$750,000 Ad Buy Ties Golyansky Around Buck’s Neck

Campaign Money Watch just announced this new TV spot, with a massive buy to answer the much-publicized spending of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads “Super PAC”–targeting GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck over the scandal, originally brought to light by Buck’s primary opponent Jane Norton, stemming from Buck’s actions to help gun dealer and Colorado conservative figure Gregory Golyansky. We knew that this ad was coming, but the huge size of the media buy here took us by surprise–and is welcome evidence for Democrat Michael Bennet’s supporters that the Colorado Senate race remains very much in play.

Full release from Campaign Money Watch follows, says Director David Donnelly, “Because of Ken Buck’s irresponsible actions, a corrupt gun dealer got off the hook-a gun dealer who has contributed to Buck’s Senate campaign. Coloradoans should wonder whether Ken Buck would let the special interests off the hook if he gets to Washington, D.C.”

TV Ad: Ken Buck’s Unethical Behavior Helped Gun Dealer; Gun Dealer Later Gave Campaign Money

$750,000 Ad Buy in Colorado Starts Today; Matches Rove-Led Group’s Attack Ad Against Sen. Bennet

Washington, DC– Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform watchdog, launched a hard hitting major television ad campaign today to expose Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck’s past ethical problems.

“Because of Ken Buck’s irresponsible actions, a corrupt gun dealer got off the hook-a gun dealer who has contributed to Buck’s Senate campaign,” said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. “Coloradoans should wonder whether Ken Buck would let the special interests off the hook if he gets to Washington, D.C.”

The spot highlights how Ken Buck was reprimanded for unethical actions while working in the U.S. Attorney’s office. Buck, as a Senate candidate, has received campaign money from the same corrupt gun dealer who was charged with 37 felonies but convicted for only one misdemeanor.

The television spot takes direct aim: “Ken Buck’s misconduct let an illegal gun dealer facing 37 criminal charges off the hook,” the announcer says in the ad. “Now the same illegal gun dealer contributed money to Buck’s campaign.”

This six-figure ad campaign begins airing today on broadcast and cable television in the Denver market.

Ken Buck’s opponent, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), has co-sponsored the Fair Elections Now Act, legislation that would sever the ties between campaign contributors and members of Congress. Buck has not signed the Voters First Pledge to indicate he would support the legislation if elected.

The ad and documentation is available at www.campaignmoneywatch.com/kenbuck.


Campaign Money Watch works to hold politicians who are against comprehensive campaign finance reform accountable for where they get their political donations.

77 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. reubenesp says:

    I was beginning to wonder if the Buckaroo would walk scott-free, especially after the massive news of Maes’ firing on similar charges.

  2. BlueCat says:

    pushing back against Romanoff late in the day when people outside of political junkies were paying most attention and it did the most good.  This could be a repeat with the same results!

  3. sxp151 says:

    That’s the way we’re supposed to interpret it when primary attacks get used in the general election, right?

  4. H-man says:

    Both of the primary gotcha issues are now on the table.

    My sense is the Bennet stealing from the teachers probably hurts Dem turn out but not much else and the Buck gundealer issue does not hurt him with his base.  The open question for both is the Independents.  

    If Bennet had not been making up so much nonsense, or to be fair others on his behalf, it might stick more.  Bennet is now coming off like Baloon Boy in terms of credibility.  He would have been better served to have been less difuse.

  5. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    This is going to hurt Buck.  Nothing quite like a DA being soft on crime to bring his favorables down.

  6. 20th Maine says:

    have to do with campaign finance reform?

    Campaign Money Watch, a nonpartisan campaign finance reform watchdog

    Is there any rule, regulation or law that says that non-profits need to stay within their stated bounds?  

    Whatever.  If this starts to move numbers, then Buck comes out with the Clinton appointed, US Attorney’s conclusion on the case.  From the Greeley Gazette:

    An Assistant U.S. Attorney, Stephanie Villafuerte, was assigned to the case. After studying the details, she wrote a memo that described numerous weaknesses, especially the evidence gathering process. Villafuerte refused to prosecute. “The case was discussed in-house and all the other career prosecutors in the office also refused to prosecute the case,” Buck said.  The top boss, and U.S. Attorney at the time, Henry Solano, decided not to prosecute, and the process stopped.

    And FYI, $750k is relative to the duration of the spot on air.  It’s not that impressive if it’s supposed to last for the next 3.5 weeks in this market.

