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An Israeli television anchorman recently made the observation after years of being an impartial reporter that the occupation of the Palestinian people is unsustainable and that Israel must compromise. Do you share this opinion? Is Ariel Sharon's unilateral pullout from Gaza really a compromise? As a U.S. Senator, how would you advance peace in the Middle East? Would you support direct aid to the Palestinian Authority?


Congressman Udall,

Thanks for participating.

Why is there no consistent standard practice of penalizing those who hire illegals. Wouldn't the financial disincentive to hire and keep the undocumented in employ radically change the illegal immigration situation?

Is there so much business/employer interest in keeping the status quo that neither the Dems nor the Repubs will propose such enforcement? Would a candidate for either party go down in flames if they went after the demand side of this equation?


Congressman Udall,
Thank you for taking the time to answer questions today. Online and in the papers there is constant talk about West Slope versus Metro area voters. Your district encompasses Vail and Breckenridge as well as Rocky Flats and Broomfield. Are the mountain and suburban/urban constituencies ever at odds and if so, what do you do to solve such a dilema?

Bip Boodle

Congressman Udall-

Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule.

My question is about DNC Chair Howard Dean. He seems to be doing a good job of riling up the Democratic base and raising money from the grassroots with his anti-Bush, anti-Republican comments--but doesn't the uproar surrounding each of his angry soundbites distract from a more cohesive message?

What do you think of the job Chairman Dean is doing, and more generally, as the '06 cycle get going, how can Democrats (1) express their frustrations with the failures and unprecedented extremism of the current administration while (2) maintaining an effective message with broad appeal about Iraq, Social Security, healthcare, etc.?


Congressman will Wayne Allard running for reelection will that afford you an excuse to back out of the 2008 race for the US Senate? --



Will Wayne Allard's flip flop on his self-impossed term limit, his support of Tom Delay and the failed Bush agenda, and his insensative remarks afford you hope that Allard will be your opponent in '08?

Mark Udall

I want to thank Coloradopols.com for inviting me to do this Q&A today. I will try to answer all questions in the next hour.

Susan B

now that Allard is apparently running for reelection how does that change your approach to the 2008 senate race?

thank you for answering questions today

Hugo O'conor


What is your stance on the Supreme Court ruling on eminent domain?

If you oppose it, can you tell us what you specifically plan to do to guarantee the rights of property owners? This is particularly important in Colorado in light of the Super Slab toll road debate.

Thank you

Mark Udall

On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the current situation is untenable and both sides will tell you that. I support Sharon’s pullout from Gaza. We need to encourage peace in the region by encouraging both sides to work together.

I would support aid to the Palestinian Authority if—unlike under Chairman Arafat-- they ensure it will be used to rebuild their infrastructure and create jobs and opportunity for the Palestinian people.

Mark Udall

As I described above, my district is very diverse and includes different geographies and communities. Regardless of where we live, we need to remember that we are all Coloradans and have a stake in our future. Some examples where West Slope and East Slope have been able to come together to solve issues: I campaigned to defeat Referendum A, which was defeated soundly throughout the state. I’ve also worked with Denver Water and Grand County to work out a solution on Fraser River. On transportation, the model used for US 36 is being replicated by communities along the I-70 West corridor.

I always try to appeal to the best in people. It’s important to always keep the conversations going and find ways to bridge the divide.

Mark Udall

On immigration, employer provisions in our laws must be enforced. Also, we have an employer verification system that needs updating and efforts are currently underway to make sure that happens. We must fix a system that is broken and that is going to take leadership from the President to build a coalition of Democrats and Republicans to do it sooner rather than later. You might want to look at my posting above which talks about immigration and the employer verification issues.


Mr. Udall, thanks for taking the time. What did you think about Mr. Bush's speech yesterday?

Teddy Weverka

Congressman Udall,
We have record deficits pushing our national debt as a percent of GDP to the highest its been in 50 years. The last time we took on such a burden, it was to fight WWII. If we are faced with a serious challenge, do you believe we have left ourselves sufficient headroom to take it on?
At what level of debt are we in danger of default?

Phoenix Rising

Congressman, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.

First, you mentioned the gift limits and training in place in Congress, but the issue that appears to come up over and over again are trip expenses. Is there an exemption for these, or is it pretty cut and dry?

Second, there is recent news of newly-installed or near-completion plants offering new efficiency in both biodiesel (2/3 the cost of regular diesel in mass production) and biomass (powering 3 houses per 4 head of cattle). Colorado stands to benefit significantly from renewable energy sources like this. Is the will developing in the Congress to get these currently-available sources of renewable energy into widespread use?

Third, to clarify one of your answers in a way that might steer debate, you mention stronger ID for guest workers; is this the primary reason we cannot enforce immigration status verification at the employer level? What other major obstacles exist?

