For Immediate Release: September 21, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
Marilyn “Mail Fraud” Musgrave Adds Insult to Injury
Marilyn Musgrave’s attack-ad mailers fool her constituents into thinking their electric bills are being raised,
and hide the fact that Musgrave supported nearly identical, twice-as-costly legislation in 2002.
FORT COLLINS—Congresswoman Marilyn “Mail Fraud” Musgrave is at it again, sending false attack mailers to fool unsuspecting citizens into thinking their electric bills are being raised.
The official-looking “notices” come in envelopes with a utilities symbol and the words “Important Notice: About Raising Electric Bills.” Inside, instead of an official notice, citizens found another outright distortion of Angie Paccione’s record.
The “notice” erroneously states that Angie voted to “force” consumers to pay $130 million in higher electric bills, when in fact the program was a voluntary clean-air measure for Colorado utilities (HB 05-1293), a bipartisan solution supported by a broad coalition including the utility industry, environmentalists, health advocates, and local communities. Worse yet, Musgrave sponsored an identical bill in the Colorado State Senate (SB 02-190) that would have cost $248 million, twice as much as the clean-air measure Paccione supported, and would even bill customers separately for the costs (see “The Facts” below).
“By Marilyn’s logic, she voted to raise electric bills twice as much,” Paccione said. “She needs to get her facts straight about her record. This further proves how bad her record is, and to what lengths she would go—like scaring her constituents and then lying in their faces—to cover it up. It just adds insult to the injuries they’ve suffered because of Marilyn’s special-interest votes in Congress that have raised gas prices, student loan prices, prescription drug prices, you name it.”
Constituents of Marilyn Musgrave who received the “notice,” including seniors and college students, mostly unaffiliated, didn’t find the scare amusing.
One constituent, 70-year-old Ed Massaro, a retired manager in Johnstown who is unaffiliated, said Musgrave has gone too far.
“When you see the envelope you’re angry that your rates are going up, and when you open the envelope you’re even angrier that there’s a dirty ad in it,” Massaro said. “This, coming from a Congresswoman? Where’s her decency?”
Paccione said Musgrave should be ashamed of herself for misleading her constituents, and she called on Musgrave to denounce the ads and fess up.
“Fear and smear tactics are all Marilyn’s got right now,” Paccione said. “All the corrupt politicians in Congress are doing it. But Marilyn can’t hide her record of caving in to special interests. We need real leadership in Congress, someone who will stand up for her constituents, instead of insulting them.”
Clean Air bills SB 02-190 and HB-05 1293 were backed by a broad coalition including Environment Colorado, the American Lung Association, Xcel Energy, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, Western Resource Advocates, and Environmental Defense. The goal of the legislation was to clean up old coal fired power plants and create jobs in rural areas where the power plants were located.
HB 05-1293, supported by Paccione, would have reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide by more than 80 percent and nitrous oxide by 20 percent from the Pawnee station near Brush; reduced emissions of nitrous oxide by 45 percent, or more than 1,000 tons per year on Unit 2 at the Cherokee Station in Denver; created early emission reductions at the lowest cost for customers before potential EPA mandates and citizen lawsuits; provided additional jobs and tax revenues to help Colorado’s rural economy.