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August 24, 2010 02:01 AM UTC

Ken Buck Interview

  • by: DavidThi808

Ken Buck is one of my favorite interview subjects because he is very comfortable with who he is and strives to give complete answers. At one time in the interview he asked me if he had answered a question sufficiently. My primary goal in these interviews is to illustrate who the candidate is and Ken makes that easy.

Ken’s focus is to eliminate deficit spending. However, listening to what he dove into on subject after subject I think it is more accurate to say that Ken is driven to have the federal government restrict itself to performing the jobs appropriate to the federal level, and to set our tax rate to match that expense. The real common thread through all of Ken’s answers was push addressing issues down to the most local political level where they can be handled.

Ok, so on to the interview. I first asked him if he’s enjoying himself. His reply was “well, no.” He then discussed how he likes talking policy, meeting with folks, etc. But that the end of the primary was a lot more negative than he had expected. (Inter-family fights can be rough – we had that on the Dem side too this year.)

I next asked what is the biggest problem we face. Ken’s reply – “spending is the biggest problem we face.” I asked if this was more important than the economy and he replied that they are linked. That is we had spending under control then the economy would not be in as much trouble. He combined them saying “clearly we have to put people back to work, clearly we have to stop spending as much as we are.”

He then said what I think defines how Ken would vote in the senate – “clearly we have to let states, local government, and the private sector take care of a lot of the issues that the federal government is trying to take care of.” This fundamentally is what you will get if you elect Ken Buck to the Senate.  

I next asked about jobs, specifically if there is anything we should be doing at the federal level to address our horrible unemployment problem. Ken started discussing how job growth comes from small business (very true) and that we need to give small business certainty so they are comfortable expanding. To Ken certainty is business knowing what the tax rates, health care costs, regulatory costs, etc. will be down the road.

He next discussed the problem that small businesses can’t get loans. The banks have money, but they won’t loan it to small businesses. He discussed how we need a counter-cyclical program where we have banks loan more at times like this and less during booms rather than having the bank lending match the economic cycles. I asked how we get this and Ken’s reply was that one of the things in the financial reform bill that made sense was it puts tools in place for the regulators to get the banks to do this.

My $0.02: Lack of lending to small business is a giant impediment to recovery. Small business will be the prime engine of recovery and most small businesses cannot grow without credit. While this issue lacks sex appeal, it is critical and kudos to Buck for focusing on it.

I then brought up the question of demand. Assume tax rates are locked in and credit is available, a company is not going to hire more people if they can’t sell more widgets. Ken’s reply was that we unquestionably need to create jobs. He then went to the example of oil drilling on the Western Slope. Ken started by saying that while he thought Governor Ritter’s new regulations had an impact, the primary cause of the decline in drilling was caused by the recession.

Ken then walked through how layoffs on the oil rigs then caused layoffs throughout the communities out there of all the people who made a living providing services to the oil workers describing the true size of the layoffs caused by the reductions in drilling. That led to the question of how do we get the jobs back. Ken first brought up leases that Interior is sitting on (true, but there are a ton of approved leases not being drilled). He then jumped to wanting to see us drill more oil here, both for the good jobs it brings and for national security, and import less.

Ken then continued on discussing energy to say we need to look at nuclear energy, we need to promote renewables. And that this effort on the energy sector will create a lot of the jobs we are looking for to address unemployment.

I asked if he supported the idea of taxing imported oil to make domestic drilling more cost effective. Ken’s reply was that he does not like tariffs because he’s “a free market kind of guy.” He then added that it doesn’t make sense to him that it costs less to bring oil & gas across the ocean than to drill it here. He then added that he thinks the oil & gas companies and the environmentalists can sit down and effect a compromise that they are all happy with.

My $0.02: This made me feel a lot better about finding bipartisan solutions to our problems. I think you could lock Al Gore and Ken Buck in a room and they would rapidly come out with a solution that was acceptable to both, and was better from having both viewpoints involved. This is the environment we need to return to in the Senate.

I next asked if we should look at another stimulus bill. One that this time would be focused solely on the capital improvement projects that are clearly needed and not loaded up as a Christmas tree with something for everyone. Ken’s reply was no – that the stimulus bill we had did not work. He then added that the way out is to stimulate small business and not to grow government. He then added that capital improvement is a one-time fix, that once you’ve repaired the bridges over I-25, then there’s no more work to do.

Ken then dove in to the issue that we’ve created policies that have driven jobs overseas and if we don’t bring those jobs back and remain competitive, then we will continue to face this problem. He then added a comment that I think defines the core Ken Buck – “the answer to me is not onetime government spending, as much as it is trying to figure out where, in my view this country’s economy blossoms because of inexpensive energy, lower taxes and barriers to entry, than other countries.” And he finished that we need to get back to that to continue to being a manufacturing country.

Next question was should the Bush tax cuts expire. Ken replied that they should be extended. I then listed out how the Bush tax cuts are 1/3 of the deficit, that Medicare, Medicaid, & defense alone lead to a deficit, and as a balanced budget guy where will he cut spending (and it would be deep) and/or increase taxes to balance the budget. Ken’s reply was that we need to grow our economy because that is the only way to increase revenues. He added that raising taxes sends jobs overseas and leaves people here with less money to spend, further impacting the economy.

Ken then discussed reducing what the federal government does, and by so doing also reducing the cost of running the federal government. But on the programs he lists, he is not discussing ending them, he wants to see them moved back to the states. Ken does not see the federal government as the solution to most problems. He specifically brought up pushing education back to the states. He also brought up that a robbery of a bank is handled by the FBI while a robbery of the 7-11 next door is handled locally.

My $0.02: I think this is very illustrative of Ken’s view of government. He’s not saying government should stop providing services it presently provides (although I am sure he can list some things he thinks should end). Instead his focus is on figuring out which level of government he thinks is appropriate for each service. And call me crazy but I agree with him that the local police can handle bank robberies.

That led to my asking him if he thought our tax policy favored the rich. He replied “no” but then went on to discuss how the big problem is that the tax system is way too complicated. And because of that complication everyone figures no one is paying their fair share. He then brought up Paul Ryan’s plan for tax simplification where the only deduction is number of kids. Ken then brought up how we spend 200 Billion a year on filling out our taxes and that doesn’t manufacturer a single additional widget.

I next asked how do we fix the K-12 system. Ken sees a very important role for the federal government where it can support research on what works best in the classroom and promulgate the results of research out to schools. But he is opposed federal requirements and funding such as Race to the Top an NCLB. He then added that competition is the best way to find best practices and the combination of public, charter, parochial, private, and home schooling provides the innovation that we need.

Ken then spoke directly about how our educational system is not presently providing what we need for our economy and our country. That we need more scientists & engineers, but that it needs to be accomplished locally. I asked if the educational system can reform without federal pressure. Ken said “yes.” He started with he doesn’t blame teachers at all for what’s going on. He sees the core problem that parents have not been involved enough, and that he thinks Michael Bennet would say the exact same thing from his experience at DPS.

Ken discussed the fundamental need for a parent (usually the mom) to be fully involved in the child’s education. To attend every parent-teacher meeting, to insure homework is being doe each night, etc. That this engagement is key to the child’s success and it can only be encouraged at the local level. As D.A. Ken would at times sit down and talk with the parents of kids in trouble and he would lay out for them the difference in their child’s future earnings based on if they graduated high school, if they graduated college. And he would see a light bulb go off in the parent’s mind as they realize the impact education could have for their child.

Next up was Ken’s independence. It’s easy to say one is independent and will not vote a straight party line, but the key is what will be done in the Senate where party line votes have caused major gridlock. I asked if there was an Obama policy that he agreed with and would have voted for. He said that was a difficult question and he couldn’t think of one. He then talked about the financial reform bill which had parts he liked although because of weaknesses in it he would not have voted for it.

