Oct 082008
Authors: Trevor Simonton

Speaking to a crowd of 65 Thursday afternoon, State Senator Mark Udall, D-Colo., made a campaign stop in Old Town Square to meet voters and to support his efforts for re-election in November, pushing his goal of energy independence.

Colo. Rep. John Kefalas, D-Larimer County, and State Sen. Bob Bacon, D-Colo., who both shared an office with Udall when he was still in the state legislature, introduced the incumbent.

“We need to move toward energy independence,” Udall said, referring to the need for sustainable energy programs.

Udall spoke about moving the country forward with renewable energy development and stressed the importance of cooperative bipartisan work.

“We need to get beyond Republican and Democrat and just work together to work to get things done for the people,” Kefalas said after the public meeting.

Tara Trujillo, a spokesperson for the Udall campaign, said that Republican opponent Bob Schaffer’s ties to the oil industry would cripple attempts to promote renewable energy programs.

But Dick Wadhams, campaign manager for Bob Schaffer’s race for Senate, said that Schaffer has had a long history of supporting renewable energy programs.

He said that Schaffer has been working for Aspect Energy, a wind power and renewable energy development company that does have some investment in the oil industry.

The Democrats at Old Town Square argued that Udall will help Democrats and Republicans to work together, citing specific instances where he has done so: In 2004, he worked with Republicans to pass Amendment 37, which promoted renewable energy programs.

But Wadhams said that Udall has the most liberal voting record and has voted along Democratic party lines 95 percent of the time.

“In looking at his record you can clearly see how far to the left liberal voter Udall really is,” Wadhams said. “He tries to obscure that while talking about a bipartisan effort when he has one of the most partisan records in Colorado.”

When asked how his campaign might affect students, Udall pointed to the issue of affordability of higher education.

“We need to continue to push for greater availability of education,” he said. “We need to keep loans as low as possible and cut out that middleman — the loan industry.”

Senior Reporter Trevor Simonton can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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