Senators dispute Post writer’s article
Udall, Bennet deny checking with N.Y. senator before vote on gun bill
By GARY HARMON
A columnist for The Washington Post missed the target in suggesting that votes Wednesday by Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Democrats, in favor of a gun measure were cast only after they were approved by a New York senator, the Colorado senators’ offices said Thursday.
The head of the Colorado Republican Party, however, thought the report was dead on.
Columnist Dana Milbank’s conclusion was off by a country mile, Bennet spokeswoman Deirdre Murphy said.
“Michael does not ask permission on any of his votes,” Murphy said in a statement.
“Michael gave this vote a lot of thought, considered its effect on Colorado, and came to his own decision.”
Milbank’s scattershot take that suggested Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey also sought dispensation on the vote missed the bull’s-eye, Udall spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said.
“Sen. Udall had staff researching the reach of the Colorado law as late as Tuesday night, and after we learned that Colorado’s reciprocity law had such a low threshold, he did not think the states’-rights argument against the Thune Amendment would hold up,” Trujillo said.
The Thune Amendment would have allowed concealed-carry permit holders to carry weapons across state lines.
It failed after falling two votes short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster.
In The Washington Post, Milbank wrote of what he saw before the vote:
“Pennsylvania’s Bob Casey and Colorado’s Mark Udall and Michael Bennet were said to have been willing to vote ‘no’ if necessary. Twenty minutes after the voting began, Bennet and Udall left the cloakroom together and walked into the chamber.
Bennet went to the well to consult with (New York Sen. Charles) Schumer, who indicated that it was safe for Bennet — a product of D.C.’s St. Albans School — to vote with the NRA. Bennet looked to Udall, who gave an approving nod, and cast an ‘aye’ vote.”
Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams chortled that Bennet was unable to make decisions, “But having a Colorado senator crawl up to a New York senator and seek permission on how to vote is breathtaking even by Bennet’s standards.”