Mark Udall

Howard Dean is the first person to acknowledge that he has a straightforward way of speaking that gets him into trouble. As a chair, I think he is doing a good job and doing what he needs to do to build the party, fundraise, reach out to the grassroots. The Democratic Party has always been a big tent party that includes several communities and many viewpoints.

You know, Ken Mehlman, the GOP Chair, and Karl Rove can be over-the-top and people who would criticize Howard Dean should hold the GOP leaders accountable for their words as well.

Democrats in the West need to stay organized and organize in other areas. We need to build on the successes of Gov. Schweitzer in Montana, Gov. Napolitano in Arizona, and the great gains we made in Colorado in 2004. In 2004 we showed what we can do and that Democrats can win when they present an agenda that focuses on the people’s needs. Nationally, the last election showed that Americans didn’t trust Democrats on national security issues, even though historically it has been under Democratic leadership that we won World War 1 and World War 2. We as Democrats need to find a strong voice on national security. That is where I am spending a lot of my energy in the House.

Mark Udall

Lots of good questions here today.

I don't know that Senator Allard has made any decisions regarding his future. During his last campaign, he said he was only going to serve to terms. As far as I know, he hasn't backed off of that promise, yet.

My focus is going to be serving in the House and running for re-election in 2006. I’ve said I intend to run for Senate in 2008 and I intend to follow through with those plans regardless of who the opponent is. As my friend Ben Campbell told me, in politics, you don’t get to pick your opponent. You work hard doing the job you currently have and gear up for your next fight. You can’t pick your opponents.

Mark Udall

thanks for the question Hugo! I haven"t read the full decision yet or digested it but I'm disturbed by it. The recent Supreme Court decision is an important one and the ramifications are still to be determined. I share concerns expressed by private property owners. Specifically, I have worked to protect private property owners through my efforts on an arcane but important law known as RS2477.

I don’t think it would be right to build a Super Slab without accommodating the real concerns of private property owners.

mark udall

Tommix, thanks for your question. Please see my answer above to susan b. I am not going to make a formal announcement on Senate 2008 on coloradopols today. Thanks.

Mark Udall

Hi Ted. Thanks for asking about the deficit situation. I share your concern about record deficits. Economists of all stripes tell us tehy are unsustainable. We'v ehad muhc debate about the death tax, but what about the birth tax? The numbers suggest that every new child born this decade inherits $150000 of federal government debt. Read this month's Atlantic Monthly for a powerful article that equates our debt with other pressing national security concerns, such as the war on terrorism, the threat of biological weapons, etc. In effect we are using our social security surpluses to fund tax cuts. The president last night missed an opportunity to call for national sacrifices. Never before in the country's history have we cut taxes during a time of war and asked future generations to pay for it.

Mark Udall

Steve, thanks for asking about the Pres. speech on Iraq. The president missed an opportunity last night. He offered little new information or a new direction for our involvment in Iraq.

The American people didn't need just a pep talk; they needed a clear and convincing strategy for stabilizing Iraq so that our troops can come home.

The president needed to be honest about the costs and sacrifices of our continued war in IRaq. He urged a war based on faulty intelligence and negligible links to the terrorists who attacked us on 9-11. the president should have given teh kind of speech our nation deserved to hear before the war began two years ago, and before Congress unwisely passed a resolution authorizing war in the first place.

In short, the president needed to reassure a worried nation that past miscalculations and poor planning have been corrected and that his administration has a strategy for success. That didn't happen and that is not good enough for the American people and the brave men and women who are sacrificing so much.

Mark Udall

I want to thank you all for your questions and coloradopols (whoever you are) for commandeering us through this process. It was fun doing this. I'm not a very good typist, so I apologize for keeping some answers so short. Also, forgive my typos and for giving Wayne Allard "to terms" instead of "two."

Phoenix Rising

Thank you for taking your time, Congressman. And if you could clear up whoever the Colorado Pols are, we'd like to know, too :-)


That's ok Congressman. You just obviously meant that you would come TO terms with him should he decided TO lie TO the people of Colorado about TWO terms and run again. And, may I add...good luck TO you.

Besides, "It is a poor uncreative mind that can't come up with more than one way to spell a word." --Mark Twain

Donald E. L. Johnson

It's good to see Udall sees the problems with illegal immigration even though he appears to support the defective McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. Now, if Bush and Colorado dems would recognize there is a problem, we might get somewhere.

To compete with Sen. Allard, he will have to be tougher on this issue. His positions on the war on Islamic Terrorism show he's in the mainstream of Democrats. That is, he's weak on national security, naively thinking that the diplomatic process would work better than the war. If that were true, there would be no insurgents in Iraq. Everybody would be compromising over tea and brie.

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