Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Update: Hey, that's not true! (Or is it?)

Posted By on Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Karen Cullen, the Republican seeking the House District 18 seat, is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore.

She's filed a complaint with District Attorney Dan May's office, alleging violation of state laws that bar political campaigns from lying in advertising.

Screen_shot_2010-10-06_at_11.23.09_AM.png

She says a 527 group, named for the portion of the tax law that applies to it, is bashing her by saying she plans to cut millions from school funding, though she's never said that.

The group is called Accountability for Colorado and has raised more than $1.4 million this election cycle, much of it coming from labor unions and lawfirms. It's mission is "to support political candidates in the state of Colorado," according to a filing with the Secretary of State.

Cullen's Democrat opponent is Pete Lee. Both are vying for the open seat created by Michael Merrifield's being barred from seeking another term due to term limits. Merrifield is running for an El Paso County commission seat.

Lee says, "I'm not affiliated, connected or in communication with them at all under any circumstances. I wouldn't know how to get in touch with them. I would like to have all campaign material accurate and precise in reflecting candidates' views."

Here's Cullen's complaint:

Screen_shot_2010-10-06_at_11.09.26_AM.png

But Rep. Mark Ferrandino, a Democrat who chairs the Legislature's Joint Budget Committee, says Cullen is being disingenuous. Here's how he explains it:

Karen Cullen absolutely does back a plan to protect special interest giveaways and make further cuts to education.

Last year the legislature approved a package of legislation removing an estimated $140 million worth of special interest and corporate giveaways, which Cullen specifically cites in the Gazette voter guide. But here’s what she doesn’t say: we passed that package of legislation so that we didn’t have to make further cuts to education.

We have limited control over our budget. So when we have a shortfall, which we did last year, there are only a few places we can cut in order to balance the budget. As chair of the Joint Budget Committee, I can say with absolute confidence that had we not closed those corporate tax loopholes, we would have had to make additional cuts to education to balance our budget.

It’s a shame that Cullen is not forthright about where we would make up the revenue to balance the budget if we restored those giveaways to special interests. Perhaps that’s because she knows there’s only one way to achieve the savings: by slashing education.

Unless Karen Cullen is saying her party was wrong to march in lockstep with the special interests and put education on the chopping block, it seems that Cullen is siding with special interests over our kids and their schools.

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