Polis Responds to Fitz-Gerald “Push Polls”

UPDATE: Fitz-Gerald campaign denies they are the source of negative phone calls against Polis.

This past week saw the first negative retail campaigning in the CD-2 race. Candidate Joan Fitz-Gerald’s campaign has apparently been making phone calls to targeted voters directly attacking opponent Jared Polis, though it’s unclear whether these were simply “robocalls” or live operators.

Robocalls and phone banks are certainly much cheaper to roll out than Polis’ massive TV blitz, and they’re a reliable tool in the box of old-school campaign hands, but the very act of calling–especially going overtly negative on the phone–has its own pitfalls, particularly if it becomes a public dispute. On the upside, messages can be planted on voters under the radar of the media, as long as you don’t get stung by bad press when they get wind of it. And for God’s sake, don’t call during dinner or in the middle of the night.

We were “leaked” an “internal memo” from the Polis camp to staff with counterpoints for these calls (follows). The best thing the Polis campaign can probably do about them is complain as loudly as possible to supporters and the press, in the hope that the attacks in the call will get swamped by pushback about the calling. What’s your take on the efficacy of campaign smile-and-dial?

From: Robert Becker (becker@polisforcongress.com)

Date: July 7, 2008 1:16:41 PM MDT

Subject: Response to Fitz-Gerald’s negative phoning

ALL FIELD STAFF – Forward this along to all your key leaders in the Field. Thanks.


TO: Field Organizers, Neighborhood Leaders, and Key Polis Supporters

FR: Robert Becker, Campaign Manager

RE: Response to Fitz-Gerald’s negative phoning

As many of you know, we have received scores of calls/emails/complaints about Joan Fitz-Gerald’s negative phone calling last week. While unfortunate, this is not surprising – Joan Fitz-Gerald has been pretty much 100% negative for the past several months.

If this is the kind of campaign she wants to run, so be it – it will backfire. Voters have been consistently rejecting these kinds of tactics. Of the many emails we received at headquarters, this one says it best:

“Jared – You probably already know but someone is running a Push Poll against you… It’s pretty over the top… I had been having a hard time deciding who to vote for… no more. I don’t like being treated like a moron. I will vote for you, and will be telling my friends why. Good luck. At this point I’d hate to see Fitz-Gerald win.”

In the coming five weeks we can expect more of the same negative attacks from Fitz-Gerald and her allies (we recently learned that a Washington, DC-based special interest group is planning to spend $2 million on her behalf).

We will continue to run an issue-oriented, positive campaign… but we will not hesitate to defend Jared at the grassroots level vigorously. Some of the negative attacks in this so-called “push poll” that we have heard through feedback from voters were in fact “pretty over the top” (or just plain silly):

•      Polis was the driving force behind Amendment 41, which hurt Coloradans? Amendment 41 passed with 62% of the vote and it didn’t hurt Coloradans – it hurt lobbyists… by banning them from giving gifts to lawmakers (We actually want Fitz-Gerald to attack us on this!).

•      Polis’ campaign money has come from “Swift Boat Veterans”? Of the thousands of individual donations to Jared’s campaign it is true that a few came from people who also gave money to the anti-John Kerry “Swift Boat” campaign in 2004. The Fitz-Gerald campaign has been fixated on this for over six months now. The fact that Jared donated all monies received from them to charity several months ago seems to not matter to them. We are fairly confident that voters fretting over the rising cost of gas or the Iraq war could really care less about why a few conservative donors decided to send contributions to Jared.

But by far the most outrageous was her attack on Jared’s position on the Iraq war – Polis won’t commit to getting our troops out of Iraq? This is a pretty ironic claim coming from Joan Fitz-Gerald. After all she is the only candidate in this race who voted to praise George W. Bush’s leadership on the Iraq war – TWICE!

Jared Polis has opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning. Furthermore he helped formulate a well thought-out, 32-page plan to end the war and bring our troops home that has been endorsed by over 50 progressive Democratic congressional candidates across the country. Polis’ Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq can be found online at: http://www.polisforcongress.co…

Based on our internal polling all of your hard work is paying off – voters are responding to Jared’s message of positive change and rejecting the Fitz-Gerald attacks. Keep up the hard work!

Robert Becker

Campaign Manager

Jared Polis for Congress



138 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. CO Dem says:

    that before any other type of ads or publicity, Fitz-Gerald has to resort to controversial push polls to try to get people to not vote for Polis, as opposed to actually voting for her. Quite the opposite of democracy if you ask me.

  2. cologator says:

    It figures, after all the whining about being underfunded and oversupported, the first Joan spends money on is a disgusting hit on a fellow Democrat. Are there actually any issues up for debate in this particular race, or are we just going to see how much dirt Joan can pour on Will and Jared?

  3. It is clear Fizt-Gerald is just going to attack and not run on her record. It is the style of Mary Alice all the way since Gail Schoettler’s Race.  It is a total Fitz-Blitz of Negative energy between now and Aug.

    I fully support making it known where people stand different but I find it truly weak and disgusting you launch an all out mud war just to win.

