The news continues to be bad for Democrat incumbent Colorado Senator Mark Udall. While knowledge of his arrest for marijuana possession has long been in the public sphere, the few details offered by the embattled Senator have now been challenged by a look back at news reports from the incident.
As Senator Mark Udall tells it, he was just cruising around town back in the 70’s and got pulled over while having some pot on him. For this, again, as the Senator tells it, his father, Mo Udall, let him spend the night in the local jail.
Now, if this were the entire story it wouldn’t even make a ripple in the race for a senate seat in a state that just legalized the recreational use, and sale, of marijuana.
But then, the Senator’s tale isn’t the entire story. Colorado Peak Politics broke the news this afternoon:
Here’s the real story, as compiled by newspaper clips from 1973. Late on Saturday, February 17, 1973, Udall was driving a 1969 Datsun station wagon with Louisiana plates. He was pulled over. On the front seat, two highway patrolmen found three ounces of marijuana and (this is the part he left out) “dangerous drugs”, which were identified as amphetamines. The patrolmen seized Udall’s car for “transporting drugs”. He was charged with two felony drug counts. According to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun, “initial felony charges were reduced as requested by the County Attorney.”
The images that Peak Politics provides on its site of the original news articles of the arrest show that Senator Udall was in possession of 3 ounces of pot and a few amphetamine pills. Three ounces is a lot more weed than your average Colorado smoker would consume for personal use, and the cost would probably range between $1,000-$1,800 depending on the quality.
So it isn’t surprising that a young Mark Udall was initially charged with two felony counts. What is just as unsurprising is that the charges against Udall, whose father was Senator Mo Udall, were almost immediately reduced.
Senator Udall has claimed that his father had him spend the night in jail over this incident to teach him a lesson, but even that bit appears to be more fairy tale than fact.
Speaking of, what about his dad, Mo Udall “teaching him a lesson” by having him “spend a night in jail”? Well, that’s not true either. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, Udall was released that same night. And, here comes another lie.
The punishment for Udall’s crime was a little bit stiffer than he let on. He was fined $300 (that’s about $1,500 in today’s dollars), ordered to spend one night in jail (not by his father), and put on probation for six months. In addition, the state of Arizona seized the car he was driving in a civil action. The car was valued at $1,500 then, or about $8,000 in today’s dollars.
It is amazing how being connected to a political dynasty can make two felony counts disappear with nothing more than a few fines and a bit of probation. I don’t know if that was the lesson Mo Udall intended to teach to his son Mark, but it should be noted that Mark’s son has also found himself in trouble with the law over drugs.
While Senator Mark Udall got pulled over with pot and pills, this past January his son, Jed Udall, was charged with four felony counts for possession of heroin and breaking into cars.
Deputies say Jed Udall broke into three cars on the 4700 block of Eldorado Springs Drive around noon on Wednesday, saying that they also found heroin on Jed Udall at the time.
This is not the first time Jed Udall has been in trouble with the law. He was cited in December for stealing Advil and Imodium from a Boulder King Soopers, according to a police report.
As heartbreaking as it is to watch this sort of thing happen, it is to be expected of the members of a political dynasty that fears no accountability for their actions, no repercussions for their lies.
The compassionate thing to do would be to vote for Cory Gardner and end the Udall political dynasty. You know, before someone in the lineage pulls a Kennedy and drowns a woman.