Ken spoke very highly of the parts of the bill that will institute counter-cyclical lending and that it addresses to some extend the trading of derivatives. He described derivatives as “a very scary situation that is lingering out there that could send us into another tailspin.” So he clearly sees the danger of derivatives and that the reform bill did not fully address that danger.

The weaknesses? That it ignored Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and he is concerned about the nebulous independence of the consumer financial protection agency. Ken discussed at some length how its governance is like the Fed and he does not like agencies that do not clearly report to the executive branch because they can become runaway agencies.

So I asked if there would be an issue where he could see himself voting with the Dems to stop a filibuster. Ken thought about it for a bit and then apologized saying he didn’t know. He clearly saw this as a possibility but couldn’t think of a specific case where he would disagree with the Republican leadership. This took a humorous turn when I brought up the example of a case where could he take a position where Mitch McConnell wanted to have him shot. Ken said absolutely and added that Mitch McConnell was not a big Ken Buck supporter. Nor were the rest of the GOP Senate leadership.

Ken brought up the very fair point that the Republicans are every bit as much to blame as the Democrats. He said that if he had been in the Senate during the Bush administration he could have pointed to numerous things. But now with the Obama administration, suddenly the Republicans are fiscal conservatives and so they’ve moved to his position.

My $0.02: I don’t know if Ken will ever vote with the Dems on a filibuster. But if he does, while outwardly he will be very serious and thoughtful speaking to the Republican leadership, deep down inside I think there will be a part of Ken Buck that has a giant smile on his face. I think Ken will vote his policies, not his party. But those two will line up most of the time.

That led to asking if he thinks the filibuster or individual hold rules should be changed or eliminated. He thinks both should be retained. He first started discussing the genius of our government being designed so that it is difficult to change things. That this inefficient balance of power makes for a better government. Key to this is “the Senate is where bad bills go to die.” (Unfortunately it’s also where good bills go to die.)

Next up was healthcare reform. I asked if there was anything he could see the Senate doing over the next 2 years when legislation would have to meet Obama’s approval, but funding could be restricted by the Senate.

Ken started going big picture saying that a Republican Congress will make Obama a much more popular president. He went back to Clinton where the first 2 years were his toughest, and then we had 6 years of Clinton/Gingrich where between that conflict we had a better outcome. He also saw the same advantage back in Reagan/O’Neill. He sees the same thing happening next year.

Ken then dove in to addressing healthcare costs. He first brought up tort reform, wanting to change the approach. He thinks medical courts should be considered where medically expert judges would streamline that process. He thinks we need more done in the area of portability. He then brought up one that could be gigantic, giving the tax benefit to individuals to match the tax benefit that goes to employers which would then increase competition.

That third one could have a major impact so I asked if that could get through Congress. Ken answered this by saying part of the problem was we had this gigantic bill that they were in a hurry to get through (I’m sorry but a year is not a hurry). Ken Buck things the Senate would work much better if the bills were broken out into individual bills on each specific piece of a problem and those pieces were then clearly debated. He thinks this would not only lead to better policy, but it would make it much easier for the American public to understand the legislation moving through the Congress.

My $0.02: Maybe they can find a compromise between reforming the filibuster/individual holds and instituting a single subject rule. One of the main reasons for these gigantic bills is the effort required around each bill moving through the Senate. If you’re going to break one bill in to many, then each bill has to move through faster with fewer speed bumps.

I next asked about illegal immigration. He started off talking about the present situation where we have a need for labor where we have not regulated it and it has put a disproportionate burden on many communities. He then discussed how whenever there is a need in America it will be fulfilled (hey – free enterprise works!) just as there is a demand for drugs in America that leads to sales of illegal drugs. He then said we need to work on the demand side of these problems (illegal drugs, immigration, etc.).

So step 1 for Ken Buck is get people into this country legally, much more quickly, with a verifiable card that has biometric info. And at the same time there is a need to secure our borders. He then discussed making it easier for companies to determine if an applicant was a citizen or legal worker. (Not a word demonizing illegal immigrants and not a word about amnesty.)

I next brought up the example of Emma Sky on General Odierno’s staff and asked him who is his insurgent? His immediate answer was his wife. (I’ve found about half the people I interview give this example – an engaged spouse that differs with a politician is, I think, a superb positive in many ways.) He then said that he was in the U.S. Attorney’s office as the conservative voice under a Clinton appointed Attorney. He went on to say he has not decided on Senate staff yet, but there will be Democrats on his staff so he is hearing a diversity of views when making decisions.

He also volunteered that on the campaign trail he has talked with a number of Democratic candidates that he has a huge amount of respect for. And he will talk to them about issues. Ken says he likes talking to people from differing viewpoints because he is never 100% right and in talking through issues with others he would see where ideas he had could be improved. He concluded with “I don’t want to just talk to people who want to suck up to me or who think the way I do.”

Next question, I asked what in 6 years will be his biggest accomplishment from his first term in the Senate. Ken’s reply was “I tried my hardest for a constitutional balanced budget amendment. I tried my hardest to eliminate spending. I tried my hardest to create a federal government that really co-existed with the other levels of government.” He then followed up that he doesn’t think the odds are good for the constitutional amendment, but that the debate will help address deficit spending.

He then followed up that he is going to find a way to make things work back in D.C. That they need to learn how to disagree without being disagreeable. But at the same time, they have to get the federal government to a size that makes sense.

My $0.02: I think this illustrates what Ken is going there for, to find a way to work with others to craft a solution that reduces the footprint of the federal government and matches spending to tax receipts.

My final question was on abortion. I asked that as we have a wide range of opinion in this country as to at what point a fertilized egg becomes human, and fundamentally this is an opinion or belief, how would he like to see this legislated. Ken replied “I recognize that most Americans disagree with me. And I recognize that the worst laws are laws that a small group tries to impose on a majority.” Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.

Ken then added “we need to change the hearts and minds of people on abortion before we’re ever going to have a law that is accepted in this country.” Ken brought up the very valid point that he does not duck from the issues so when people ask him his personal opinion on abortion, he tells them what he thinks. But his record of effort is to provide alternatives. He concluded saying this is not an issue he is running on.


What do we get with Ken Buck? Number one is he will be focused on pushing many jobs the federal government does back to the states and local government. And that is something an individual Senator can have some impact on bill by bill. Number two is he will be focused on reducing our deficit. He’s not volunteering to raise any taxes to do so – but no elected official campaigns with a promise to raise taxes, that’s our political environment today (which speaks poorly of us voters more than of the candidates).

I also want to speak of what Ken Buck is not. He is not a drown the government in a bathtub proponent – he wants to move programs to the states, not end them (although I’m sure he can name some he would end). While he is personally socially conservative, he does not want to impose his social mores on the country.

I do think he will look for common ground with the Democrats. The filibuster has made the Senate unworkable without compromise. I think Ken will be open to that, except on the issue of deficit spending. But that’s a big exception since most legislation is about spending money on something. On the flip side, we Democrats are going to lose a couple of seats in the Senate and so significant compromise will be required and Ken will definitely not be a lapdog to Mitch McConnell.

Finally, Ken Buck consistently tries to give people direct answers to their questions. This means at times, with afterthought, he realizes he said something dumb. We want our politicians to be spontaneous, honest, and authentic. When they are they are also imperfect and inconsistent – because they are human beings. My hope is that campaigning as he does is rewarded not penalized.

Recording of interview at Ken Buck Interview (very end).


177 thoughts on “Ken Buck Interview

    1. Buck is a good interview. Ask good questions and you get good, thoughtful answers.

      I just wish candidates had more time to talk about issues in depth. Newspapers won’t give them the space, and only a few of us will take the time to read a piece like David’s.

