This could leave a mark, Westword’s Michael Roberts has the scoop:
[T]he Campaign for a Strong Colorado, which opposes Republican senate nominee Ken Buck, is putting the topic front and center at news conferences today featuring survivors of rape and incest.
The reason, says Campaign executive director Ellen Dumm, is Buck’s opposition to abortion even for rape and incest victims.
“I’ve never in all the time I’ve been involved in politics — which is longer than I care to admit — seen a viable statewide candidate who ran and said they were against abortion even in the case of rape and incest,” Dumm maintains. “Ken Buck is the first I’ve heard of. There may have been some fringe candidates who felt that way, but I’ve never heard a candidate say that in public and get elected.”
…Buck initially backed Amendment 62. In recent days, however, a Buck campaign spokesman said the candidate would now vote against the measure — a shift that Dumm views with maximum cynicism.
“My question is, if he didn’t understand what it meant, why did he tell everyone he was for it in the primary?” she asks. “It’s the same amendment we voted on two years ago. It’s not like it just popped up again. I don’t think he’s stupid; he went to Princeton. So my sense is, he’s either not paying attention, or he’s lying — and I don’t think Colorado women can trust him.”
Dumm hopes to reinforce this message via events in Denver and Colorado Springs today featuring Emile Ailts, a onetime victim of date rape, and Ginger Smith, an incest survivor…
We had an inkling of this when we read Sunday in the major Denver newspaper that Ken Buck, while abandoning his support for Amendment 62 and reneging on his promise to sponsor a constitutional amendment against abortion rights, was clinging to his underlying strident position on abortion: that it should be illegal, even in cases of rape of incest. Like we said, what Buck backed away from are the applications of his view–the underlying position itself is no less repugnant to a large percentage of voters, even many who consider themselves pro-life.
Bottom line: there is probably nobody on this planet better equipped to eviscerate Buck for this than the women slated to speak here. The stakes couldn’t be higher: both Buck and opponent Michael Bennet have targeted the Denver suburbs, and especially swing-voting suburban women, as the pivotal voting bloc in this election.
And folks, this looks increasingly like a way that Buck could lose them.
UPDATE: We’ve switched out the advisory after the jump with the full release from the Campaign for a Strong Colorado. Says Ginger Smith of Colorado Springs, a victim of incest, “it clearly demonstrates that [Buck] does not understand the emotional impact that comes with being betrayed by a trusted family member and the life-long impact that comes with that betrayal.”
September 21, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ellen Dumm – Campaign for a Strong Colorado – 303 810-4370 (cell), email@example.com
Kjersten Forseth, ProgressNow Colorado – 719-641-4674 (cell), Kjersten@progressnowcolorado.org
Our Stories: Rape & Incest
Colorado Women Can’t Trust Buck
Rape and incest victims today told their personal stories about why U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck cannot represent Colorado’s women. Buck has said that he does not believe that a woman has the right to decide her own future, even in the case of rape or incest.
Marilyn Van Derbur Atler, a long-time activist against incest issued a statement saying: “Victims of rape and incest should not be forced to give birth to a child conceived in violence. Survivors deserve support and options.”
Ginger Smith of Colorado Springs said her experience as an incest victim made her question why Buck would want to force additional trauma on survivors.
“It clearly demonstrates that he does not understand the emotional impact that comes with being betrayed by a trusted family member and the life-long impact that comes with that betrayal,” she said.
Emilie Ailts, who was the victim of date rape as a young woman said, “I don’t believe that Ken Buck understands the magnitude of this violation – it’s something that I have carried my entire life. It’s not shrugged off, it’s not ever forgotten.”
Jennifer Eyl, an attorney and volunteer rape crisis counselor said she has dealt with the trauma that comes with violence against women for years and does not understand how any politician could publicly support forcing a woman to having a child as a result of rape or incest.
“Women need support, not have their choices taken away,” Eyl said.
Colorado has a history of supporting a woman’s right to choose, most recently in 2008, when voters overwhelmingly rejected (73% to 27% ) a constitutional amendment that would have given rights to fertilized eggs. An almost identical amendment (Amendment 62) is on the ballot this year. After realizing how out of touch he is with mainstream Coloradans Buck retracted his support of Amendment 62 on Sunday, saying he didn’t understand all of the ramifications of the amendment. Colorado women believe Buck knew full well what he was supporting and is only changing what he’s saying to get votes.
“This is virtually the same amendment Coloradans rejected two years ago. This should not be a surprise or revelation to Ken Buck. Where was he then? He just now seems to have discovered he’s out of touch with mainstream Coloradans. He’ll say whatever he needs to get elected. How can Colorado women support that?” said Ellen Dumm, Executive Director of Campaign for a Strong Colorado.
“This is an Ivy League-educated attorney. To say that he didn’t understand that the amendment would have banned most forms of birth control is ludicrous. Why should women trust him? The truth is Colorado women can’t trust Ken Buck,” said Kjersten Forseth, Executive Director of Progress Now Colorado.