Ken Buck Goes Full-On U.N. Conspiracy Theory

In 2010, GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes drew avalanches of scorn for theorizing that the city of Denver’s bicycle sharing program, B-Cycle, was part of a conspiracy to turn Colorado into a “U.N. community.” “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes said.

Today, the GOP’s 2010 U.S. Senate nominee in Colorado joins Maes in U.N. conspiracyland:

In the video above, 2010 GOP Senate nominee and Weld County DA Ken Buck declares his opposition to the U.N. Small Arms Treaty, a subject we’ve covered in this space a number of times. Each time we’ve brought it up, it’s been to point out the absurdity of this idea that Hillary Clinton and blue-helmeted stormtroopers are headed to–let’s use Greeley for today’s example–to confiscate the firearms of ordinary law-abiding American citizens. As if the United States, which already blows off the U.N. whenever we feel like it, is suddenly going to start confiscating firearms in defiance of the sacrosanct Second Amendment.

Folks, because Ken Buck is the highest-profile Coloradan yet to jump on the U.N. gun ban conspiracy bandwagon, we’re going to say it one more time: the U.N. Small Arms treaty is intended to regulate international trafficking in firearms. The U.S. representative to the treaty negotiations himself has said so repeatedly and unequivocally:

[W]e must acknowledge and respect that this negotiation is not an attempt to intrude, either in principle or process, into states’ internal activities, laws, or practices concerning the domestic possession, use, or movement of arms. Rather, this treaty will regulate only the international trade in arms. Any attempt to include provisions in the treaty that would interfere with each state’s sovereign control over the domestic possession, use, or movement of arms is clearly outside the scope of our mandate. [Pols emphasis]

Ambassador Donald A. Mahley, the U.S. representative assigned to arms control negotiations who wrote the above summary, is a 27-year U.S. Army veteran, who served in the Bush administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Threat Reduction and Export Control.

So…this guy is part of the conspiracy too? We’d love to see somebody ask Buck that.

We were a bit surprised to see such a strongly-worded opinion on this issue from Buck, who could be considered to have more credibility than, say, state Rep. J. Paul Brown–for whom the “U.N. gun ban” is a lead-off topic of conversation on the stump. Whether meant to provide political cover for people like Brown, or a sincere statement of belief in what seems to be a far fetched, self-debunking conspiracy theory, this is a sad day for Buck’s reputation…or whatever is left of “the reputation formerly enjoyed by Ken Buck.”

Maybe Mike Coffman Doesn’t Want to Get Elected Statewide

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is putting forth legislation to repeal a section of the 1973 Voting Rights Act that allows districts with high percentages of non-English speakers to print ballots in different languages. From Talking Points Memo:

Coffman said Wednesday that his legislation would repeal Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires states or districts to provide bilingual voting materials if more than 10,000 or more than 5% of voters “are members of a single language minority and are limited-English proficient,” or if the illiteracy of members of the language minority is higher than the national average.

“Among other factors,” Section 203 says, “the denial of the right to vote of such minority group citizens is ordinarily directly related to the unequal educational opportunities afforded them resulting in high illiteracy and low voting participation.”

As Polster VanDammer points out, Coffman has signed on to most major “anti immigrant” bills offered in Congress in the last year. While this would make sense for a conservative, Tea Party-loving Congressman, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for someone with statewide aspirations.

Coffman has made no secret of the fact that he wants to run against Sen. Mark Udall in 2014, but he’s going to have a hard time winning a statewide race by going out of his way to antagonize Hispanic voters, which he is doing with bills like repealing part of the Voting Rights Act. There’s a reason why Texas Governor, and now Presidential candidate Rick Perry has been supportive of issues like in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants — he knew he needed support from Hispanic voters in Texas.