    Do we really want the Queen of mean and her team of Rove style hacks to be the next congressperson?

  4. coloradodemlover says:

    I am very disappointed in Joan. I was going to cast my vote for her but this type of dirty camapigning is unacceptable.

  5. Barron X says:


    except, when I read it, it isn’t for insiders at all.

    Sure, the Heading and the Closing say it’s an internal memo,

    but everything in between is obviously for consumption by the general public.  

    Either Polis scammed Pols on this, or …

    well, I don’t see an alternative.


    • Yes this was clearly leaked to pols, coming from the man who wanted to run the polis campaign by posting for the job on ColoradoPols… I think you would know better.  

      • elmu says:

        what you are failing to realize is that nothing in this post is fictitious… at least, you have not proven otherwise. So, how was Pols “scammed”? Were they “scammed” because they told the truth about some dirty campaigning?

        Either way you dish it, Joan should not being doing this.

        So, before you complain anymore, why don’t you explain why people shouldn’t know about this.

        • Barron X says:


          Pols knew all along that this was a Press Release masquerading as an internal document.

          But why play along with the pretense ?  

          The notion that this was only for campaign insiders is glat fictitious.  

          And can I prove that ?

          Well, to what standard ?

          Beyond a reasonable doubt ?


          As for the ethics of Joan’s tactics,

          “dirty campaigning,” as you call it,

          I will make a prediction:  

          Before 12 August, the Polis Campaign will put out negative stuff about Joan.  

          And I’m confident in that prediction, because they already did so in the Press Release that was “leaked” to Pols and put above at the top of this diary.  

          Joan Fitz-Gerald has been pretty much 100% negative for the past several months.

          [Joan’s] negative attacks … were in fact “pretty over the top” (or just plain silly)


          • CO Dem says:

            It seems like it’s simply stating the facts. I have yet to see an ad that mentions anyone else running in the race, therefore not going negative.

            Besides pointing out differences between candidates is hardly going negative, it highlights where the candidates stand and, especially in this district, it can often times be hard to tell.

            Fitz-Gerald is running scared and figures the only way to win is to use GOP style attacks. That’s not what the country has been saying it wants and I’m guessing she will regret doing this.

            • Barron X says:


              I thought it meant saying things about an opponent that some of the electorate would take as evidence or grounds not to vote for the candidate being “negatived.”

              If my understanding of the word is correct,

              it really doesn’t matter if the bad things being said about the candidate being “negatived” are true or not.  

              If you agree, then maybe you could explain what difference it makes if the negative items I quoted from the Press Release (“Internal memo”) are “facts” or “true ?”

              After all, the Starin campaign (or whoever is behind this push polling) was essentially correct when they said that Polis was behind Amendment 41,

              and when they noted that one of JP’s contributors also contributed to the Swift Boat effort.  

              If being a “true” “fact” doesn’t make it not negative coming from Starin,

              that shouldn’t determine that an attack originating with JP isn’t, either.


              • elmu says:

                I don’t think you know what a push poll is.

                This has made me really, really sick. I thought Dems where above push polls – I guess I was horribly wrong. Yuck.

      • Barron X says:


        if I could just figure out what you are trying to say.

        Then again, you may give me too much credit.


    • BoulderDem says:

      Of course it was meant to be leaked. And of course Pols knows it was meant to be leaked. Pols, however you can describe him, is not dumb. Worth posting anyway. It’s newsworthy.

      Another smart move by Polis’ team. Can we officially say now that Fitz-Gerald went negative first? For the record that is.

  6. Steve Balboni says:

    Quick, get me my best clutching pearls and help me over to the couch.  

    • Steve,  Like Will has not been the one with the pearls all along. He has so many poor will press releases he should just have a soap opera.  Don’t put more money in ( Because I could only get 2 PAC’s and I can only put in 4,600 with my wife being a forbes), Oh someone took my email lists from under my bed, Oh FEC wars.

      The Polis team is playing this right, The race is between Joan and Jared… People are tired of the Rove style of Mary Alice.

      This is major for Polis if they get some press on it.  

      • Steve Balboni says:

        What does Will Shafroth have to do with this? I don’t live in the 2nd and don’t support any candidate. I openly oppose Jared Polis as, imo, he has demonstrated that he has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be a Congressman. I’ve only suggested that progressives who don’t want to support Joan should vote for Shafroth before supporting Polis.

        My points are

        1. Negative campaigns are part of campaigning, this isn’t that big of a deal

        2. The Polis campaign is trying to stoke a fire , which is smart politics

        3. Too many Polsters seems to be getting the vapors over a non-story.

        3. Polis has a dedicated cadre of online supporters who only seem to speak up in threads directly involving the 2nd cd and nothing else

    • bob ewegen says:

      Get them to Balboni at once, he’s shocked, shocked, that a campaign could turn negative.

      • cologator says:

        Also, here’s the thing, who even cares HOW this got out there. Way too many of these comments are about meta-crap that no one else cares about. Who leaks what, who has what on their press releases.

