(Once again–the federal Life at Conception Act contains the same operative language as Colorado's Personhood abortion ban. Gardner's distinction according to fact-checkers, is complete BS. – promoted by Colorado Pols)
9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman got one-on-one interviews with both senatorial candidates last week, and the questions he chose to ask Sen. Mark Udall and his Republican opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner, should earn him the respect of conservatives and progressives.
One of Rittiman's questions for Gardner has been consistently overlooked by Denver journalists:
Rittiman: How do you square your recent change on personhood at the state level with the bill that you still are on in Congress. The life begins at conception act?
Gardner: Well, there is no federal personhood bill. They're two different pieces of legislation, two different things.
Rittman followed up by pointing out that other co-sponsors of the bill say it it is federal personhood, and asking, "But it's still a piece of legislation that says abortion ought to be illegal, no?"
Gardner: No. It says life begins at conception. Look, Sen. Mark Udall is trying to say that it's something that it's not.
Rather than letting Gardner's false statement slide, Rittiman reported:
Rittiman: At the very least, the bill is meant to set up a legal challenge to a woman's right to choose. [Factcheck.org supports Rittiman's reporting here.]
Rittman also brought up the subject of Gardner's failed healthcare plan, reporting: "9NEWS asked a few times for Gardner to share the details of his canceled healthcare plan, which he has used as an issue in the campaign."
Rittiman: You don't want to discuss the details of your old plan?
Gardner: "Well, look. This is about a promise that Mark Udall made. About being able to choose the health insurance that they liked for their family. Mark Udall didn't tell people that if you had this policy or that policy you might be able to keep this but not that. Mark Udall promised if you like your plan you could keep your plan. He broke that promise."
Rittiman should have explained to his audience that details of Gardner's plan are important because Gardner has ranted about how much more money he had to pay for insurance under Obamacare, which covers pre-existing conditions and preventative care, among other benefits.
If Gardner's old plan was bare-bones, or if it had a giant deductible that would make it too risky for average voters, then his complaint about the increased cost of his Obamacare insurance starts to smell rotten. As it is, the smell of his answer to Rittiman is pretty bad and deserves more scrutiny by journalists. Why won't Gardner release details of his old plan?
As for Udall, Rittiman asked the question that comes up most frequently on conservative talk radio:
Rittiman: Frankly, does Colorado deserve for this campaign to be about more than just about abortion?
Udall: My campaign is about contrasts and comparisons. An election is a choice…. It's my responsibility to bring that to the attention of Colorado voters, and I will continue to do so, but I will also talk about all the other things that I've accomplished.
Rittiman followed up twice by asking Udall about fracking, "They didn't hear you saying specifically where you think the policy on oil and gas should go. Do you think that local governments ought to have the power to full on regulate it, or is it just about giving them meaningful input?"
Udall: Look, I'm gonna let governments speak from their point of view, but I think there's a sweet spot there. You definitely want meaningful involvement, you want meaningful input. And again, there may be places where the local community decides that the use of that land is better directed at a park or a wildlife refuge or subdivisions, versus drilling for natural gas. I think there's broad support for that, including in the industry.
Rittiman reported that Udall "opposed the now-dead ballot questions to restrict oil and gas operations, but still gets support from the environmental lobby."