In the 2010 Senate race in Colorado, 81% of Hispanic voters selected Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet over Republican Ken Buck; if Buck had received just 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, he would be in the Senate today. Take a look at what Mike Melanson, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s campaign manager, had to say about the Hispanic vote last November. From Colorado Independent:

He said the Hickenlooper campaign saw an uptick in early voting among Hispanics this year – the first time he had seen that in a non-presidential year. He said Hispanic voters are a very strong element in Colorado and that it was a mistake by Republicans to focus on immigration in a negative way.

Either Mike Coffman wasn’t paying attention in 2010, or he just doesn’t really want to win a statewide race. But if he continues down this path of casting himself as a hardliner on immigration, there’s no way he’s going to defeat Udall in 2014. Hispanics accounted for 12% of all Colorado voters in 2010, and that number is only going to increase in the next four years. The numbers don’t lie — you just cannot win an election if you immediately lose the support of 10-15 percent of the electorate.

Larimer County GOP Facing $200,000 in Fines

As the Ft. Collins Coloradoan reports, the Larimer County Republican Party is looking at as much as $216,000 in fines because of problems stemming from former Party Chairman Larry Carillo:

Former Larimer County Republican Party Chairman Larry Carillo used more than $17,000 in party money for payments to two companies he owned and for ATM withdrawals and other payments that can’t be explained, according to amended campaign finance reports the party is filing…

…A Coloradoan review of the new disclosure showed $5,350 in contributions from Carillo’s companies that the Larimer GOP has reported could wind up costing the party more than $200,000 in fines because the contributions appear to violate state campaign finance laws.

The payments to his companies and the debit card use are likely at the heart of an ongoing criminal investigation of Carillo’s tenure as party chairman.

Carillo was first elected Chairman of the Larimer County Republican Party in 2009; he resigned on February 28 after other party leaders noticed a bunch of unpaid bills and other more problematic findings. The bigger problem, where campaign finance law is concerned, is that the Larimer GOP apparently didn’t file any campaign finance reports in 2010.

The Larimer County GOP is looking at at least $65,000 in fines for not filing reports in 2010, but that number is continuing to rise. They’re still facing $50 per day late fees because they admitted that the report they finally filed in March of this year was inaccurate, and because some contributions from more than two years ago were not reported, fines could reach $216,000. But fortunately for them, there are two big-name Republicans in charge of the criminal case and the campaign finance problems. Again, from The Coloradoan:

The Larimer County GOP is seeking a reduction in those fines, and Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office has said it will wait to determine the final fine amount until the party filed its amended campaign finance reports and until a prosecutor decided on whether to file criminal charges in the case.

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck was named special prosecutor in the case after the District Attorney for Larimer County, Larry Abrahamson, recused himself because he had contributed to the county GOP. Buck’s office only will say the investigation is ongoing.

Wait a minute…so Larry Abrahamson, the Larimer County District Attorney, (rightfully) recused himself from the case because he is a donor to the county party. So the case instead goes to Weld County D.A. Ken Buck, who was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2010??? Didn’t Buck and his campaign work with the Larimer County Republican Party last year?

Also involved with this case is former Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden, who is now…wait for it…the Executive Director of the Larimer County GOP.

Gessler has already shown in his first six months in office that he’s not overly concerned with silly things like “laws” or “rules”, and he might very well be inclined to agree with the Larimer County GOP’s request to reduce their fines. After all, says the Larimer GOP, it’s not their fault that nobody in the Party paid any attention to what was happening. Here’s the County GOP’s reasoning for why they shouldn’t be fined:

“[The Larimer County Republican Party] should not be penalized by the imposition of such substantial fines when the failure to file the requisite campaign finance reports was a result of the failure of its volunteer chairman to inform the executive committee or the committee as a whole that reports had not been filed as required.”


In other words, the Larimer County GOP thinks that it shouldn’t get in trouble because it’s not their fault that nobody was paying any attention to anything. No fair, no fair! He didn’t tell us that he was breaking the law!

