Buck and Crossroads GPS

So Buck promised he would stay positive. He didn’t, but it always felt like an empty promise because of the presence of so much “outside’ money supporting his campaign and it was clear after how they treated Norton in the primary they would be as negative as could be.

And in recent  days it has been reported  that the  US Chamber of Commerce, which has foreign contributors, is spending on attack ads against Bennet.

Also recently reported is that American Crossroads, over 90% funded by four billionaires, will be spending big media dollars in Colorado to help Buck by attacking Bennet.

And also that American Crossroads affiliate, Crossroads GPS, is not required to reveal contributors or expenses.   Will they too be spending on behalf of Buck? Have they already? How much? Who funds Crossroads GPS?   We will only know if CGPS ever voluntarily decides to tell us.  (Though a complaint has been filed with the IRS that could void CGPS’s corporate status and if it is determined that they are a political organization, then they may be required to report.)

And in today’s snail mail come two large campaign mailers.  One, “Paid for by the Colorado Republican Committee,”  is multi colored with smiling pictures of the Buck family smiling, and a backdrop of mountains and trees, some green, some gold.  Attractive.   The text is friendly and inviting Join the Buck Family.

The other, funded by Crossroads GPS,  is all attacks on Bennet and Obama.   It says, truthfully, that Bennet voted for the stimulus and that Bennet voted for the 2010 budget and cites sources that are verifiable.

Then it beams off into lies and cites a partisan source with no facts – Grover Norquist and the Americans for Tax Reform, another 501 (c) 4 that does not have to reveal contributors or independent expenses.

The echo chamber is getting really loud. So Crossroads GPS is attacking Bennet (and presumably other D’s in other states)  for raising taxes, which is really the Bush tax cuts expiring. Tax cuts which contributed hugely to our debt, for which CGPS also attacks Bennet, based on ATP’s claims.

Why did the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010?  If they were so great and so affordable why didn’t Bush and the then R Congress  just enact them?

Pay attention class, I’m almost to the punch line.

To get the tax bills to pass and to maximize the size of the tax cuts, Republicans had to run the bill through the reconciliation to avoid a Senate filibuster. (OMG- but in 2009 R’s claimed reconciliation is evil!)  But this was a problem because “reconciliation” exists to decrease the deficit, not to increase it by lowering taxes “outside the budget window,”  10 years. So if the tax cuts expired in 10 years, CBO could score it as if it did not increase the deficit “outside the budget window.”  

Which brings me back to Buck.

In his colorful, upbeat smiling mailer, his only policy claim is that he will sponsor a balanced budget amendment.  No explanation for how he would get that work, let alone pass.  Will spending be cut dramatically? Which?  Will taxes be increased? How?

My 61+ year old neighbor opened his mailbox moments before I got to mine and his observation was that the only way to balance the budget now was to raise taxes or cut Social Security, Medicare or defense, or all three. He’s a U that leans R McCain voter but he’s voting for Bennet because he understands that Buck wants to take us back.   He wants the Bush tax cuts to continue, but the deficit and national security are bigger issues for him and he always felt it was wrong to cut taxes while fghting two wars without corresponding spending cuts.

So what we have here is failure to communicate honestly or transparently.  We have print and media (I don’t have tv) advertising that make all manner of claims, with hard to source data and even harder to source funding.  

Buck says whatever he thinks will help most with the audience of the moment, and when he has to buckpedal or even deny he said one thing to say something else, he just doesn’t care.  He’s relying on the natural tendency for voters faced with dissonant messages to magically forget the less preferable one.

And it’s not that he’s a practiced and increasingly polished political bull shit artist.   He was a trial lawyer first so I expect that.  It’s that we as voters have no idea who is funding his “outside” support or the “outside” attacks on Bennet. It’s a mystery, wrapped in a blank check from unknown sources, wrapped in lies and mistruths.  

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