Archive

Archive for January, 2010

Tracking Michael Bennet in Media

Senator Michael Bennet-CO

January 01, 2010-January 21, 2010

SPEHAR COLUMN: Happy New Year?

Grand Junction Free Press: Jim Spehar Column: Gov Ritter and Sen. Udall urge contributions for Bennet’s 2010 Senate election. More…

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The keys to a successful education system

Washington Post: Kevin Huffman Op-Ed: Change is the key to Sen. Bennet; the former superintendent of Denver Public Schools. More…

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Already facing hurdles in 2010, Democrats’ woes deepen with retirements, endangered incumbents

Canadian Press: Senator Bennet is just one of the many Democrats feeling vulnerable in the upcoming year. But they face an incumbent-hostile electorate worried about a 10 per cent unemployment rate, weary of wars and angry at politicians of all stripes. Many independents who backed Democrats in 2006 and 2008 have turned away. Republicans, meanwhile, are energized and united in opposing Obama’s policies…” More…

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Bennet: Health deal ‘better than the status quo’

AP: During Bennet’s visit with health care workers in Grand Junction, he justified his support of the health care overhaul by suggesting that it would be worse not to anything to change the health care system. The Senator also acknowledged that the bill was indeed, far from perfect. More…

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Canada: Grand Valley farmers could be hurt by federal food-safety bill

Fresh Plaza: “Under this law, nearby growers could not cross state lines to sell their produce in local farmers’ markets or co-ops without conforming to interstate commerce regulations…Although 3rd District Rep. John Salazar was a cosponsor of the industry-friendly House bill, our two Colorado senators have not yet taken a public position on SB 510. Since some lobbyists are pushing for a Senate vote early in the New Year, Colorado consumers should contact Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and urge them to offer amendments to exempt small farms serving local markets from regulation designed to regulate the excesses of agribusiness.” More…

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Puebloans mixed on health care bill

Pueblo Chieftain: Jeff Tucker:  Colorado Senators vulnerable to Republican opponents and their constituents for supporting health care bill. Republican David Dill: “I consider this one of the most egregious pieces of legislation Congress has ever attempted,” Dill said. “Given the fact of what the costs are going to be, I can’t believe Sens. (Michael) Bennet and (Mark) Udall or Rep. John Salazar can show their face in Colorado.” More…

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Government Debt: The State Lives at the Expense of Everybody

Independence Institute: Brian Schwartz: Op Ed: “Last week 11 Senators co-sponsored a “Bipartisan Fiscal Task Force” to “address the nation’s long-term budget crisis.” But earlier this week nine of these Senators (including Michael Bennet and Mark Udall) voted for a pork-laden $1.1 trillion spending bill.” More…

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Bill Ritter won’t run for reelection

Politico: CHARLES MAHTESIAN and JOSH KRAUSHAAR: Gov. Ritter’s drop-out could be good for Colorado Democrats. More…

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Republican Candidates Stake Out Support For Repealing Health Care Reform

The Wonk Room: Igor Volsky: Republicans who are campaigning for 2010 elections are basing the health care bill as theme of campaign. More…

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Wow: Colorado’s Democratic Governor Retiring After One Term

Weekly Standard: Gov. Ritter drop-out of could be damaging for the Democratic Senatorial elections of 2010. “This certainly isn’t good news for Democratic Colorado senator Michael Bennet. A December poll showed him trailing a Republican challenger in the 2010 election by 9 points.” More…

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Another One Bites The Dust: CO Gov. Ritter (D) To Retire

Real Clear Politics: Gov. Ritter drop-out could shift the priorities of Democratic Party. The party leaders weigh the options of who will be the best replacement of Gov. Ritter without sacrificing success in the senatorial election. “Democrats would be eager to see former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff switch to the governor race instead of challenging Sen. Michael Bennet, who Ritter appointed this January when Ken Salazar resigned to join the Obama Cabinet. But Salazar himself could be in the mix as well. More…

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All’s not quiet on the Western front

MSNBC: First thoughts: Dems’ Black Tuesday: National Democrats are looking at the Democratic Party in Colorado to gain foresight on future of Party: grim prospects. “To add insult to injury, Ritter is the reason why Democrats nationally are worried so much about losing the state’s SENATE seat. More…

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Leprino exec named to federal dairy panel

MSN- Colorado Senators nominate Sue Taylor to serve on Federal Industry Advisory Committee. “Sue is a tremendous choice to serve on the advisory committee, and I know Colorado’s dairy industry will be well served by the experience and skill she brings to the table,” Bennet said. The 17-member committee is looking into farm milk price volatility, dairy farmer profitability and consolidation, “and [will] offer suggestions on ways USDA can best address the needs of a struggling dairy industry,” the two senators said in a joint statement.” More…

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Udall, Markey join Bennet in urging New Frontier probe

Denver Post: “Colorado regulators shut the bank down in April. The $1 billion failure is the costliest in state banking history. Several farms, dairies and small businesses in northern Colorado have filed for bankruptcy protection or face financial problems following the bank’s demise.” “Given the enormity of the failure, we request that the Department of Justice investigate the allegations,” the Colorado officials said in the letter. More…

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What now for Dems?

