Javier Manzano, Pool/AP
Democratic congressman Mark Udall

U.S. Senate Candidate Accused of Conflict of Interest

July 23, 2008 09:50 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
A financial disclosure shows that Colorado’s Democratic senatorial candidate Mark Udall could profit from the energy policies he is promoting in his campaign.

30-Second Summary

In a May 22 disclosure to the Senate Ethics Committee, Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Udall revealed that he has at least $31,000 devoted to mutual funds and IRAs supported by clean energy investments.

“These investments could benefit from policies Udall has announced his support for both on the campaign trail and during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives,” according to Grand Junction, Colo. paper The Daily Sentinel.

Udall has been a vocal supporter of renewable energy. “America’s future as a great nation is at peril unless we rapidly achieve energy independence,” Udall says on his Web site. “To meet this challenge, we need a more diverse portfolio of energy resources, including renewable energy.”

Tara Trujillo, a spokeswoman for Udall, said he “supports that vision in every way possible, including with his own investments,” Trujillo stated.

Udall has stated that he will pursue a renewable energy standard if he is elected to the Senate.

Dick Wadhams, campaign manager for Udall’s opponent, says Udall “should hold himself to the same standards that his campaign seems to be applying to Bob Schaffer, which is any involvement with any business entity is inherently a conflict of interest.”

During their campaigns, both Udall and Schaffer have touted energy independence for the United States.

J. Robinson West, chairman of the oil and gas consulting firm PFC Energy, says some people aren’t looking at the issue the right way.

“Many politicians and commentators offer long-term visions for a problem that needs immediate practical solutions requiring difficult choices and compromises. Breezy generalities about the future that ignore harsh economics and science are useless.”

Headline Link: ‘Candidate Investments Could Earn Windfalls from Public Proposals’

Background: Debating energy issues

Reactions: Mark Udall and Bob Schaffer on energy independence

Related Topics: Energy independence; oilman wants more wind power


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