Colorado’s Musgrave blames defeat on left-wing attacks, lies |

Colorado’s Musgrave blames defeat on left-wing attacks, lies

P. Solomon Banda
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

FORT COLLINS, Colo. ” Republican congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave has broken her long public silence about her defeat last month, saying she was the victim of “vicious attacks and lies” by big-spending left-wing interests.

Musgrave made her comments in robo-calls sent Monday to 275,000 households in Georgia to support Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in a runoff election against Democrat Jim Martin. Chambliss won re-election in the runoff Tuesday night.

“Pro-abortion radicals and liberal activists won’t stop until they have a choke hold on our government,” Musgrave said on the calls. “You can stop them with your vote. It’s too late to change the result in Colorado but on Tuesday you can cast your vote for Saxby Chambliss.”

The calls, reported Tuesday on the Web site of the Fort Collins Coloradoan, were done on behalf of Team Sarah, a group created by the Susan B. Anthony List, which promotes anti-abortion congresswomen.

Musgrave, a three-term congresswoman, was defeated 56 percent to 44 percent by Democratic businesswoman Betsy Markey four weeks ago. She has yet to concede or even publicly address her supporters or volunteers, many of whom had gathered at a restaurant on election night.

Messages left for Musgrave with her Washington-based spokesman or Colorado-based campaign office were not returned Tuesday.

Markey spokesman Ben Marter said the congresswoman-elect isn’t waiting for a concession call or any other outreach from Musgrave.

“The voters have spoken and it’s customary to call your opponent to concede the race, but we’re moving forward,” Marter said. “Congresswoman-elect Markey is working very hard to go to Washington to represent the people of the 4th District.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said she doesn’t fault Musgrave if she is keeping out of public view.

“Frankly, everybody has a point where you can’t take it anymore,” she said. “I really don’t’ know. But given what was done to her, I wouldn’t blame her one bit for taking a bit of a break. … She is a human being.”

Musgrave had complained during the campaign about big spending by interest groups including the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, which she denounced as “environmental extremists.”

Two political arms of the Defenders of Wildlife fund spent about $1.6 million targeting Musgrave, according to research by the Coloradoan. That was the second-largest independent expenditure by a nonparty group in any House race, after the $1.7 million spent by the National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee to help re-elect Pennsylvania Democrat Paul Kanjorski, according to the paper.

Musgrave had won re-election by narrow margins in 2004 and 2006. In 2006, she had the lowest winning percentage of anyone elected to the House.

Musgrave built a national reputation as an opponent of same-sex marriage, and she blamed her previous narrow margins in part on gay-rights groups, which she said spent large amounts of money on opposition political ads.

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