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December 03, 2007 09:13 PM UTC

Colorado's First Ads of 2008 Campaign Season

  • by: Colorado Pols

From The Denver Post:

An independent group linked to Republicans has fired the first contentious advertising shots in the race for Colorado’s open Senate seat.

Common Sense Issues Inc. launched a TV blitz Friday with two biting ads that target Democrat Mark Udall over national security and his pro-environment record.

The first of the ads that will run over the next two weeks in three major markets, including Denver and Colorado Springs, shows two men talking about a bill that Udall co-sponsored in 2001 to establish an $8 billion Cabinet-level Department of Peace. One of the men in the ad says that “radical Islam wants Americans dead” before asking, “What part of dead doesn’t Mark Udall understand?”

The second, targeting a bill that Udall introduced   this year to allow American companies to drill for oil off Cuba despite the current trade embargo, has the five-term congressman from Boulder County receiving a mock “Cuban hero award” from Fidel Castro. It contrasts Udall’s willingness to let American companies drill off Cuba with his opposition to drilling on Colorado’s Roan Plateau.

The early entrance of so-called independent issue groups to the race between Udall and former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer is as significant as the ads themselves – underscoring both the groups’ increasing clout in contentious races and their ability to set a starkly negative tone before official campaigns have a chance to define the race themselves.

Sometimes known as 527s for the tax code under which most of them file, the groups cannot by law coordinate strategy with campaign staffs or political parties and aren’t subject to traditional campaign-financing laws.

In this case, Common Sense Issues is a “qualified nonprofit” associated with veteran Republican operative Patrick Davis. Before opening a political consulting firm in Colorado Springs, Davis was the western regional director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and then the NRSC’s national political director.

With 11 months to go before the vote, opponents in the Senate campaign are likely to lob a wide variety of attacks, looking for something that sticks.

The Department of Peace ad, for example, uses the words “Boulder liberal” three times in less than 30 seconds.


42 thoughts on “Colorado’s First Ads of 2008 Campaign Season

  1. Just tried to find the ads on you tube, but came up empty – an oversight by this group. They should have posted them immediately.

    Can anyone else find them?  

    1. Its very offensive, looks completely ridiculous, treats the voters like fools, and shows how terribly terribly daddy dick and the reporkican minions really are.  Its shameful.

          1. since

            Common Sense Issues Inc. is a non-profit independent issues group, not a 527.

            I tried searching for their group on Colorado SOS website, but with no luck. Are they skirting campaign finance law?

      1. That might be the worst political ad I’ve ever seen. It’s 30 seconds I’ll never get back and I imagine that most voters (even if they don’t like Udall) will agree.

      2. Haven’t heard accents like that on TV since Gregory Sierra (who played Detective Sergeant Chano Amenguale on “Barney Miller” and Julio Fuentes, the Puerto Rican neighbor on “Sanford and Son”).

  2. I guess the NRSC didn’t get the message in 2006.

    Anyone hear where Bob is campaigning as of lately? Is he still in Texas or is he back in DC? It would be nice if Bob could tell the voters of Colorado where he’s at on the issues, instead of allowing political hack-jobs to do it for him.

  3. and the fake Cuban accents were so bad that I couldn’t understand a thing they were saying. In my opinion,it looked like something a video 101 high school freshman put together.  

    1. I like how everyone runs to Tim and Pat to fix everything. It’s time for the Dem’s to raise money.  Let the DSCC put money in or maybe in the state level stuff.

    1. Patrick Davis is just the Colorado front man.

      The Common Sense 527 started with a group of religious right former execs from Procter & Gamble. They are playing in a bunch of US Senate races as well as pushing Huckabee.

      Expect the push polling tactic they are doing now for Huckabee next year for Schaffer. Here’s an NYT article on it from 2006:

    2. Huckabee was quick to condemn the group:

      Huckabee himself was angered by the negative tactics, “Our campaign has nothing to do with the push polling.” Huckabee said,  “I wish they would stop. We don’t want this kind of campaigning because it violates the spirit of our campaign. I don’t want to become President because I disabled the other candidates, I want to become President because I am the best candidate.”

      So where’s Bob on this? Oh right, he’s running as a ghost candidate, allowing others to get their hands dirty for him, hoping to be elected (as Huckabee said) becuase they disabled the other candidate, not becuase he’s the best candidate.

  4. i laughed for about 10 mins after seeing this last week, that the right spend money to air this. just ridiculous, lets hope all their ads are this ineffective.

  5. Of course the ads are cheesy. Of course they accents are fake. The point isn’t to see how realistic some production company can make an ad look. The point is to shed light on a HUGE Udall contradiction.

    Where are all the Boulder Liberals defending Udall’s bill to drill for oil in Cuban waters? What Udall said is environmentally bad for Colorado is somehow okay for Cuban waters? What the cruel exploitation of sealife?

    Udall Wants to give U.S. Companies Power to Drill offshore Cuba

    By Ben Geman, E&E Daily, Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has introduced legislation that would let U.S. oil and gas companies drill off the coast of Cuba.

    The bill, according to Udall’s office, would “make an exception to all laws, executive orders and regulations that now prohibit exports to or imports from Cuba or transactions in property in which a Cuban national has an interest.”

