You Knew They’d Hit The Wrong Markey Eventually

UPDATE #2: Rep. Ed Markey (the Democrat from Massachusetts — the male Markey) chimes in with his own quote:

“As the other Markey in Congress, I’ve always admired and respected Betsy’s intelligence and political independence. The fact is, we don’t always vote the same way, and we don’t even look alike! I’m wondering whether all of the attacks Cory Gardner has levied against Betsy over the last several months were based on a fundamental confusion over exactly which Markey he is trying to attack.”


UPDATE: We’ve created this handy-dandy tool that allows you to quickly figure out which Markey you are trying to discuss — Ed or Betsy (just trying to do our civic duty!):


That’s the new ad up from CD-4 GOP candidate Cory Gardner, attacking incumbent Betsy Markey–one little, well actually not so little problem, is likely to see it pulled pretty quickly. Betsy Markey voted against the Obama administration’s 2010 budget along with a number of other “Blue Dogs,” Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is the Markey in Congress who voted for the budget. Rep. Markey’s (that is, Betsy Markey of Colorado) release follows, says spokesman Ben Marter, “Rep. Gardner’s new attack ad is lousy with the same already-debunked lies and misleading claims, but if there were degrees of ‘false’, this one takes the cake.” And our favorite quote from the release: “Colorado deserves better than Gardner’s half-baked hit jobs,” added Marter. “Frankly, Massachusetts deserves better too.”

We’ll be honest, we were expecting this mistake–but we thought one of the innumerable 527s glomming onto this race would have made it, not Cory Gardner’s campaign itself. It is kind of sloppy; two weeks from the election, this can’t be the first time they’ve run afoul of the wrong Markey.

This is one of the main reasons we’ve always maintained that Markey has a better-than-prognosticated chance at holding onto her seat. Gardner’s campaign has made so many unforced errors that all add up to a big problem in a close race. This latest ad is a perfect example; this silly, stupid, preventable error is going to lead to news stories that point out the fact that Markey voted against the Obama budget in 2010.

This line about Markey opposing Obama’s budget would not have been written about otherwise, but thanks to Gardner’s bumble, voters across CD-4 are going to hear, once more, that Markey might not be the lock-step Democratic voter that Gardner wants to portray her to be. Some of those voters might also start to question whether other parts of Gardner’s ads have been falsely attributed to that other Markey guy. That’s a pretty harmful blow to Gardner’s overall narrative.


Tuesday, October 19th, 2010






Rep. Gardner doesn’t do his homework, misfires badly

FORT COLLINS-Representative Cory Gardner’s latest negative attack ad, his third in two weeks, criticizes Colorado’s Betsy Markey for a vote taken by U.S. Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

Watch the ad here:…

The new ad accuses Markey (that’s Betsy Markey) of voting for “the most fiscally irresponsible budget in history.” However, Betsy Markey voted against the President’s FY 2010 Budget for just that reason. Markey (Betsy) felt the proposed budget was far too large, and did not include deep enough spending cuts from each of the federal departments.

“Rep. Gardner’s new attack ad is lousy with the same already-debunked lies and misleading claims, but if there were degrees of ‘false’, this one takes the cake,” said Markey (Betsy)’s campaign spokesman Ben Marter. “I would point Rep. Gardner to a site on the ‘internet’ to research his claims a little better: If Rep. Gardner can’t figure out how this whole voting system works, how can he be trusted to actually read bills?”

The two citations used in the attack on Markey (Betsy)’s vote on the FY 2010 Budget are Roll Call vote 192 and Roll Call vote 216.

Roll Call 192 can be googled like this:…

Roll Call 216 can be googled like this:…

“Rep. Gardner has taken lying to new lows with this attack ad, and he should stop broadcasting it immediately. Colorado deserves better than Gardner’s half-baked hit jobs,” added Markey (Betsy)’s campaign spokesman Ben Marter. “Frankly, Massachusetts deserves better too.”


Markey Breaks Fundraising Record

Here’s another reason why we think some national prognosticators are really off on their assessment of CD-4. From a press release from the campaign of Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey:

Betsy Markey raised $858,000 in the third fundraising quarter of 2010, bringing her total raised to more than $3.1 million, the most ever raised cycle to date by a House candidate in Colorado history.

