Coffman With Big Money Lead in SOS Race

Republican Mike Coffman has a huge money lead over Democrat Ken Gordon in the race for Colorado Secretary of State.

Coffman raised about $63,000 in Q2, leaving him with about $83,000 cash on hand (keep in mind that Coffman transferred $68,000 from previous committees, including his short-lived gubernatorial campaign).

Gordon, meanwhile, is spending money?much faster than he is?raising it. Gordon raised about $69,000 in Q2, but he only has about $29,000 cash on hand…nearly one-third less than Coffman.

More Fallout from Beauprez Flip-Flop on 38

The Rocky Mountain News editorial board takes Bob Beauprez to task today for his flip-flop on support for?Amendment 38. As the News points out, why would Beauprez have ever though backing 38 would be a good idea?

Republican Bob Beauprez’s three-page explanation for why he yanked his support last week from Amendment 38 is almost as dense and detailed as the amendment itself. So permit us to offer a loose translation that involves some reading between the lines:

“Good grief! I can’t believe how many business people who by all rights ought to be in my corner as I run for governor positively hate this amendment. And if there’s one thing I fear more than the mocking phrase ‘Both Ways Bob’ that Marc Holtzman hung around my neck, it’s getting on the wrong side of my natural donor base.”…

…What surprises us is that the Republican standard bearer for governor, given the breadth of his connections, would fail to anticipate the business community’s hostility toward Amendment 38…

…What kind of reception among this state’s civic elites did Beauprez think he was going to encounter by endorsing a measure promoted by Doug Bruce, TABOR’s author, and longtime grassroots activists Dennis Polhill and Doug Campbell? Those three are not exactly known for ingratiating themselves with mainstream business and political leadership. Quite the contrary.

By endorsing Amendment 38, Beauprez appeared to be staking out a somewhat unexpected position as a grass-roots populist – and to heck with the fallout. Now he says, in effect, the endorsement was a thoughtless blunder. Any more such stumbles and Holtzman’s once implausible gibe will begin to sound prophetic.

White House Coming to Colorado

The Denver Post’s Dan Haley reported yesterday that President Bush will be coming to Colorado on July 21 for a fundraiser in support of Republican Rick O’Donnell’s congressional campaign in CD-7. But that’s not all, folks!

Karl Rove will be at the Wildlife Experience Museum?in Parker on Monday for a fundraiser for the State Republican Party. If you doubted it before, you shouldn’t doubt any longer: Colorado is definitely one of the states to watch in 2006.

Jason Bane endorsed by Arvada Police Officers

Beauprez Fuels “Both Ways Bob” Himself

We’ll be catching up on a few stories that happened over the weekend (hey, Colorado Pols takes weekends off, too), so for those of you who’ve already discussed this…sorry.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez continues to add fuel to his own fire surrounding his “Both Ways Bob” nickname. Former gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman helped give the nickname its legs, but Beauprez seems to be doing everything he can to make sure it sticks. As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Congressman Bob Beauprez withdrew his support Friday for a controversial ballot measure that is opposed by much of the business community, prompting a leading supporter to accuse him of betrayal. Beauprez, the presumed Republican candidate for governor, announced Friday that he will not support Amendment 38, a so-called “petition rights” constitutional amendment that would make it easier for citizens to challenge local government decisions through initiative campaigns. Beauprez endorsed Amendment 38 in April.

His change of heart outraged Douglas Bruce, the anti-tax crusader who endorsed Beauprez earlier this year. Bruce said Beauprez was earning the “Both Ways Bob” label given him by former primary opponent Marc Holtzman. “He certainly is living up to his reputation,” said Bruce, a prominent backer of Amendment 38. “I’m shocked somebody with that reputation put on his shoulders would casually throw away a written promise.”

Bruce said he agreed to endorse Beauprez only after the congressman publicly signed a statement of support for the ballot measure. In a letter to Bruce released Friday, Beauprez said he had changed his mind after studying the amendment closely. “I would not be supportive of any measure that doesn’t protect private property rights,” Beauprez wrote.

In the letter, Beauprez says he has been approached by many people concerned about Amendment 38’s potential impact on business. Many business organizations have said they fear the proposal could shut down development by making it easy to challenge local zoning decisions, and Beauprez wrote that he feared the measure could encourage actions that might harm property rights.

“It’s never fun to admit when you’re wrong,” said John Marshall, a spokesman for Beauprez. “He’s not trying to have it both ways; he changed his mind.”

You almost have to feel sorry for Marshall – it’s no fun trying to be the spokesperson for a guy who keeps falling into the same trap over and over again.

“Without question, Congressman Beauprez earned his ‘Both Ways Bob’ nickname today,” said Greg Kolomitz, campaign manager for Bill Ritter, the Democratic candidate for governor. “It was politically expedient for him to support Amendment 38 when he faced a Republican primary. Now, he doesn’t have a primary fight, so he’s changing his position based on the political tide.”

Both Ritter and Beauprez have sought the support of the business community, which tends to favor Republicans. Ritter has criticized Beauprez constantly before business audiences for his support of Amendment 38, and there are signs that criticism was having an impact.