CS Indy: Ralph Routon: Will Romanoff challenge Sen. Benett? “The word in Denver last weekend was that Romanoff was calling state party leaders, weighing the possibility of moving from his primary campaign against appointed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet to the governor’s race. Romanoff reportedly doesn’t want to back away from his Senate race, which has been gathering momentum behind the scenes. Then again, at least one rumor suggests Hickenlooper might be practically begging Romanoff to join him as lieutenant governor, leaving bigger things until later. More…

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Democrats still hold the cards, whatever happens in Massachusetts

News & Record: Doug Clark: The priorities of the national Democratic party outweigh the special election in Massachusetts. Sen. Bennet and fellow Congressional Democrats encourage the health-care bill regardless of election results. More…

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Romanoff Says He’s Still Running For U.S. Senate

Community Radio for Northern Colorado: Kirk Siegler and Brian Larson: “The one-time speaker of the Colorado House broke almost two weeks of silence yesterday saying he’s still in the race for US Senate against Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet. Many in the party had urged him to switch to the Governor’s race- and with his decision Democrats are again bracing for what could be a costly and bitter primary.” More…

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Thursday Fundraising Roundup, GOV Edition

National Journal: Fundraising totals raise some eyebrows. “Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is making the DSCC happy today; he announced he’s pulled in $1.2M in the final 3 months of the year, leaving him with $3.5M CoH.” More… ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Hoeven enters ND U.S. Senate race

ND GOP Gov Hoeven begins run for US Senate 2010-01-12 10:10:00 North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven began his run for the U.S. Senate on Monday with appeals for lower taxes, less debt and federal tax incentives to prod business growth and energy production. Speaking to a boisterous crowd at a meeting of local district Republican organizations, Hoeven, 52, declared he will seek the Republican endorsement to run for a seat now held by Democrat Byron Dorgan, who is not running for his fourth term. Recent polls showed Hoeven leading Dorgan in a hypothetical U.S. Senate race. “Washington is setting a level of debt on our children and our grandchildren that could burden them for generations,” Hoeven said. “Instead, we need to hold the line on taxes and reduce the tax burden, and we need to create the kind of business climate that will enable our small businesses throughout America to invest, to hire people, and to grow our economy.” Paul Sorum, a Fargo architect and political newcomer, had been the only declared candidate in the race. Both Republicans and Democrats had expected Dorgan, 67, to run for re-election, but the incumbent announced last week he wanted to teach, write books and pursue other opportunities. Dorgan’s decision means Democrats will have to defend open Senate seats in at least four states in what could be a challenging election year. They now hold an effective 60-40 majority in the Senate — enough to break Republican filibusters — if they and the chamber’s two independents, who align themselves with Democrats, stick together. Hoeven said he had decided to run even before Dorgan’s announcement. “The only difference, I would say, is this accelerated our timeline on getting out and announcing,” Hoeven said in an interview after his speech. In his remarks, the governor was critical of “cap-and-trade” energy legislation and a federal health care overhaul proposal that Hoeven said would saddle state governments with billions of dollars in extra costs. He suggested a menu of tax credits that would allow people to “pick your own health insurance plan and your own health care provider” instead of relying on “government-run health care.” “Washington’s approach is to write a 2,000-page bill that puts the government between you and your doctor. Now, I ask you, is that common sense?” Hoeven asked as the crowd hooted and booed. Hoeven is considered a moderate Republican and has pushed issues in the North Dakota Legislature that have been supported by Democrats, including expansion of a health-insurance program for poor children and higher salaries for public school teachers. He is in his third term, which he won in 2008 with 74 percent of the vote, and is the nation’s longest-serving current governor. He took office Dec. 15, 2000, six days before Texas Gov. Rick Perry. North Dakota Republicans say the soaring federal deficit, President Barack Obama’s health care initiative and support for energy regulation have made things difficult for the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation — Dorgan, Sen. Kent Conrad and Rep. Earl Pomeroy. The state’s Democratic Party chairman, Mark Schneider, said that if Hoeven were to win the Senate election, the state would have “a freshman senator in the minority party.” “We’re not surprised by the timing, considering that Hoeven has always changed his mind to best fit the political climate,” Schneider said. “He did start out as a Democrat, after all.” In a February 1996 letter to newspapers, Hoeven declared he was a Democrat, praised Dorgan and his North Dakota Senate colleague, Kent Conrad, and spoke disparagingly of efforts by “overly partisan members of the Republican Party to cast me as one of their own.” At the time, Democrats were trying to recruit Hoeven as their candidate to run against then-GOP Gov. Ed Schafer. Hoeven eventually declined the race and became active in Republican politics. North Dakota Republicans will endorse their preferred candidate for governor at the state party’s convention in Grand Forks March 19-21. The Republican endorsement would mean Hoeven would be guaranteed a spot on the state’s June primary ballot. Any candidate could file petitions to run in the primary, although primary challenges in both the North Dakota Democratic and Republican parties are rare.