“I have been humbled again and again by the huge outpouring of support for this campaign,” said Markey. “We are gaining momentum and excitement, but we’ve never taken anything for granted and we’ll continue to work harder door to door and person to person to win this campaign.”

98% of the campaign’s 3rd Quarter donors were individuals, and a full third of total contributions came from first-time donors.

Markey’s $3.1 million raised for this cycle is really an incredible number. For comparison’s sake, the Republican Senate candidate, Ken Buck, had raised all of $1.2 million in total through the end of July; Buck’s Q3 fundraising numbers are not yet available, but it’s quite possible that Markey will have outraised the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.

More on The Hill’s CD-4 Poll

In a poll released today by The Hill, 11 of 12 House Democrats are trailing Republicans, and while we can’t tell you more in the way of analyzing the results for other races, we can postulate some ideas on the CD-4 polling results. We mentioned this poll briefly in an earlier post, but the significance of these numbers are worth their own subject.

To make it easier to read, we produced a condensed version of the initial crosstab results from The Hill polling. These results below answer the question: “If the elections for Congress were held today, which candidate would you vote for in your congressional district?”

We’ve written before that any poll in CD4 must ask about all four candidates in order to be considered completely accurate, but any way you slice it, this is good news for Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey and bad news for Republican challenger Cory Gardner.

The only other public poll released in CD-4 (which came in early September) showed Gardner with an 11-point lead over Markey. We questioned the accuracy of that poll, just as we question the accuracy of today’s poll, because neither included American Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden nor Independent candidate Ken “Wasko” Waszkiewicz (more on that in a minute). But even if you forget the third-party candidates, Markey has closed the gap from being 11 points down to now being within the margin of error and behind just three points (41-44). More importantly, Markey has the advantage over Gardner with both Independent voters (43-39) and Senior Citizens (43-40). Also notable is that Markey attracts the support of 11% of Republicans, while just 2% of Democrats expressed support for Gardner.

Now, back to that third-party thing. Colorado is showing a proclivity for voting in higher numbers for third-party candidates in 2010, and CD-4 has always been more fond of third-party choices than elsewhere in the state. If Aden and “Wasko” had been included in this poll, it’s very possible that Markey might be leading the race at this point. In fact, the only poll that included all four candidates that has been released (a Markey internal poll) showed Wasko and Aden pulling a combined 7 percent of the vote, with Markey and Gardner tied at 38 percent apiece.

With mail ballots beginning to drop in the next week, Markey is clearly trending in the right direction. We’ve always said this race is a toss-up, but if you had to bet on it today, you’d have a hard time talking yourself into Gardner.

Betsy Markey Gets NRA Endorsement

The National Rifle Association (NRA) will endorse Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey in CD-4 in what is a major blow to the campaign of Republican challenger Cory Gardner, who has been trying to cast Markey as a straight-up liberal in Congress. As The National Review reports:

Her opponent Cory Gardner’s campaign manager Chris Hansen flatly told Battle ’10, “The NRA told us they were endorsing Betsy Markey.”

Calls to NRA-PVF regarding an imminent endorsement in CO-4 were not immediately returned. There is some consensus that the NRA’s political arm has developed an “incumbent endorsement policy” in contested, non-open seats. A source for Battle ’10 said that the rule likely is not a hard-and-fast guideline, but given two choices and an incumbent with an adequate rating, the NRA will most likely endorse that person, regardless of party…

…Markey voted for the NRA-friendly DISCLOSE Act, which exempts large non-profits like the NRA from disclosing their donors, pending the organization’s completion of certain criteria that, in this version, favored large national groups like the NRA. Garnering only 219 votes to pass, Markey’s vote was consequential to the success of the DISCLOSE Act.

The strangest part of this story is that it was Gardner’s campaign that essentially broke the news to the media about Markey’s pending endorsement. Good call, there, Gardner campaign manager Chris Hansen! Way to be the one to break the news that the NRA will support your opponent!

This news comes a day after it was revealed that the NRA was endorsing Democratic Rep. John Salazar in CD-3.

Gardner One Of Only Four in House GOP Not On Anti-60, 61, 101 Letter

UPDATE: According to the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, Gardner really does oppose 60, 61 & 101, but he, uh, was too busy to sign the letter?