We don’t know how many officers the Larimer County GOP contained in 2010, but according to their website, there are 14 people listed as 2011-13 “Officers” or members of the “Executive Board.” We’d assume that there were roughly that many “Officers” in 2010, and if the Larimer GOP is like most county parties, they have more regular meetings than Alcoholics Anonymous.

Nobody ever asked if they filed their campaign finance reports? Really? Never?

What about the Party’s Treasurer? Former Treasurer Terri Fassi apparently resigned in July or August 2010 and was not replaced before the end of the year — but she still would have been responsible for reporting for the first half of the year. And what about previous Treasurer Matt Fries, who resigned in 2009 (a year that is also missing reporting details)? Fries at least tries an excuse, claiming that he didn’t open letters from the Secretary of State’s office related to the problems.

It strikes us as a little disingenuous to claim that nobody knew what Carillo was doing when there were plenty of people who, at the very least, should have had some questions. If you put your hands over your ears and close your eyes really tight, maybe it will all just disappear! If you just don’t open the mail, the bad words won’t come out!

Look, we acknowledge that it sucks when one person royally screws things up for an entire organization. There’s no excuse for that…but it’s also inexcusable that nobody else in the County Party lifted so much as an eyelid. It will be interesting to see if Republicans such as Gessler and Buck will accept this nonsense excuse and bury everything at Carillo’s feet. Carillo deserves what’s coming to him, but he shouldn’t be alone.

Senator Michael Bennet, Well and Truly

The Denver newspaper called the race moments ago on a margin of just under 7,000 votes.

UPDATE: 9NEWS’ Adam Schrager Tweets the word from Ken Buck’s campaign: “We will have further comment later today.”

UPDATE #2: The Associated Press now calling the race for Bennet, still awaiting word from Buck.

UPDATE 3:35PM: Schrager Tweets that Buck has called Bennet to concede. Statement:

Buck Congratulates Senator Bennet

DENVER – Ken Buck said he called Senator Michael Bennet this afternoon to congratulate him on winning the U. S. Senate race.

Buck said that while the final margin in the race is very small, Colorado voters have spoken and he wishes Senator Bennet well.

Buck said, “my Senate campaign has been the experience of a lifetime. I will be forever grateful to the thousands of Coloradans who helped make this grassroots journey possible.”

Colorado Election Results Open Thread

UPDATE (11:25): The big Denver paper and many of the other big TV stations have some major problems with their reporting. The Denver Post, for example, had Buck ahead of Bennet 48-46, on the strength of a 52-45 advantage in Boulder. A quick check of the Boulder Clerk and Recorder’s website has Bennet leading Buck 67-29. There are a lot of somebodies who should have caught this immediately — there’s no way Boulder County would go solid red for any Republican.

We recommend sticking with the results from Fox 31, which not only has a page that seems to actually load correctly, but isn’t making any obvious errors that we can see.


UPDATE (11:16): It looks like we may be headed for at least one state legislative recount. In HD-29, Democratic Rep. Debbie Benefield trails Republican Robert Ramirez by 148 votes (50.34% to 49.66%).


UPDATE (11:12): That didn’t last long. With 56% of ballots counted, Bennet and Buck are now tied at 47-47.


UPDATE (11:00): Buck has pulled ahead of Bennet for the first time tonight, leading 49-46 with 49% of precincts reporting.


UPDATE (9:50): It’s looking like the race that will have the biggest impact from an ACP candidate will not be the one anybody expected. The Secretary of State race is neck-and-neck, but the ACP candidate is already pulling 6% of the vote. Buescher may well win this seat by virtue of the American Constitution Party.


UPDATE (9:44): The percentage of precincts reporting continues to rise, and Michael Bennet continues to hold a 50-45 lead over Ken Buck. This is not good news for Buck, because early returns should have favored him (Republicans voted in higher numbers than Democrats in early and absentee voting). Given Buck’s numerous gaffes in the last two weeks of the campaign, it’s not likely that late voters are going to choose him over Bennet, so it’s hard to see how Buck is going to make up 5 points with 27% of the vote already tallied.


