Romanoff Supporters’ Fact-Free Robocall

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This is the automated call going out to registered Democrats across the state against Sen. Michael Bennet on behalf of Andrew Romanoff, from a group calling itself “New Leadership in Colorado”–who wants you to know that they’re “not one of those shady groups calling you.”

But they are attacking Bennet for “voting to give a bailout” to “big banks who wrecked our economy.”

It shouldn’t even be necessary to note that this robocall is telling a bald-faced lie–Michael Bennet wasn’t even in the Senate when the “big bank bailouts” passed in late 2008. But it’s clear enough that being factual, or even remotely close to factual, is not the goal of this robocall–because robocalls are considered to be an under-the-radar way of planting messages with voters you don’t necessarily want to claim as your own, that all makes sense.

According to the Colorado Statesman, writing last week about other negative radio ads that suddenly cropped up against Bennet, “New Leadership in Colorado” is a 527 run by a former AFL-CIO chief of staff named Debbie Wamsley. Who, evidently, is totally cool with lying to you if it makes you more likely to vote against Michael Bennet.

139 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ss says:

    I am eagerly waiting for the shills to swarm on this one.

  2. botw says:

    The crap that Romanoff and his groups are pulling at the end of this important race is truly sickening.

    Good people need to stand up, call these false attacks by their name, and be counted.  We cannot have an “appalling silence of the good people” in response to the drumbeat of falsehoods being spewn by Romanoff and his supporters.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    I’ll agree that this robocall is bullshit. But Bennet will face this in the general too if he wins. Is he going to fight back effectively? So far his response has been weak (including the counter ad he put out today).

    • botw says:

      As I just wrote in response to another message you just submitted, when are you going to be counted?

      You are a good smart person and as a Romanoff supporter you should be standing up and denouncing the kind of crap that Romanoff is pulling here in the closing days of an extremely important election year for Democrats.  This is not the right way to run a campaign.  It is not the right way to win an election.  It is not good for Democrats.  And, most of all, it is complete falsehood after falsehood.  It is beneath Andrew Romanoff and it is beneath any good, smart honest person.

      You are right that the Bennet campaign needs to push back in every way possible.  But I am at the point where I expect good smart people like you and others of good will who support Romanoff for valid reasons to stand up and publicly denounce what this has become and say “enough”?  Where is Cary Kennedy? Where is Ken Gordon?  Where are all the other good and decent folks who support Romanoff but cannot possibly support what is going on?

      • DavidThi808 says:

        If you give me your phone number I’d be happy to call you and repeat. Otherwise I don’t know what else you want…

        But in the meantime, it’s not the job of others to protect Michael Bennet. He’s not a hothouse orchid. It is his job and his responsibility to campaign effectively. If he’s the one holding the campaign back, someone needs to sit down and talk with him directly. If it’s his campaign team, he needs to kick some ass.

        The Bennet team response is embarrassingly bad. I feel bad for them, and I support Romanoff. They need to get it in gear.

        • botw says:

          My perspective is that it is not a matter of “protecting Michael Bennet.”  It’s a matter of telling the truth and rejecting the lies.

          A contrary perspective seems to amount to saying “Gosh, Michael Bennet is really taking it in the chops by all the lies my guy and his supporters are telling, I sure hope he can respond effectively!!! :).

          That seems tantamount to approving of this crap.

        • Ray Springfield says:

          I don’t understand your thought process over the summer but I respect you.

          • BlueCat says:

            And it’s getting so I just can’t wait for this disgusting primary to be over. Sick of us making the same arguments over and over ad nauseam.  We won’t convince Dave.  He and Wade certainly won’t convince us.  I’m done arguing. Not done working for Bennet, though.  More urgent now than ever.

            If Romanoff wins the primary he will never get the money he needs to win. He’s going to take us all down with him in his cataclysmic hissy fit if Bennet can’t take him down first and that’s a fact .  Dropped off a friends ballot at Prince St. today and the box was stuffed.  Since good turn out should work for Bennet that cheered me up a little.  Don’t feel the need to go over the same ground another fifty times here. I’m done participating in the Bennet/Romanoff debate until the at least the 11th. At least at this site!