        Could we actually look at the meat of this whole thing? If it is true, Joan and her team used one of the nastiest things in politics, a push-poll that has NO positive political persuasion to it, against a fellow Republican, in a cycle where Democrats are supposed to be coming together. She didn’t debate him on an issue, she didn’t ask what he would do about anything if he were elected, she didn’t talk about what SHE would do. She just wanted to smear him.

        That’s just the sign of a complete and total hack.

      • Steve Balboni says:

        Bob gets my point.

        Can’t fault Polis for trying but by the reactions in this thread you’d think something scandalous had occurred. It most certainly has not.

        As some wise children once said, thanks Bob! 😉

    • Barron X says:


      notice how he predicts a parade,

      and in just seconds,

      5 identifiable sockpuppets jump in,

      agreeing with each other,

      and defending and expanding upon a questionable Press Release.

      He is their leader.  


  7. Arvadonian says:

    (even though I live in the 7th and cannot vote for him).  

    Having said that, I think Fitz-Gerald has made mistake going negative at this point.  She should stay positive because Polis has the cash to bury her in negative ads.

    Look ads linking her to the gas and oil industry shortly and then one on her vote supporting the Bush and the Iraq War.  She’s given Polis the opportunity to say she went negative first.

    The ad will go something like this, “Why is Joan Fitz-Gerald spreading lies about Jared Polis to the voters of the 2nd congressional district?  Is it because she is trying to run from her own record of…..”

  8. Matt Moseley says:

    The Fitz-Gerald campaign has no connection in any way to the poll. In fact, Joan Fitz-Gerald received the same polling phone call on Thursday, July 3,at 9:45 p.m. at her home. Joan Fitz-Gerald is proud of the positive issue-oriented campaign that she has run for the last 14 months. Her record of standing up for the middle class and bringing change to Colorado is a record the voters of the 2nd Congressional district continue to respond to.

    Mary Alice Mandarich, Campaign Manager

    • Car 31 says:

      Joan received a phone call from someone who was asking her opinion about herself?!

      I wonder what her answers were?


      • cologator says:

        to WHOEVER hired the firm, because one of three things happened.

        1. Matt… er… Mary wasn’t entirely truthful


        2. Someone involved in this election, who doesn’t like Jared, hired the dumbest polling firm ever, who forgot to take out THE THREE CANDIDATES RUNNING from their sample, and who called people at nearly 10 at night, on the night before the Fourth.


        3. Whoever commissioned the poll decided to have themsel… er… Joan called, to make sure they had plausible deniability.

        I think  with the Fitz-Blitz, there should be a new constant, Rove’s Razor. Whatever the dirtiest possible choice is, that’s the most likely.

    • Barron X says:


      looks like either Johnson, Starin or Hammonds is behind the polling.  

      Which has the most to gain by tearing down Polis ?


      Seems to me that there was another candidate in the race, but I can’t recall who.

      Can somebody from the third Democratic candidate’s campaign remind me who that is ?


    • It is cute you had that info handy laying around to post back up here about when and date you got the call. I know I write down times and dates of every poll call I get.  

    • CO Dem says:

      Somehow Matt/Mary managed to make the Fitz-Gerald campaign even less believable. Congratulations.

    • Robert Becker says:

      With all due respect, if somebody not affiliated with our campaign was calling around pushing negatives about Joan Fitz-Gerald at 9:45 PM on a Thursday night we would have been denouncing it at 9:46 PM.

      Which begs the following questions:

      Will you join us in denouncing these kinds of phone calls?

      And will you help get to the bottom of who was responsible?

      Robert Becker

      Campaign Manager

      Polis for Congress

      • RedGreen says:

        What was your basis for assuming the calls came from the Fitz-Gerald campaign?

        Why did you issue a press release today titled “Response to Fitz-Gerald’s negative phoning” if you were only guessing Fitz-Gerald was responsible?

        Will you issue a correction and apologize to Joan Fitz-Gerald for tarring her with this unsubstantiated charge?

        • elmu says:

          Honestly, redgreenyellow, who else would be responsible? Seriously, explain your grand theory. I’m very, very curious.*

          * I’m actually not very curious.

        • cologator says:

          at least now we can easily ascribe “Joan worker” to Red Green.

          I mean, clearly the logical choice for the group doing the push-poll is someone related to Shafroth, who has MORE than enough money to spend on this kind of dirty tricks, or Starin who clearly has a favorite in the race, or the Unity Party candidate, who… exists?

          Or, maybe it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and was funded, in some way, by Joan or an independent expenditure group representing her.

          Regardless of who you support in this, it’s just crap tactics. Democrats bashing other Democrats is ridiculous, particularly saying that one of them doesn’t want to end the war, which is coincidentally a Joan talking point!

          • RedGreen says:

            It was probably a 527. Of course it’s crap tactics, but so is jumping the gun accusing Fitz-Gerald of negative phone calls without knowing who was really responsible.