      I think the interview says as much about David as it does about Buck.

      There’s not much in that interview that opponents can use to demonize Buck, but there are a lot of creative minds out there that will find a way. 🙂

      1. … when you’re not out demonizing Muslims. Sorry, but that’s one area where I wish Buck had been asked some questions about.

        He tries to sound like Scott Brown, but there’s a reason he’s the Tea Party darling over Jane Norton.

    2. Ken Buck does not believe in abortion, even under the situations of rape or incest. He says he is in favor of having “a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term”, according to your interview.

      Will this occur against their will? What about women who are divorced or divorcing  mothers with children already? Who will pay their mortgages, feed their children, and raise them, while they are in these “pregnancy camps”?  

      What about children who are raped or molested? Must they leave school, their families, and all they know to go to these “pregnancy camps” Buck is suggesting? Who will pay for these “pregnancy camps” — the medical bills, the counseling bills, the guardians, the overhead?  Who will raise these babies of twelve year olds who are raped or molested? Will he?

      What’s his address, so we can send all of the traumatized little girls and their families to his house, if his plan is adopted?

      1. He serves on the board of a charity that provides those services.

        About 30% of the country shares Buck’s view as to when life starts.  That faith-based belief drives what should follow.  It is the view of most fundamental Christians and the Catholic church.  He has stated that it would be inappropriate to impose that view on others.  

        Is your view that people who think differently than you should be banished by your thought police and ineligible for public office?

        Should we also ban those that believe in more than one God?  Or perhaps those that call him by a different name?  

        You must have a lot of energy because you sure don’t waste any on thinking.

        1. Why is it when I ask how forced pregnancies would be paid for if abortion was made illegal, it makes me a religious bigot, but if I ask how social programs and public schools that benefit those same children would be paid for, that just makes me a conservative?  

          1. Perhaps you did not notice this excerpt (emphasis mine):

            Ken brought up the very valid point that he does not duck from the issues so when people ask him his personal opinion on abortion, he tells them what he thinks.

            If Mr. Buck is not running from these questions, why are you as a supporter?

          2. You start off by referring to David’s excellent interview of Buck:

            “Thielen’s interview quotes Buck as saying:

            Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.

            If I am reading this correctly, Ken Buck intends to personally secure a place for all of the pregnant women who will be forced to carry fetuses to term if his views are adopted. If true, this statement raises many more questions than Thielen answers in his interview. ”

            You know you are not “reading this correctly” because here is the context of Buck’s statement in David’s interview:

            “My final question was on abortion. I asked that as we have a wide range of opinion in this country as to at what point a fertilized egg becomes human, and fundamentally this is an opinion or belief, how would he like to see this legislated. Ken replied “I recognize that most Americans disagree with me. And I recognize that the worst laws are laws that a small group tries to impose on a majority.” Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.

            Ken then added “we need to change the hearts and minds of people on abortion before we’re ever going to have a law that is accepted in this country.” Ken brought up the very valid point that he does not duck from the issues so when people ask him his personal opinion on abortion, he tells them what he thinks. But his record of effort is to provide alternatives. He concluded saying this is not an issue he is running on.”

            David then wrote about his conclusions in the interview concerning the abortion issue.

            “I also want to speak of what Ken Buck is not. He is not a drown the government in a bathtub proponent – he wants to move programs to the states, not end them (although I’m sure he can name some he would end). While he is personally socially conservative, he does not want to impose his social mores on the country.”

            I find your fear mongering based on Buck’s religious beliefs based on David’s interview decietful and disgusting.  You know he has no plan to adopt his personal views.  Your small mind can not allow that some people of good faith may disagree with you on when life begins.  Your desparate efforts to get Michael Bennet elected by using this type of pond scum lying suggests you have concluded that he can not win an election honestly by campaigning on what he would do in the Senate.

            As I understand it, Bill Ritter holds views on life similar to Buck’s.  Where exactly are they building these pregnancy camps today?  Any over in Arapahoe county?  Ah, you must have voted them down as a Senator. Thanks for your good works.

            1. You know he has no plan to adopt his personal views.

              I know no such thing, and neither do you. The evidence is to the contrary. He is quoted and videotaped saying he is against abortion. He thanks the tea-party. He says people should vote for him because he doesn’t “wear high heels”. Doesn’t exactly sound like someone concerned with protecting and advancing the civil rights of 51% of the US population to me.

        2. “Religious bigot?” You think Nancy feels Buck should be “banished by your thought police and ineligible for public office?” I thought she was just asking pointed questions.

          If you feel abortion is not realistically going to be changed or acted upon by a GOP congress, that’s your opinion. If you feel that evaluating candidates based on their position on abortion is unfair because of this, it’s your right to think that. But it is also Nancy’s right to raise these questions, and make her judgments, too. She can exercise her right to vote for Bennet based on this issue only, and to fight hard for choice, and not be guilty of “banning” Buck from public office or acting as “thought police.”

          Hyperbole like this is killing the political discourse in our country, and it’s also repugnant because around the world, people are truly suffering for their political views via intimidation, threats, exile, violence, prison terms, torture, and even death. I think you’re better than this, H-man.

          1. … I think I understand where you’re coming from now, H-man. The “thought police” remark is still out there IMO, but I can see Nancy’s agenda a little more clearly and can see why that prompted an angry response.

            1. I am sick of all this abortion nonsense.  Has anyone ever changed anyone else’s mind on this?  Is it possible to elect someone with a view different than yours on this?  I didn’t like it when it was a litmus test under Reagan and I cringe when people try to make the opposite a litmus test today.  Is Bill Ritter a right wing extremist?  What is the difference in their view of abortion?

              Does anyone really want to vote for someone who shares their view on abortion but will keep the economy in its current state?  Hell, I would go along with someone who wanted to change the cut off on when you could end life to age 18 if they could get the economy back on track.(just kidding).

                1. My agenda is to elect any and all candidates, regardless of political affiliation, who:

                  – believe all people have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and their own lives;

                  – put people first before the needs of corporations;

                  – who are concerned about our environment and will fight to protect it;

                  – who look out for the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society — women, children, the elderly, members of minority groups such as GLBTQ community, people of color, immigrants, the poor, veterans, people with physical issues, homeless people, animals, etc.;

                  – will abide by our constitution and the Bill of Rights, all of the ammendments, and the spirit of equality that is inherent in them;

                  – and much more.

                  And yes, in this 2010 Senate race in CO, that person happens to be Michael Bennet. However, my “agenda” is not just about Michael Bennet. It is about justice for all people — of every socio-economic class, every skin color, every religion (or no religion), every age, every gender, every sexual orientation, every ethnicity, every language, every occupation, every political affiliation (or none at all), every cultural identification… everyone.

                  And by the way, I am a straight, white, suburban mother who grew up in a conservative Christian home as a child. More importantly, I am a member of the human family — no more, no less, and I will fight to the end for people who do not look like me, think like me, worship like me, live where I live, speak the language I speak, love like I do, or have a family like I do. They are all my brothers and sisters, and I am their sister… always.

                  So, now you know my agenda, H.

  1. comment on abortion? That to me is one of the most outrageous and extreme and dangerous positions he has taken in his campaign, and yet you don’t give YOUR view, and frankly, you let him skate on the implications of his stand. No questions on abortion to save life of mother, for example.

    The idea of “changing the hearts and minds” speaks to a future connection and influence by the radical religious right in the Republican Party on Mr. Buck, and a unwanted intrusion by religion into government and civil rights.

    You can bet he won’t be running on this issue, but you can also bet his position will be an issue he will have to defend.  

      1. For example, if you were interviewing Senator Bennet, and asked him about the alleged DPS problem and he said he wasn’t running on this issue in his campaign, would you have meekly accepted that response? Given your past treatment of Senator Bennet during the primary, I hardly think so.  