    • Republican 36 says:

      U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland, appointed by President Clinton and Mr. Solano’s successor, decided to reopen the case and prosecute it. That happens all the time at the U.S. Attorneys office. For example, an FBI agent brings a case to one of the assistant U.S. attorneys and the prosecutor declines the case because he/she doesn’t believe there is enough evidence to indict the person under investigation. That may happen several times before the agent has satisfied the prosecutor there is enough evidence to indict. The fact Ms. Villafuerta, at one point, wrote a memo stating the case agents had not brought forward sufficient evidence to indict is neither important or significant.

      What is important is the fact Mr. Buck took information out of a criminal prosecution file, from a case he wasn’t even assigned to, and gave it to the defense attorney. That is truly dispicable behavior and violates any legal code of ethics in existence. How would any one of us like it if we hired an attorney to handle a confidential matter and another attorney in the firm, who didn’t like the attorney we hired, rifled through our file one night, and gave confidential information to opposing counsel. Any of us would do two things. First, demand the lawyer who did it be fired and second, file an ethics complaint against the attorney for breaching the attorney-client privilege.  

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        as chief counsel for our construction company. Fourth, finance his campaign for the Senate by funneling tons of cash through shadowy third-party groups. It’s what any one of us would do, isn’t it?

      • 20th Maine says:

        Strickland wasn’t politically transparent or anything.  The fact that he came on board right after Columbine and just happened to be setting his sights on US Senate would not have conflicted with his US Attorney interests at all.

        When you say “all the time,” do you really mean every time?  Half the time?  Ten percent of the time?  Once you get closer to <5% you will be making progress.

        • Republican 36 says:

          I was an assistant U.S. attorney for over a decade and it happens all the time, far more than 5%. I was involved with cases where the investigations lasted over two years and we repeated, in writing, turned down the case for insufficient evidence four and five times.

          Whether Mr. Strickland was politically transparent is not relevant in this matter. Please keep in mind that Republican U.S. Attorney John Suthers continued the ethics investigation and reprimanded Mr. Buck. Bottom line, attorneys are forbidden from selling out clients regardless of whether they don’t like an attorney working on the same side of the case. In this case, Mr. Buck did what he did because he was sore at Mr. Strickland because he replace him as chief of the criminal division which was and is an unethical reason to act the way he did.

          Mr. Buck was told to leave the government.

      • reubenesp says:

        after which, Buck was ordered to take ethics classes.

        • 20th Maine says:

          Again, cited from the Gazette:

          “I have chosen not to impose any more serious consequences on the basis of my determination that your conduct was not intentional, my review of mitigating information you have presented and in consideration of your previous record as an AUSA.  For more than a decade you have provided dedicated services to the United States as a line AUSA, as a Senior Litigation Counsel and Chief of the Criminal Division.  This incident appears to be an aberration in your professional career.”

          Suthers was obligated to mop up after Strickland.  Ken Buck was well within his right to discuss the merits of the case with the defense attorney.  But yes, he did let slip that there was an internal memo.

          Otherwise, as for the merits of the case and its prosecution, Buck and everyone else at the office was right, Strickland was wrong.

          In the end, Buck’s evaluation of the case turned out to be accurate. More than 37 felony charges against two defendants were dropped, and the third man — the main defendant — walked out of court with a misdemeanor conviction, a $25 dollar fine, and one day of probation.

          While Dems argue technicalites, our side will argue ideas.  

  7. SSG_Dan says:

    This stuff happens in the last four weeks for a reason. It’s fall sweeps period for local tv stations – that’s when they have the best news stories, and the networks roll out their best (?) new and continuing shows.

    People normally don’t start watching the main networks until the start of Football season, which is early Sept. There’s usually some jockeying for position then, but the real stuff doesn’t start getting aired until the end of the month. (TV folks jokingly call this Octember Sweeps.)

    The next four weeks is when the majority of people are watching TV – and it so happens it’s the last four weeks before the election. Like it or not, people get manipulated by what they see in this period, and that’s why it’s critical to roll out political ads now than over the summer.

    Repubs got a free ride (ad-wise) until this month. And while they’re doing the pee-pee dance about how great things are going to be this November, they’ve seemed to have not noticed that Dems have discovered (or re-discovered) Negative Advertising. They know it works because it’s the basis of every GOP campaign.