            And you must have missed the charges I was a Shafroth supporter. That’s not surprising, since you and your alter ego both created your screen names the same night:


            Created: Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 20:56:18 PM MDT


            Created: Thu Jun 26, 2008 at 16:13:04 PM MDT

            • elmu says:

              I have no idea who cologator is. Do you really think I’m so bored that I’m continually logging on and off… pfff.

              Why don’t you take a dose of your own medicine and stop the HORRIBLE ACCUSATIONS w/o the proof… pfff, again. You’re silly.

            • cologator says:

              irony is telling me I should believe charges made in a blog while disputing that charges made in a blog are correct.

              Also, I don’t know who elmu is. Why would I create a doppelganger 5 hours apart, but on the same day? If I wanted it to be obviously different, it would be obviously be a different day. If I didn’t mind them being on the same day, why wouldn’t I just do it back to back?

              Good try though.

            • Aristotle says:

              unless the same person can post two comments within two seconds of each other while logged into two different accounts (presumably on two different computers). Elmu’s “come on” comment came at “Mon Jul 07, 2008 at 16:40:44 PM MDT” and cologator’s “at least comment came at “Mon Jul 07, 2008 at 16:40:46 PM MDT.”

              However, I’m sure they both work for the same campaign, created their accounts on the same orders from their chief, and are dishing the same rehearsed talking points.

              Amateur hour for sure.

  9. RedGreen says:

    Has anyone, including the Polis campaign, established that Fitz-Gerald was responsible for the supposed calls? Classic judo campaign move, to slam an opponent for negative campaigning.

    The Fitz-Gerald campaign is sending out a release denying they had anything to do with the calls, and, in fact, Joan herself got one of the calls last week (they weren’t robocalls). The Shafroth campaign, as well, says they had nothing to do with it and a staffer received one of the calls.

    • elmu says:

      I thought those responsible for push polls took responsibility…?!? I guess that was a big, incorrect assumption.

    • BoulderDem says:

      It was Joan (or a group VERY closely associated with Joan). I got the call on Wednesday, I think. It was pretty much all negatives on Jared, one after the other, phrased unlike any straight poll I’ve ever seen (in other words highly slanted).

      I’d like someone to call Emily’s List and ask them (or if they’re monitoring this discussion back in DC please respond). This is no stupid trick. From the volume of calls I’m inferring from all the folks who got, and the length of the call, this was a $35k-40k dirty trick.

  10. Barron X says:


    Could one of the several Polis staffers on this thread please explain,

    if two of the three charges in the “push poll” are fundamentally accurate,

    why is this a dirty tactic ?  


    1.  Involved in Amendment 41.  

    ……… Do you deny that ?

    2.  Received a contribution from someone who also gave to Swift Boats effort.

    ……… You actually acknowledge this is true in the next breath.

    3.  Won’t commit to getting troops out.  

    ……… I believe this charge is false, the only false charge of the three.  But what exactly did the pollsters say ?  If Starin is behind this poll, he may be conflating the positions of Polis and Obama.


    • BoulderDem says:

      Starin has enough money to commission a poll?

      Keep spinning …

      BTW, the interviewer said Amendment 41 “hurt Coloradans,” which is the part the Polis campaign is saying is false (which it is). Becker’s “confidential” memo doesn’t really do justice to the questions. They were harsh and VERY slanted. The one on the Swift Boats in particular went on and on about how awful the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry were (and they were), and suggested Polis supported them, or at least that the Swift Boat organization (as opposed to a couple random donors of theirs) were working for him.

      • elmu says:

        BTW, the interviewer said Amendment 41 “hurt Coloradans,” which is the part the Polis campaign is saying is false (which it is).

      • Barron X says:


        if the push poll was saying that Polis supported the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry,

        then I concede that is false.  

        But on the question of whether Amendment 41 hurt ordinary state employees whose kids couldn’t accept scholarships,

        which I think was discussed on this blog,

        your opinion that the statement is false, solid as it may be,

        does not rise to the level of “truth” or “fact.”

        It is still just an opinion,

        one with which many long-time regulars here will take issue.

        Along with a boatload (but not a Swift Boat load, since that only holds about a dozen) of Coloradans.


        • BoulderDem says:

          him to say? “In our opinion” that’s false?

        • cologator says:

          It is not an opinion actually, it was proved by several different judges and commissions, including the Colorado Supreme Court.

          Just in case this is a question by the way:

          bloggers < supreme courts.

          Also, there is an oversight committee to make sure there are no problems.




          • Barron X says:


            I checked your links.

            Two of them say that I am right, except that scholarships awarded by the Boettcher Foundation are exempt from the Amendment.

            So you provided support FOR my argument and AGAINST yours.

            That’s not what I think “prove” means.

            Then the third link says that the Supreme Court removed an injunction staying the new law.  

            It does not say one way or the other whether or not the Amendment will cause the problems that its critics warn of.  

            It says that the 5-member Commission will have to decide.

            Again, your “proof” contradicts your argument.  


            Oh.  I get it now.

            You are trying to show just how bad Amendment 41 could possibly be.

            Very clever.



    • CO Dem says:

      With the dems in the middle of a close primary campaign, the unlucky person who is the repub candidate spends money on a push poll against one of three possible opponents?

