Bennet Ad Fails to Disclose Surrogate is Paid Operative Supporting His Campaign

By Matt Connelly

Candidate authenticity is turning out to be a major issue in the U.S. Senate race, and Michael Bennet’s latest attack on Joe O’Dea looks like another instance of poll-tested phoniness.

The star of Bennet’s latest ad attacking O’Dea on abortion, Jaki Lawrence, is actually a senior political operative for Cobalt Advocates – a partisan group that has endorsed Bennet’s campaign. 

The ad makes no mention of who “Jaki” actually is and that she is collects a paycheck from Cobalt (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado), a notoriously partisan group that’s actively working to defeat O’Dea. 

This is hardly the first time a campaign has featured the paid spokesperson for an interest group in an ad. Nonetheless, it’s not especially common and there’s an obvious reason campaigns avoid doing so. It just looks bad. 

Was there really not another slightly more neutral surrogate Bennet could’ve used? Perhaps someone who literally wasn’t actually on the dole from a partisan group that’s supporting his reelection?

Colorado politicos will remember the left’s absolute meltdown after Cory Gardner featured a state legislative staffer in an ad. 

The only difference here is “Jaki” isn’t a young staffer who volunteered to appear in an ad; she’s a senior member of a partisan group that’s essentially being paid to cut this ad for Bennet. 

Bennet’s failure to disclose that “Jaki” could have a financial interest in appearing in the ad just makes this entire thing look bad.  

Side note – Bennet’s attack was coincidentally released on the same day Cook Political Report shifted the Senate race towards O’Dea…

Desperate times call for desperate measures!

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About the Author:

Matt Connelly is the founder of Campfire Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @MattConnelly.