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October 23, 2023 01:14 PM UTC

A Strange Thing Happened On The Road To "KenSNBC"

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Ken Buck, the man with no friends.

As the Denver Post’s Seth Klamann reports, as U.S. House Republican aspirations of selecting a new speaker and thus getting back to the pressing business of running the country collapsed in yet another heap of chaos and despair last Friday, one of the prime movers in the political destabilization that has resulted in the longest-running period without House leadership in American history, Colorado’s too-contrarian-by-half Rep. Ken Buck, found himself assailed by violent anonymous threats against his person, as well as retaliation by a GOP kingpin landlord who is evicting Buck from his field office in Windsor:

A Buck spokesman confirmed Thursday that the congressman has received credible death threats and has received an eviction notice for Buck’s office in Windsor. Staff has been told to vacate the office within 30 days. The spokesman declined to comment on whether there had been any arrests related to the threats or if the congressman increased his security.

In his interview with NBC, Buck said his “landlord is mad with my voting record on the speaker issue.” A message sent to the property owner, Pelican Point Business Park, was not returned Friday…

The Colorado Sun reports that the office space Buck is being evicted from is owned by northern Colorado developer Martin Lind, a major Republican donor:

Lind developed Water Valley and owns the Colorado Eagles minor league hockey team in Loveland. The state’s campaign finance database and Federal Election Commission records show he is a prolific GOP donor.

Neither Lind nor a spokesperson for Water Valley returned an email Thursday evening seeking comment on the eviction. Reached by phone on Friday morning, Lind told a Colorado Sun reporter “I don’t talk to the press” before hanging up.

That Buck was renting office space from a major Republican donor to begin with raises questions about whether that relationship was above board and market rate. Either way, Martin Lind is one of a short list of Republican donors in Colorado who Republican politicos do not want to make angry, and Lind turning against Buck to the extent of evicting him from his office is another sign that Buck’s base of support is rapidly fraying.

Buck as readers know had been “Bucksliding” for months as his fellow Freedom Caucus members plowed ahead with their desire to impeach President Joe Biden and various Cabinet members, and earned the ire if not an intelligible retort from Colorado Republicans who urged him to investigate the “plight” of jailed January 6th insurrectionists. Buck’s regular appearances on CNN and MSNBC to criticize fellow Republicans and debunk 2020 election conspiracy theories angered party chairman Dave Williams and the far right, but seemed to be setting Buck up for a soft landing after retirement as a “pox on both houses” cable news talking head.

By joining the “Gaetz Eight” to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, helping plunge the Republican House majority into chaos from which it weeks later still has not recovered, Buck has put his newfound reputation for “sensible contrarianism” in serious jeopardy. Buck’s vote to oust McCarthy made him one of a tiny number of chaos agents centrally responsible for the most embarrassing collapse of a ruling congressional majority in American history. It’s harder to blame Buck for standing firm against Jim Jordan’s bid for speaker in McCarthy’s wake, since Jordan would have been objectively speaking a disaster for the country. But in the eyes of Republican donors like Martin Lind, Buck helped wreck the GOP House majority leadership and since has done nothing to help put it back together.

Before Jordan’s final rebuke at the hands of fellow Republicans on Friday ended his speakership bid, the pressure had grown dramatically on Buck to cave, with the Colorado GOP and even 2022 U.S. Senate loser Joe O’Dea urging Buck to drop his objections and support Jordan. The destruction Jordan would have wrought as speaker is bad enough that Jordan’s backers should be breathing a sigh of relief that he is out of the running. Like the GOP kingmakers who failed to recognize Heidi Ganahl’s wacky extremism before it was too late, it’s another sad sign that the rot goes right to the very top of the party’s would-be “establishment” donor class.

As for Ken Buck? We’re pretty sure he expected more than seven other Republicans to join him in ousting McCarthy, and the lack of cover caused by Buck’s alphabetical place in the vote could put a dent in his post-retirement earnings. Buck cannot claim to have any special insight into “fixing Washington” when he is destined to be remembered for helping more than most to break the place.


8 thoughts on “A Strange Thing Happened On The Road To “KenSNBC”

  1. Inverse Quid pro Quo? Is there such a thing as Reverse Blackmail?

    I mean, we all know that when the piper says dance you are supposed to dance. But if you stop dancing, does the piper stops playing? Or to mix in another metaphor, look how mad the drink buyer gets if you don't go home with him.

    In any case, I've lost any interest in attending hockey games with the Windsor Maggats.

  2. I'd like to see the lease for Congressman Buck's office space in Windsor. Unless he has a month-to-month lease, as long as he is paying the rent and meeting any other obligations, which certainly doesn't include voting the way Mr. Lind tells him to vote, Lind can't evict him.

    1. Buck's rent is probably a freebie…

      That is, the money-man says, "Hey, I've got an empty storefront. How about you 'lease' it from me? No need to pay rent. I get a tax write off." 

      Legally the landlord should declare it as a campaign donation, but… If the rent is free what is the value of the donation. Lot's of benefits to being in business and especially in real estate.

  3. As a 20 year resident of Martin’s Water Valley subdivision I can tell you this is not a surprise at all. Martin has routinely used the neighborhood HOA mailing list to tell us all how to vote (hint it’s always for the Conservative issues) and placed his favorite candidates signs in common areas while we are warned to keep our signs in private yards.

    So knowing Martin is butt-hurt that Ken didn’t follow his instructions is no surprise to any of us familiar with his tactics. What would be a surprise is that Ken actually has a market price lease for the office space. My bet is that this office was a “gift” that both benefitted from and likely was an illegal campaign donation. Hope someone follows up on that. 

  4. Ken Buck has two district offices listed on his web page:  Castle Rock and Windsor.

    In the Statement of Disbursements for the House, there's a list of payments.  May, 2023 included

    5/02/23    DISTRICT OFFICE RENT (PRIVATE)   2150.00

    5/02/23    DISTRICT OFFICE RENT (PRIVATE)   4004.88

    Don't know why people think his district offices would turn into a "campaign" expense. Or that he somehow would be getting a "gift". 


  5. I wonder how Martin Lind feels about the implosion of the Colorado Republican party, under the leadership of Dave Williams, Tina Peters, and their MAGA / Putinista cronies?

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