      And this from a candidate who as of the last FEC report had raised precisely $0 in contributions. Yeah, a push poll would be the smartest thing for his campaign to do.

      Seriously, how dumb do you think people are?

  11. Craig says:

    He shoots from the hip and doesn’t have all the facts.  There is nothing, nowhere in this post to prove or even indicate that JFG did this other than it is negative Polis.  It’s just as likely that the inexperienced Shafroth did this.  It’s also more than likely that a 527 did this.  How about Emily’s List???

    This entire post shows exactly why Polis is not suited to be a Congressman – arrogant, jumps to conclusions, bully, so full of himself that I just want to puke every time I see him.

    • CO Dem says:

      But hey, obviously the details don’t matter, right?

      • Barron X says:


        are you saying that he hasn’t come out of his office to the conference room where you 3 are blogging from to tell you how to respond ?

        He just gives general guidance, and leaves the implementation up to you ?


    • elmu says:

      Seriously. Please logically explain who else would have a hand in this?

    • cologator says:

      Um, EMILYs list has already announced they are supporting Joan. I got a mailing from them to support her a while ago. They are also well-known for their negative campaigning, particularly in primaries.

      EVEN if it were EMILYs List, they clearly got their talking points and questions from the Fitzgerald campaign, they are clearly working for her, and the Fitzgerald campaign has clearly not denounced WHOEVER did the poll.

      Notice that, by the way? In Mary’s entire post (ghost face written by Matt), she mentions standing up for things, working for things, doing things (without any specifics of course), but she doesn’t ONCE say that she is AGAINST the push-poll, she just says she got called. Weak.

      • Barron X says:


        is accusing Joan of coordinating with a 527 ?


        I think we finally have some news out of this trumped up issue.


        • cologator says:

          seriously? I got a letter FROM EMILY’S LIST with the name “Joan Fitz-Gerald for Congress” on it. They may not be receiving marching orders from the campaign, but they are most CERTAINLY working for her in the campaign. They have announced that already, both to their donors and to the general public.

          Also, you will note that I used the hypothetical, “If it were EMILYs List” which is not an accusation, it is a hypothetical, which may or may not exist.

          As for the staff thing, believe whatever you want, that is definitely something that falls under the question of meta crap. It’s a lot easier to be wrong and trash the source of proof of that, than to address the proof itself.

          • Barron X says:


            when talking data,

            “meta” means “big picture.”

            I think I’ll keep my eye on that.  


            It’s a lot easier to be wrong and trash the source of proof of that, than to address the proof itself.

            JFG had the endorsement of EMILY’s List back in November.  That’s fairly well known.  You are not revealing anything by posting that.

            What’s news is your claim that “they [whoever did the push poll] clearly got their talking points and questions from the Fitzgerald campaign.”  

            A sharp cookie like you knows that direct coordination with a 527,

            whoever they are,

            even someone besides EMILY,

            is illegal.  

            So, Dude,

            if you furnished some “proof,”

            that means that you believe that you have proven something, n’est pas ?

            Help a geezer understand:

            what do you think you’ve proven ?

            A link between some 527 and the JFG campaign ?

            Because even I can download talking points from a website without coordinating with the site’s owner.

            And I need my grandkids to program my VCR.


            • cologator says:

              Other than the fact that EMILY’s List is working for fg, which you obviously know. Nor have I tried to prove anything else, thus the hypothetical.

              By the way, you are right, and prove my point that illegal coordination doesn’t have to be taking place for ANY 527 to be doing these push polls. “getting talking points” from a campaign does not qualify as coordination. You can download bio and issue information anytime you want.

              AFL-CIO dropped information at my house the other day about Joan, it had her talking points right down the line. It’s coordinated, because they’re saying the same things, but it’s not legally coordination because (I assume), no one from fg’s campaign is giving the union orders as to what to do.

              That being said, if I’m Mary Alice whoosits and a 527 did a push poll allegedly HELPING me, I would do the same thing John Edwards did when a 527 did things he thought were unsavory, I would denounce them and tell them they did not have my blessing in any way.

              Then again, I have ethics.

              We’re not talking data BTW, we’re talking meta in the current use of the word, talking about process and how something is said, rather than actual meat and potatoes and what the words REALLY mean. Also known as “issues.”

              • Barron X says:


                and if its as bad as you say,

                she ought to disavow.  

                But its up to YOU to help her out.

                Get the actual questions and such and let her respond formally.


            • CO Dem says:

              It’ll be the day when I meet a grandfather who uses the word “dude”.

              If you’re going to assume an alter ego on here, which it seems many have, at least stick with the same one for the entire post.

              • Barron X says:


                I don’t actually have Grandkids.

                I’m old enough;

                my children have failed me.

                I am NOT a real Grandpa.  

                But you must not break out of the social stratification that isolates you from the geezer class.  

                We use the word “dude” on occasion.  

                And “salsa,” which has multiple meanings.


      • coloradodemlover says:

        Its funny also that the list is supporting Joan when Jared has actually given them a large sum of money over the years and Joan and will have given them like 50 bucks.

