What follows is part 2 of a multi part essay that we have been working on about Mark Udall. It is true that we haven't published part 1 yet, and probably won't for some time. We dusted this off today because Mark Melanson, Udall's campaign manager made a crack about Bob Schaffer: "Maybe someday we'll hear some of Schaffer's positions, too."
Which is better, a candidate who is silent, or one who regularly lies? The electorate gets to answer that question in 12 months. Our job is to do our best to put the facts before that part of the electorate that reads blogs so that they can make a knowledgeable decision. Melanson's comment made the timing right:
This is the second part of of a very long essay about writing about Mark Udall. It is really intended as a resource for others who might choose to write about Udall. Some regular readers are turned off by essays that have an excessive number of links, and we try not to put more than two or three links in an essay. This essay may have more than the usual number of links because it is intended as a resource.
This author has had zero access to anyone's "book" on Udall. What appears here is simply the result of paying attention to what Udall says and does, and what others are saying about him.
Continuing from the last essay:
2. Mark Udall is not a truthful person. Perhaps that comes from his family being involved in politics for two generations. Regardless, the people of Colorado must decide for themselves whether they will expect their Senator to be truthful when he speaks to them about what he will do or about what he has done.
A.) Udall has tailored his message on corn ethanol to three different audiences, depending solely on what those audiences want to hear. We wrote about and have documented his three versions of the "truth" about corn ethanol:
Would it be too much to ask Mark Udall to be consistent when he talks about corn ethanol? When he talks to knowledgeable energy executives, as he did in Durango, he is skeptical. When he talks to farmers, he is enthusiastic. When scientists at CSU criticize it, he calls it a "bridge."
B.) In an obvious effort to protect his left, MoveOn.org. flank, Mark Udall introduced a resolution condemning Rush Limbaugh for supposedly referring to dissenting soldiers as "phoney soldiers." Any reasonable examination of the transcript of Limbaugh's comments reveals that he was speaking of "stolen valor" incidents where individuals claimed to have had honorable service that they had not had and used those false claims to discredit the Iraq war. Udall's resolution was built on the lie that Limbaugh was referring to soldiers who had served honorably and disagreed with the administration. In his own words:
It is my intention, however, to make clear to the men and women serving in uniform, many of whom are risking their lives on foreign soil to defend our civil liberties, that it is not acceptable for anyone to accuse them of being "phony" or false patriots because their political views may differ from those of their commander-in-chief.
C.) When Udall introduced his resolution, he attempted to pass off another lie:
Madam Speaker, it is not my intention to advance a partisan message with this resolution.
It is hard to see how he could claim that this was non-partisan when Republicans attacked his resolution and, with one exception, only one Republican joined 100 Democrats as Udall co-sponsors. Of course he was advancing a partisan message, and he knew it.
D.) More recently, Mark Udall lied to his colleagues when he attempted to claim that a very limited bill he wrote to allow fuel reduction near Colorado mountain towns would protect watersheds for downstream states.
“As quickly as the beetle epidemic is spreading throughout Colorado, the needs related to forest health and fuel reduction in our national forests are vast and urgent. These funds are critically important for the health and safety of our forests and communities--and ultimately the west, as Colorado stands at the source of life giving rivers that can be impacted by our unbalanced forest condition," said Rep. Mark Udall.
That statement is very impressive until one realizes that Udall's bill does nothing to promote fuel reduction in "our national forests" except close in to mountain towns. In fact, he and the Sierra Club strongly oppose "promoting forest health and fuel reduction" in our national forests.
It is probable that the Sierra Club is opposing even this limited bill behind the scenes, and Udall is concealing that information from the Colorado public. Why else would Udall think he needed to lie to members of Congress about the contents of his bill?
E.) We assume that this last example is a lie, although it might be pure ignorance, which would be as bad, if not worse. When speaking to some who might be impacted by the Pinon Canyon expansion, he said:
"But I am far from convinced that this expansion is necessary, particularly to fight to the kind of war on terror we are currently facing, which is urban-based,"
Because an Army which lacks the firepower and training to fight to the vicinity of a city can't possibly be in a position to fight the urban conflict Udall describes, we responded in part:
Now Mark Udall has made the same [ bogus ] argument [ that we had seen elsewhere ]. Given his years on the Armed Services committee, we think that he knows his argument is false, misleading, and very dangerous. If he doesn't, he is a slow learner who doesn't belong in the Senate, and if he does, he is pandering with National Security issues and most definitely doesn't belong in the Senate. Is it any wonder that the public doesn't trust Democrats with national security?
When one considers that we have only been following and writing about Mark Udall for four months, and have five solid examples of his lying, we think that when given the choice between truth and falsehood, Mark Udall will choose falsehood if he thinks it will advance his cause.