    Udall said oil companies from countries including China and Venezuela have expressed interest in offshore development deals with Cuba.

    “But our trade embargo continues to prevent American companies from seeking similar opportunities. This does not make sense, and the bill I am introducing today would change that,” Udall said in a prepared statement yesterday.

    The bill would require U.S. companies engaging in exploration and production agreements with Cuba to adhere to environmental standards that apply to the U.S. outer continental shelf, according to Udall’s office.

    Several lawmakers in both chambers have expressed interest in allowing U.S companies access to Cuban waters. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the North Cuba Basin’s undiscovered resources are 4.6 billion barrels of oil and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, mostly offshore.

    Flip-flop? YES. Our next Colorado Senator? I’m working hard to make sure it isn’t so.

    1. Oh yes, a BIG OIL COMPANY!

      This is the worst angle this shadow group could take on Mark Udall’s record, since their candidate works for Oil.

      Glass House my friend, glass house…

    2. But Udall isn’t against drilling in Colorado, just in some places.  Already 95% of the BLM lands in the Piceane–where the Roan is but a small island–is leased for oil and gas drilling, which is occurring at an all time high in Colorado, each year surpassing the last.  Purple trending blue if y’all CO GOPundits keep up this nonsense.  People see through it.  

    3. Do you really think it’s a good strategy to try and target Udall on this issue and in this manner?

      Udall has a long record on environmental issues. A cheap, lame ad like this isn’t going to hurt him – especially in a two-way general election. If the ad does convince someone that Udall’s environmental record is too cozy with oil who are they going to vote for?

      It’s a terrible ad and a stupid strategy. Please continue spending your money on it.  

      1. He’s adding more good news to it.

        Colorado Congressman Mark Udall says a federal energy bill that’s moving ahead after an agreement among Democrats likely will include a “trifecta” of renewable energy provisions.

        The provisions would require increases in vehicle fuel efficiency, the amount of power coming from renewable energy sources, and use of ethanol for motor fuel.

        Udall, a Democrat, said Monday that the compromise reached over the weekend is a big step in the right direction.

        He says he believes that the example of Colorado and other states with renewable energy standards was key in gaining the support of House Republicans who have seen the benefits in their own states.

    4. It’s not such a bad thing.

      If they’re drilling there, they aren’t drilling here at ground zero–Mesa and Garfield counties.

      Let Fidel deal with the energy companies.  Many of us over here are tired of them.

      1. Many trading firms and producers in the Southeast already sell bulk volume poultry to Cuba under a US government program.  Most of those producers, suffice it to say, are staunch republicans. They are all for upholding the embargo unless there is a business opportunity !

  6. has some interesting information on a possible coordination between BS’s campaign staff, himself, and this (lack of) Common Sense Issues group. Or as they call it, Common Sense Crap.

    Common Sense Issues Inc. is not, according to the IRS’s Web site, currently registered as a 527, and the FEC currently lists the group as having $0 in contributions and $0 in expenditures, with no reports filed.

    Also, the group’s Web site is not registered to Patrick Davis, but to New Media Communications Inc., which is led by Mike Collins, a Midwestern political operative connected to FLS-DCI, a group Bob Schaffer, Shari Williams and the Colorado GOP have been using for years. (In fact, Bob Schaffer’s U.S. Senate campaign currently uses FLS.) The CubanHero Web site – like the confusing, pointless ad it features – leaves a lot to be desired: Other than the ad and two obscure articles, one by Bob Beauprez, it offers nothing. The other ad, which contains U.S. military logos – the use of which the Pentagon most certainly would frown upon, if the use is even legal – is similarly confusing, with one of the actors repeating the line “Boulder liberal” over and over again with little context. Worse yet, neither of the CSI ads are even posted on YouTube, a huge oversight.

    This lackluster Internet effort is hardly surprising or limited to CSI. As we pored over Schaffer’s campaign-finance reports, we discovered why his Web site sucks so much – it’s being managed by Kelly Maher’s Political Web Campaign LLC. (Not much of a “web campaign,” there, Kelly, so you might want to change your company’s name.) Anyone familiar with Kelly, a former Beauprez staffer, will understand why a sterotypical blonde – who wonders on her Facebook account what a smart person would do with the Web site – is not who you want managing your Web campaign. (Also, the reason the campaign’s research is so poor is Karl Maher is the campaign’s researcher.)

    All in all, Schaffer’s campaign is off to a bumpy start, and his campaign manager, Walt Klein, who is raking in $10,000 a month as a consultant while his wife, Marjorie, is raking in her share of cash as a Schaffer-campaign employee – is showing why over-the-hill campaign manager’s aren’t good at managing modern campaigns. Unfortunately, Klein isn’t the only one failing, as the CSI people also can be blamed for being behind the times. Common sense tells us this race is headed for a Beauprez-like meltdown.

    What’s BS’s campaign slogan… “We have lost elections because Republicans have not effectively communicated to the American people…” Well Bob, you’re doing a heckuva job!

  7. pretty bad.  Still not in the category as those ads Tancredo ran last year with Tanky stiffly talking to a pretaped constituent.  I wish I could find that one.

    BTW did anyone check those Cuban’s papers? Or did they just use Italians like a spaghetti western?

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