        1. If Senator Bennet said he was not going to do anything on education I would leave it at that. It’s not my job to tell them what to focus on in an interview, it’s to find out what they have decided to focus on.

          Look at it this way, I could beat on every Democratic candidate about gay marriage. I think it should be legal. But am I going to get any of them who are purposely ignoring that issue to become active on it?

            1. But in the interview I’m limited to asking questions and listing out answers. We all, on any of these interviews, have to assess not only the veracity of the interviewee, but also how they will evolve in office.

              I make no assurance about how anyone will act once they are in office. But I personally think Ken Buck is sincere in his belief that it would be wrong (and impossible) for a minority to impose their view on the majority.

              Governor Ritter made us the same promise, I believed him, and he was true to that promise.

              1. Never took his views nearly as pathologically far as Ken Buck.

                Not even rape? Do you realize how that will make skin crawl?

                I’m not blaming you, Dave, but I would have blurted that question out at the end. I wouldn’t have been able to help it.

                1. In every interview with every candidate (possibly excepting Jared Polis) at least once I’ve wanted to grab them, shake them, and shout “are you a fucking idiot?” But somehow I think that might not be conducive to the rest of the interview 🙂

                  FWIW – Because of the discussion here about asking him abortion I added the question. I phrased it the way I did because he’s already been clear on the specifics and repeating that teaches us nothing. I thought his answer acknowledging that his view is held by a small minority and cannot be imposed was interesting.

                  And while I disagree with him, I give him credit for being honest in his views when he could easily equivocate a bit.

              2. When you say, “I make no assurance about how anyone will act once they are in office.” Have you somehow forgotten when you wrote:

                He then said what I think defines how Ken would vote in the senate – “clearly we have to let states, local government, and the private sector take care of a lot of the issues that the federal government is trying to take care of.” This fundamentally is what you will get if you elect Ken Buck to the Senate.

                Advocate did not start by asking you to follow up with another abortion comment. She/he asked why you didn’t give your two cents.

                Your tangled response/non-response “logic” both frustrates and fascinates me.

          1. between beating on a candidate to take up an issue as a platform item in an interview, and asking questions that will shed light on the nuances and implications of the expressed position. I think abortion is important enough of an issue to millions of Colorado voters that the attempt should have been made. JMO.  

            1. But what else was there to ask that he hasn’t answered before? I did put a lot of thought into it and I couldn’t think of anything else that he hadn’t been asked.

              I didn’t ask what penalty he would propose for women who had an abortion because he is not going to try to make this a law. So it would be an inapplicable question (I think).

              What would your follow-up question have been?

              1. him about the implications of his call for an end to abortion, including cases of incest and rape. His answer that he would “find places” for these kids is naive and not reflective of the current financial crisis in this country to keep existing programs, much less find funding for new ones. I would have asked him about birth control, which really is the best realistic approach to keep a family from dealing with the issue of abortion. I would have asked him about the case of the fetus causing the death of the mother, and if that was permissible, and why that was different from incest and rape from the mother’s perspective.

                All logical questions based on his expressed view on abortion.

              2. We’ve discussed it a lot here and elsewhere. And it will get plenty of attention during the campaign. It will come up in debates and future interviews.

                You only have a little time in an interview, and you have to ask the questions that are most important at that point in time.

                I think David got a great return on his investment, and Buck should be happy with the interview, too.

              3. He has said in other places he will try to make this a law.

                Remember, Buck is not running for Pope (spiritual judge) or Governor (chief legislative executive in a state) but the US Senate (a legislator).

                1. I can’t force him to say what you want.

                  With that said, I’m guessing he will get an interview where he will be hit with every single statement he has made on this. But you probably won’t like his answers there either.

              4. candidate like Buck with a record of being outspoken against abortion isn’t going to try to make that the law of the land? Seriously, David? I thought you were smarter than that.

                Here’s some more tips: don’t pet mountain lions. If someone sends you an email saying you won 65 million dollars but you first need to send a check to open the account, don’t fall for it. If the bank calls you on the phone and asks you for your social security number and your pin number because they lost them, you should probably call them back. If your high school kid says his eyes are red because he has allergies, and he smells funny, you might want to ask him where he’s been. I have more I can send to you.

                In all seriousness, Dave, it was great interview, even if you did give him a pass on this issue.  

      2. What good does it do to discuss it in the context of your campaign if you’re not going to do anything about it while in office.

        And next time, it would help to bold the questions and bullet his answers, instead of your $0.02.  Nobody cares about your $0.02.  We care about what you asked and what Buck answered.  You’re not on the ballot in November.  I had a hard time identifying what you asked and what he answered.

        1. And Matt Sludge (editor of the Denver page on HuffPo) asked me to change it to the above format. I figure he knows better than me so I use the above approach.

          As the the $0.02 paragraphs, they’re easily identified so you can skip over them. I have found some do like them. (In fact some of the comments here complain that I didn’t editorialize more.)

              1. As I read I see lots of your opinion interspersed with the candidate’s responses. Usually (always?) in parens, but since a candidate can also have parenthetical thoughts, that’s not a distinctive way of alerting me to skip it.

                Your editorializing might be more interesting if it was based on something like logic or rational analysis.  

                  1. ….it’s not at all contradictory, tangled or irrational when you say both:

                    Ken Buck consistently tries to give people direct answers to their questions.

                    and (emphasis mine):

                    I don’t know if Ken will ever vote with the Dems on a filibuster. But if he does, while outwardly he will be very serious and thoughtful speaking to the Republican leadership, deep down inside I think there will be a part of Ken Buck that has a giant smile on his face.

                    about the same man in the same article.

                    It’s just me being disagreeable.

          1. Sorry, Ralphie, I couldn’t help myself. I figured out the format quite easily. I liked the $0.02, and I found it made the interview more interesting for me.  

          2. When I do interviews, I try to quote the interviewee as accurately as possible. Sometime you have to summarize and answers.

            I critique interviews in later posts.

            but I liked David’s approach. There are a lot of stories in the interview, I think.

      3. Ken then talked about the effort he is involved in to provide a place for pregnant women to stay while they take the baby to term and then keep it or put it up for adoption.

        Who is supposed to run this program?  Surely it wouldn’t be any sort of federal program.  Who funds the facilities?  Who would pay for the mother’s medical care?

          1. So what about all the women who live outside of Weld County?  They would be forced to have these babies on their own?  

            Honestly, that’s what really pisses me off about the pro-life zealots.  They’re the same guys who would deny any sort of financial, medical, etc. safety net for these women who would be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term.  It’s all the more appalling when those pregnancies are the result of a violent crime.  

            Oh, but wait, if we provide medical care for pregant women in these extreme situations, then women will get pregnant just to get medical care.  They’ll just cheat the system by lying and calling it rape.  Kinda like Tom DeLay’s take on unemployment insurance.

            Seriously, pick your priority.  You can’t have both.

            1. I think the point is that Buck thinks the approach he’s used in Weld could be used nationwide or in some kind of state by state type of program.

              He’s also founded a program that helps troubled kids avoid future conflicts with the law. It works well in Weld and a few other counties, and I suspect it’s the kind of thing Buck would promote in DC.

      4. In other places, he has made it very clear he sees abortion as a civil rights issue for the fetus, and would vote accordingly.

        You can’t have it both ways, Dave. You can’t be against abortion one minute and have no opinion on it the next if you are running for the US Senate. Would it be more accurate to say, “Buck really does not like to be asked about this?”

    1. Buck’s position and Kennedy’s are the same.  Roe v Wade is settled law and that is not changing whether Bennet or Buck is elected.  

      When do you think life starts?  In my view that is a religious belief and I accept people of different religious beliefs and would not exclude Buck anymore than I would exclude JFK because their belief was different than mine.

