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July 25, 2010 05:07 PM UTC

FactCheck.org Takes On Bennet/Romanoff Claims on PACS

  • 29 Comments
  • by: peacemonger

“You can have your own opinions, but not your own facts” is the trendy political quote of the year, it seems. Romanoff’s biggest message in the campaign against Bennet is the accusation that Bennet can be “bought” and has been bought, by special interests. Bennet sat back and took the line for six months, not fighting back at all, but using as his message, “I’ve done a lot of good things in my year in the Senate and I want to do more.”

Bennet finally threw back the mud on 7/20 with his own ad, educating voters that Andrew Romanoff was not above taking money from PACS for nearly a decade –including having his own PAC that was closed four months after he started campaigning for US Senate.  

Romanoff bloggers went berzerk, claiming it was not true.  

Yesterday, FactCheck.org, a neutral third party, examined the claims and checked their factual validity.   http://factcheck.org/2010/07/c…

Turns out Romanoff’s claim Bennet took PAC money was correct (Bennet never denied it). Turns out Romanoff’s claims Bennet sided with big corporations he took money from is a lot of hot air.

Bennet’s claims that Romanoff took PAC money?  FACT. Bennet’s claims Romanoff had his own PAC and didn’t shut it down until 2010.  Also FACT.  Bennet did not volunteer that Romanoff’s PAC was eventually closed during 2010, but he never claimed that it wasn’t. (No distortion there.)

In fairness to Andrew Romanoff, the records show Andrew took money from large corporations, including oil companies, and turned around to give it it to his friend’s Democratic campaigns in CO. Smart. Personally, I think that’s awesome. Sounds like something out of a Republican playbook.  

The problem is, Romanoff was doing exactly what he accuses Bennet of doing — taking money from big corporations and using it for the greater good, without being beholden to their votes. (Who was it that said, in regard to political enemies, “Smoke their cigars, drink their brandy and sleep with their women”? Was that Churchill?)

It’s time voters knew the truth about Romanoff’s insinuations against Michael Bennet. Check the facts. Click on the links. Read the reports. It’s all in there. (Thank you, FactCheck.org)

“You can have your own opinions, folks, but you can’t have your own facts.”  

Comments

29 thoughts on “FactCheck.org Takes On Bennet/Romanoff Claims on PACS

  1. but sure — let’s talk about it.

    The article says that Romanoff used to take PAC money and doesn’t anymore.  It doesn’t mention that he hasn’t taken it for several years, but that is an inconvenient fact for your argument I suppose.

    That isn’t any different than what Romanoff has said himself.  Not quite sure what you mean by

    Romanoff bloggers went berzerk, claiming it was not true.  

    I haven’t seen anyone on here say that Romanoff never took PAC money.  A lot of people have said what the article says…that he used to and doesn’t anymore.

    As for tying Bennet’s votes to his contributions?  That’s really up to people to decide.  Bennet did vote with big banks on cramdown.  He also voted with big oil when he kept tax breaks for BP.

    So yes — Bennet has voted with the industries that are making large contributions to his campaign.

    My only beef with Bennet’s attack ad?  The statement “has been taking PAC money” implies that he still is.  Of course that’s the intent of the ad — to make people think Romanoff is still taking PAC money when he isn’t.  The truth (and you know it) is that Romanoff stopped taking PAC money several years ago and is funding his campaign with individual contributions — just like when President Obama turned away from special interest money when he ran for President.

    1. I admit I have no desire to get involved in a back-and-forth argument (which seems to happen around this primary contest), but I really would like to share some of this letter to the editor.

      From the Durango Herald, Sunday, July 25, 2010; written by Mary Gaines of Durango:

      “Andrew Romanoff has not and will not accept contributions from special interests, banks, insurance companies, oil and pharmaceutical companies, as has his opponent.”

      Reading the letter, it seems obvious that this Romanoff supporter is explicitly stating that AR has taken no money from special interests, ever.  I think it’s great that AR had a PAC that he ran for House Dem contests.  I expect that of our leaders, especially in creating a majority in the Leg.  He should be commended.  It’s just that this whole “MB is taking money!” thing is sketchy at best.  I understand the arguments but, for me and I think many other voters, it’s hairsplitting.  We’ll find out in August.

    2. Did he get contributions this year? Maybe not. But he was clearly open to it — his PAC was still running until he shut it down in January. Kind of hard to attack Bennet for taking PAC money when you run one yourself.

      1. you’re better than this.

        But he was clearly open to it

        Yeah…that’s why the PAC wasn’t used in 2009, or 2008…

        Romanoff used to take PAC money.  He hasn’t for years.  Now he talks about the corrupting influence.

        I’m entertained that Bennet doesn’t want to address this issue head on – there are a number of votes that support big banks and big oil.  You don’t want to see a connection between that and his PAC money?  that’s cool.  The votes still suck and are plenty of grounds to replace him.

