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Referendum C, Part Deux

By Charles Ashby


Two GOP candidates for U.S. Senate are going at each other on Colorado airwaves and on Washington, D.C., news sites.

It started on Wednesday when former state Sen. Tom Wiens, R-Castle Rock, aired his first ads of the campaign, saying one of the other GOP candidates, Jane Norton, was a hypocrite.

In a 60-second ad Wiens says:

"You know Democrats aren't the only hypocrites," he says in the aid. "Too many Republicans have forgotten what our party stands for. Right here in Colorado, some Republican leaders backed Referendum C, the biggest tax increase in our state's history."

Though he doesn't name her, the only GOP candidate in the race that supported the 2005 referendum was Norton, who at the time was lieutenant governor under Gov. Bill Owens, a major proponent of the measure that called for a five-year time-out of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Norton's campaign was quick with its comeback, telling Politico.com that Wiens voted in favor of various incarnations of the referendum when they were being debated in the Colorado Legislature.

Who's having the most fun with this?

Not the other two candidates on the ticket -- Ken Buck and Cleve Tidwell, neither of whom have served in the Legislature. No, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, which is sending out the Politico story to everyone it can think of.

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