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Hoeven seriously considering Senate race

UPDATE: Hoeven ‘seriously’ considering Senate race following Dorgan announcement that he won’t seek re-election

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan said Tuesday he will not seek re-election to the Senate in November, a surprise announcement that dealt another blow to Democrats already struggling to protect their Senate majority.

By: Ken Thomas, Associated Press Writer, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Dakota Democrat Byron Dorgan said Tuesday he will not seek re-election to the Senate in November, a surprise announcement that dealt another blow to Democrats already struggling to protect their Senate majority.

Dorgan, a moderate who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after serving a dozen years in the House, said he reached the decision after discussing his future with family over the holidays. Dorgan, 67, said he “began to wrestle with the question of whether making a commitment to serve in the Senate seven more years was the right thing to do.”

“Although I still have a passion for public service and enjoy my work in the Senate, I have other interests and I have other things I would like to pursue outside of public life,” he said in a statement.

Soon after Dorgan’s announcement, Republican Gov. John Hoeven said he’s “seriously” considering a U.S. Senate race, and he’ll make up his mind soon.

Hoeven has routinely brushed aside questions about a Senate candidacy with a statement that he was focused on his job as governor. He has also declined to give a timeline for making up his mind.

He told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was “looking at (a Senate race) very seriously.”

He said, “I expect we’ll announce our intentions here within a couple of weeks.”

Dorgan’s decision stunned members of his party, who control the Senate but are facing spirited challenges from Republicans in several states. Democrats were confident heading into the new year that Dorgan would run for re-election even as rumors intensified that Republican Gov. John Hoeven would challenge him in November.

Early polling showed Dorgan trailing Hoeven in a hypothetical contest, and Democrats expected a competitive race if the matchup materialized.

Hoeven has not announced a candidacy but national Republicans expect he will. Democrats insist they will field a strong candidate to run in Dorgan’s place, and recruitment already was under way Tuesday. Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who was first elected to the House in 1992, could be interested in seeking the Senate seat, along with Heidi Heitkamp, a former state attorney general and tax commissioner who was defeated by Hoeven in the 2000 gubernatorial race.

In a statement, Pomeroy praised Dorgan’s long service to North Dakota and the nation. “His extraordinary influence in the United States Senate, particularly as a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, will be sorely missed in North Dakota,” Pomeroy said.

Dorgan’s announcement could complicate efforts by Democrats to maintain their advantage in the Senate, where they hold an effective 60-40 majority, including two independents who align themselves with Democrats. That’s just enough to break Republican filibusters if all 60 stick together.

Many Democratic incumbents could face challenges in 2010 amid high unemployment rates, concerns about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and anger at incumbents.

At least four Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and five-term Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, are in serious trouble. Dorgan’s decision means Democrats now will have to defend open seats in three states. The others are Delaware and Illinois, where Sens. Ted Kaufman, who has Vice President Joe Biden’s old seat, and Roland Burris, who has President Barack Obama’s old seat, aren’t running for full terms.

Republicans, for their part, are defending six open seats, in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Kansas.

Electoral politics aside, Dorgan’s decision also could have ramifications for another of Obama’s top priorities — climate and energy legislation. With no re-election race and nothing to lose, Dorgan could be even more of a wild card on the issue than he already has been. There’s no telling how the moderate Democrat will vote if the Senate takes up the legislation this year.

Representing a large oil and coal-producing state, Dorgan opposes the bill backed by the White House and Democratic leaders that would put a limit on heat-trapping pollution and would allow companies to swap valuable emissions permits. Dorgan instead has pushed an energy bill that would boost renewable energy production and oil drilling and wait to tackle global warming pollution.

Dorgan said his decision “does not relate to any dissatisfaction that I have about serving in the Senate. Yes, I wish there was less rancor and more bipartisanship in the U.S. Senate these days. But still, it is a great privilege to serve and I have the utmost respect for all of the men and women with whom I serve.”

Dorgan is chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and leads his party’s policy committee as a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team. He has been advocate for farmers and ranchers in his home state and secured funding for renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biofuels.

Associated Press writers Liz Sidoti and Dina Cappiello in Washington, and Dale Wetzel in Bismarck contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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