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Monday, October 24, 2016

Failed 2010 Senate candidate Ken Buck (R) is ramping up another run, and he’s determined to overcome the gender gap that destroyed his previous attempt to join Congress.

Buck, who has served as Weld County district attorney since 2004, is widely considered to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to oppose incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) in Colorado’s 2014 midterm elections. The thought makes some Republicans cringe, given Buck’s disastrous failure four years ago.

In 2010, Buck rode a wave of Tea Party support to the Republican nomination opposing Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), who was among the most vulnerable incumbents on the ballot. Throughout the campaign, Democrats eagerly turned Buck into an avatar for the far-right’s war on women. Buck himself provided the ammunition for these attacks; among other gaffes, he urged women to vote for him over primary opponent Jane Norton because “I do not wear high heels,” and suggested to a local newspaper that he declined to prosecute a suspected rape because it was merely “a case of buyer’s remorse.” Although Buck led Bennet in the polls for most of the race, on election night the Democrat scored a narrow victory. Bennet defeated Buck by less than 1 percent overall — but he ran up the score among women voters, winning them 56 to 40 percent according to exit polls.

Now Buck is running again, and with early polling finding him within striking distance of Udall, he hopes to avoid making the same mistakes twice.

“I ran in 2010 and the liberals — the progressives — did a masterful job of lying to the public about who I am,” Buck told the right-wing Daily Caller in a recent interview. “I’ve been a prosecutor for 25 years, I’ve helped people — rape victims, domestic violence victims, victims of senior fraud, in every way. I have spent my free time volunteering to help at-risk kids so they don’t choose a life of crime.”

“I decided if I was going to run again, I was going to make sure that I portrayed myself [in a way] that was honest and allowed people to make a judgment — hopefully on the issues — and not on some personality that the Democrats create,” Buck added.

To that end, Buck has released a new ad presenting a different side of him. In “Ken Cares: Stephanie’s Story,” Buck is not the misogynist Democrats successfully presented in 2010, but a crusading district attorney who went out of his way to protect Stephanie Drobny and her two young children from her abusive husband.

The web video is the first in a planned series of roughly 10, Buck told the Daily Caller. Unfortunately for the would-be senator, however, it will likely take more than a few touching ads to repair his image with women voters.

A softer touch will not change Buck’s unapologetically hardline positions on issues such as reproductive rights. Buck opposes abortion rights even in cases of rape and incest, and his wife — state representative Perry Buck — is at the forefront of legislative efforts to criminalize abortion in the state.

Buck also hasn’t stopped committing unforced errors that let Democratic attack ads pretty much write themselves. Most recently, he compared his past battle against lymphoma to being pregnant, saying, “It’s certainly the feeling that I had when I was a cancer patient, I wanted to be in control of the decisions that were made concerning my body.” (Note that this sympathy did not moderate his position on a woman’s right to choose.)

Ultimately, the biggest roadblock on Buck’s path to the Senate may not be women voters; instead, it could be money. Buck raised just $154,109 in the fourth quarter of 2013, leaving him with $262,347 in cash on hand. By contrast, Udall raised over $1 million in each quarter last year, and sits on a war chest of nearly $5 million as he awaits his general election opponent. In other words, for every ad Buck airs portraying his kinder, gentler side, Udall can afford to air several more reminding Coloradans of why they rejected Buck four years ago.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • plc97477

    I can’t understand 40% of women voting for this dingie.

    • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

      Oh, it’s easy. Their husbands probably threatened to beat them and throw them out of the house if they didn’t vote for “their guy”. Especially the Fundamentalist Christians that Colorado seems to attract. Those guys will point out Paul’s Epistles as to the reasons their wives should not be allowed to have independent opinions.

      • STMBT

        Nine times out of ten Stephanie was hired to do this add, and when you are hired to do a job you do what or say what the boss says. Ken Butt is a typical tea bagger conserative and will say anything and lie to get elected.

        • Bill

          When was the last time the GOP told the truth about anything?

      • Independent1

        The vast majority of what St. Paul said was inspired by God; but like all of us, he made some comments that were possibly personal feelings and not supported fully by Jesus’ preachings. One of them was about gay relationships. It’s surprising that he made comments derogatory to those relationships, when in all his preaching, Jesus never mentioned those relaltionships once. Like with everything else, it will be God who will judge all of us individually based on how we live our lives on this world with all its pluses and minuses.

        • Allan Richardson

          The late Anglican Bishop James Shelby Spong wrote an in-depth analysis of Paul’s thinking, in which he pointed out that Paul’s portrayal of Pharisaic theology about sin and forgiveness, much more unforgiving than any other known writings by Pharisees (i.e. that all persons are intrinsically incapable of keeping the Torah well enough to please God, because that would require total perfection; a prototype of Augustine’s later theory of “original sin”), seems to have been prompted by his belief that he himself was intrinsically unworthy even to pray to God for forgiveness, before meeting Christ in his Damascus vision.