      I thought the country figured this our fifty years ago.

      1. and the country today is a very very different place now than it was in 1960. The Republicans have made it very clear that a key platform item is the overturning of Roe (explicitly or through the time honored tradition of chipping away at a precedent until it is swallowed in exceptions and qualifications); there is no lack of clarity about that agenda. Buck would part of that effort. And if JFK had sought to put government restrictions into the bedroom, I would have opposed that effort as well.

        As a sidenote, you may not remember the tremendous backlash against Kennedy because he was Catholic. Now, we have the large majority of the Supreme Court as Catholic. The country has changed very much since JFK’s time. and one can’t make a straight faced argument, for example, that Scalia’s religion doesn’t strongly influence his rulings on this issue.

        Government and religion should stay the hell out of this issue. This issue is between a family and whatever deity, if any, they believe in.  

        1. I do remember the Catholic issue of the JFK election, albeit as a whipper snapper, but with the economy in the state it is in I really think your concern of the overturning of Roe v. Wade any time soon is like looking for communists hiding under your bed.

          1. to the women of this state….you haven’t been paying attention if you can say that…The issue of Roe is NEVER off the radical religious’s right’s mind or agenda

            1. When was Roe v Wade decided? Thirty years ago?

              The Dems raise its imminent repeal every election cycle to fool some of their less perceptive base into funding their campaigns. Hope you have been bright enough not to fall for it.

              1. Need to read the latest Supreme Court decisions and the restrictions on Roe that have happened. You need to pay attention to the agendas of those groups who run the Republican party at this point in time. The ONE thing that has been a consistent theme of Republican platforms for the last 30 years has been the overturning of Roe.

                I think of only one reason why you would minimize such an important issue…that you want folks to ignore it; makes it easier to make Roe disappear.  

              2. Advocate is right – aren’t we going to be voting on abortion (again) this year? That’s the meaning behind the personhood amendment.

                I agree that an outright repeal of Roe v. Wade is as likely as the Dems passing any kind of gun control, but at least the Dems have given up that fight, with maybe a few exceptions in a few large cities. The GOP, on the other hand, has been amping up their rhetoric here. Remember when it was standard to oppose abortion but make exceptions for victims of rape and incest, or to save the life of the mother? Now the rule for abortion opponents is that even then, no exceptions. (On that last bit, one can detect the essentially misogynistic nature of opposition to abortion.)

                I wouldn’t dismiss the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade so quickly.

                1. The state personhood amendment will get maybe 25% of the vote.  Even the conservative federal justices who would not have voted for Roe are now constrained by the fact that it is settled law and that would go against their can’t make new law/ strict constructionist pledges.

                  How is Ken Buck in the US Senate going to affect Roe v Wade?  I don’t see it.  To me it is a strawman and if anything a form of religious discrimination.

                  1. Religious discrimination?

                    He wants to use his religious views to remove the rights of people with other beliefs, and to hold that as a reason not to elect him is religious discrimination?

                    And gays voting against Rick Santorum (that frothy mix) is persecution of Catholics.  Right!

                  2. That’s a pretty awful defense of a candidate.

                    “My candidate wants to enslave humanity and feed babies to his dogs, but you should vote for him because the odds of him actually getting away with that are pretty slim.”

                  3. If the current conservatives on the court got one more vote, they’d repeal Roe v. Wade in a heartbeat.

                    They have absolutely no deference to relatively recent settled law (i.e., over the past couple of decades). Whenever it suits their purposes they say, “Well, that’s not what the Founding Fathers intended.” Whenever it doesn’t, they cite more recent precedent.  

                  1. It only counts in a life or death situation.  What if a widowed mother of 3 who is 2 months pregnant gets into a car accident and suffers some sort of spinal cord injury in which carrying the pregancy to term poses a 90% probability of leaving her a paraplegic.  What if she’s a mail carrier and the paralysis would leave her unable to support her first 3 children?  What if it’s a 70% probability?  What if it’s a 40% probability?  That’s a tough decision.

                    You’re proposing that the government should be making this decision for her?  What happened to all the “small government” crap?

                    For every legal restriction that the government might pose on abortion, there is always some reasonable exception.  The decision should be between a women, her doctor, and in many but not all cases, the father.

                    1. There’s no easy answer, but it goes both ways. I think that promoting the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is well within the scope of power of the government.

                  2. Will it be an intrusive “Terry Schiavo-esque” thing?

                    Will it be up to the dr to consult with his client? Or will it be up to someone else not in the room?

                    How can you hate the Obama healthcare reform in part because you think it allows the gov’t to intrude into the dr/patient relationship but not mind one bit about the gov’t intruding on that same dr/pt relationship when it comes to pregnancy?

                    Because to you  abortion is murder and therefore criminal.

                    ok- what’s the appropriate punishment for those who conspire to do it anyway?

                    What about Terry Schiavo?  Who gets to decide what her medical treatment is?

                2. There is still a huge movement in the GOP to end abortion and the use of contraceptives as Amendment 62 would do.

                  The GOP still is 100% controlled by social issues folks, and they’re sacrificing the party for their cause.

                  1. the Tea Party which fueled Buck’s candidacy includes a lot of libertarians, who tend to lean pro choice. They understand that other big government policies are the issues this election and that Buck’s views on life probably won’t change a thing.  

      2. I am so sick of this abortion debate. As a doctor and libertarian-leaning, I agree with Advocate that this is an issue between a woman and her family. If she wants faith to play a role, then it should. At the same time we have to respect that people have their beliefs. The question is whether having a certain belief means you are going to do anything about it? It doesn’t sound to me that Buck wants to do too much about it.  

  2. You seem to have given him a pass on this assumption. What is the mechanism by which government spending is harmful to the contemporaneous economy? Buck says that if it weren’t for all this “government spending,” the economy would not be in as much trouble. Why is that, specifically?

    You’re such a nice guy Dave, I would never tell my candidates not to interview with you. A pity, you might have given Scott McInnis just the “fair” environment he needed to rehabilitate his image!

    1. Keep in mind my goal is not to argue with them, it’s to get a clear picture of what they think. And Ken was clear as to why – he believes the deficit hurts us more than the spending helps. I don’t agree but this is my interview of Ken Buck, not my interview of Dave’s opinion of Ken’s opinion.

      As to your second para – thank you. Now if only Trevor Kincaid would agree 🙂

      1. As Advocate wonders above, you would give him the same treatment, I would tell Bennet to sign up today.

        Not that I have any pull over there whatsoever (disclaimer).

        1. You can always tell the candidates who don’t trust themselves and who are afraid of their own shadows.

          Bennet strikes me as being smart enough to do interviews, but he’s being put in a bubble for some reason.

          Hick is hiding from the media and public.

          Tancredo will talk to anyone and live with the consequences. He is comfortable in his own skin and makes strong points to sell himself and get free media.

          Ken Buck dodges a little but in the end finds ways to grant interviews with unknown and risky characters like David and me.

          Dan Maes was very available until he isn’t. He won’t talk to Peter Boyles. But he’s going to meetings and speaking out, if not answering questions all of the time.

          Most Congressional, statewide and legislative candidates are available for interviews. But Walker Stapleton seems to be hiding from the public, Republicans and the media. He had a call with bloggers last week, but I don’t do calls. They’re a waste of time for bloggers.

      2. Time is finite. Would a candidate’s time be better spent talking to David or dialing for dollars? meeting voters? hugging kids? No way Bennet or his campaign is afraid of hardball questions here.

        David, if you’re serious about wanting to know how to make your interviews more useful, try listening to Terry Gross interview someone. She’s not pushy or mean but she teases out new information.

        She does not, however, whisper to the side and tell us her opinion of the interviewee; she lets them speak for themselves.

