Friday, January 25, 2008

Senate Candidate Udall: Against Afghanistan Before He Was For It

I wrote earlier about the damage done by Al Franken to his Senate campaign this year. Turns out the Democrats have another Senate candidate in a critical swing seat, who appears to be doing the same thing.

Mark Udall is the likely Democratic candidate for the open Senate seat in Colorado (Wayne Allard is retiring). He is regarded as another of the Democrats' top recruits for a swing seat (polls have shown the race quite close). The race is sure to be a barn-burner, given that Colorado appears to be one of the most competitive states in the nation -- at all levels.

The NRSC however, points out that Udall recently declared Afghanistan to be the 'real central front' in the war on terror. That's a curious opinion, unless if you're prematurely declaring Iraq won -- which would be foolish at this point.

Whatever Udall's thinking, it's odd that he regards the war in Afghanistan as so important -- considering how many times he's voted against it:

  • In 2003, Udall voted against $87 billion in supplemental funding for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, including funds for body armor, armored humvees, and health care for National Guard members and reservists.
  • Udall voted against a bill intended to expedite the delivery of armor to troops on the ground in 2004.
  • Udall voted against $453.5 billion in defense spending in 2005.
  • In 2005, Mark Udall voted against $50 billion for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Udall voted against authorizing nearly $289 billion in Fiscal Year 2000 and 2001 defense funding -- including funds for six F-22 fighters.
  • Udall voted to cut $3 billion in Fiscal Year 2001 defense spending.
  • In 2007, he voted against protecting funding for homeless and disabled veterans from cuts, against increasing military housing funding by $275 million, against lowering college loan rates for graduates serving in the military or National Guard, and to prevent senior military officers from working at major defense contractors for a year after retiring.
(Click over to the NRSC site for specific vote citations.)

At least Udall will be able to benefit from the experience of others. Presumably he won't argue 'but I was for the $87 billion before I was against it.'

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