UPDATE (9:08): It’s always fun to see those really early returns that show absurd numbers. In HD-22, Democrat Christine Radeff is pummeling Republican incumbent Ken Summers 7,875 to 12. Yes, 12. For a few more minutes, anyway.


UPDATE (9:05): Republican Cory Gardner is being declared the winner in CD-4.


UPDATE (9:03): The Secretary of State race is coming down to the wire, and may be decided by the number of votes pulled in by the American Constitution Party candidate. Meanwhile, the race for Attorney General seems to be widening in favor of incumbent John Suthers.


UPDATE (9:00): Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter has been declared the winner in CD-7.


UPDATE (8:38): The old adage that Jefferson County decides statewide elections is largely holding form. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, unofficially, are doing better in Jefferson County, as is John Suthers. Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton are neck-and-neck in Jeffco, while Scott Gessler leads Bernie Buescher in the large west Denver suburb.


UPDATE (8:35): Ladies and gentlemen, your next Governor…John Hickenlooper! The race has been called for Hick. Now the excitement turns to whether or not Dan Maes can cross the 10% threshold. From a Hickenlooper press release:

Colorado voters on Tuesday elected John Hickenlooper, a brewpub pioneer turned Mayor of Denver, as the 42nd Governor of Colorado.

“I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado’s voters have made, and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as Governor,” Hickenlooper said. “This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together.”


UPDATE (8:20): Here’s a couple of developing stories to watch. All of this can change, of course, but as of right now…

  • Bennet maintaining early lead on Buck

  • Hickenlooper holding early lead for Governor

  • Tipton well ahead of Salazar in CD-3

  • Kennedy surprisingly strong in Treasurer race

  • Buescher may be saved by ACP candidate for SOS

  • Third party turnout not yet playing role in CD-4

  • Attorney General race staying close

  • Every major ballot measure getting crushed

  • Both Rep. Diana DeGette (CD1) and Jared Polis (CD2) have been declared winners already
  • —–

    We’ll update results as we can. In the meantime, please keep them updated, with links, in the comments below.

    *NOTE: Candidates in bold and italics have been declared the winner by at least one local news outlet.


    Michael Bennet (D): 47%

    Ken Buck (R): 47%

    56% reporting


    John Hickenlooper (D): 51%

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): 37%

    Dan Maes (R): 11%

    48% reporting


    Cary Kennedy (D): 51%

    Walker Stapleton (R): 49%

    44% reporting


    John Suthers (R): 57%

    Stan Garnett (D): 43%

    44% reporting


    Bernie Buescher (D): 44%

    Scott Gessler (R): 50%

    Amanda Campbell (ACP): 6%

    44% reporting


    John Salazar (D): 45%

    Scott Tipton (R): 50%

    63% reporting


    Betsy Markey (D): 41%

    Cory Gardner (R): 53%

    Doug Aden (ACP): 5%

    Ken “Wasko” (I): 1%

    69% reporting


    Ed Perlmutter (D): 53%

    Ryan Frazier (R): 42%

    16% reporting

    Who Will Win the U.S. Senate Race?

    Remember, we don’t want to know who you are voting for or who you support. If you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of the U.S. Senate race, who would you choose?

    [poll id=”1279″]

    Colorado Pols/RBI Poll: Bennet 43%, Buck 42%

    UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols reports on this poll, and two other corroborating inside-MoE polls released today from CNN and Rasmussen. Also picked up by Political Wire and Alicia Caldwell of the Denver newspaper.

