Markey Strikes Back

After a week of shrill bombardment from opponent Marilyn Musgrave, Democratic CD-4 candidate Betsy Markey is done taking unanswered punches–as the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports:

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave is backing legislation to lower taxes on coin and precious metal investments, which she says is consistent with her tax-cutting philosophy. Her opponents say it’s an attempt to enrich her own family.

Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan, is a co-sponsor of The Fair Treatment for Precious Metals Investors Act, which was introduced in June 2007 and has been languishing in committee since. The bill would lower the top tax rate on investments in coins and precious metals from 28 percent to 15 percent by treating them like equity investments rather than collectibles such as paintings and stamps.

“Any time Marilyn has the opportunity to reduce taxes on the American people, she does it,” said Musgrave campaign manager Jason Thielman.

But Democratic challenger Betsy Markey and her supporters said the bill would benefit a small group of taxpayers – including Musgrave and her husband, Steve, who had between $50,001 and $100,000 invested in coins and precious metals in 2007, according to Musgrave’s personal financial disclosure filed earlier this year…

Steve Musgrave had between $15,001 and $50,000 in capital gains off his precious metals investment in 2007, according to the disclosure, meaning the Musgraves’ tax liability would have been reduced between $2,000 and $6,500 under the bill she supported.

“Musgrave is abusing her position in Congress to try to personally enrich herself,” Markey spokes-man Ben Marter said. “She is one of only nine representatives to co-sponsor this bill that would materially benefit her at the expense of taxpayers. At a time when our economy is in turmoil and families are struggling to make ends meet, she needs to explain why she is trying to help herself at a cost of $52 million to American taxpayers.”

Ed Yoon, campaign manager for Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which has spent $520,000 on anti-Musgrave efforts this election, accused the three-term incumbent of hypocrisy. He said Musgrave has been baselessly accusing Markey of trying to enrich herself while serving as a Senate staffer while Musgrave has been pushing legislation that would benefit her own family…

Our view: this is a better counterattack than 2006 contender Angie Paccione ever managed, and we predicted the moment we saw Musgrave going negative that Markey’s return fire would do more damage than Musgrave’s opening volley. Which is why we said it was a mistake for Musgrave to go bare-knuckle negative to begin with–even though she has never failed to do so when threatened, and it did help her in the end against Angie Paccione.

The problem, as Musgrave’s campaign will slowly–too slowly, we predict–come to understand over the next few weeks, is that Betsy Markey is a hell of a lot better at this than Angie Paccione.

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    …if she makes the discussion about corrupt practices, she loses that battle. She is one of the most corrupt members of congress by many measures and as such, if Markey fights back on these terms, and she is – Musgrave loses that fight.

    What’s interesting is I think this is the only way Musgrave knows to fight. So she continues fighting on terms she loses, or she has to shift and try something different which is outside her experience and comfort zone.

  2. sxp151 says:

    The series of bankruptcy commercials was a nightmare for those of us who were canvassing for her. She’d defaulted on student loans, and although eventually she paid them back, it was just too complicated to explain to voters in a short amount of time. So a lot of people ended up despising both Musgrave and Paccione, and supported Musgrave as “the evil you know.”

    I just don’t think Markey has as many skeletons in her closet, which means Musgrave has to try much, much harder to pull her down. That by itself doesn’t make Markey better than Paccione, I think.  

    • BlueCat says:

      a stronger candidate than Paccione.  It was not unreasonable, after all, for people to think twice about sending someone with Paccione’s record in handling her own finances to congress.  Fair or not, her explanations struck many as inadequate. Markey DOES have fewer negatives and Paccione came awfully close in spite of hers.  Markey could very well pull this off.  

    • Middle of the Road says:

      I volunteered on Paccione’s campaign for 15 months and I see Markey running her campaign much better, much tighter. A better response time to accusations, for starters. She doesn’t wait to hit back. And you’re right–it doesn’t hurt that as a candidate, Markey is almost ideally squeaky clean.

