by Diego Del Campo
Will it happen again? Two times now, I’ve anticipated, no expected the voters in the 4th congressional district to give hate-monger Marilyn Musgrave the boot—and twice I’ve been disappointed that she’s been able to convince voters she’s worthy enough to keep her gerry-mandered seat.
Maybe gerry-mandered isn’t the word, since the CD-4 has been traditionally held by a Republican for a very long time. Before Musgrave, a certain person named Bob Schaffer held that seat, and before him, it was Wayne Allard, and before Allard, the seat has held by none other than former CU president himself, Hank Brown. The seat was redrawn after the 2000 census, and parts of Arapahoe and Adams counties were cut out, making ultra-conservative Weld county that most powerful county in that district.
Stan Matsunaka couldn’t unseat Musgrave in 2004 in a race that, surprise, turned really ugly, really fast. The most memorable part of that campaign, at least for me, was the third-party ad that showed a Musgrave doppelganger pick-pocketing soldiers in the frontlines. The ad was supposed to illustrate how Musgrave had voted against the troops by voting against giving them better armor. Instead, the ad made national headlines for the degree of callousness of the ad, and Musgrave squeaked out a six-percentage point victory.
Angie Paccione didn’t fare any better in what otherwise was the Democratic tsunami of 2006. Again, the race turned ugly really quick with Musgrave doing what she does best: demonizing her challengers. In the homestretch of the campaign, Musgrave cut ads making Paccione look like a shady criminal. Musgrave squeaked out another slim victory.
I’m hoping against hope that 2008 is the year that Musgrave finally gets kicked out of Congress. In her 2004 race, Musgrave lamented that she had a “bull’s eye” on her back for being the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment—a proposal that would’ve enshrined discrimination in the Constitution for the first time since the three-fifths compromise—and “pleaded” with donors to help her fight the “homosexual agenda.”
This time, I think (hope) Betsy Markey can pull it off. A poll in August had Markey with a seven-point lead over Musgrave. No doubt the race has tightened since then, but I was surprised to hear last week that the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee had pulled out ad buys it had reserved to protect Musgrave. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is unusually cash-flush in this decidedly bad year for Republicans, and has been helping Markey with ads:
Throughout the race, Musgrave has resorted to her old, one-tick pony (here), and notice the semantic difference between “approve” and “authorize”:
But, this time, Markey didn’t let up, and fought back, with out lowering to Musgrave’s standards:
In the end, in less than 24 hours actually, we should know whether or not Musgrave can pull out another win, or if Markey proves that third time’s the charm.