      • BlueSkies says:

        I’d actually be interested in what specifically you’d consider an effective response by the Bennet campaign?  

    • Colorado Pols says:

      Whether or not ads like this will happen in the General Election has nothing to do with whether they are okay to run now. That’s like saying it’s okay to punch someone in the face because you are helping them gain experience in case they get punched some other day.  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I agree it’s bullshit!

        I agree it’s bullshit!

        I agree it’s bullshit!

        I agree it’s bullshit!

        I agree it’s bullshit!

        I said that in the comment you responded to. But Bennet needs to respond. All you Bennet supporters are sitting around crying that it’s unfair and wrong. I agree. Now pull up your big girl panties and fight back!

        • bullshit! says:

          My side does not. What is your excuse, Dave?

          • DavidThi808 says:

            Not what’s best for Romanoff or Bennet. Not what’s best for the Democratic party. What’s best for the country.

            LBJ stole most of his elections. He cheated on his wife. He was horrible towards those that worked for him. Not a nice person.

            But he did more for civil rights than any president except Lincoln. His Great Society program did more for the poor than any president since FDR. He was good for the country.

            Saying Romanoff is mean to Bennet and therefore we should vote for Bennet – I’m sorry but politics is a contact sport and we need a Senator who will do what it takes to solve the problems we face.

            That may be why Bennet has been ineffective in D.C., he’s too nice a guy. That speaks well of him as a human being, but not as a Senator.

        • MADCO says:

          Hey – Romanoff has (insert bald faced lie here )!!!

          And he probably (insert wild speculation and bs here)

          And so on….

          See – over the top negative campaigning works for a lot of reasons. The only way to counter it effectively is with other, new, more overly the top bs of your own.

          Just pushing back with ” it’s all false” is not usually perceived as effective.

      • toobadsosad999 says:

        It’s not AR’s responsibility to make a statement against these calls.  Hell I wish I had the guts to do what they did on some of Bennet’s votes against his constituents and in favor of Wall Street, like cram-down and the Brown/Kaufman amendment. What makes you think Bennet will be any different if he is elected?

        And his pathetic attempt at copying AR with a loan to his campaign is just, well, pathetic.  He doesn’t need the money given the size of his Wall Street funded wallet.  He doesn’t need a loan he needs a new campaign manager but it’s too late isn’t it?  The calls are hurting him because he has not made an effort to listen to seniors or the poor or the unemployed or smaller districts.  He snubbed his nose at most of us regular folks and now he is in the tank because of it. I think he should drop out and stop embarrassing himself and the Democratic Party.

    • peacemonger says:

      Do you blame women for wanting to be raped, too?

      Do you blame the animals in the sea for the BP spill?

      Do you blame Obama for racist bigots threatening to kill him?

      Did you blame Jews for being slautered by the millions in the Holocaust?

      Where does justifying unethical behavior end?  

    • peacemonger says:

      if he fights back you don’t have to feel so guilty for helping someone with ZERO  integrity win this election?  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        He’s hitting your guy hard. That’s upsetting to you. I understand that. That does not imply a lack of integrity on Romanoff’s part. With that said, I will agree Romanoff is not perfect.

        But neither is Bennet. Yet I don’t say he has no integrity just because he said one thing on the banks and voted the other way.

  4. davebarnes says:

    If the candidate makes a comment either way on a 527’s ad, isn’t that collusion?

    If yes, then how can we argue the “Romanoff and his groups” point?

  5. StrykerK2 says:

    Starting with the headline “Romanoff’s fact-free robocall.”  You say that it’s “New Leadership in Colorado” except that your headline wants people to think it’s the Romanoff campaign putting these out.

    Then you have “on behalf of Andrew Romanoff.”  Oh really?

    Pols I could almost have agreed with you for a minute.  A lying ad is a lying ad and this should stop.  That said, you lying about where it’s coming from is just as bad.

    • State Line says:

      it reaches a far smaller audience, of insiders at that.

      But their distortion in calling it “Romanoff’s” call is just as willful – and par for CPols’ extremely biased course.

      The call itself is nonsense and indefensible of course. Did Bennet cast the vote while he was DPS Super?

