While those on the left were focused on Colorado’s Democratic primary for Senate -thought of by some as a test of President Barack Obama’s strength on the campaign trail -interesting developments were taking place on the Republican side of the ballot.
The race between Ken Buck, Weld County’s District Attorney, and Jane Norton, the former Lieutant Governor, grew increasingly heated. Buck, the victor of the evening and a Tea Party-backed candidate, demonstrated a clear antipathy towards women and embraced a radical philosphy.
During the campaign Buck told supporters to vote for him because he didn’t “wear high heels,” leading Politics Daily to dub the race “high heels vs. cowboy boots.” These sexist remarks were only the beginning of the inflammatory comments made by Buck during the primary race - from education to immigration, Buck voiced his opinions loud and clear.
Buck believes in eliminating the Department of Education. “We need to get the federal government out of education,” he stated. He also opposes Social Security, calling it a “horrible policy” that would “bankrupt the country within a 10 to 25 year window. I don’t know that the federal government should be involved in a retirement plan,” he said at a Constitutionalist Today Forum in March 2010.
Buck also enthusiastically supports Arizona’s new immigration legislation and advocates for the abolishment of the Fourteenth Amendment which grants citizenship to those born in the U.S. As District Attorney of Weld County, Weld was ruthless in his pursuit of illegal immigrants.
Interestingly, while Tea Party enthusiasm is credited for his upset victory over Norton, a little exploration into Buck’s resume shows that he is clearly an “insider.” His background is very different from what one would expect from a Tea Party, anti-establishment candidate. He graduated from Princeton University, worked for then-Congressman Dick Cheney on the Iran-Contra investigation in 1986, served at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado, and then became District Attorney. All of those positions are of course taxpayer-funded.
“He has been a government attorney since 1988,” Norton charged in a mid-July interview. “He’s been in the system - his wife was a vice chairman of the [state] Republican Party for eight years.”
Democrats are banking on Buck’s foot-in-mouth comments to continue through the election. Most recently Tea Party supporters were taken aback when Buck was caught on a live microphone urging “thosedumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on camera.” Politico listed Buck among the “oddball” G.O.P. candidates noting that he is “a gaffe-prone prosecutor once ordered to take ethics classes for his handling of an illegal guns case.”
Political pundits expect that the themes ermerging from the Colorado race will be echoed throughout the country as conservative Tea Partiers challenge Democratic incumbents. SenatorJim DeMint - who enthusiastically supports Buck - has said that the Colorado Senate race represents “a choice between a fighter for limited government and a rubber stamp for Obama’s reckless agenda.” Expect to hear variations of that sentiment in states like Nevada where Senator Reid will battle Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, in Arkansas where Blanche Lincoln is challenged by John Boozeman and in California where Barbara Boxer is challenged by Carly Fiorina.
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