    • Barron X says:


      tickle me elmo, alligator and the Dem are all sitting at the same table in somebody’s campaign headquarters,

      (ask Pols about what IP address all three are posting from)

      and yet they can’t coordinate who’s going to respond to what ?

      Guys.  Talk to each other.


  12. niceusername says:

    Emily’s list didn’t make those lies up.  Fitz-Gerald’s camp has been pushing that BS a long time.  Whether or not Joan’s name is on the receipt, these phone calls are congruent with her campaign tactics that she indeed claims as her own.  

  13. RedGreen says:

    Up above, over an hour ago Polis campaign manager Robert Becker posted the following challenge to the Fitz-Gerald campaign:

    Which begs the following questions:

    Will you join us in denouncing these kinds of phone calls?

    And will you help get to the bottom of who was responsible?

    So far, Becker hasn’t responded to these questions begged by the e-mail he sent this afternoon:

    What was your basis for assuming the calls came from the Fitz-Gerald campaign?

    Why did you issue a press release today titled “Response to Fitz-Gerald’s negative phoning” if you were only guessing Fitz-Gerald was responsible?

    Will you issue a correction and apologize to Joan Fitz-Gerald for tarring her with this unsubstantiated charge?  

      • RedGreen says:

        And Becker’s press release, like the push poll, qualifies.  

        • CO Dem says:

          but for now, I fail to see how highlighting the nastiest form of campaigning by an opponent is considered negative. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the push poll is negative campaigning. Luckily I didn’t receive one, but from what I heard, there’s really only one source it could have come from.

          And while we’re talking about it, you’re demanding a response from the Polis campaign, but the Fitz-Gerald campaign has yet to A. own up and take responsibility and/or B. denounce this type of highly slanted push poll.

          So before you go getting all “holier than thou” ask yourself why the Fitz-Gerald campaign (quite possibly your employers) has yet to denounce the calls.

          • elmu says:

            Fitz-Gerald’s website is now denouncing the push poll. Interesting, since her very own “Mary” claims that Fitz-Gerald, herself, received a call on Thursday night and was apparently outraged. Why, then, did it take this long to denounce the push poll? Very curious, indeed.

            Let the “poll” cause some damage, get caught, then denounce.

            A lot of Fitz-Gerald’s story just doesn’t pass the test of being, oh, you know, logical.

            • cologator says:

              strange, I don’t see her denouncing it at all. I see her admitting to having been “polled.”

              I see her having been called at 9:45 at night on a night where Thornton was unveiling the Vietnam Memorial Wall and both Jared and Will were there, but where she was notably absent.

              I see her being proud of running an issue oriented campaign, on a website where the top two stories on the right sidebar are, “Jared Polis Accepts Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Money” and

              “The Real Story Behind Polis Energy Commercial”

              and I see the fact that voters continue to respond to her record, despite not acknowledging that those responses are not all positive.

              What I don’t see… anywhere, is a denunciation of the tactics of push-polling. I don’t see her saying, “I know that Jared wants our troops out of Iraq, but this is how we differ.” I don’t see her saying, “I know I was a State Senator whose presents were directly affected by lobbyist reform, but here’s why I promise, no, really, I promise, that I will enact the same lobbyist reform in Washington.” and of course, I don’t see her saying, “Here’s why my wealth is morally superior to Jared’s wealth, and thus why I have attacked him on one thing and one thing only that I can ACTUALLY say with a straight face.”

              Don’t see any of that.


    • cologator says:

      Mainly because, as people have picked apart the dirty crap the push-poll asked, your questions also have logical flaws. Not that I am defending, again, the meta discussions, but this is just too easy:

      1. What was your basis for assuming the calls came from the fg campaign?

      Basically he can answer whatever he wants here. That being the case, I wouldn’t waste my time on such a stupid question.

      Which leads to 3., Will you issue a blah blah unsubstantiated charge.

      If he has a reason for assuming the calls came from Joan, or if he KNOWS the calls came from Joan, they’re not unsubstantiated charges. You may not LIKE the proof he has, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It just means that you don’t like it. Given past bleatings, that wouldn’t really surprise me.

      2 is pretty much a non-starter as well. If he’s guessing the calls were connected to Joan, and they weren’t, why hasn’t Mary Alice denounced them? If he KNOWS they were, which I would assume he does, because you don’t have 20 years in politics being stupid, why would he tell a blog how he got that information? You don’t tell someone you’ve cracked their code. You let them keep using it.

      Also, and this can’t really be overstated, you didn’t say please.

      • Barron X says:


        earlier (above) I insinuated that the alligator was on the staff of one of the campaigns.  

        Based on this latest post,

        I have to admit that I was wrong.  

        None of the campaigns is so poorly managed as to have postings of this caliber reflect on their candidate.


    • leadville lenny says:

      The JFG camp answered that the poll was not theirs. There are too many people who know where the poll originated and to deny it  would be a mistake…the truth always comes out. The Polis campaign is making no effort to find the truth, but is happy to place the blame so that negative backlash can begin.

