Tipton, Salazar squabble over ‘banker’ ad

A harsh debate at Club 20 between U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., and Scott Tipton, his Republican challenger, has burst onto the airwaves with Salazar charging his opponent with supervising a bank that collected federal bailout money and Tipton calling the ad a lie.

The television ad features a scowling Salazar wearing leather work gloves, saying he approved the message that says Tipton benefitted from bank bailout money.

Tipton’s campaign issued a statement noting that Tipton served on the board of Vectra Bank Colorado, but left in 2005, three years before Vectra Bank’s holding company, Zion Bancorporation, received $1.4 billion in Troubled Asset Relief in 2008.

Salazar’s campaign also takes Tipton to task for his investments in Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan/Chase, Morgan Stanley and Zion.

“When greedy Wall Street fat cats got taxpayers to bail them out, John Salazar voted no,” the ad says, calling Tipton “a different story” and a multimillionaire.

Tipton’s campaign fired back, with spokesman Sean Walsh calling the ad a “tired Democrat retread ... This new ad fits right into the Salazar pattern of doing all he can to distract the voters from his pathetic record.”

The ad also incorrectly describes Tipton as a banker, Tipton’s campaign said, noting he was never employed by a bank.

Salazar campaign spokeswoman Tara Trujillo said the ad points out that Tipton sat on a board of a bank that later needed bailout money.

Tipton regularly criticizes Salazar inaccurately voting for the bailout, Trujillo said.

Salazar’s vote against the 2008 bailout tells only part of the story, and he “actually advanced Washington’s bailout culture throughout this Congress,” Walsh said.

Salazar voted for the so-called cash-for-clunkers program and the 2009 extension of TARP, the Tipton campaign said.


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