        1. He will not tell people where he stands on issues, if he risks losing others who think the opposite way.

          Is Bennet for Card check?

          Where does he stand on Cap and trade?

          Think there might be a reason he hasn’t told anybody.  He doesn’t want to piss off those that disagree with him.  Some leader you got there.

          Mikey, prove me wrong.  Subject yourself to the great interrogator.

      3. but I think your $0.02 conclusion that he would be the kind of candidate who would be likely to work with Dems on certain things even if that meant standing up, as a freshman Senator, to his party leadership is based on nothing much but the fact that he was nice to you and conscientious in giving full answers.  

        1. there is no room for any Republican, House or Senate, to deviate from the chosen path without being reprimanded in some fashion by the leadership. Those who think Mr. Buck would a breath of fresh independent air in DC should pay more attention to the lock step poilcies of the Republican leadership.

          1. would break with the leadership more than a couple of times. But he even filibustered the Senate’s financial reform bill.

            Buck isn’t a Brown-type moderate from a liberal state. He’s a nutjob right-winger from a centrist state. He’s got no reason whatsoever to work with Democrats, any more than Jim DeMint does.

            BlueCat is right. David shares journalists’ worst feature: when talking to powerful people, they imagine politeness to an interviewer correlates in some way with decency in real life. Thus they can’t even imagine a politician lying to them, and certainly not committing a crime. Unless of course that politician denies them an interview, in which case he’s the lowest slime.

            1. Just because I disagree with someone does not mean I think they lack decency or are a nutjob. I’ve found interviewing the Republicans that most in this state want the same thing we Dems do. They just have a different opinion about how best to accomplish it.

              You should consider the idea that someone who disagrees with you may be every bit as wonderful a person as you are. And where you disagree, they may even be right on occasion…

              1. I am not sure which is more difficult on ColoradoPols, being on the right, the middle, or just trying to be fair.  There was an interesting poll conducted by Rasmusen released today on perceptions of who is extereme.  The results reveal the stratification of the elctorate, like ColoradoPols.

                “Predictably, most Republicans view Obama’s views as extreme, while a sizable majority of Democrats say they are mainstream. But most voters not affiliated with either party also describe the president’s views as extreme by a 54% to 30% margin.

                Eighty-one percent (81%) of liberals say Obama’s in the mainstream. Seventy-five percent (75%) of conservatives regard him as extreme.”

                What this tells me is the Buck is an extemeist may sell to Dems, but not to independents.  It also tells me that Bennet being portrayed as a buddy of Obama will be fatal to him.

                1. You’re claiming that centrist voters think that Obama is extremely liberal. Do you think they might also believe Buck is extremely conservative? Because they’re centrists?

                  You and a few other Republicans have been trying to make this point for days now. Ever think there might be a flaw in the logic here?

                  1. According to the poll 30% of those centrists would think Buck is extremist, compared to the 54% who would find Bennet an extremist.  The electorate is very polarized.  The middle is not buying that Republicans are extremists from people that just went on a wild ass spending spree in the middle of a depression.

                    1. People can disagree with Obama without necessarily agreeing with Buck. They might think both politicians are extremist. What’s so hard about that? It’s not like I’m asking you to figure out whether x goes before p, which really is a challenge.

              2. You’re impressed by powerful people treating you nicely, and pissed off by powerful people snubbing you, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with you or belong to the same party. That’s all.

                    1. I’ve talked to Udall staff, I’ve talked to Udall campaign members, I’ve talked to a bunch of reporters. Asking if there was an event where Udall announced in advance he would take questions from the public.

                      In his last 2 years as a rep there was one. Since then zero. He’s hiding from the voters, including you.

              1. I’ve found that political audiences ask tough questions, some surprising questions, some dumb questions and pretty much the same questions at every stop.

                That’s why I’ve published audience Qs and  A sessions as transcripts at times. They’re long and I doubt many people read them, but they help me understand where activists and candidates alike are coming from.

                Problem is, it’s hard to know when these candidates will appear before audiences that will ask questions if given a chance.

          2. and defeating the candidate backed by the NRSC, big money, and scads of senators, I highly doubt Buck will feel any loyalty to the Republican leadership.

              1. His primary allegiance will be to grassroots Coloradans and other conservatives like Jim DeMint in the senate. Without the Senate Conservatives Fund, he may not have had the resources to compete.

            1. And he needs Republican money for his campaign. He’s signed up with Jim DeMint, but he’ll work with all Republicans and some Democrats in the Senate, I suspect. He does a pretty good job of working with all kinds of people in Weld County as far as I can tell. I don’t live there. Yes, there are Buck critics in Weld County. I think he went through at least one primary.

            1. Claire McCaskill, Jon Tester, Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, Ron Wyden, Mark Warner, Jim Webb, Robert Byrd, Russ Feingold, Herb Kohl, Mark Begich, Mark Pryor, Tom Carper, Arlen Specter, and others.

              You can count them if you like.

              Shorter version: many more Democrats have joined Republican filibusters than Republicans who have joined cloture votes.

      4. Does Buck realize that the formula for GDP includes government spending?  If we reduce government spending (which is not out of the question) it will reduce the component of GDP.  Other areas (consumer and business) may make up some of the difference, but that’s not a given.  It just seems like the answer of someone who’s heard other people say the same thing but he doesn’t really know anything about the subject.

    2. I won’t repeat JeffcoBlue’s points on government spending.

      But, in addition:

      –  Mr. Free market claims he’s going to regulate the banks to do countercyclical lending?

      Clearly we have to put people back to work, clearly we have to stop spending as much as we are.

      –  What’s that mean?  More jobs for people willing to work for free?

      –  Balanced budget amendment?  Not the slightest practical chance in hell of passing, and even if it did you can bet your sweet little arse that it would be a Republican that would file the first suit as a constitutional challenge.  (Anyone remember “Line item veto”?  How’s that working out?)

      My $.02  Government spending — platitudes.  Jobs creation — platitudes.

      Deficit reduction — platitudes.  Banking reform — platitudes.

      Lastly, really nice job David.  Lot’s of good work and thoughtful effort here.  I hope to see more.


        1. Bush was handed a sustainable surplus and pissed it away massively and irresponsibly.  (The accounting on his tax cuts alone was an egregiously fraudulent shell game.  That’s why those tax cuts had to have a 2010 expiration date.)

          Obama was handed a massive, unsustainable deficit along with a nearly historic level of unemployment and system-wide fiscal meltdown.  Cleaning up this mess is going to require running deficits in the short term in order to rebuild fiscal stability and sanity in the longer term.

          It’s not apples to apples.

          1. the last time I heard Republicans mewling about the deficit was during the 90’s when Clinton was actually laying the foundation for fiscal surpluses.

            After that, I didn’t hear much from the Republicans about deficit spending until after Obama got into office.  In fact, what I do remember hearing was that “Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter.”

    1. One fluffy interview will not make up for the shock the average voter will feel when they find out what this guy stands for.

      By November, BuckAnglePaul will be sufficiently alienated from women and minorities that he will be looking at very long odds.

  3. Mr. Buck couldn’t be more mistaken if he is truly committed to getting the Senate out of the NO ACTION rut it is in currently due to the efforts of the Republican Party to obstruct.

    The original theory of the bicameral Federal approach was that the House, because of its short terms, was designed and thought to be the place where new ideas were frequently brought and voted on. The Senate was supposed to act as a brake on that momentum so the country didn’t move too quickly in one direction or the other.

    This is no longer the reality. The House, according to some pundits, has in excess of 90% of its seats regarded as “safe and noncompetitive” by both parties. The Senate, with the anonymous holds, the new absentee filibuster rules, and the cloture rule is now capable of being held hostage by a single Senator, or a minority party to the point that nothing gets done, as we now have with the strategy of the Republican Party. I would add that it hasn’t worked completely, much to the chagrin of the Republicans; over 200 bills have passed during the first two years of the Obama Administration, some better than others, but the health care and financial reform bills stand out as badly needed beginnings in those areas.