      I sure hope all of Colorado’s Dems wake up next Wedensday morning and sign kumbaya together, but it’ll be a ragged chorus won’t it?

      As for CPols, what are you guys going to do in your General Election ‘coverage’ if Andrew wins?

      Flail him as hard as you’ve done over the past several months? Or cave, sing his praises – then turn your ire on the R nominee?

      Should be interesting to watch it all unfold….

    • ss says:

      If you notice it correctly states “Romanoff Supporters’ Fact-Free Robocall”

      Though a shill, even you have to be disappointed that 527s think that this is needed to get your candidate elected.

      Romanoff has nothing to do with this… but he can easily stand up and say “OK… enough is enough. Bennet is a good democrat who has worked hard in the Senate. I think I can do a better job, and here is why but these lies have to stop. I don’t know who is doing this but you don’t represent me or what I believe in.” That is no collusion that is common decency.

      • StrykerK2 says:

        the original was “Romanoff’s”

        I do applaud pols for at least a shallow attempt at not looking like they are just trying to attack Romanoff, but a more accurate title would be “Fact-Free robocall against Bennet,” unless of course you have any actual facts linking them to Romanoff.

        • ss says:

          The Andrew Romanoff I met several years ago would never have put up with these lies. He in fact stood up for my candidate when this sort of stuff was happening. But when it is his campaign he is strangely silent.

          The even more sad part is that I live in Washington and have no chips in this game, and yet I am getting pissed. This is the primary save it for those who are even better at stretching the truth. Karl Rove would be so proud of the way that AR and his supporters are campaigning right now.

          • Voyageur says:

            Probably on Aug. 12.

            • TimothyTribbett says:

              He has 100% lied to the Democratic Party of Colorado. He said he would run an issues based positive campaign. If he does win he has caused a lot of f—ing collateral damage.

          • State Line says:

            temporarily and (maybe) having to vote for Charlie Crist just to keep Rubio out of the U.S. Senate.

            Politics really IS a matter of  compromise at the end of the day…..

            Take care.

            • parsingreality says:

              I’m in Sarasota.

              I hope temporarily, but like Gilligan’s “3 hour tour, a 3 hour tour” my six months is now at almost 3 years.

              I agree.  Far better a Crist than a Rubio.  It’s sad that Dem Kendrick Meek has put so much work into this campaign only to be overshadowed by Charlie. OTOH, he never really laid groundwork all over the state like he should have in the last few years.  Known in Miami, only known now because of the race.  

    • MADCO says:

      No exaggeration. No misleading.

      If you think it reflects badly on your candidate when his supporters  are full of shit, well….. I agree.

    • toobadsosad999 says:

      Come on 25 to 1 sounds like it belongs by Bennet’s name.  You’re getting desperate, as desperate as Michael Bennet.  

  6. Barron X says:


    if I can stretch the meaning of the word “Bailout” to include bailing Wall Street investment firms out of having to face more stringent regulation.  

    The so-called “Financial Reform” legislation did nothing of the sort; Michael Bennet saw to that.


    • State Line says:

      in common parlance, the term ‘bailout’ has been used to refer to the autumn 2008 votes to save the ‘too big to fail’ banks.

      The robocall call is nonsense plain and simple, don’t try to dress it up.  

    • raymond1 says:

      … by supporting the bailout of Tom Tancredo, by which I mean supporting the special deviation from party procedure that your party allowed just to bail out Tancredo for failing to run in time for a primary. Wow, this is fun — if you just want to be enough of a shit-peddler, you can call anything a “bailout”!

    • GalapagoLarry says:

      Barron, don’t say something that silly. “Bank bailout” has always meant the Bush/Paulson bailout, and you know it. The Financial Reform has been widely decried as too easy on the banks, but it’s never gotten seriously tagged as a “bailout.”

  7. State Line says:

    for amending what was an extremely misleading and flagrantly biased headline.

  8. silverandblue says:

    Bennet’s response ad is pretty good.  Uses a ton of that Denver paper’s ink, but still good.

    But what I am wondering is how did Bennet out raise Romanoff 4 – 1 and run out of money down the stretch? AP reporting Bennet has loaned his campaign $300K out of fortune earned from his Anschutz days.  Guess he flunked cash managment.