      Anyone who has worked a campaign knows how a “confidential” memo can be leaked. Becker is no novice and this intro is the Polis campaign’s permission slip to go Rovian.  

      • cologator says:

        Except for a few things:

        1. Becker asked the fg campaign to HELP them find the truth, which would indicate to me that an effort has already begun to find out where the smears started.

        2. the fg camp answered that it wasn’t theirs, even though the timing was such that whoever expended money on it won’t have to file that expenditure on an fec report until the primary is over, and the fact that they STILL haven’t denounced whoever IS doing it.

        3. “Going Rovian” doesn’t need a permission slip. Polis still hasn’t gone negative. They’ve defended themselves against an attack. They haven’t insulted Joan’s wealth, they haven’t tried to convince people that children won’t have scholarships because of lobbyist reform, and they haven’t verbally berated staffers of the opposing campaigns, all of which Joan and her staff have done.

        redgreen has a point, yes, but it is an incorrect one.

        • RedGreen says:

          You don’t get that Becker’s press release, labeling the Fitz-Gerald campaign responsible for the calls, is both inaccurate and a smear in itself?

          The Fitz-Gerald campaign can do whatever it wants to, but the Polis campaign has a document out there filled with inaccurate smears of an opponent. That’s the issue — will the Polis campaign take responsibility for its false charges? Apparently you and your fellow bloggers answer “no.” That clears things up.

      • elmu says:

        I think your getting your analogies mixed up.

        • RedGreen says:

          Make false charges, keep repeating them and don’t back down even when they’ve been demonstrated to be false.

          If the shoe fits.

          • elmu says:

            the trademark of Rove’s 2000 strat, silly.

            • RedGreen says:

              The Rove bag of tricks has more in it than push polls.

              Another Rove tactic was to float unsubstantiated rumors on blogs, then beat the charges to death until even the most skeptical observers give them some credence.

              Response to Fitz-Gerald’s negative phoning

              … we have received scores of calls/emails/complaints about Joan Fitz-Gerald’s negative phone calling last week

              Those are unsubstantiated, wild guesses — and, it turns out, false claims — made by the Polis campaign manager, Robert Becker. He was quick to come on this blog to repeat his accusations but has been slow to admit his charges were unfounded and false. In fact, he hasn’t done so. That’s a Rove tactic, and the sad thing is, it works.

              The “charges” in the push poll, while odious, are hardly new, and are hardly the exclusive property of the Fitz-Gerald campaign. Becker’s e-mail, conveniently “leaked” to the media within minutes of hitting “send,” makes new charges against Fitz-Gerald that likely will turn more voters against her. That they are false charges seems not to matter to the Polis campaign.

              Good job guys.

  14. elmu says:

    Do people understand how a push poll works? b/c, I am currently not convinced that the answer is in the affirmative…

    Let’s pretend that Fitz-Gerald’s camp isn’t directly paying for this “poll.” Who is? The logical answer would be a pro-Fitz-Gerald group. Where are they getting their info? I wonder… No, I don’t actually wonder – it’s more than apparent.

    Why, after Joan claims she received a call from the push poll, did she not immediately condemn the poll and try to stop it?

    And yes, this is her responsibility. Would you want a congress person who didn’t actively try to stop unethical campaign practices?

    Since Joan didn’t denounce the poll and still has yet to, her leadership comes into question…

    Is anyone seriously contending that Fitz-Gerald doesn’t benefit from these calls?

    Is anyone seriously contending that Fitz-Gerald wouldn’t have allowed the calls to continue if the Polis camp hadn’t said something? The effect that the reasonable answer to both questions is a resounding “no” – her ethics come into play and they’re aweful.  

    • elmu says:

      To reiterate what some people have been saying: isn’t a bit odd that the calls came now when it will be so difficult to trace their source?

      No, it’s not odd – it makes perfect sense.

      • leadville lenny says:

        So what do you know Elmu or is it Elmo? Your only comments are on today’s topic – where have you been or are you a recent hire for the Polis Blog Patrol? You are a Becker Bandwagon Buddy –

        Let’s face it Polis has some negatives. I am sure his own polls are telling him that – his answer is to create a distraction and blame someone else for his problems.  

        • leadville lenny says:

          You also signed on to Pols on June 26, 2008 and your only comments on on this topic. You and Elmu are a tag team of Polis Pushers.

        • CO Dem says:

          You might want to start using that thing inside your head, known by most as a brain.

        • elmu says:

          Hi leadville.

          It’s elmu (long story). I’ve actually been reading Pols for a while now. I created my account… I dunno, a week or two ago, but I’d been reading the site for some time before then – maybe a couple of months.

          I created the account to vote in poll.

          I’ve been posting on this topic b/c push polls just make me too depressed. There dirty and unethical and, like my first post read, I think it’s sickening.

          On the note of finding out who I am, I love how much time some commentators spend trying to find out who someone is instead of answering the issue of the discussion. A bunch of cute detectives we have here. I mean, looking up sign up dates – really?

