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Udall launches ‘Gardner personhood clock’, as Dems rev up attacks

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Progress Now Colorado's Amy Runyon-Harms goes after Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner in front of a yacht representing one Gardner went fishing on during a 2012 junket with Republican donors.

DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign is celebrating an anniversary of sorts, marking exactly one month since Udall’s GOP opponent changed his stance on personhood.

On Monday afternoon, exactly 31 days after Republican Congressman Cory Gardner announced he no longer supports personhood, the Udall campaign will launch a website with a running clock showing “time since Congressman Cory Gardner claimed to oppose Personhood.”

Underneath the running clock, the website notes: “…but he’s still supporting Personhood legislation in Congress.”

“The point we’re making is that Gardner’s has not flip-flopped on Personhood, he’s trying to hide his record and true agenda from voters,” said Udall’s spokesman, Chris Harris. “While he tells Coloradans he no longer supports it, he’s still cosponsoring it back in DC.”

Gardner is still listed as a co-sponsor of the Life Begins at Conception Act, which establishes in federal law that human life begins at conception, something supporters of the bill say is the same as personhood.

Colorado voters have twice rejected ballot initiatives — by large margins — to write personhood into the state constitution.

The new website is being launched on the same day that Progress Now Colorado, an independent 501(c)4 group, held a press conference asking Gardner to “come clean” about what went on a 2012 fishing retreat he attended with a number of big Republican donors.

The 2012 event, first uncovered in a report by the former CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, was paid for by big oil and gas companies and attended by a number of freshman GOP congressman, including Gardner.

On Monday, to dramatize its point, Progress Now Colorado rented a yacht, taped a sign to it bestowing upon it the same name as one of the boats Gardner went fishing on in 2012 — The Good Life — and towed it to the west steps of the Colorado Capitol to serve as a backdrop.

The group even had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Gardner perched astern atop the yacht.

“To this day, Gardner has never disclosed who he spent time with during his Florida junket, what deals he may have made while boating on The Good Life and who among the donors he hobnobbed with may be funding his Senate campaign today,” said Amy Runyon-Harms, Progress Now Colorado’s executive director.

While Progress Now and Udall’s campaign are prohibited from coordinating, it’s clear that Democrats on the whole are trying to define Gardner, just in his second term in Congress, for voters early in what’s expected to be one of the most competitive U.S. Senate races of the 2014 election.

On Sunday, Washington prognosticator Stu Rothenberg raised eyebrows when he predicted that Gardner will beat Udall this fall when asked on CNN to predict something most observers aren’t expecting.

“I think probably Udall loses in Colorado to Cory Gardner in a race that, three months ago, you would have said is off the table,” Rothenberg told CNN’s Candy Crowley.

Gardner’s campaign spokesman, Alex Siciliano, tweeted that Udall’s campaign seems nervous, especially given news showing that the Democrat’s campaign is already purchasing TV air time.

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