    The first in a series of poll results for key Colorado races, released by Colorado Pols and conducted by Denver-based RBI Strategies & Research. Today, the U.S. Senate race:

    Republican Ken Buck and Democrat Michael Bennet are locked in one of the most competitive US Senate races in the country. Currently, 43% of likely voters in Colorado are supporting or leaning towards supporting Bennet while 42% are supporting or leaning Buck. 3% say they will support the Libertarian, Maclyn Stringer, and 1% say they will support the Green Party candidate Bob Kinsey. Men and women are mirrored in their preferences, with men favoring Buck 45% to 41% while women favor Bennet 44% to 39%.

    Both candidates benefit from strong support from their respective parties, with 81% of registered Democrats favoring Bennet and 80% of Republicans favoring Buck. Bennet holds a 41% to 34% advantage among Unaffiliated voters. Voter preferences vary widely by region with Bennet leading in the North Front Range and Denver while trailing in all other regions of the state. Voter preferences are also correlated to age, with voters under 45 favoring Bennet by 5 points and voters over 65 favoring Buck by 7. While Buck holds a 5 point lead among white voters, Bennet leads by double digits among Hispanic voters.

    RBI Strategies & Research conducted a telephone survey of 501 Colorado voters who indicated it was likely that they would vote in the 2010 General Election. Interviews were conducted October 24 – October 26, 2010 by Standage Market Research of Denver, Colorado, a market research firm specializing in telephone survey interviewing. Respondents were randomly selected from a list of Colorado voters, purchased from Voter Contact Services, who voted in the 2008 General Election or registered to vote at any time following the 2008 General Election.

    The margin of error for a survey of 500 interviews is +/- 4.4% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is higher for subsamples within the full sample. Other sources of error not accounted for by the stated statistical margin of error include, but are not limited to, question wording, question order, refusal to be interviewed, and demographic weighting.

    Summary | Crosstabs | Toplines

    Kevin Ingham of RBI Strategies will join us TODAY in this thread from 1-3PM to answer your questions about this poll. Tomorrow, we’ll release numbers on the gubernatorial race, and Friday on major statewide ballot initiatives. Kevin will join us for Q&A each day in comments.  

    Please be respectful in your comments and questions for Mr. Ingham. We appreciate the time that he is making for this Q&A session, and whether you agree or disagree with anything he says, there is NO reason you need to voice your opinion in a rude or disrespectful manner. We will not tolerate bad behavior from anyone during this Q&A session, so please be good Polsters.

    He’s Not a Witch, But Ken Buck Has a Christine O’Donnell Moment

    Christine O’Donnell, the Republican candidate for Senate in Delaware, has been widely mocked for her infamous “I am not a witch” TV ad, and more recently, for her statements during a debate in which she questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state. Those comments made national headlines, and now they’re pointing a similar spotlight back at Colorado.

    The reason? It would seem that Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck actually has stronger words than O’Donnell on the subject. As Think Progress writes, Buck had this to say at a forum for Republican Senate candidates last year:

    I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state. [Pols emphasis] It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that’s sanctioned by the government, it doesn’t mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion.

    Here’s Buck’s statement in all its YouTube glory:

    We don’t need to tell you how bad this looks for Buck. As anybody with a 6th grade knowledge of American history can tell you, the separation of church and state isn’t some crazy liberal theory — it was perhaps the primary reason that this country was founded.

    In the same statement above, Buck is also critical of President Obama for renaming the White House Christmas Tree the “Holiday Tree.” Nevermind that this never actually happened.

    Live From New York…It’s Ken Buck!

    It’s not every day that a Colorado politician makes it onto “Saturday Night Live.” Any Polsters out there remember the last time a Colorado politico was on SNL?

    The joke is in reference to Buck’s disastrous appearance on “Meet the Press” a week ago. We’d say it’s a pretty good bet that you’ve said something seriously significant (alliteration rules!) once your statement crosses over into mainstream popular culture.  

