Bob Schaffer

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Bob Schaffer
Bob Schaffer Head Shot.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Wayne Allard
Succeeded by Marilyn Musgrave
Personal details
Born (1962-07-24) July 24, 1962 (age 53)
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maureen Schaffer
Alma mater University of Dayton

Robert Warren "Bob" Schaffer (born July 24, 1962) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from the State of Colorado in the 105th Congress and the two succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1997 to January 3, 2003). In 2004, Schaffer lost in the primary election to be the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat. He was the Republican nominee for Colorado's other Senate seat in the 2008 election, which he lost to Democratic nominee Mark Udall.


Bob Schaffer was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended Archbishop Moeller High School. The son of public-school teachers, Schaffer worked his way through college as a farm hand. In 1984, he graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.A. in Political Science. He was later awarded an honorary doctorate in Management from Colorado Technical University.

Prior to entering politics, Schaffer held a variety of jobs, including carpet layer, lifeguard, salmon cannery worker, legislative researcher, speechwriter, and small business owner. From 1989 to 1995, he owned and operated Northern Front Range Marketing and Distribution, a small marketing business serving Colorado’s tourism industry.

Colorado State Senator[edit]

Schaffer served for nine years as a Colorado State Senator in the Colorado General Assembly. Schaffer was only 25 years old in 1987 when he was appointed to finish Colorado State Senator Jim Beatty's term, making Schaffer the youngest to serve in Colorado's Senate. As a Colorado Senator, he was Chairman of the Finance Committee, the State Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, and the Local Government Committee. Schaffer also was the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Schaffer was awarded the "National Republican Legislator of the Year for 1995" by the National Republican Legislators Association.[citation needed] In 1993, Schaffer made headlines when he removed a display from the Capitol—that was in clear view of visiting children—that contained pamphlets describing "unsafe sexual practices." [1]

U.S. Congressman[edit]

Schaffer was first elected to the U.S. Congress in November 1996 representing Colorado's 4th congressional district, succeeding Wayne Allard and Hank Brown.

Congressional highlights[edit]

Schaffer served three terms in Congress, fulfilling the three-term pledge he made during his first Congressional campaign.[2] Schaffer upheld his pledge in spite of pleas from national Republicans and President George W. Bush to run for another term.[3] He was succeeded by Marilyn Musgrave in January 2003.

Post-2002 career[edit]

Schaffer is currently vice-president for business development at Aspect Energy, LLC., where he is involved in a variety of energy, mining and education projects. He served as president of the Parental Alliance for Choice in Education, a non-profit corporation promoting school choice reform in Colorado's public education system, and is active in the state’s transformation to a market-driven education system. Schaffer is a trustee of Yorktown University.[4] He is also Chairman of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, a Colorado group providing political organizational training.[5] Schaffer was also an opinion columnist for the now-defunct Northern Colorado Courier.

In March 2005, Schaffer was elected Republican National Committeeman for Colorado.

Schaffer was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Colorado State Board of Education by a party vacancy committee, representing a district that is coterminous with the state's Fourth Congressional District. He successfully ran for the seat in 2006, against Democrat Tom Griggs. Schaffer is the Vice Chairman.

He is the Colorado Chairman of the Judicial Confirmation Network.

In 2006, Bob Schaffer founded Dreamsoft Colorado, LLC,[6] a firm that creates high-end interactive websites for business and political clients. He is also the President of AMDG LLC.

2004 U.S. Senate race[edit]

In 2004, Schaffer contended for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate after incumbent Republican Ben Nighthorse Campbell chose not to run for re-election. Brewing magnate Pete Coors opposed Schaffer. Coors entered the bitter primary battle after Schaffer faced down potential contenders such as David Liniger, founder of ReMax. The nomination battle concluded when Coors won the Republican nomination over Schaffer with 61% of the vote. Coors went on to lose to Democratic nominee Ken Salazar in the 2004 general election. [1]

2008 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Schaffer's Jefferson County field office in 2008

Schaffer was the Republican nominee for the open seat of retiring Senator Wayne Allard. He lost to Mark Udall, the Democratic nominee.