        1. and dealing with a complex reality over resorting to bumper-sticker emotional appeals.

          Most of us probably agree, for instance, that world peace is a laudable goal, that carefully implemented multilateral disarmament could certainly contribute to that end, and that we should support candidates who demonstrate an effective commitment to these understandings. But most of us probably also agree that an American policy of unilateral disarmament would neither serve these laudable ends, nor lead to a happy outcome for the American people.

          Similarly, most of us probably agree that the role of money in politics is horrible, that campaign finance reform is a highly desired end, and that we should support candidates who demonstrate an effective commitment to these understandings. But we should also realize that unilateral campaign-finance disarmament in the domestic political competition between two broad visions for our country (conservative and liberal) suffers from the same defects as unilateral military disarmament does in the geopolitical and military strife among nations. It does not serve the desired end, and does not bode well for the camp that attempts it.

      2. no fan of Obama’s decision to take no PAC money as a Presidential candidate.

        Since he took PAC money in the past, he was really just being a hypocrite.

        I am glad the majority of Americans saw through that sham and elected McCain.

        1. Obama had millions of people willing to give to his campaign and didn’t need pac money. Apparently Romanoff doesn’t have enough people that believe in him or see him for the DLC conservadem that he is and are unwilling to donate.

          1. so you are saying that Obama’s pledge was not based on his principles but just sheer political calculation?

            I thought you had a higher opinion of the President.

            (and he did not start out with millions of supporters)

            1. By the way I have a very high opinion of President Obama. Also you are the one always mentioning all of Romanoff’s support, doesn’t seem to show up in his fund raising though does it?

              For Romanoff I don’t believe it was anything but a mere gimmick. He loved his pac money until last year. Guess it’s hard to raise funds with a campaign based on ego and entitlement.

                1. Romanoff has nowwhere near the class, vision or leadership of Obama. To compare the two is ridiculous. But, luckily for us Romanoff won’t win the primary.

                  By the way Wade where are all those endorsements from progressive groups that do endorse candidates with real vision on campaign finance reform? Yeah didn’t think so.  

            2. He was classier than that. Obama ran on a vision of a better country, a better world. He stayed positive.

              He didn’t run a negative campaign. Romanoff could learn a lot from our President.

  2. Romanoff has repeatedly addressed the questions about him having taken PAC money and having stopped back in 2006. He’s also explained repeatedly the reasons he decided to reject all PAC money after what he’s seen go on in Washington.

    I don’t need to put words in Romanoff’s mouth or make up a defense for him. Unlike Bennet, Romanoff regularly talks directly to the press and answers any questions posed to him. He even let Bennet’s guy show up at his press conference and try to spin things afterwards which I hear didn’t work out very well for him.

    Why are Bennet’s events including the one today closed to the public and only allowing invited press? Worries about what the appointed Senator will come across if they can’t carefully script him or control the message?

    Here’s Romanoff addressing the distortions you’re repeating:

  3. Romanoff has talked at length about why he decided not to take PAC money. He saw the impact special interest money was having on the ability (or will) to get things done in Washington. He has said he is not the perfect messenger but that doesn’t mean the message is not valid. In Colorado, every meeting of lawmakers was open to the public. In Colorado, hearings were televised because of Romanoff’s work. At his speech at the assembly Romanoff described the differences between the Democratic party he led and what he has seen going on in Washington:

    1. That’s all you’ve pointed out. In effect he calls his career both exemplary and then says anyone else doing the same corrupt.

      That is not only hypocrisy it’s dishonest.

      I applauded most of version 1.0

      version 2.0 cannot be trusted.

    2. He saw the impact special interest money was having on the ability (or will) to get things done in Washington

      Are you (or Romanoff) claiming that because of “special interest” (a phrase I hate) things aren’t getting done in Washington? Or that things are? If the argument is that things aren’t getting done, how do you explain the pretty impressive amount of legislation, and the scope of that legislation, passed since Obama took office? If you say more could have been done; the lack could easily have been laid at Republican obstruction, which even if you got rid of the “special interests” would have still been there holding up legislation.

      Ps. My issue with the phrase “special interest” is that not every interest that’s special means it’s evil or corrupt.

  4. Romanoff used to take PAC money.  He hasn’t for years.  Now he talks about the corrupting influence.

    That may be an inadvertently telling statement. It at least implies that Romanoff sees himself as having been corrupt.

    So, I ask again:  Do Romanoff and his supporters insist that Mark Udall, John Salazar, Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Betsy Markey are corrupt?

    And one more reminder:  Mark Udall’s votes are almost identical to Bennet’s.

    1. Udall takes PAC money AND votes with Bennet on a huge majority of bills? Why hasn’t Romanoff called on him to purge himself of his corruption? Maybe Romanoff isn’t serious about getting rid of the “special interest” influence? Or maybe he plans to primary all of them, one at a time? He’s just doing it alphabetically.

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