“Cory also opposes the measures. Not sure why they didn’t ask him to sign. Probably just because we’re so busy,” campaign spokeswoman Rachel Boxer said.

Uh, okay. We suppose it would take a lot of time to sign a letter and Republicans didn’t want to bother him. Although if we were Gardner’s spokesperson, we might have chosen a more plausible excuse, like “Cory’s dog ate it.”


The big Denver newspaper reported today that a huge majority of Colorado Republican lawmakers have signed on to a letter opposing the “Evil Three” measures on the 2010 ballot (Amendments 60 & 61 and Proposition 101). The campaign of Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey was quick to point out that Republican State Rep. Cory Gardner, her main challenger in CD-4, was one of just four House Republicans refusing to sign the letter.

We’re more than a bit confused as to why Gardner would not openly oppose these measures. As the press release from the Markey campaign (after the jump) points out, there is widespread opposition to 60, 61 and 101, and we don’t see how this could really benefit Gardner’s bid to unseat Markey. Again, it’s not like opposing the Evil Three is really a bold position, since most Republicans and traditional Republican allies don’t even like them. We can’t understand why Gardner would want to align himself with far-right extremists like Sen. Kevin Lundberg here, and we certainly don’t see any strategic benefit to this stance.


Rep. Gardner one of just four House Republicans absent from letter

FORT COLLINS-State Representative Cory Gardner earlier this year refused to sign a letter from 23 of the 27 Republican members of the Colorado House of Representatives, urging fellow Colorado Republicans to oppose Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Reported by the Denver Post, the Republican lawmakers wrote that, “this reaction is so far overreaching that it will ultimately kill Colorado jobs and strip local governments’ ability to provide police and fire protection and to educate our children.”

“Representative Gardner refused to sign the letter opposing three of the most disastrous ballot measures our state has ever seen,” said Markey campaign spokesman Ben Marter. “He either supports these initiatives-that even his colleagues in the state House admit will kill Colorado jobs-or doesn’t have the guts to take a stand against them. Representative Gardner says one thing during his primary, then tries to pretend it never happened. He’s playing politics with our economic future, and Coloradans just can’t trust him.”  

Here’s what people are saying about these three ballot measures:

Greeley Tribune Editorial Board: “We believe the three amendments on this fall’s election ballot will kill economic growth in Colorado, cripple services provided by state and local government, and doom education funding at a time when it already is dismally low.” [Greeley Tribune 09/05/10]

Denver Post Editorial Board: “The operating language within each one is a virus that would cripple the ability of our local and state governments to provide the most basic of services – from building schools for our children to supplying clean water to our homes.” [Denver Post 07/07/10]

Loveland Chamber of Commerce President: Amendments “Will Do More Devastation than Good.” On September 12, 2010 the Coloradoan reported that Brian Williams, president and CEO of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce said, “We are opposed to wasteful spending, we are in strong support of TABOR but in this case the initiatives that are trying to address wasteful government spending are going about it the wrong way. Ultimately, they will do more devastation than good.” The chamber board ultimately voted to oppose the three measures, as did the Fort Collins and Greeley chambers. [Coloradoan, 9/12/10]

Local Republicans Pledged Opposition to Measures. On September 13, 2010 the Denver Post reported that, “A flood of Republicans at the local government level have pledged their opposition to the initiatives, including more than half of Republican county commissioners in Colorado.” [Denver Post, 9/13/10]

Business sector strongly opposes ballot measures: On September 12, 2010 the Coloradoan reported that “Opponents, including many local business owners, say the measures threaten jobs and could result in a voter-approved recession exacerbating an already slow economic recovery.” [Fort Collins Coloradoan, 09/12/10]

Republican Senator Greg Brophy: Amendments Go Beyond Limited Government. On September 13, 2010 the Denver Post reported on the ballot initiatives that would “slash billions in state and local taxes.”  Republican State Senator Greg Brophy (R-Way) said he couldn’t support the initiatives, saying “I consider myself an advocate of limited government and these could very well go beyond where I’m comfortable.” [Denver Post, 9/13/10]

Markey, Gardner Tied in GOP-Leaning Poll

As The Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports:

Democrat Betsy Markey and Republican Cory Gardner are in a dead heat with less than eight weeks until Election Day, according to a poll released today by the Markey campaign.

