable.”

The report recently rated Musgrave as in danger of losing her seat to Democratic state Rep. Angie Paccione. And the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $630,000 of television ad time for the race. U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who heads the committee, said in a recent interview that it was closely eyeing the race.

Paccione’s campaign announced yesterday that it had surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising, though she still trails Musgrave in the money department by more than $1 million.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill Ritter announced yesterday that his campaign raised $600,000 in the month of August. Ritter’s camp has already spent $1 million to lock up television advertising time, leaving the campaign with $126,000 in the bank.

Republican Bob Beauprez did not release his fundraising figures yesterday, but Ritter has been outraising Beauprez for the past several months.

As the Associated Press reports, Ritter raised three times as much money in August as he raised in July.

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Beauprez is being attacked on the Western Slope over his previous stance on water issues. As Mike Saccone of The Grand Junction Sentinel reports, Beauprez is having a hard time shaking his past support of Referendum A, a failed 2003 ballot measure that was derided by conservatives and liberals alike:

As the weekend’s Club 20 debates approach, visitors and politicos arriving in Grand Junction will notice two prominently located billboards and a radio advertisement released Tuesday deriding Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s support of Referendum A.

Carrie Doyle, executive director of the Colorado Conservation Voters Campaign Fund, a group aimed at educating voters on statewide candidates’ views on conservation issues, said she hoped the advertisements would make voters more aware of U.S. Rep. Beauprez’s stance on the vital issue of water…

…Western Slope lawmakers, including former Rep. Matt Smith, R-Grand Junction, attacked the referendum as a license for the Front Range to steal water from the other half of the state. The referendum, which Ritter opposed, died by a two-to-one margin statewide.

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The New York Times takes a look at CD-7 and says that illegal immigration looks to be a hot topic of discussion in the race between Democrat Ed Perlmutter and Republican Rick O’Donnell.

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A headline in the Rocky Mountain News yesterday decided to make its own definition of the phrase “marriage proponent.” As Colorado Media Matters notes:

In the headline of a September 5 article about competing ballot measures related to gay marriage and domestic partnerships, The Rocky Mountain News referred to supporters of a ballot initiative to create a constitutional provision against same-sex marriage as “marriage proponents.”

The article by News reporter Myung Oak Kim detailed the campaign efforts of two conservative groups — Coloradans for Marriage and Focus on the Family — who seek the passage of Amendment 43, which would amend the Colorado Constitution to specify “that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Colorado.” The term “marriage proponents” used in the headline apparently referred to the backers of Amendment 43, although the same article also reported on a competing ballot initiative that would allow gay couples to register as domestic partners.

To repeat, if you don’t think that homosexuals should be allowed to marry, then you are a marriage proponent. If you do think homosexuals should be allowed to marry…um…you are a marriage opponent? We’re confused.

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Democratic Rep. Buffie McFadyen is considering legal action against The Trailhead Group for running negative ads against her that she says are untrue. As Charles Ashby of The Pueblo Chieftain reports, the ads go after McFadyen for voting for a series of fee increases:

Trouble is, none of the measures actually do that, and at least one of the so-called fee increases that The Trailhead Group is citing actually was a penalty increase for motorists who exceed the speed limit in construction zones, the Pueblo West Democrat said.

“If I hadn’t just left a memorial for someone who died because of an accident in a work zone, this would be funny,” McFadyen said. “But it’s not. If that bill were in front of me today, I would vote for it. It’s good public policy.”

The bill McFadyen was referring to, HB1151, doubled traffic fines for drivers who exceed the speed limit through construction zones as a way to protect Colorado Department of Transportation road crews.

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Colorado Secretary of State Gigi Dennis has insisted that new election rules she implemented are not meant to harm Democrats disproportionately than Republicans, but as Burt Hubbard of the Rocky Mountain News reports, it’s hard to see how Dennis had any other goal in mind, given that Democrats make more use of small donor committees than Republicans.

“Clearly, this is a tool that Democrats are using very extensively, particularly with the focus on legislative races,” political analyst Eric Sondermann told the news. “Republicans are unable to combat it.”

The lesson here? If at first you don’t succeed, get your secretary of state to issue new rules to save your ass.

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Jason Bane

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