UPDATE #4: The Polis campaign was forced to…ah, modify its original statement. Politics West reports:
After further review, the Polis camp concedes that Corporate Advocates and Jep Seman had nothing to do with the attack ad. But further research found that Steve Adams, the man who is responsible, works for Colorado Communique, a group that represents BP Global among other companies.
“Our apologies to Mr. Seman,” says Polis campaign manager Robert Becker. “We made the incorrect assumption that he was the big oil lobbyist behind the ads. It appears there’s a different big oil lobbyist behind the ad that happens to share the same office suite.”
…Fitz-Gerald’s campaign immediately distanced itself from the ad, the first negative TV spot of a contentious and expensive race for the 2nd Congressional District.
Clears that up, except for the most important question for the Polis camp, which is who is paying for the ads. In addition to representing BP, Steve Adams is the former head of the Colorado AFL-CIO with all kinds of friends and enemies–enjoy the guessing game, though we strongly caution against continuing to guess out loud in press releases.
UPDATE #3: The Polis campaign just sent out a press release responding to this ad. Says campaign manager Robert Becker, “It [is] unfortunate, yet predictable, that Joan Fitz-Gerald’s oil lobbyist friends would launch negative attacks against Jared Polis” (release follows).
UPDATE #2: Helpfully supplied by a reader:
UPDATE: Quicktime users can watch the video on Colorado Counts’ quickie website.
There is a new ad airing in the CD-2 race attacking candidate Jared Polis, paid for by a new independent committee called Colorado Counts. We’re looking for a YouTube of it to show, no doubt one of you already has it (we’re smiling as we type that). It’s a pretty hard shot on Polis’ education record.
On a related note, we also heard more from a corroborating source today about the poll (some say “push poll”) trolling various known Polis negatives that caused a considerable ruckus last week. Contrary to previous speculation, many people seem to have heard that the poll was in fact conducted on behalf of persons affiliated with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, who we’re told are also principal funders of the TV buy for “Colorado Counts.”
This would, if true, maybe not be a great thing for the Fitz-Gerald camp to see publicized, as the next logical question would be why the much-maligned COGA would care enough about this liberal Democrat primary to make such an investment–potentially segueing nicely into Polis’ “Big Oil Sweetheart” charge against Fitz-Gerald.
But frankly, there are enough faulty/intentionally misinforming rumors about this race to fill a warehouse these days, even from people one would otherwise “trust,” so we’ll leave it to our readers to do their usual excellent job sorting this out via pie fight.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 22, 2008
CONTACT: Robert Becker – 303.381.0121
Joan Fitz-Gerald’s Oil Lobbyist Friends Launch False, Negative TV attack against Jared Polis
(Boulder, CO) – Last night a new TV ad from a brand new organization with ties to Joan Fitz-Gerald – “Colorado Counts” – began airing $155,000 of negative attacks against Jared Polis on Denver stations.
“It unfortunate, yet predictable, that Joan Fitz-Gerald’s oil lobbyist friends would launch negative attacks against Jared Polis,” charged Robert Becker, Polis for Congress campaign manager.
“Jared is after all the one candidate in this race who refuses to take special interest PAC money and will stand up to the Big Oil lobbyists in Washington. Joan Fitz-Gerald on the other hand takes corporate PAC money and was the sponsor of their ‘Oil-Industry Dream Bill,’ according to the Denver Post.”
Who is this new group “Colorado Counts”?
Address Listed on Colorado Secretary of State Filing is Address of Lobbying Firm (2008)
In July 2008, Colorado Counts registered as a limited liability corporation with the Colorado Secretary of State. On the filings, the group listed their principal address as 1660 Lincoln Street, Ste 3050, Denver, Colorado. This address is the same address listed for the lobbying firm Corporate Advocates, “a full-service lobbying, issues management and public relations firm.” (Colorado Secretary of State Web Site, “Business Search: Colorado Counts,” www.sos.state.co.us; Corporate Advocated Web Site, “Contact Us,” www.corporateadvocates.net; Corporate Advocated Web Site, “What We Do,” www.corporateadvocates.net)
Head of Government Relations for Corporate Advocates Sits on Board of Colorado Petroleum Association (2008)
In July 2008, Corporate Advocates listed Jep Seman as the head of government relations for the lobbying firm. The company web site listed several positions that Seman held currently or in the past, including currently serving on the board of the Colorado Petroleum Association. He also served as a past president of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association:
“Mr. Seman sits on the Boards of the Colorado Petroleum Association, Warren Village Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation, and is the past president of the Rocky Mountain Oil and Gas Association.” (Corporate Advocated Web Site, “Who We Are,” www.corporateadvocates.net)
Jep Seman Contributed $1,250 to Fitz-Gerald (2007-2008)
In 2007 and 2008, Seman contributed $1,250 to the Congressional campaign of Joan Fitz-Gerald. The table below details the contributions:
Recipient Date Amount
Joan Fitz-Gerald 6/30/2007 $500
Joan Fitz-Gerald 3/31/2008 $500
Joan Fitz-Gerald 12/31/2007 $250
(Open Secrets Web Site, “Donor Lookup: Jep Seman,” www.opensecrets.org)
Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips listed as Lobbying Clients (2008)
In 2008, Corporate Advocates listed a number of oil and gas companies as their clients in Colorado, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Conoco Phillips. (Colorado Secretary of State Web Site, “Lobbyist Search: Corporate Advocates,” www.sos.state.co.us)