|May 15, 2007: Schaffer clears the field: Suthers and Rayburn remove their names from consideration but the Denver Post writes, "Schaffer is hardly a consensus favorite of Colorado Republicans."
Summer 2007: Cricket....cricket...
October 18, 2007: The Denver Post notes that Schaffer has completely avoided discussing issues on the campaign trail, but has instead "remained quietly on the sidelines."
April 7, 2008: The comment that started it all: Bob Schaffer describes the Northern Mariana Islands as a "model" for a guest-worker program in the US.
April 10, 2008: The Denver Post breaks the first story on Schaffer's ties to jailed-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. It includes this now infamous picture of Schaffer parasailing while on his "fact finding" mission to the Northern Mariana Islands:
Following Days: Front page after front page, the Abramoff-Schaffer scandal unfolds.
April 11, 2008: The Associated Press reports that a 1999 memo from Schaffer's staff alerted Schaffer that Abramoff's lobbying firm arranged the Northern Mariana Islands trip.
April 11, 2008: The Denver Post reports that Schaffer supported Benigno Fitial, a candidate for Speaker of the House of the North Mariana Islands and an ally of Abramoff. Schaffer endorsed Fitial in ads in the island newspaper, and his endorsement "was part of a concerted and public campaign by Republicans on the House Committee on Natural Resources to boost Fitial's public career when he became key to extending a multimillion-dollar lobbying contract for Abramoff from the island's government." After Fitial was elected speaker he pressured the Governor of the Marianas Islands to renew Abramoff's lobbying contract.
April 12, 2008: The Denver Post reports on its front page that after returning from a Jack Abramoff-sponsored trip to the Northern Mariana Islands, Schaffer aggressively sought to discredit critics of human rights abuses on the islands, carrying out "a strategy that had been literally mapped out by Abramoff a year and a half earlier in the memo addressed to Willie Tan, who is one of the islands' biggest textile manufacturers and had input on the lobbying contract between the islands and Abramoff's firm."
April 21, 2008: Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, blasts Schaffer for defending human rights conditions in the Northern Mariana Islands, where factory workers were made to undergo forced abortions.
April 28, 2008: Schaffer and his campaign manager Dick Wadhams have a combative interview with a Colorado reporter when asked about the Abramoff scandal. The transcript circulates widely.
May 14, 2008: Whoops! In his very first ad, Schaffer tries to tout his ties to Colorado, noting that he proposed to his wife on Pike's Peak. The problem? The mountain he shows in Mt. McKinley...in Alaska. Schaffer pulls the ads.
May 30, 2008: Dick Wadhams flatly denies that Schaffer was paid for his service on the board of the non-profit group whose founder, Bill Orr, has been convicted of illegally using funds from a congressional earmark.
June 23, 2008: Whoops! Schaffer "estimated he was paid $1,500 for his service on the board." But confusing matters more, Schaffer's financial disclosure form filed with the Senate Ethics Committee notes his work on the board but doesn't show any income.
July 10, 2008: The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel breaks the news that while working as an oil executive in Denver, Bob Schaffer violated official U.S. policy by negotiating an oil exploration deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government at a time when the State Department was warning American oil firms not to sign such deals because they would lead to destabilization in Iraq.
July 11, 2008: The Huffington Post debunks Schaffer's claims that he was unaware of U.S. objections to pursuing Kurdish oil deals, and reveals that he worked on the oil deal while officially a candidate for Senate.
July 12, 2008: Foreign policy experts rip Schaffer, "saying an oil deal his company negotiated in a region of Iraq jeopardized the safety of American troops"
July 17, 2008: Schaffer admits that he was aware that U.S. government officials opposed oil deals like the one he arranged with the Kurdistan Regional Government, contradicting his previous statement that he had no such knowledge at the time.
August 2, 2008: The stress of losing begins to wear on Schaffer's campaign: Dick Wadhams has an outburst with Lynn Bartles of the Rocky Mountain News saying, "We're going to shove a bunch of 30-second ads up his a** on this issue over the course of the campaign."
August 15, 2008: Big Oil Bob earns the title with this astonishing quote: "But because prices are soaring, the reality is the federal government is raking in a bunch of cash right now on the backs of energy producers."
September 28, 2008: In their Meet the Press debate, Schaffer - who appeared fidgety and angry - defended oil company profits as "not too bad."
September 30, 2008: Schaffer's connections to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff resurface with a former labor official and a human rights activist holding a press conference in front of his office in Denver to describe him "as 'a leader' in carrying out a plan hatched by jailed former lobbyist Jack Abramoff to shield sweatshops from U.S. immigration and labor laws."
October 15, 2008: The Denver Post reports, "After together spending nearly $2 million in Colorado Senate ads in the last two weeks of September, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Freedom's Watch - two of Schaffer's biggest backers - suddenly pulled out."
October 21, 2008: The NRSC says they'll stay in Colorado "until the end."
October 24, 2008: "The end" comes early... NRSC pulls out of Colorado, conceding defeat.