Romer Opens Up Big Lead in SD-32

The three-way primary in SD-32 is one of only a handful of contested?races on the Democratic side, but it looks like it may not be that contested for much longer if a new poll is any indication. Term-limited Rep. Fran Coleman has polled to see where she stands – an odd thing to do in a state senate race where she isn’t raising much money?- and she doesn’t stand very well. We hear that the poll showed Chris Romer ahead of both Coleman and Jennifer Mello by?more than?20 points throughout the district. Coleman doesn’t even come out ahead of Romer in her own House District 1.

Ritter Raises $360,000 in June

Democrat Bill Ritter raised more than $360,000 for his gubernatorial campaign in June, bringing his total amount raised to $1.9 million. Ritter’s campaign also purchased another $125,000 in fall media time, for a total advance buy of $700,000.?Spending so much money early to lock in media time is a good idea, but Ritter doesn’t have a ton of money left to defend himself should attack ads be launched against him in the next couple of weeks.

Click below?for the full press release from the Ritter campaign…

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Crank Goes on the Telly

Republican Jeff Crank, one of six elephants running for congress in CD-5, announced today that his campaign was the first among the six Republicans to go on television. Crank’s ad, focusing on military issues, can be viewed?at www.JeffCrank.com.

Lamborn Announces Random Endorsements

Republican Doug Lamborn, also running for congress in CD-5, announced that he had been endorsed by five congressional representatives from Western states. The endorsements may help him raise money, but voters aren’t likely to be all that excited; Rep. Jeff Flake isn’t exactly a?household name.

Click below for the full press release…

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Musgrave Helps Kill Trigger-Lock Measure

This is a strange election-year maneuver by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave. From the Rocky Mountain News:

Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has infuriated gun-safety advocates by helping shoot down a trigger-lock mandate that Congress approved just last year. Late Wednesday night, Musgrave, R-Fort Morgan, won an amendment to a Justice Department appropriations bill that would prevent any money from being spent to enforce a mandate that gun dealers sell trigger locks with the guns that they sell.

President Bush had signed the trigger-lock requirement into law last year as part of a larger gun-liability bill, but Musgrave’s amendment preventing its enforcement was included in the larger appropriations package, which easily passed the House of Representatives today. If the provision survives negotiations over a pending Senate version of the bill, it would prevent gun dealers from being punished for ignoring the mandate…

…”It’s so foul, it’s disgusting,” said Peter Hamm, communications director for the Brady Campaign, which lobbied for the measure in 2005. “There’s nothing that some individuals in the House of Representatives won’t do for the gun lobby, including putting the lives of little children at risk.”

Hamm said that last year, 2,849 children or teen-agers died from gunfire in the United States, and he believes trigger locks are key to reducing the fatalities.

“Congresswoman Musgrave should be ashamed of herself and should be run out of town on a rail,” Hamm said. “Anybody who voted for this thing, I can’t understand how you sleep at night when you vote to save gun-sellers a couple of bucks by putting little children’s lives at risk in the process.”

Special Session Called, Compromise Measure Reached

From the Rocky Mountain News:

Gov. Bill Owens late Tuesday called a special legislative session to deal with immigration issues, hours after the two warring sides of a proposed ballot measure announced a stunning compromise. The session will include the compromise proposal, the governor’s office said at 9:15 p.m. Details of the legislative session are expected at a 2 p.m. news conference today.

Earlier Tuesday, leaders of Defend Colorado Now, which wants to deny government services to illegal immigrants, said they reached agreement with their opponents, Keep Colorado Safe. Both sides issued a joint statement asking lawmakers to pass a package of laws that discourage employers from hiring illegal immigrants and tighten eligibility checks for taxpayer-funded benefits.

Under the agreement, Defend Colorado Now will drop its campaign to ask voters to deny services to illegal immigrants.

“This is a huge development, and it’s welcome,” said House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, a party to the agreement. “It could be the turning point in this debate.”

Former Gov. Dick Lamm, an early and outspoken critic of illegal immigration and leader of Defend Colorado Now, brokered the deal with former Denver mayor Federico Pe?a, chairman of Keep Colorado Safe. But Owens and at least one other key Republican were angry.

Beauprez Getting Hammered Online

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez is really getting beat up online this week, and it’s probably only a matter of time before anti-Bill Ritter Web sites pop up. Two Web sites dedicated to discrediting Beauprez’s record and calling attention to his “Both Ways Bob” nickname have popped up.

The first, BothWaysBob.com, is run by the progressive organization Progress Now and points out discrepancies in what Beauprez says he will do in the future and what he has already done in congress.

The second, BobIsLost.com, is a better produced spoof site that attacks Beauprez for not voting to protect funding?for the VA Hospital at Fitzsimmons.

According to the Rocky Mountain News:

A spokesman for Beauprez predicted the Internet sites would not have an impact. “People are sick and tired of these baseless attacks,” John Marshall said. “Lies and distortion won’t carry the day.”

But the creators of the Web sites view them as an inventive way to highlight Beauprez’s shortcomings.

“Beauprez’s record shows he’s a hypocrite on issues important to Colorado,” said Michael Huttner, director of ProgressNowAction, the liberal group that created the -Bothwaysbob.org site.

The genesis of Bobislost.com is more mysterious…

…The Web site is registered to the New West Fellowship, a new “527” political action group.

The debut of the two sites is a reflection of the growing importance of the Web in politics. Not only are messages pushed on the Internet, the Web is a crucial source of fundraising.?