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Gazette Premium Content Sen. Mark Udall and Democrats get loose with facts

The Gazette editorial Updated: August 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

We never thought Colorado's leading Democrats would appear so desperate.

Sen. Mark Udall's daily attacks on U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner are a boring broken record about some make-believe war on women. In truth, Udall has an issue to explain to Colorado women.

Colorado Peak Politics, and later Watchdog.org, analyzed salaries paid by the senator and congressman and found Udall pays full-time women considerably less than full-time men on his staff. In fiscal year 2013, Watchdog found Udall employed 17 women who earned an average of $58,000, while the 14 men on his staff earned an average of $67,300.

Gardner, by contrast, pays women more than men. His six full-time female employees earn an average of $55,000, while his four male employees earn $46,000.

With the war-on-women tactic failing, Udall turned to another worn out strategy this week. He tried to align Gardner with the Koch brothers. The Kansas philanthropists have been thoroughly demonized by left-wing activists and the mainstream national media. As such, Democrats hope any mention of the duo will raise anxieties and fears among independents.

A Udall news release Wednesday told of Gardner's love for the Koch brothers, including graphics of a heart and money symbols. It explained a "Gardner-Koch agenda" that involves "trapping Colorado families in poverty." It tells of a "secretive" meeting, "dark money" and "newly uncovered audio."

The news release promises how the recording exposes Gardner "pleading for more dark money attacks against Mark Udall."

The "secretive" confab, it turns out, was the Koch family's semi-annual political strategy meeting in June. More than 300 people attended, meaning "secrecy" wasn't part of the plan. Nevertheless, we clicked on the audio link Udall provided. We were anxious to hear Gardner begging for dark money. Instead, we heard only this:

"We'll raise somewhere between $10 and $12 million in my campaign," Gardner said. "My opposition is going to raise somewhere between $15 and $20 million."

That's it. Nothing more. No begging and pleading. No demands for attacks on the senator. We feel a bit misled.

Meanwhile, Colorado's Democratic Party has a message about Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez.

"Congressman Beauprez is too extreme for Colorado," said Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio in a news release Wednesday.

To prove extremism, Palacio provided the following quote by Beauprez: "I think it (marriage) is between a man and a woman."

Gasp. Lots of people may disagree with Beauprez, and their numbers may be growing, but his position is hardly "too extreme for Colorado." It is exactly the position Colorado voters put into the Colorado Constitution when they enacted Amendment 43 in 2006. For now, his position is state law. The law says: "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state."

The "too extreme" statement is exactly the position President Barack Obama took until recently.

"I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman," Obama said in 2008, at the Saddleback Presidential Forum. "Now, for me as a Christian - for me - for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God is in the mix."

Obama reiterated his Christian belief in traditional marriage through early 2012. He flipped for political expedience just two years ago - a move the media characterized as a laudable evolution in his thinking.

Distortions, scare tactics, conspiracy theories and social agendas probably won't interest voters this year. They want a plan for economic opportunity and hope for the future. If Democrats keep this up, they may learn a hard lesson in November.

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