    The Senate rules need to be revised to reflect the realities of today’s incredible partisanship deadlocks for the good of this country. Senators should not be allowed to be put anonymous holds on critical administrative and judicial appointees, safely impeding the efforts of an administration to get critical work done. Senator Bennet and other new Senators recognize this because they are new to the DC gridlock culture, and find that it is unreasonable and destructive. No party, Democratic or Republican, should be allowed to manipulate these rules to the degree they have been manipulated by this latest iteration of the Republican Party. They have one purpose only–to regain power in the Congress and the White House, and they cynically don’t give a damn how badly the country is hurt in the process.

    And if you think Mr. Buck would be allowed to be a “maverick” and vote his principles under the Republican leadership, I have two words for you..Senator McCain.  

    1. let the Senate do away with all the rules that allow the minority to have a say, just in time for the Republican takeover of the Senate. Then we can pass what we want and put the rules back in place for the next Democrat Senate. You see why it’s not such a good idea? Unobstructed majority rule cuts both ways.

    1. I think they use David’s good work to cover for their hack pieces.

      Great interview. Why wouldn’t you vote for a man you give so much respect?

      1. Coming from you, that’s hilarious.

        But allow me, a liberal who’s been known to vote GOP (and not because I lived in an uber-liberal haven like Dave), let me answer this question.

        Ken Buck is, to me, a very good DA. That’s the sort of job he should keep. If I lived in Weld County I would vote for him for that job.

        The job of Senator is very different, and today’s political climate must be taken into account. The GOP has become a lockstep, no-idea Party of No, and any Senator’s job will be to vote party line and show no independent thought. Witness how Maine’s two Senators have been faring. Ken Buck, if elected, will disappear into that morass and do nothing to help this country get turned around, because today’s GOP is not interested in helping the Obama administration in any way.

        Mark my words – should the GOP actually gain both chambers (and I don’t believe they will), the legislation will be nothing but policies unacceptable to the president, and made with no bipartisan input (unlike HCR), with the only purpose of trying to pin all the blame and failings on Obama. In short, they will play politics to the hilt with the goal of regaining the White House, and ordinary Americans be damned.

        For that reason, and that reason alone, it’s imperative that Buck be defeated. America herself is at stake.

        1. if they should regain majority this Nov. NOTHING will be proposed and NOTHING will be voted upon.

          EXCEPT investigating Democrats… specifically Investigating President Obama. With the intent of impeachment. period

          ( like we need that to happen AGAIN)

          Glen Beck Ken Buck must be defeated

            1. Sure, what’s the worst that could happen? The government shuts down? The Tea Party types would die from the orgasm that would cause them.

              Today’s right-wing nutjobs make Newt Gingrich in 1995 look positively reasonable.

                1. to investigate every single Democrat looking for all those Unethical parking tickets… as well as impeach Obama for being “Presidential while Black.”

                  make no mistake about it. shutting down the Government does piss people off. but trumped up charges like failing to kiss and tell has been done. republicans still tout it as a great success even though Bill Clinton was never convicted.

                  whom ever gets hurt no matter how trashed the country becomes…

                  republicans want their power back.

  4. It wasn’t an interview as much as a conversation.  One that could have gone on and I, for one, would have liked to have heard more.  His beliefs appear to be rooted in his experience.  But that experience is relatively narrow and restricted to rural and small town Colorado.  (I know he is a Princeton graduate and his kid is at West Point).

    I thought his comments on the feds regulating when the banks gave credit, etc. “counter cyclical” was fascinating – because that is precisely the concept behind the “keysian” economics which Obama is pursuing.  Although, instead of just banks lending more money in harsh times, the whole idea is for the government to spent more money in recessions and recoup when revenues improve.

    Now, the one false note was the one about “tort reform.”  We have had it in Colorado for over 20 years and he should have demonstrated how that has made the situation better.  His proposal for the “medical judges” is similar to a system which New Mexico has used.

    The idea of finding which level of government is appropriate to handle which function is sound…except  it is too vague.

    Is segregation or integration more appropriately handled at the local level??  What about anti-discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation?  What about medical family leave?

    His views on the federal government and education were inconsistent.  I think he is so right about NCLB and that stupid “race to the top.”  However, he thinks that the feds should do research on what works and disseminate that to the states..which precisely what the federal Department of Education does.

    Again, David, Excellent.  I wish Buck were a Democrat and I wish he was running for governor.

    1. I feel the same way about Buck, I like & respect him even though I disagree with him on numerous issues. And in a Senate where there was consistent bipartisan effort to craft the best bills I think he would be great asset.

  5. Buck has a genuinely engaging personality and I do like the guy. I won’t be voting for him but I don’t feel the need to demonize him, either.  

      1. The candidates have no chance.

        Put this in the category of no good deed goes unpunished.

        I am for Buck.  I don’t think Bennet is a bad person.  In fact, I would probably like him. His fiscal policies I find nutso, but he probably would find my take on a thing or two not to his liking.  So what?  My wife and daughter don’t agree with me on a lot of things and we get along just fine.

        Yesterday one of the sensitve souls at ColoradoPols posted a diary, now retitled, suggesting that because Buck is prolife he has a plan to build concentration camps for pregnant girls. Your interview was cited as the basis for the story.  You could not pay me, or an awful lot of other talented people, enough to run for office and put up with this stuff.

  6. But his suggestions are not good for the US or for CO. This benign notion of deciding what should be fed programs and then fixing revenue at that rate, for instance. Does that mean that EPA, Interior, Ag will have less to do in CO and the decisions about whether to protect our environment will be wholly up to CO to both decide and pay for? If it doesn’t then how much $ can really be saved at the fed. Not much. If the answer is yes then watch out for your local governments and the cuts they will make. Watch out for whose pockets they are in.

    Additionally, Buck’s notions are not good for families or for the females in those families.

    So, right now Buck (running to the center) sounds much more moderate than when in a primary (running to the right). I think we have to believe that he is really somewhere between those two areas and neither is where I want my Senator to be.

  7. I look forward to hearing the same interview from Senator Bennet.

    At this point I clearly know where Ken Buck stands on most issues, and I hope to hear the same from Senator Bennet

    I hope that he provides you with the same candor and conviction that it appears Ken Buck provided.

      1. I am pretty well informed on both candidates.  I plan on giving each of them equal consideration.  I just look forward to the Bennet interview.

  8.  TABOR stops Colorado from paying for anyhing that the FEDS pay for.

    I guess that he’s in favor of an aristocracy.

    Karl Rove and Dock Cheney gave him good training for that.

  9. on issues. All Democrats, they have told me they are very concerned about his social beliefs. I have heard him described by them as “misogynistic”, “anti-immigrant” and “culturally insensitive”. I cannot directly quote them here, but hope they will step up and do some blogging.

    Coloradans may be fiscally conservative as a whole, but they are not stupid. They prefer choice, full civil rights for everyone, and fairness for all. More straight, white male-dominated politics that benefit the already-advantaged and the corporations, does not help our state or our country move forward.

    1. More straight, white male-dominated politics that benefit the already-advantaged and the corporations, does not help our state or our country move forward.

      (Also…where were all these fairness Coloradans when Ref. I was up for a vote?!)

    2. In the Republican Senate Primary one of Jane Norton’s county co-chairs would repeatedly make stuff up about Ken Buck.  He had supposedly told people he really did supported Ref C, he supposedly did not go to church, etc etc.  When pressed she never was able to identify any of these reliable sources.  

      You do not claim to have met Ken Buck but cite unnamed sources who call him bad things. If you are honest, and I admit that seems like a stretch, I am sure you will share who told you what based on what experience?