    People are watching now. They’ve  heard a bunch of stuff in the background over the last few weeks, but now they’re watching American Idol and The Event. And if you put that nagging suspicion together with these ads, the poll numbers change…

    • Rainidog says:

      that it’s hitting mainstream news that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is funneling big foreign money to support R candidates in several states–including ours.

      And that Karl Rove’s Super Pac and a couple others have amassed nearly $100 million, from undisclosed donors to put up attack ads against Democrats.  I believe Rove’s output is already $38 mil.

    • Sweeps month is in November, not October.  Yes, all the new shows are on and you will see new episodes, but the actual sweeps when all the “guest stars” and stunts come out is in November (by driving up ratings they can charge more for ads).  

      • SSG_Dan says:

        sweeps started the first week of October this week.

        There was some prelim jockeying here in the 18th DMA starting the last two weeks of Sept, but the numbers started counting on Friday Oct 1st, with CBS4 winning the first four nights.

        I know that some places start reporting sweeps starting Oct 28- Nov 24th, but not in this DMA.

        And if you want to nit-pick, DMA 18 is a people-meter market which means sweeps periods “don’t count.” But tell that to the Station Managers and News Directors of this market….

  8. bjwilson83 says:

    We appreciate the bump in the polls you will give Buck. Unaffiliateds don’t like negative ads, especially baseless ones.  

  9. BlueCarpBlueCarp says:

    I’m not voting for Buck, I’m voting for Libertarian Mac Stringer.

    Nevertheless, what Buck did here was the RIGHT thing.

    Refusing to prosecute a bad case motivated by politics is a GOOD thing.  

    • MADCO says:

      The problem was he tanked the case by giving the files to the other side.  

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        to prosecute or not. He undermined another attorney’s case.

      • colawman says:

        It was not files. It was comments made to an opposing attorney. This case was turned down by all career attorneys in the office. Strickland wanted to make a gun case for political reasons. The case was a loser from the get go.  What did the Federal Judge think of the case?  Golyansky was cleared of all charges except one. I think it was tantamount to having an expired FFL. His punishment by the obviously disgusted Judge.  1 day of probation and $25 dollar fine. Yep Buck was trying to prevent an embarassment and miscarriage of justice brought about by political ambitions. So he stood up for justice and got a written reprimand.  Too Funny.  Let’s see. Buck protects a citizen from malicious prosecution and Bennet loses $140 million dollars of DPS money. Not to mention he lines his buddy Romer’s pockets on the deal.  

        • MADCO says:

          According to you, Buck refused to prosecute and got censored for it.  But all career attorneys in the office also turned the case down and they got …..nothing?  

          Yeah- that sounds right. I must be wrong. And AG Suthers. And USA Strickland.  You and Buck and Golyanksy are right – erveryone else is wrong.

  10. Hayduke says:

    …comments in this thread about what a disgusting, malevolent fuck Golyansky is. I can’t be the only person on Pols who has experienced the misfortune of dealing with him in person.

    • Car 31 says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Hayduke.

      There are times in life when we meet people and when we walk away feel like we need a shower because they were so slimy and you’re worried some of their filth.

      This is Golyansky.

      The man is a pawn shop, cheap gun selling, sleazeball. The article below speaks about how the guns he sells wind up in teenagers’ hands, murder scenes, drug gangs, and many other horrible places.

      Golyansky is the worst kind of patriot – one that can quote Jefferson and Paine while doing all he can to inflict harm and death on others.

      If there is any consolation about having to deal with this maggot now it is that there is a special niche in hell reserved for him and his other cronies who willingly sell cheap death in the name of security and patriotism.


      Now, with all that said, a little personal commentary:

      Looking through the article and speaking to others, the case against Golyansky wasn’t important enough to prosecute. It was analogous to choosing not to prosecute the punk on the corner selling meth and instead focus on the large manufacturer supplying the meth.

      Golyansky is protected under the current gun laws we have. ATF consistently audited and inspected him, and he was in compliance (or they couldn’t prove otherwise).

      So the issue, in my mind, isn’t that Buck was a schmuck during the case, it’s that the ATF and others felt this minor merchant of death wasn’t worth the trouble. We need better gun laws so slime like Golyansky are treated and seen for what they are.

      • smart 1 says:

        I had this story 9 months ago! Buck supporters accused me of lying over and over.  Buck lied about the story, too.  I knew the story was going to blow up in Buck’s face.  I knew the Democrats do not play nice, and they were not going to buy the spin put out by Buck like a lot of Republicans did. Sorry, but I told the Buck supporters this is what would happen!  

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.