    For a guy running on his business acumen, does not bode well.

    Yet another feather in the cap of RBI, Rapid Burn-rate Inc.

  9. Raf says:

    But given that it’s a 527, the only move Romanoff has is to denounce it. And if he doesn’t, well, so what? I mean, this isn’t cricket. He’s not bound by some code of chivalry from 1313.

    Moreover, like David said (and I as well), it’s on Bennet to respond. How? By going on offense. I mean, seriously. It’s like people here want to run the same kind of campaign that Gore & Kerry ran.

    Again – when & how is Bennet going to respond? Essentially, Romanoff is engaging in what my friend Josh Marshall calls the bitch slap theory of politics. That’s why it’s incumbent on Bennet to go on offense.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not happy at all that Romanoff has done this. But like I said in another thread, Andrew is clearly showing how badly he wants to be Senator. Does Bennet want to hold on to his seat just as badly? That’s what we’re waiting to see.

  10. bud says:

    If the calls are above Romanoff’s character, why didn’t he stop them?  Because he has turned into a sleazy, lying, scumbag.  

  11. Laughing Boy says:

    This thread is awesome.

    Hey, whatever AR has been doing, it’s working.

    If Bennet loses, what’s he going to do with those assloads of campaign contributions?

    • Ralphie says:

      And Romanoff needs to pray that he hasn’t shit in his own nest so bad that people won’t donate that money back to him.

      Not bloody likely, IMHO.

      • JeffcoBlue says:

        For the next week, it is going to be total open war between these two candidates and everyone who supports them. We may not even be close to how nasty it’s going to get.

        But on August 11th I’m going to support the winner of this primary. And in two weeks all of us who ever once implied that we might not support the winner are going to feel a little stupid.

        The only thing that complicates this is how low Andrew (and supporters–cough) have been willing to go. But nothing that either of them have done would justify the alternative.

        • Ralphie says:

          But I’m sure I’ll donate money or volunteer time.

          It’s been that dirty.

        • ThillyWabbit says:

          I won’t vote for Romanoff ever. Not ever. He doesn’t deserve to be elected.

          • ClubTwitty says:

            I won’t have to try and change your mind.  

            • EmeraldKnight76 says:

              I have been trying to convince others that party unity is the most important thing on here. I keep trying to convince myself that Romanoff has to be better than Buck.

              But as the race gets more and more dirty I seriously begin to wonder if Romanoff’s character is any better. I have serious questions about a candidate’s integrity who didn’t immediately come out against this robocall. It shows a complete lack of honor. I wouldn’t presume to speak for others, but honor still means something to me. Especially in my elected officials. Honor can best be seen in how you treat your opponents. Whether it be in sports, business, or politics you should always treat your opponent with respect.

              If you are so quick to sacrifice honor and respect for a sitting Senator, a fellow Democrat, a husband and father, and a respected Coloradan how are we to believe he will adequately fight on behalf of every Republican in this state? We aren’t electing just a Senator for the Democrats, but one to fight on behalf of every single resident of Colorado, regardless of party affiliation.

              If Romanoff can’t make a the right decision to come out against something that is so clearly immoral, how can we expect him to grapple with moral gray areas? He’s ignored the special interests when they are spreading lies to his benefit. He’s ignored his supporters while they spread disinformation. The attack ads are part of politics and that I can accept as part of the game. The rest he should have made a principled statement about. If he can’t do it about his own supporters, are we to believe he will in Washington?

              I’m suddenly not sure that party unity is in the best interest of Colorado if Romanoff wins the primary. I find his compromised morality dangerous.

              I hope time and Andrew can convince me otherwise.

  12. betsy holmes says:

    Was this up when the diary went up?  It’s on the groups rather barren webpage:

    New Leadership in Colorado would like to clarify a recorded phone message delivered today that said Senator Michael Bennet “voted for a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street.”  To be even more clear, Michael Bennet voted to bailout Wall Street when he voted against preventing banks from becoming too big to fail.  We regret using the phrase “taxpayer-funded” but remain determined to inform voters that Micheal Bennet voted to bailout the same Wall Street banks that wrecked our economy by becoming too big to fail and who have since contributed over $500,000 to Bennet.