      Cheri didn’t limit hereself to making up stories about Buck, she also lied about Magellan Strategies, his polling company, and some others.  At the end of the day she did not help Norton.

      Are you Michael Bennet’s Cheri Ofner?  

  10. He puts it in a nice, seemingly helpful way, but he sounds like all of the other Republicans.  His biggest concern, apparently, about banking is counter-cyclical lending.  He found that in the financial bill but he still wouldn’t have voted for it.  I’m pretty sure nobody liked everything that was in the bill.  That’s how legislating works.  He might be a nice guy, but it still sounds like a logjam.  Also, saying that the Gingrich-Clinton time was good … I’d rather not go back there.  Most people have credited the tax increases under Poppy and Clinton to paving the way for growth and a balanced budget.

    He must be a rather blissful guy….

  11. I appreciate the interview, David, but I think you’re giving way too much credence in your $0.02 to Buck’s willingness to work with Democrats in any way, shape, or form.  He admits as much and then you go ahead and lend him that sadly lacking capacity from your own evaluation without a shred of evidence to back you up.

    Similarly, Ken Buck and Al Gore would never reach agreement in a back room, public area or other location until sometime after the Sun came blearily seeping through the haze of the dust storms and wildfires signifying the point of no recovery for our current ecology.  His interest is in the free market, and the current global warming situation is not one well-situated to the wonders of free market foresight.

    I could go on, but you get the point.  There is no need in an interview to be so kind as to ascribe qualities to an interviewee to which he himself does not aspire.  You can be a bit more blunt – really.

      1. “will vote policies, not party”, would come up with a compromise with Al Gore, “finding a way to work with others”…

        Ken Buck as Senator will be voting 95%+ with the GOP party line, and that will be 100% on issues considered important by leadership.  You will not find him, IMHO, sitting next to Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins at a table with Democrats discussing ways to improve bills; like them, if Buck shows up at a negotiating table it will be to strike the stuff the GOP doesn’t like, not to engineer a better solution.

  12. Very nice interview – THANK YOU for such a great public service – but I almost did a classic “spew” of my drink when I read your line about how you thought Ken Buck and Al Gore could “rapidly” come up with nice solutions to various issues.

    No. Not in a million billion years.

    Ken Buck will instead strip the federal government of many of its powers. Tainted eggs? Leave that to the Colorado authorities to control within Colorado. (As if.) Immigration? Ditto: do like Arizona. Endangered species? Climate change? No role for the feds there.

    Of course, for gay marriage and abortion, the feds must control everything. Heaven forbid that a state or locality were to have its own position on such issues.  

    1. Ken Buck and Al Gore could “rapidly” come up with nice solutions

      It was interesting listening to Ken when he discussed that – not that far from many on the left. (Keep in mind it was providing energy where we have agreement, no discussion about global warming.)

  13. Since you’ve injected your personal opinion throughout this piece (way beyond your $.02 worth comments), don’t even try to say: “this is my interview of Ken Buck, not my interview of Dave’s opinion of Ken’s opinion.”  Your admiration of Mr. Buck would make Neville Chamberlain proud.

    The worst aspect of this interview is that you allowed a politician to speak in broad generalities without demanding specifics. Let’s see what, if anything, you were able to get out of the Tea Party/Club for Growth supported Ken Buck:

    1)Ken Buck told Craig Silverman he’d support a law prohibiting abortion, including cases of rape or incest, with the health of the mother being the only exception.  But, he now tells you that “we need to change the hearts and minds before we’re ever going to have a law.”  You should have asked him why he said he’d support a law that never going to be a law.  And, most important, what is the penalty for violating that law he supports — the death penalty??

    2)Buck wants to limit the federal government by having the states, localities and private sector step in and “take care of a lot of issues.”  This sounds like either a push for unfunded mandates to the states, or, more likely, not having the work done at all.  Since you didn’t do it, someone needs to get him to state what that means:  Environmental protection should be left to the private sector?  Financial regulatory reform should be left to Wasilla?

    Apparently, he thinks the FBI should be dismantled.  Hmmm, I’m no expert but I think we should be careful about that.

    3)Buck wants to reduce our deficit, but not raise taxes.  He wants to stimulate small business, but not have new stimulus spending.  He says we need to “grow our economy” but provides absolutely no plan to do so, other than reducing taxes, of course.  He claims that establishing “certainty” regarding tax and regulatory policy will create jobs.  What a bunch of hooey.  I don’t think anyone out of work today would feel very confident about finding a job anytime soon with that approach.

    4)Buck could not cite one Obama policy he agreed with, but he said he’d have Democrats on his staff so you think he’ll find common ground.  See Neville Chamberlain reference above.

    To me, Ken Buck is trying to get elected using the same platitudes used by Sarah Palin.  Anyone can do that.  “I think we need to support the American people!”  See how easy that is?  The failure of this interview is that you did not press him to provide specifics.  That’s a squandered opportunity that may not come again in this election.  

    1. There is a lot more in there than what I wrote. So some of what you ask in terms of more depth is available. It’s not all in the interview above because then it would b 5 times longer.

      On the abortion issue, I can tell you what I asked him and I can tell you how he replied. I can’t force him to say it the way you would like it phrased.

      Anyways, please listen to the recording as I think the additional detail will give you a lot more clarity on the above. You will probably still mostly disagree with Buck, but you will have a lot more specifics.

      1. I listened to much of your interview and you did a fine job of transcribing Buck’s vacuous answers.  He did not provide any additional details, particularly on how to stimulate the economy and provide jobs.  You did try to point out that without demand for goods/services there is no need to create new jobs.  He provided the circular answer that without new jobs there is no demand.  Completely useless answer to those suffering in this economy.

        Two problems with your interview:

        1) You walked into this interview totally uninformed about Buck’s positions.  You asked these broad questions like, “What’s the biggest problem facing the country today?” and got played by a politician for the pansy that you are.  I learned more about Buck in the Pols posting later today that compared Buck vs. Maes on actual policy positions.  You should have approached it in that manner, e.g., “You’ve said that Social Securiy is horrible policy that will bankrupt the nation. So, what’s your proposal?”  Or, “You say that the government should not subsidize student loans.  So, what happens to students that need those loans to go to school?”  Were you even aware of his positions??

        2) I think the biggest problem I have with this diary is your inane opinionating.  Merely reporting Buck’s lack of a coherent policy on the economy, for example, would have been enough for us to see that Buck is an empty suit.  Instead, we have to plow through your naive opinions liberally laced throughout.  

        Bottom line:  You squandered an opportunity to educate us about the real Ken Buck.

        1. He did not provide any additional details, particularly on how to stimulate the economy and provide jobs.  You did try to point out that without demand for goods/services there is no need to create new jobs.  He provided the circular answer that without new jobs there is no demand.

          The naswer is that he does not have an answer to this problem. No politician is going to say “hey I have no idea” so this is the best you get. But it is clear that his only specific for the recession is loose credit for small business.

      2. I wanted to listen to the interview, but when I went to the link, it had to be downloaded. I spend a lot of time cleaning junk off my computer, so I didn’t want to do that. I wish I could just click and listen somehow.  🙁

      3. We’ve been arguing on another thread all day about his abortion views. Was there more on the audio about the “effort” to house pregnant women until they give birth? Is is a volunteer thing? A charity? A policy statement? A legislative effort? What did it mean?

        Can you elaborate, please?

  14. Life is not black and white. That’s the problem with being a DA, no matter how you try to change…

    When you put pearls on a pig you still have a pig.

    I wrote a lengthly comment explaining Q&A why this rhetoric fails, but to save space and anguish I will leave it for any open forum public debates. Which I doubt, this Buck n’ Bennet will ever do.

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