Betsy Markey: Cory Gardner's attack off-target

Fort Collins Coloradoan editor Bob Moore's blog is a must-read for anyone interested in Northern Colorado politics -- and his post about congressional wannabe Cory Gardner's latest attack on incumbent Betsy Markey shows why.

This morning, Gardner's campaign sent out an e-mail blast touting the launch of, which purports to demonstrate how special interests have paid off Markey for flipping her vote on the controversial health-care bill from a nay to a yeah. But Moore points out plenty that's dubious about the site's assertions -- including the misspelling of Gardner's name.

Moore offers a screen capture showing that one reference to the candidate spells his name "Gardener." However, he makes a sharper point when noting that the claims about big-money payoffs by well-heeled donors are at least questionable. Moore writes:

The first two sites mentioned on Gardner's "special interest" list are ActBlue and Emily's List. But this isn't money coming from political action committees. It's money -- mostly from smaller donors -- that's coming to Markey's campaign through conduits. These are sites set up for people to make credit card donations. ActBlue is a conduit for a variety of Democratic candidates, Markey included. Emily's List is an organization that primarily supports women candidates who favor abortion rights.

Federal Election Commission records show that Markey's campaign received a little over $3,000 through ActBlue between her March 18 announcement and March 31, the end of the most recent reporting period. But those records also show that she'd gotten another $25,000 in this campaign through ActBlue before her health care announcement. The picture for Emily's List is similar -- a little over $4,000 between March 18-31, and about $27,000 this election cycle before the announcement.

The FEC records show that the contributions to Markey highlighted by Gardner's new Website came from individuals who gave from $15 to $1,400. Only two of the donations were for more than $1,000.

Presumably, folks at the Gardner campaign also follow Moore's work, because they've now corrected the spelling error, as he predicted in his original item that they would. But the other assertions made by Moore remain unaddressed.

Here's Gardner's aforementioned e-mail blast:

Special Interests Bid Big for Betsy Markey's Healthcare Vote Flip

Cory Gardner Vows to Fight Back, Launches

Fort Collins, CO -- On March 17th, Congresswoman Betsy Markey stated that she would go against the wishes of her constituents and vote for the trillion dollar healthcare takeover. From the time she switched her vote until the end of the fundraising quarter, Markey received over $355,000, much of it from special interests who lobbied her to support the takeover.

Today, Cory Gardner, the leading Republican to take on Markey in the November general election, launched an initiative to fight back against the special interests that influenced Markey's vote.

"When Betsy Markey announced she would go against her constituents and support the Obama-Pelosi government takeover of healthcare, she put the special interests that fund her campaign before the Colorado residents she's supposed to be representing," said Cory Gardner. "Special interests should not have this kind of influence. It is time to fight back. My campaign has launched to shine a light on exactly where Betsy Markey's campaign money is coming from."

The Web site features the major special interests that filled Markey's campaign coffers after she switched her healthcare vote and shows exactly how much they gave. The first special interest featured on the site is ActBlue. From the time she switched her healthcare vote on March 17 until the time the first quarter ended, ActBlue funneled $4,109.00 to Betsy Markey. Visitors to the site are encouraged to fight back against ActBlue and make a financial contribution to the Gardner for Congress campaign. Once the $4,109.00 threshold is met, the site will highlight a new special interest.

Cory Gardner is a native of Yuma, Colorado where he helps to run the family business. He is currently serving the 63rd District in the Colorado House of Representatives. He and his wife Jaime live in Yuma with their daughter Alyson.