Campaign 2010

Jul 09, 2008

Musgrave’s Myth: Why is Marilyn Repeating a Discredited Urban Legend?

There Representative Marilyn Musgrave goes again, listening to Vice President Dick Cheney and Republicans in Washington rather than middle class families in Colorado. In a recent interview, Musgrave repeated Cheney's bogus claim that China is drilling for oil of the coast of Florida. Musgrave repeated the myth more than two weeks after Cheney himself acknowledged it was false and Republican Senator Mel Martinez, a former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said "Any talk of using some fabricated Cuba-China connection as an argument to change U.S. policy has no merit" and that "Reports to the contrary are simply false. They are akin to urban legends."

 

"At a time when Colorado's middle class families are struggling with skyrocketing gas prices, the last thing they need is fear mongering from Representative Marilyn Musgrave and Vice President Dick Cheney, who has helped Musgrave raise more than $350,000" said Yoni Cohen, Western Regional Press Secretary for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Families being squeezed by the highest gas prices in Colorado history can't afford the Musgrave/Cheney ‘urban legend' and Musgrave's continued loyalty to the oil and gas companies that have given her more than $180,000." 

 

Recent Coverage:

 

 

Timeline:

 

  • June 11th: Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, quoted a column by George Will, who wrote that "drilling is under way 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are." [Miami Herald, 6/12/08]

 

  • June 12th: Cheney's office issues a statement that the Vice President had erred. "It is our understanding that, although Cuba has leased out exploration blocks 60 miles off the coast of southern Florida, which is closer than American firms are allowed to operate in that area, no Chinese firm is drilling there." [McClatchy Newspapers, 6/13/08]

 

  • June 30th: Representative Marilyn Musgrave "repeated a weeks-old assertion that China is drilling for oil off the Florida coast." When told of Cheney's retraction, Musgrave "said she would have her staff look into it. Chief of Staff Guy Short later said Musgrave misspoke about Chinese drilling." [Ft. Collins Coloradoan, 7/01/08]

 

  • July 8th: The cost of a gallon of gas in Colorado hits a record high $4.047 a gallon. [AAA Fuel Gauge Report]
     

Background:

 

  • In 2005, Musgrave had a fundraiser with Cheney that raised more than $200,000.  [Denver Post, 5/10/05] In 2002, Vice President Cheney headlined a fundraiser for Musgrave raised more than $150,000.  [Denver Post, 10/15/02]

 

  • Since 2001, Musgrave has accepted $182,912 from the oil and gas industry  [Opensecrets.org, Accessed 7/08/08]