The poll is a stark contrast to one released last week by a Republican-affiliated group, which showed Gardner with an 11 point lead.

The Markey campaign poll showed her and Gardner with 38 percent each, independent Ken “Wasko” Waszkiewicz at 5 percent and American Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden at 2 percent. The remaining 17 percent were undecided.

We wrote last week that any poll in CD-4 that does not include all four candidates cannot be considered accurate, and these numbers prove our point (not to mention the most recent U.S. Senate poll in Colorado, which showed the Libertarian candidate getting 5% of the vote). As we said before, CD-4 has a history of voting for third-party candidates, and national trends are showing disgust with both Democrats and Republicans. Third-party candidates are going to play a significant role in 2010 as a “protest vote” option for many voters. We wrote last week that internal polling from both the Markey and Gardner campaigns had shown third-party candidates receiving as much as 12% of the vote when respondents had a choice between all four candidates; the Markey poll has the total third-party vote at 7%, but that’s likely because they sampled a smaller percentage of Unaffiliated voters.

While critics will say that the Markey poll must be biased because it is an internal poll, it’s hard for that argument to get much traction given the significant oversample of Republicans. This poll sampled 50% Republicans and 37% Democrats, compared to 44% Republicans and 36% Democrats in last week’s Republican-ordered poll.  

New CD-4 Poll is Swell…If You Don’t Care About Accuracy

Lost in the hubbub about the Dan Maes for Governor saga was a story about the first public poll in CD-4, which Republicans have breathlessly used to claim that GOP candidate Cory Gardner is going to easily defeat Democratic incumbent Rep. Betsy Markey.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan reported on the poll this morning, blindly restating the polling memo message that Gardner is outpolling Markey 50-39. Sounds bad for Markey, right?

The problem with the poll, done for the newly-formed Republican “think tank” American Action Forum, is that the results are based on a two-person race in CD-4. Of course, there are four candidates in CD-4, including American Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden and Independent candidate Ken “Wasko” Waszkiewicz.

From what we understand, every other internal poll, done either by campaigns or outside groups, has polled on a four-way race, and the results are dramatically different because Aden and “Wasko” combine for as much as 12% of the vote. This isn’t at all surprising, given that Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness grabbed 11% of the vote in CD-4 in 2006, in a three-way race with Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and Democrat Angie Paccione. Common sense says that Aden and Wasko take the majority of their votes away from Gardner, because they are more closely aligned ideologically to a Republican candidate than a Democrat — and because Markey’s high name ID means that most people have probably made up their minds about her already.

Saying that Gardner is well ahead of Markey in a two-way race is as pointless as those Gubernatorial polls showing that Dan Maes does better against Democrat John Hickenlooper if ACP candidate Tom Tancredo is not in the race. Sure he does. He probably also kicks ass in a poll in which neither Hickenlooper or Tancredo are mentioned. So what? That’s not the makeup of the actual ballot that people will use in six weeks, so none of these hypothetical matchups mean squat. American Action Forum might as well show us how Gardner does in a head-to-head matchup with Aden — that would be equally irrelevant.

If you still don’t believe that this poll is nonsense, consider this: If the NRCC or the Gardner campaign had poll results showing he was ahead of Markey by double digits in a four-way race, they would have fallen all over themselves trying to publicize it. But they don’t have those results. The fact that there has been no poll on this race released by anybody tells us that it is basically a toss-up, because neither Gardner nor Markey have anything to gain from releasing polling numbers to the public.

Wasko Waxes Poetic in CD-4

Check out the YouTube channel for Ken “Wasko” Waszkiewicz (we’re fairly sure we spelled that correctly), the Independent candidate running for Congress in CD-4. Ken has a bunch of videos online about what he plans to do on a variety of issues. His unemployment video is 6 minutes long, and it’s probably awesome…but we got bored and stopped watching after about 30 seconds. But we did catch this nice observation:

“Working is one of those necessary things in life, and no matter how much we might dislike our jobs from time to time, we must keep working.”

Hell, yeah!