    That’s rather unusual…a 527 that wants to clarify their robocall.  Don’t they normally just disappear into the night?

  13. DavidThi808 says:

    You talk about not getting support once the primary is over, if all you can do to respond to tough ads is to cry unfair, you’re not going to get much support from me in the general. Not because I don’t support Michael. Not because I’m pissed at what was said.

    I’m not going to waste time and money on a loser. I want to see Betsy Marker win. I want to see Cary Kennedy win. Bernie Beuscher, Stan Garnett, and/or Hick might need help. I’m going to put in my time and money where it can make a difference.

    The Bennet campaign and supporters need to stop whining and instead fight back. And do so effectively.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        But whoever wins the primary will have to show me they can be competitive in the general. For the same reason I won’t donate in CD-6. If Romanoff wins by a point, that’s impressive with where he came from. If Bennet wins by a point, that’s pathetic with where he was 5 weeks ago.

    • botw says:

      To me, a response from someone who knows the Romanoff campaign and the 527 are lying should not say  “Can you Bennet supporters get off the Whaa-mbulance?”

      It should say “Romanoff: take down these horrible ads, man up with some facts, stop hiding behind false ads or I will stop supporting you.”

      By both admitting that the ads are bullshit and lies and saying the Bennet campaign needs to stop crying foul, you are officially the problem.

    • RedGreen says:

      David, the “ad” isn’t “tough,” it’s a flat-out lie. A complete fabrication. An absurd distortion. And the Romanoff supporters are defending it, or, like you, somehow blaming Bennet for — for something, it’s hard to tell.

      “Jane Norton supported Ref C, the biggest tax increase in Colorado history” — that’s a tough ad.

      “Bennet voted for a taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street” — that’s a reprehensible lie from a faceless group

      You really can’t see the difference?  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        This 3rd party robocall is a flat-out lie. As I said above in about 12 different comments, it’s total bullshit. I agree with you.

        My comment directly above was about the ads the Romanoff campaign has put out (which was not the topic of this diary). I just find it very frustrating that the Bennet campaign is whining instead of fighting back.

  14. dwyer says:

    The campaign finance law says that there can be NO contact between a candidate and these 527s.   Can AR just denounce the ad w/o coming into conflict with the law?  My presumption is yes, but it could be a fine line.  

    I think AR should.  I also think that both AR and Bennet should have denounced Tancredo’s statement that Obama is the worst threat the US has ever faced.  I know that Patti Waak did, but nobody listens to her….sad, but true.

    Ralphie, FALS is fine with me.

  15. Just Anita says:

    Old story.  So where is the “new” in New Leadership in Colorado? Hey, isn’t a 527 – essentially a corporate PAC? Since 527’s act on their own rules, let me just get the disclosure out there: “Debbie Wamsley, paid for indirectly by “the Andrew Romanoff wants to be your lying and cheating Senator for Colorado” supporters – who created a PAC – and want all to believe they don’t accept PAC money. Instead they prefer ‘lying and cheating’ robo-call support. Hmmmm. Kind of a mind-fuck isn’t it?

    This will be good for solidarity. Colorado Democrat leadership take note, this will definitely prompt many Democrats to unaffiliate just to be off this “shit list”.

  16. Joaquin says:

    Here is a theory for you to ponder and research:

    Debbie Wamsley was fired recently from the Colorado AFL-CIO, she is the girlfriend of Steve Adams, who was removed by their national organization for some irregularities.

    At least one of the sponsors of Debbie and her 527s (she has more than one registered) is UFCW Local 7’s new leadership (Kim Cordova) who endorsed Romanoff (other unions like SEIU endorsed Bennet).

    The attack ads have the trademark of David Minshall, their communications director who turned against the past leadership when they cut him off the payroll. He then designed a similar campaign to remove the past leadership and get himself reinstalled in the payroll.

    Labor is also divided on this issue.

    • DevilishlyModerate says:

      Debbie Wamsley and Kim Cordova have been attacking several good Democrats in heated primary races. For instance they’ve been working on behalf of Mark Thrun in HD5 and Jennifer Coken. They should be shunned from Democratic politics. Candidates should denounce them when they communicate misleading messages on their behalf.  

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