While running for the Senate six years ago, Mark Udall promised “a little more independence and a little less partisanship.” When combing over his record, however, it is easy to see the emergence of a vastly different story. Not only has Senator Udall voted with President Obama 99% of the time, but when recently asked to name a single decision that he regrets while serving in the Senate, he said, “I don’t have any regrets sitting here right now…” With low approval ratings and an underachieving economy, this kind of blind allegiance to failed policies is exactly what voters fear in their elected officials.
For ten years, Americans for Prosperity has largely steered clear of elections – remaining focused on public policy issues. Only once before has our organization called for the defeat of a candidate. This year, however, the race for the U.S. Senate seat in Colorado is especially vital to the future our state and our country. Senator Udall’s voting record during his 15 years in office has proven that he is beyond reform – and we have therefore decided to expressly advocate for his defeat.
You wouldn’t know it by listening to the Udall campaign, but the country is dealing with several serious issues right now. Instead of talking about these issues, his campaign has tried to divide Coloradans by promoting a single-issue crusade. Rather than rewarding this childish ploy, we should hold our Senators to a higher standard. The failure of Senator Udall to address, or even discuss, the big issues of the day exemplifies why he needs to be replaced.
One of the most important issues of the day is Obamacare. If Senator Udall actually voted in the interest of his constituents (as he claims he has), he would have responded to fact that Coloradans have consistently opposed this onerous law. There is a clear reason why Senator Udall has not run a single television ad on the issue of Obamacare – Coloradans see it as an utter failure. After being promised “if you like your plan, you can keep it,” over 340,000 Coloradans received cancellation notices. For anyone even vaguely familiar with how the bill was written, this was hardly a surprise. On top of that, the rollout of the health exchange website was botched, employers are admittedly cutting employee’s hours to avoid mandates set out in the bill, and health care costs continue to climb. Rather than acknowledging these failures, Senator Udall has simply doubled down on his support for the law.
Another big issue, especially in Colorado, is energy production. Even though it would create jobs and be a shot in the arm for the economy, Senator Udall voted four times against building the Keystone pipeline. He also not only supported a cap-and-trade plan that would put a price on carbon, but aggressively rallied support for it in the Senate. If we truly want to turn the country’s economy around, we need elected officials that understand the importance of growing our energy sector.
At every turn, whether it has been stimulus bills or bailouts, Senator Udall has voted with the President to expand the size and scope of government. Coloradans are independent people – diabolically opposed to a massive, overreaching government. Senate Udall’s stubborn support of the President’s failed agenda has most likely sown the seeds of his defeat. For our part, AFP’s 75,000 Colorado activists are going to be working hard to ensure that Senator Udall gets to spend a lot more of his time right here in Colorado after November 4th.
Dustin Zvonek is the Colorado State Director of Americans for Prosperity.