      I personally could have cared less that Angie filed bankruptcy. I know a whole lot of folks that have fallen on hard times and have been forced to do the same. My issue was with her campaign staff and the fact that they chose to ignore what we, the volunteers on the ground that were canvassing, phone banking and knocking ourselves out with voters, kept telling the campaign–that Musgrave’s negative ads about Angie’s financial troubles were killing us.

      I was the Field Coordinator for Estes Park and I saw our numbers dropping–from 5 for Angie and 1 vote for Musgrave for every 6 doors to 3 for Angie and 3 for Musgrave or Eidsness. And yet, the campaign just kept ignoring that the response they instructed us to give (which was just the worst, most evasive, vague answer I have ever heard a campaign come up with) wasn’t working.

      By the time Angie went up on the air in response to the accusations, we had lost too much ground with voters.

      I gotta agree with Pols on this–Markey is running a well organized, well run effort and Musgrave is running the same old crap she always runs, expecting the same results. I don’t think she’s going to get what she expects this time around.  

      • BlueCat says:

        for Bill Winter who, granted, was a long shot, I encountered a lot of the same thing.  People with no ties to our neighborhoods were not listening to community based volunteers.  

        Tancredo, of course, made illegal immigration the big thing but because surveys from BEFORE  people started tuning into the election showed that it was NOT a big concern of the voters, the campaign never adjusted.  The more the Winter campaign kept pushing the line that illegal immigration was not a problem in our county and telling canvassers to simply  answer all questions with the “comprehensive immigration reform” message, the more ticked off people who were concerned about it became.

        When we tried to tell them that the campaign would have to give us something a little more detailed and less dismissive to canvass with they just blew us off. We were just a bunch of middle aged know nothings. Glad the Markey campaign is in good hands.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          I seem to hear that more and more, the longer I volunteer for candidates. It’s not the candidate that is tuning out–it’s who he or she surrounds him or herself with that cuts them off from the reality on the ground.

          • DavidThi808 says:

            When my mom ran for U.S. Senate she got a lot of that too. I think it’s the nature of the beast, the ones around want to “protect” their candidate. And human nature is such that people want the world to work according to their plan.

            One thing that worked well for her was that because I was out here I could not get wrapped up in the non-stop insanity of an ongoing campaign. And I flat-out didn’t know who was pushing what.

            I think every candidate needs a couple of people who are watching and listening, but are not part of the leadership – that the candidate talks to regularly.

  3. redstateblues says:

    Fair Treatment my butt, the prices of metals have shot through the roof in the last few years. This is mostly due to the massive amount of construction projects in China and India.

    Why can’t Musty just steal copper tubing and sell it at scrap yards like everyone else in Weld County?

  4. l'angelomisterioso says:

    This would tend to make one wonder if Musgrave has or had any connection to the rare coins fiasco in the state of Ohio which took down a prominent republican there, and which IIRC had a small Colorado component/connection.In any event Musgrave is about as crooked as that proverbial canines extremity and I can’t see that her going negative on Markey is going to help all that much.

    • RedGreen says:

      were involved in that scandal. The apple doesn’t rot far from the tree in the 4th District, does it?

      That’s a good question.

    • Go Blue says:

      the Coingate scandal.

      “Coingate” is the term given to an ongoing scandal that has implicated officials on almost every level of government in Ohio and has received attention from the national press. It started in April 2005 when the Toledo Blade reported that a prominent Republican fundraiser received a generous contract to manage a state investment in a rare-coin fund, a peculiar investment for a public fund.  Since then, it has triggered a continuously unfolding press reports as more scrutiny led to the discovery of additional questionable investments. The stories have resulted in charges of conflict of interest and corruption leveled at the state’s current administration while Noe, his associates, and state officials are under criminal and civil investigation by federal and state prosecutors.

      This could be a very big problem for Musgrave.

  5. One Queer Dude says:

    She needs to personally enrich herself now since she’s probably retiring at the end of this year.

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