    Buck Campaign Makes Strategic Move: Don’t Let Buck Talk Anymore

    Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck was scheduled to appear with Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet on “The TODAY Show” this morning. According to a press release from the Bennet campaign, Buck canceled the 5:00 a.m. appearance (yes, that’s 5:00 a.m. Mountain Time) due to a “scheduling conflict.”

    It’s probably pretty unlikely that Buck’s scheduler accidentally double-booked the candidate at 5:00 in the morning, but in fairness to Buck’s campaign, there’s really not a good excuse for the likely real reason: Because Buck is absolutely killing himself this week seemingly every time he opens his mouth, just letting him talk to Al Roker would be too dangerous.

    In fact, it’s fair to say that Buck may very well have lost the election this week with his double-whammy of comments that started with comparing homosexuality to alcoholism and then continued with an affirmation that global warming is a hoax, which Buck’s campaign has been desperately trying to clarify. As we discussed yesterday, Coloradans are holding onto their ballots thus far, which makes this a pretty terrible time to be offending voters.

    Buck’s campaign has been spinning out of control all week, reeling from one misstatement after the other, so it makes good strategic sense for his campaign team to just try to stop Buck from talking altogether. Given his silly mistakes this week, Buck is either rattled, or not ready for such a big spotlight (or maybe both); either way, there doesn’t appear to be any net positive left for Buck in sitting down with reporters, even if they only ask softball questions.

    It wouldn’t surprise us if Buck just sort of quietly slips away from public view until Election Day. It says a lot about the candidate himself that we would probably advise the exact same thing from a purely strategic perspective — it’s a sad state of affairs when your candidate has a better chance of winning an election if he just stops talking altogether.

    Is Ken Buck TRYING to Lose?

    UPDATE #2: The League of Conservation Voters turned this funny retort right around:

    UPDATE: That didn’t take long. This story has now gone national, with Politico and The Hill, among others, recounting Buck’s week of bad press.


    We know that headline sounds absurd, but we don’t know what else to say after Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck’s latest misstep. As the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports:

    After his meeting with supporters, Buck headed to a Loveland fundraiser that featured Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

    “Sen. Inhofe was the first person to stand up and say this global warming is the greatest hoax that has been perpetrated. The evidence just keeps supporting his view, and more and more people’s view, of what’s going on,” Buck said.

    Coming off of Sunday’s comments during a “Meet the Press” debate in which Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism and essentially said that being gay was a “choice,” you’d think he would be a little more careful about what he said out loud. But nope, there’s Buck again last night, talking about global warming as a “hoax.”

    Given that a vast majority of Americans believe that global warming is a serious issue, and considering that the vast majority of Unaffiliated voters in Colorado have yet to cast their ballot, these type of absolutely foolish comments may very well cost Buck the election. Think about how Colorado voters may now view Buck compared to this time a week ago — you know, before he started publicly calling homosexuality a “choice” and global warming a “hoax.”

    Not good, Ken. Not good.

    “Buyer’s Remorse” Hits the Airwaves

    We told you this was coming.

    That’s the new ad on the air in Colorado Senate race, to our knowledge the first TV spot to invoke the recent scandal involving GOP candidate Ken Buck’s refusal to prosecute a case of alleged date rape in 2005. Sponsored by Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, we’re awaiting information on the size of the buy–if it’s big, this ad is going to hurt.

    But before this scandal even made it into a TV spot, which we knew from the moment it broke that it would, it was already harming Buck in polls–just from the press coverage. We can’t say exactly what the polls will look like after a week of “buyer’s remorse” in prime time, but Buck’s not going to like it.

    UPDATE: WVWVAF’s release follows, described as a “high six-figure multi-media campaign.”

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund Unveils Major Media Campaign in Colorado

    High Heels Featured Prominently in TV Ads Targeted to Colorado Women

    Colorado-Today, Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund (WVWVAF) begins a major advertising campaign designed to make sure Colorado candidates reflect women’ s concerns. ” The women of Colorado have incredibly high stakes and are facing important choices in 2010, and WVWVAF is committed to making sure candidates are listening to what voters really want,” said Page Gardner, president of WVWVAF.