          Spong speculated that Paul may have been a celibate, self-closeted gay man, who despite being able to control his ACTIONS, felt unable to erase the stain of having gay FEELINGS at all, and thus unworthy to face God without Christ. If so, and this is only Spong’s speculation, it might explain his condemnation not only of GAY actions but of ALL sexual expression, except marital sex as a concession to human frailty (i.e. to avoid WORSE sins), not as a positive good.

          On the whole, it is possible that Paul, not Jesus, was the originator of what came to be orthodox Christian theology. Others after Paul, such as Augustine, expanded this guilt-based (rather than joy-based, as taught by Jesus) theology by adding the idea of female temptation as the cause of male transgression (with Mary as the one glorious exception, of course, thanks to God’s causing her to be conceived without sin so that she would be worthy to bear the Son of God).

          These ideas, even when theological differences alter the detailed wording of them, may be the underlying unconscious basis of Christian misogyny.

          • Independent1

            Thanks for your comments. It’s my feeling that God has changed even His expectations of the level of perfection that he expects from us, based on what he has learned about the frailties of man since he created us. Those who think they know for a fact what God is thinking today based on words that were mostly written thousands of years ago, are very misguided. All one has to do is compare God’s expectations of perfection that are documented in the very early books of the Old Testament against what Jesus preached; changes which confused the Hebrews of his time.

  • Buford2k11

    If I recall, most women have long memories…especially if there were insults and fear involved…the wimmins won’t forget, and I bet Mark will remind them…

    • Independent1

      Let’s hope he does – loud and clear! We certainly don’t need any more of today’s Republicans in the Senate.

  • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

    “Ken Cares: Stephanie’s Story,” Buck is not the misogynist Democrats successfully presented in 2010, but a crusading district attorney who went out of his way to protect Stephanie Drobny and her two young children from her abusive husband.”
    As a prosecutor isn’t that his job? Well it is nice to know that he did his job!!!!

    • omgamike

      There’s a huge difference between doing his job, and what he implied (and stated) were his core beliefs. This man should never be elected to any office, either state or federal. He’s playing the same stuff that all the GOP keeps trying to get people to believe — that if we change our message, people will vote for us. People will not vote for you based on changing your message. Repackaging the same thing doesn’t change what’s in the box. They need to change their policies, not their message. Mr. Buck would never change what he would do if in political office. No message change will help him.

      • daniel bostdorf


  • terry b

    Buck reminds me of a small statement my dad said to me on how people can be considered very bad people. Those people, like Buck are “intrinsically evil”. Not pure evil but their actions and words make them seem evil. Buck fills this description to a T. Colorado should never elect a right wing nutcase who hates women’s rights. Bet he doesn’t like minorities and probably gays also. All the traits of a true right wing nutcase!

  • daniel bostdorf

    Buck states:

    ““I decided if I was going to run again, I was going to make sure that I
    portrayed myself [in a way] that was honest and allowed people to make a
    judgment — hopefully on the issues — and not on some personality that
    the Democrats create,” Buck added.”

    His self portrayal is called propaganda.

    “”Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. …… All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. ……..The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses………. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another……… The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.”

    Taken from Adolph Hitler: Mein Kampf lays out blueprint of Nazi propaganda efforts. Hitler wrote the above in chapter VI.

    • latebloomingrandma

      You just described Fox News–the propaganda channel.

      • daniel bostdorf

        Yes—and Karl Rove and Roger Ailes have studied the playbook….ans another playbook:

        Propaganda: ideas or statements that are often false or exaggerated and that are spread in order to help a cause, a political leader, a government, etc. (an essential element of Nazis fascism—-

        Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels: “

        If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

  • Kansan

    Buck is a prodigious liar. The rape in question could by no means be described as “buyer’s remorse.” In fact the victim taped the violent assault on her phone message machine as it occurred. Buck is the rapists’ friend.

    In addition, he did absolutely nothing while the GEO Group prison at Hudson ran totally out of control with prisoners imported from Alaska.

    His female primary opponent in ’10 was eminently more electable than Buck, but it was he who got the kiss of death: A Sarah Palin endorsement.

    He very narrowly won that race before losing an equally narrow general election.

  • Bill

    What is the problem with GOP voters? The GOP will tell you they hate blacks, browns, women, poor people, unemployed, retired, people on food stamps, children after they are born, you can’t tell me there are that many rich people out there, where is the GOP vote coming from?

    • Allan Richardson

      Two words: Stockholm Syndrome.