          • elmu says:

            how many grammar and spelling mistakes I just made in that comment… but it’s late, so please forgive.

          • As far as anyone knows, David Thielen is the true source of this push-poll.  Or you.  Just who do you work for, anyway?  </snark>

            With time comes trust.  Around campaign season especially, there are a lot of sockpuppet and shill sign-ups.  Contribute meaningfully elsewhere and you might not be mistaken for a Polis shill or a sockpuppet clone.  Until your reputation is built, be prepared for a healthy dose of skepticism around here.

            • elmu says:

              Well, about seven hours ago I commented on the McCain story, but the comment was anything but “meaningful.” But just for the commenting on another post, I think I get half a point.

  15. DavidThi808 says:

    Come on people – if you get a push-poll – ask them who they represent at the end. Then if they tell you or not, as soon as you hange up, dial *69 and get the number it came from!!!!!!!!

    Brains people, they’re meant to be used.

  16. Disinterested17 says:

    Polis is buying the seat, so what’s a few negative ads on the way?  I feel so sorry for him . . .

  17. DavidThi808 says:

    Ok, let’s assume that the push-poll was done by some 3rd party and neither campaign knows who it is.

    How they have each reacted to it is very reasonable, with both going for maximum advantage in a way that is within the normal bounds of campaigning.

    JP leaked a memo that would have been acquastory without proof if it was a press release, but is ok as an “internal memo.” And it clearly was meant to be leaked as that is how this is handled.

    JFG made a token statement saying they found the poll to be wrong. What else should she be expected to do??? She’s Jared’s opponent.

    Now if either knows more, then it’s a very different thing.

    • Barron X says:


      this diary has been perfectly juvenile and immature up to now.

      He is too late.

      Why inject reason and maturity,

      when the number of posts per minute has fallen off so dramatically ?


    • The “leaked” memo is IMHO as bad as the push poll, full of 100% unsubstantiated attack material.

      I now wish I’d pushed my wife harder to take the poll she was offered around the same time frame last week; it sounded very official and professional.  I’d have loved to have *69’d it if it were a push poll.

      I hope someone owns up to this or puts out evidence about these calls.  Negative campaigning at this level is a big turn-off for me.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        I think it falls under the category of acceptable business practice – in large part because the beneficiary of the poll is JFG. That doesn’t mean JFG is doing it, but they or a supporter is the likely culprit.

        And yes, we have to make quick assumptions with limited information in cases like this. Because if we wait for the law to slowly determine who it is – the election is long over.

  18. ekean says:

    This is a rather long and complicated thread, took me nearly half an hour to read every post, and now that I have finished there seem to be several points of contention that I feel like weighing in on.  

    1st: The issue of the “leak”/”press release”.  Who cares?  With something this controversial it is much more likely that the mainstream media will run with a press “leak” than a release.  It was tactical.  There is a reason that Pols put it in quotes in the origional post.

    2nd: JFG’s call.  She got a call…suprising, but I think it was an honest mistake by someone.  There are alot of people named FitzGerald.

    3rd: Polis’ accusiation.  I think it might end up being a mistake in the long run, because unless he can prove it, a retraction seems likely, which, while it doesnt make him look as bad as Joan, it does take a little bit of the shine off.  

    4th: Who Done It?  Very hard to tell.  It wasnt Polis thats for sure.  Unless someone in his office did something that goes against what his campaign stands for, and what he as a person stands for, then there is no chance it was him.  JFG? maybe, I doubt we will see a true connection until we see some finance reports or we get a real leak.  Personally I favor Emily’s Group or a similar 527 operating with the permission of the campaign.  It provides plausible deniability and results.  

    (Disclaimer:  I am a Polis Supporter, but unlike Elmu and Cologator i do not work in the office)

    (Disclaimer:  I have absolutly no idea if Elmu and Cologator work in the office, I dont even know if they have jobs…anywhere, it was a joke)

    • I’m under no illusions that any of the candidates (except maybe Will) is squeaky-clean.  You don’t seem to have the same semi-skeptical view, and I think you’re doing yourself a disservice.

      You obviously believe the Polis “leak” memo, even though you say it might have been a politically iffy thing to do.  You insinuate that throughout your response.  I have no problem believing any of the candidate campaigns, or supporting 527’s, or even independent groups looking to tarnish someone’s record for the future could have done this; Polis’s campaign has every bit as much reason to have initiated the calls with the appropriate fact-free follow-up leak as the JFG campaign has.

      Personally, I’d like to know more about the polling targets.  I wouldn’t put it past EMILY’s List, but they certainly don’t need to take official cues from Fitz-Gerald in order to run this poll – they’ve been around the political block long enough to know how to keep things separate.

      • ekean says:

        I do believe the Polis leak, and I have no reason to believe that Polis is innocent, except for my faith in the man.  I just think that Jared is honestly working very hard to run a campaign that is above this type of tactic.

        I dont think they took any “official cues” from JFG but I think its rather likely that they ran the idea by her, probably in person or over the phone so there would be no record.  

        These are my opinions, right now there are not a lot of facts to base anything on.

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