9NEWS political reporter Brandon Rittiman has done a commendable job this election season with a series of Truth Tests of political TV spots running in Colorado. We haven't always agreed 100% with Rittiman's analysis, but the simple act of looking at the claims made this year, like Americans For Prosperity's bogus Obamacare attack ads, has been invaluable for keeping the record at least somewhat straight. So many local newsrooms have simply abdicated the responsibility to fact check what they're told by politicians or see in political ads, that without a dedicated fact-checking segment like 9NEWS' Truth Test, lies simply go into the record uncorrected. And that's, we should all be able to agree, a bad thing.
Last night, Rittiman examined GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner's new ad hyping a renewable energy bill Gardner co-sponsored in the Colorado legislature. As we discussed in detail last week, the legislation Gardner sponsored to "launch our state's green energy industry" in fact never funded a single project, and had no effect whatsoever on the development of Colorado's green energy industry. Credit for that goes to Colorado voters more than anyone for the passage of 2004's Amendment 37–which Gardner opposed.
That Gardner's ad was based on a fictional premise was well established by the AP's Kristen Wyatt before Rittiman Truth Tested it yesterday. But the answer Gardner's campaign gave when asked about the discrepancy…well, it could be one of the most embarrassing–and damning things–we've ever read.
CLAIM: Gardner "co-wrote the law to launch our state's green energy industry."
This is overstated.
It's true Gardner sponsored a 2007 bill in the state legislature that created a clean energy development authority.
The idea was for that group to help jumpstart projects for clean energy. It ended up actually doing—not a lot…
The report repeatedly blamed the law that Gardner is touting for its own lack of progress, citing "practical limitations bounded by the CEDA statute."
The Gardner campaign, of course, knows this. It provided 9NEWS the following explanation (emphasis not added.)
"Cory says that he co-wrote a law "to launch our state's green energy industry," not that launched it."
Folks, we honestly do not know if we have ever seen such a frank acknowledgment of purposeful deception from an American politician. This attempt to semantically defend an obviously misleading claim is more than preposterous; it betrays a contempt for truth on the part of Gardner's campaign that, even if you don't understand all of the facts here, is nothing short of breathtaking. We're pretty sure that Sen. Mark Udall's campaign couldn't have scripted a more self-incriminating answer.
What does it mean? Well, to our knowledge this ad is still running. There is no question the ad is meant to leave the impression that Gardner's useless, repealed legislation "launched our state's green energy industry."
The conclusion is inescapable: Cory Gardner's campaign believes at a strategic level that he can outlast the fact-checkers–in effect, that he can outlast the truth. That he can make the truth of an issue irrelevant simply by "muddying up" hard questions through the election and sticking to his script. Here we see the same strategy Gardner's campaign has employed with the Personhood abortion bans, and the related issue of contraceptive coverage Gardner's campaign has worked overtime to "muddy up." The only difference this time is that it's really, really obvious, and Gardner's campaign let it slip in a moment of arrogance that they don't care how bad it looks.
We understand that there are partisan political considerations. But no one can defend this.
Again, is Gardner the biggest liar in Colorado political history?
By November he may be in the running.
Can't claim to know every Colorado pol in history but I can't see how any could have done better than a tie with this guy. Brace yourself for …Oh yeah ? Well Udall lied about Obamacare! The best they can do since they certainly can't demonstrate that Gardner isn't a liar and hypocrite and they still haven't figured out that every time they go to Johnny Did it Too, they're admitting as much.
Now I understand why there is no (D) in LIAR, but there certainly is an (R)
Con Man Cory is a natural lying and laughing his ass off Republican.
Cory may very well lap the McPenis for biggest liar come election time.
Have you guys been a cave for the last ten years. This is what Republicans are the master of and have been doing for a long time. Remember, Obama really did paint Air Force One with his campaign logo, because he actually rode on the plane owned by his campaign with the Obama logo on it, and any plane in which a sitting President rides is Air Force One. I just can't believe you guys don't know this. I've started calling them "Republican Truths." Stuff that's actually true, but clearly meant to mislead the public. They do this all the time and they get away with it because no one bothers to check it out or look at the actual wording of what they said.
I think most of us here of course are following what is going on in Colorado politics Craig, but for me its just flat out ludicrous to witness what complete bullshit people like Gardner will try to peddle, and at the same time pretty damn depressing to see what people who are not necessarily paying attention will be led to believe.
Of course this is politics and none of us are expecting Mother Theresa to run, but it seems like the outright lies and deceptions coming from the other side of the aisle are getting more frequent, and more preposteroust. Adding to that, we live in an age where information is so readily available, so at least those lies can be disproven here, for anyone who is paying attention to judge for themselves.
The papers aren't necessarily interested in what the truth is anymroe. Neither are the trolls.
Thats why I think Pols is important, and that is why I come here. There has to be somewhere where the record is set straight.
Thats preposterous (w/o the second T)
Interesting how Gardner is trying to be Democrat light. Usually it is a Democrat who wants to pretend to support Republican positions. On women's health care and energy, Gardner is trying to infer that he supports positions that he historically hasn't.
If this con man really really believed all his conservative ideology, he would have been standing in front of a field of oil wells and spouting off about how much he had done to gut environmental regulations. The fact that he wants us to believe that he was a sustainable energy buff from the get go tells you all you need to know about his commitment to himself to get elected damn the ideology at the moment.
Note to the Congressman: the green industry was already launched long before you came back from DC – thanks to Senator Udall. It's irrelevant that it was "to" or "that". Both are lies.
In case you're wondering how he'd vote as a Senator, just Google "Koch and renewable energy" . My first hit was this. They're apparently making an exception to their rule here in Colorado – they must think the "Big Con" will actually work.
That's a pretty damning article Michael. No way Gardner bucks the Koch brothers plan. You know the pendulum is swinging back to the center from the extreme right when Republicans try to pretend that they support Democratic policies. If it was 2010, Gardner would be spewing Tea Party "freedom" BS but the Tea Party promise for Republicans in 2014 is more of an albatross. He's playing a weak hand trying to pretend to be a Democrat because why buy a cheap copy of something when you can get the genuine thing for the same price? Conservative post mortem's will be that he wasn't conservative enough to win.
Those Koch boys lack imagination. If a person wants to know who's behind a PAC, just look for the word "freedom". See it? Yep, them's Koch-heads.
He's where providing that explaination fails – one, he's back tracking from his first premise that his efforts started the whole thing. And two, now he's taking up the premise that his efforts were only conducted so as to kick things off – and since the measure failed to make an impact – his effort was ineffective and thus he was ineffective.
Nothing like touting a bill that proves how ineffective you are, Cory. Bravo.
Gardner's response is honest and his wording was correct. If I were to punish Udall for everything he proposed that didn't work, I'd be here a long time.
The point is that Gardner supports all kinds of energy including renewables. Gardner even supported the stimulus solar energy boondoggles like Abound Solar which I did not.
Sohophistry at its best, or is worst by Gardner. This is right up there with Clinton and the definition of "is" mistakes he made on the record. The bill and its efforts were a total failure. Cory touted the bill to voters as his environmental bona fides, counting on most people's ignorance of the reality. Excusing this by pointing to his opponent's legilslative failures is irrelevant to the issue of Gardner's credibilit and propensity for untruths in representing his records and views.