November 1, 2008
By: Melissa Keller
Coloradans have turned in their TV remotes for more useful forms of information since their local television has been taken over by negative political ads. For those watching local news, it’s difficult to decide on who their congressional representative shall be this year when all there is to see are scandals and lies displayed by both parties.
Marilyn Musgrave has been the current congressional representative for District 4 since 2002; so when first time runner Betsy Markey challenged her return to congress it was inevitable that a cat fight wasn’t too far from the picture.
It began when Musgrave noticed her district moving more and more left with each year of being in office, and now that almost 90% of newly registered voters are democrat she’ll do just about anything to keep her seat. Musgrave began this cat fight when she argued that Markey was unfit for office by releasing an ad about her firm wrongly receiving federal contracts while Markey worked for Ken Salazar. In the ad, it blatantly showed Betsy behind jail bars hinting to the idea that she’s a criminal heading straight for prison.
It was obvious that this ad in return upset many loyal democrats who weren’t afraid to fight back. In an interview with Markey, she explained that the GOP statements were “outright lies” and that she would get to the bottom of this. Markey eventually filed a complaint with the Larimer County District Attorney’s office in mid September for airing false statements about her. It is illegal for a politician to knowingly display false statements about their opponent in a political campaign.
In their first local debate on October 9th, Musgrave continued to bring up allegations of Markey’s misuse of power with her company; but when her statements didn’t have much evidence to back them up, she quickly changed her tactics towards Markey’s inconsistent responses about her ownership with the company versus when she ended it.
But trust me, it didn’t stop there.
Musgrave was soon the next to file a complaint against Markey for allegedly telling falsehoods in a recent local commercial. This particular ad misled voters to believe that Musgrave allowed lobbyists to “wine and dine” her and that the Republican candidate sponsored a bill that would have benefited her family by lowering taxes on capital gains from investments in coins and precious metals.
“Musgrave’s personal financial disclosure said her husband in 2007 had between $15,001 and $50,000 in gains from his precious metal investments. The bill Musgrave co-sponsored would have lowered their family tax liability between $2,000 and $6,500.”
Markey’s campaign spokesman, Ben Marter, reacted to the complaint by saying, “Why is Musgrave spending her time disputing an ad that has been documented and proven to be true?”
This wasn’t the first time Musgrave reacted strongly to Markey’s actions. Back in August, things got pretty chaotic when Musgrave responded to Markey’s rejection to a radio debate by making her intern dress as a duck in reference to Markey “ducking” out of the debate.
Although this campaign has been a tiring one with its misled statements about scandals and corrupt politics, it’s always nice to know that our local candidates would rather go out of their way to back stab each other instead of focusing on the real issues that America faces today. I don’t blame Coloradans for being sick of the current negative ads circulating through the news that it wouldn’t surprise me if many of them vowed to refrain from watching television altogether until the election is over, I know I have.