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Watching Sen. Bennet's awkward incumbency dance

Trying to pin down U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet on the influence of campaign contributions on public policy, Democratic primary opponent Andrew Romanoff asked during their debate in Colorado Springs on Friday night, "Is that just the way Washington works?"

Replied Bennet, "The only time I'm reminded of Washington is when you and I are debating."

And, of course, when Bennet is busy reminding us, as in the too-cute campaign ad below, that he "approved this message because now it's time to clean up Washington."

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"Raise my taxes! Raise my taxes!"

On the list of things we'd never thought we'd hear are people yelling, "Raise my taxes!" But here's the video from a recent Illinois statehouse rally that reportedly drew 15,000 union workers and teachers.;=player_embedded

Listen closely and you'll hear that the goal is to raise taxes "on a certain income, not on everybody."

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, "is out front pushing his 33 percent increase in the income tax rate, but he's mostly alone," according to this report.

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Sen. Bennet: No Tea for me, but Big Government for you!

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado urged listeners at an LGBT event in Denver on April 17 not to "give over our town halls and our living rooms to people that are, you know, basically, trafficking in a kind of nihilistic vision of the United States that says that somehow we don't have a responsibility to the next generation."

Trafficking in a kind of nihilistic vision? If I'm hearing Sen. Bennet right (and I was in the room when he spoke), he's saying that Tea Party activists - or anyone who wants to get the bloated federal government under control - are just in it for themselves and don't care about the common good of the future.

That will be news to small business owners, military veterans and many other citizens who were building their communities and paying taxes in Colorado long before Bennet ever stepped foot in the state. They'll get their chance to speak on Nov. 2.


"What I believe we've got to have is a conversation in Colorado that's actually bigger than just sort of the TABOR conversation. The question for us is: Who do we want to be? You know? And what I've been saying to some of my friends in the Tea Party, because I see those guys sometimes, in other places, is: Who do you think built the roads that you traveled here on? Who do you think built the bridges and the sewers and the wastewater systems and invested in the higher education system that we now have? They built that stuff from scratch. Someone built that stuff from scratch. It was our parents and our grandparents, and their parents and their grandparents. And we can't even maintain it? Or, create a set of circumstances where a middle-class family isn't being told, you know, in a 10-year oldest daughter is 10...isn't being told 'Oh, you've got $800 less to work with than you did at the beginning of the decade. And by the way, the cost for your kid's higher education is 50 percent more than it was at the beginning of the decade.' It's ludicrous.

"And I don't think that's who we are as the American people. But, we're the ones. It's not the politicians in Washington. Everybody here has to continue this advocacy and needs to make sure that we don't give over our town halls and our living rooms to people that are, you know, basically trafficking in a kind of nihilistic vision of the United States that says that somehow we don't have a responsibility to the next generation. I mean, to me, that's a much more appalling view than we don't have a responsibility to each other, which I believe we do. The idea that we would enjoy the benefits that other people had conferred on us and not provide that to the people coming after us? Not only doesn't it make sense, but that's not who we are. I don't think that's who we are."

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The Blueprint: How the left joined forces in Colorado

Rob Witwer, co-author of "The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care)" described recently how Colorado campaign finance reform in 2002 gave an opening for wealthy donors and special interest groups to join forces, replicating and surpassing the traditional functions of a political party.

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Thanks for regulating, EPA!

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a video contest to "explain federal rulemaking" and competition for a $2,500 prize, the crew at Americans for Prosperity (currently in Colorado with the Regulation Reality Tour) offered this entry...

The EPA solicitation also inspired and NetRightNation to launch their own video contests, reports CNS News.

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Rove: Obama can help Republicans win Colorado back

Republican strategist Karl Rove is certainly one of the most influential men of my lifetime (so far). When he was in Colorado promoting his new book, Courage and Consequence, this past weekend, (yes, Sen. Morse, I am promoting an Amazon link) WSYS caught up with him to ask his view of the November elections in Colorado.

"Colorado was sort of running ahead in the national transition between 2004 and 2008," said Rove. "That is to say it moved heavily, more heavily, into the Democratic column than the country as a whole did. And it's moved in reaction to what Obama has done stronger than the rest of the country. President Obama and the Democrats' numbers are worse in Colorado than they are in the nation, or they've deteriorated more than in the nation, so I think that's a healthy thing for Republicans this year in this state."

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Will the Tea Parties benefit Republicans?

Rob Witwer's and Adam Schrager's new book, "The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care)," articulately outlines the political climate of the last 10 years and the major shift we have seen in Colorado. This was taped last Wednesday evening April 14, right before the Tea Parties the next day. The question on everyone's minds: which side of the aisle will benefit from this movement in November?

"Don't let the tea party go Perot," the Dan Quayle opinion piece referred to by Curtis Hubbard, the Denver Post political editor, can be found at

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