On May 9, 2007, Schaffer filed his official statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission. On May 12, 2007, he made an official announcement in Boulder that he would run for the Senate to a group of over 150 Republicans attending a fundraising event.[7]

On September 28, 2008, Udall and Schaffer appeared on Meet the Press's Senate Debate series, discussing the proposed bailout of the U.S. financial system.[8]

Political positions[edit]

Schaffer's positions on various issues are:[9]

  • Growing a stronger economy by lowering the tax burden on all Americans and curbing wasteful federal spending.
  • Achieving energy independence by broadening the incentives, research and investment in renewable energy science, production, conservation and improved development of American-based conventional energy resources.
  • Protecting the environment.
  • Reforming education.
  • Strong national defense by maintaining the best-equipped, best-trained and most professional military in the world.
  • Creating a 21st-century health care system, by ensuring users can make their own choices, not have a government worker or an insurance agent interfering in their relationship with their doctor.
  • Promoting Colorado agriculture and fighting for Colorado water rights.

Political opposition[edit]

In 2008, the League of Conservation Voters named Schaffer a member of its "Dirty Dozen" because of an anti-environmental record during his tenure in Congress.[10] In 2001, then-congressman Schaffer voted for President Bush's energy plan that Democrats argued was a $33 billion gift to the oil corporations.[11] Republicans argued that the bill would help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.[12]


  • Grand Junction Daily Sentinel on October 9, 2008 [13]
  • The Pueblo Chieftain on October 17, 2008 [14]

Link to the Jack Abramoff Scandals[edit]

Schaffer was linked to the Mariana Islands worker abuse scandal by his association with the Traditional Values Coalition. The organization was used by Jack Abramoff to pay for the trip of the then-Congressman to visit the island. The Denver Post reported that the TVC paid the $13,000 travel bill for the trip, organized by Abramoff's lobbying firm.[15]

Abramoff's lobbying team would prepare questions and "factual backup" for friendly lawmakers. Trips to the island for congressmen and staff would be a key tool to "build permanent friends," the memo said.

The congressional junkets to the Mariana Islands were designed to build support in Congress among Republican lawmakers to block labor and immigration legislation for the islands, which had been found to harbor squalid working conditions and abusive labor practices, including child prostitution and forced abortions.[15]

Schaffer claimed that he spoke with local clergy who denied there was a problem of forced abortions in the Northern Marianas,[16] the only area of the United States where abortion is banned by their local constitution.[17][18] After his return from the islands, Schaffer used his position on the Resources Committee to attack reports of abuses on the islands.[19]

During his 2008 Senate campaign, Schaffer suggested that the Northern Marianas' guest worker program might serve as a model for U.S. national immigration policy, stirring further controversy.[20] Schaffer was particularly impressed with their pre-qualifying foreign workers before they were allowed to immigrate to the CNMI. According to a 1998 World magazine article that mainly sourced Andrea Sheldon of the TVC, some argued that the issues of the Northern Marianas labor, wage, and immigration laws are simply attacks by U.S.-based labor unions who are attempting to eliminate competition.[21] Schaffer told the Denver Post, "The workers were smiling; they were happy."[22] Schaffer also downplayed criticism from pro-life organizations that he participated in Abramoff's lobbying strategy to protect the sweatshop system by arguing, "In five days, I did not observe a forced abortion or meet anybody who had any knowledge of them."[16]


  1. ^ Durango Herald: Scrappy style, family values help drive Bob Schaffer
  2. ^ Rep. Bob Schaffer to retire – Undefined Section
  3. ^
  4. ^ Yorktown University (Trustees)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Dreamsoft, Chicago – top quality web design services and products across the globe
  7. ^ Former Rep. Schaffer says he'll run for Allard's seat : Politics : The Rocky Mountain News
  8. ^ Senate candidates debate the bailout Meet the Press, September 28, 2008, video
  9. ^
  10. ^ League of Conservation Voters Names Former U.S. Rep. Bob Schaffer to 2008 “Dirty Dozen”
  11. ^ 'Thanks, Bob' ad spawns spoof. Rocky Mountain News
  12. ^ G.O.P. Energy Bill Is Likely to Set Off Fierce Policy Fight. New York Times
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Riley, Michael (13 April 2008). "Schaffer, lobbyist strategies meshed". Denver Post. 
  16. ^ a b "Abortion foes assail candidate for Senate," Denver Post; 04/22/2008.
  17. ^ :: "Forced Abortions" in Saipan garment factories ?
  18. ^ Article I, CNMI Constitution
  19. ^ Michael Riley, "Schaffer, lobbyist strategies meshed", Denver Post; 4/12/2008.
  20. ^ Tricky issue of immigration played down. Denver Post
  21. ^ "Micromanaging Micronesia? Playing politics with persecution," World Magazine; April 18, 1998.
  22. ^ Michael Riley, "Abramoff ties cloud Schaffer's '99 fact-finding trip"; Denver Post.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Wayne Allard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Marilyn Musgrave
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wayne Allard
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado
(Class 2)

Succeeded by
Cory Gardner