UPDATE #3: In an email just sent out by the Romanoff campaign, Romanoff repeats the same canard as earlier. Clearly this has become a huge problem for the campaign, and it didn’t need to be. If only Campaign Manager Bill Romjue had just kept quiet for a few more days…answering the question about DSCC support may very well prove fatal to the Romanoff campaign.
Here’s Romanoff’s newest statement:
I don’t take any PAC money now, I have not done so at any point in this campaign, and I will not do so in the general election. I don’t know how to make my stand any clearer.
To set this matter to rest, I took one further step today. I vowed to ask the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) to exclude any PAC dollars from contributions or expenditures it makes on my behalf.
We don’t want to get too caught up in semantics here, but there’s an important phrase in this statement. Romanoff says “I vowed to ask” the DSCC to exclude PAC dollars. He didn’t vow “not to accept PAC dollars,” because that would be impossible. He knows the DSCC cannot separate PAC money out of its bank account and give Romanoff only the “PAC-free” funds, so he’s really just vowing to ask for something he can’t have.
And on that note, we vow to ask Santa Claus for a unicorn this Christmas!
UPDATE #2: Romanoff has issued a statement in an attempt to clarify: “After I win the primary, I will ask the DSCC to honor my pledge by excluding PAC dollars from any contributions or expenditures it makes on my behalf.”
This statement is, of course, absurd, because there is no way to separate PAC money from non-PAC money when it all goes into the same account. This would be like saying you want to only eat the healthy parts of a cookie after it has already been baked.
UPDATE: Romanoff’s campaign told Politico that the Colorado Statesman article referenced below was “inaccurate.” In its own story today, the Statesman stands by its original reporting:
The Statesman’s editor and publisher said the newspaper stands by its story…
…Romanoff sat with a reporter from The Statesman for an interview immediately following a Jan. 19 press conference where he declared he was still running for the Senate – after rumors swirled he was instead considering a run for governor – and made his most uncompromising statement to date about his refusal to take money from political action committees, which he labeled part of an “incumbent protection racket.”
“Andrew said what he said in response to a direct question about the DSCC,” said Statesman editor Jody Hope Strogoff, who has covered Romanoff’s political career for more than a decade. “If he’d like to make a case he was answering a different question than the one he was asked, he can do that. But he’s had more than six months to correct the record.”
Strogoff pointed out the Romanoff campaign hasn’t been shy about challenging newspaper stories that have appeared in The Statesman or elsewhere.
Original post after the jump.
As Politico reports today:
Though surging Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff has sold his own home in order to maintain his pledge to shun political action committee money, his campaign manager Bill Romjue told POLITICO Tuesday that the Democrat would accept funding from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in the general election, even though the organization takes money from PACs.
Romjue argued that the position is not inconsistent with Romanoff’s pledge to swear off all PAC money from corporations and other special interest groups because there’s no direct relationship between the Senate fundraising committee and the PACs…
…“You can always find an ivory tower person that’s completely pure. We’re not an ivory tower person. Andrew’s going to be funded by individuals, but of course we’ll accept money from the DSCC,” Romjue said. [Pols emphasis]
The problem with these statements from Romjue is that they are completely at odds with what Romanoff has previously said on the record, like to The Colorado Statesman in January:
Romanoff went even further after his speech, telling The Colorado Statesman he plans to give the cold shoulder to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, if he wins the primary in August.
“I don’t welcome the outside interference,” Romanoff said. “My campaign is going to continue to rely on contributions from individuals,” he said, eschewing PACs and special-interest donors he labeled part of an “incumbent-protection racket” in his speech.
“When we win the primary,” Romanoff predicted, “we’ll find a lot of friends around the state and country we might not have now. But I’m not going to change my message to suit the interests of new-found friends.” [Pols emphasis]
According to the Politico story, the Romanoff campaign says the Statesman story is “inaccurate,” but Romanoff’s quotes are pretty clear.
This was always one of the fundamental problems with Romanoff relying on a “No PAC Money” campaign message — it’s a reckless, “all or nothing” message for a Primary that absolutely kills him in a General Election. Romanoff would have to have the help of the DSCC to have any chance at winning a General Election, but he’s backed himself into a corner.