    WVWVAF’s high six-figure multi-media campaign is comprised of broadcast and cable, radio and online advertising. The broadcast and cable spot features Leslie Allen, a Boulder resident who calls Ken Buck to task for stating he should be elected because he “doesn’ t wear high heels,” questions his refusal to prosecute a rape by explaining the victim had a case of “buyer’ s remorse” and his opposition to a woman’ s right to choose even in the case of rape or incest. The spot begins airing Wednesday, October 20.

    The advertising campaign began Thursday, Oct 14 with a radio spot highlighting Michael Bennett’s support of key women’s issues, including his votes to extend unemployment benefits, rein in abuse by credit card companies and support fair pay, as well as his pro-choice principles.

    All three spots encourage Colorado women to make their voices heard by contacting Michael Bennett and Ken Buck and urging them to support policies that help, not hinder, Colorado women and families.

    “The women of Colorado need to have their voices heard and respected and their concerns addressed — whether they wear high heels or cowboy boots. They are facing too many questions of critical importance to stay silent,” concluded Gardner.


    Who Will Win the U.S. Senate Race?

    It’s time to poll again as we try to gauge the changing (or not) perceptions in the Senate race. Here’s last week’s results for comparison.

    Remember, we want to know what you believe will happen, not what you might want to happen. To repeat our usual description, if you had to bet everything you owned on the outcome of this race, who would you pick?

    [poll id=”1262″]

    How Could Buck Have Done So Poorly?

    You’ve no doubt seen the video already on Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck comparing homosexuality to alcoholism in a debate with Sen. Michael Bennet yesterday on “Meet the Press.” That statement is getting a lot of negative press for Buck today, as it should (here, here, and here, for a few examples), but as we reflect on the national interview as a whole, we keep coming back to the same question:

    How could Buck have been so bad?

    With one exception (Presidential races), political debates are largely meaningless affairs so long as the candidates involved don’t do or say something stupid that will create headlines the next day. Buck made a tremendous mistake in answering the question about homosexuality in the manner he chose, but why would he even answer that question at all? Was he not properly prepared by his staff? Did he just panic? Or is Buck just really not ready for this kind of prime-time exposure?

    Buck is running against an incumbent Senator, and by all accounts, the race is neck-and-neck. This is a great position for a challenger to find himself just a few weeks from Election Day, and it makes the strategy for Buck really simple: Run out the clock without screwing up. If you get asked a question like the one about homosexuality, all you have to do is duck and dodge in one answer, and perhaps one follow-up answer, and then you’re on to the next topic.

    But it wasn’t just Buck’s answer on homosexuality that had us scratching our heads. In one question, moderator David Gregory asked each candidate about their biggest personal goal. Bennet did what he should do: He answered with something about raising his three daughters to be good citizens. But Buck, inexplicably, decided to say that his biggest personal goal was to play as much golf as possible and try to reduce his handicap.


    This is politics 101, folks. When you get asked about your personal life, you talk about your family. This ain’t rocket surgery.

    Again, was Buck not properly prepared by his staff? Did he panic and spurt out the first thing that came to mind? How do you completely whiff on such a massive softball of a question?

    The U.S. Senate race in Colorado looks like it’s going to come down to the wire. If the race is decided by just a few thousand votes, it may very well be Buck’s own amateurish responses like these that ultimately make the difference.

    Bennet Gets Big Endorsement

    Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet has been endorsed by the big Denver newspaper over Republican Ken Buck in the race for the U.S. Senate.

    A user diary about this endorsement had been promoted to the Front Page of Colorado Pols by one of our guest editors, but we demoted it from “Front Page” status because we are expressly prohibited from “any and all unauthorized literal copying” from The Denver Post as mandated by their attorneys (if you’re not familiar with this whole saga, click here to read more).