At Politico, Mike Allen calls a Democratic National Committee video sent out today part of the “nuts and flakes” strategy the party is mounting to warn off voters off of the Republican Party’s tea party candidates this fall.
The section featuring Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck seems tame compared to the sections on candidates in Florida and Kentucky and Nevada and Alaska, for instance.
“Colorado Republican candidate Ken Buck. He wants to eliminate the energy and education departments, says separation of church and state is too strictly enforced.”
Democratic party sources say that the established Republican Party and its officeholders want to shape the November election as a traditional choice between Republicans and Democrats, that is, between the outsider “fiscal conservative” party versus the “big spending” party of incumbency and power. But, say the Democratic strategists, the candidates the GOP has put up for election in many cases are not traditional Republicans. A Democratic source writing to the Colorado Independent Friday wanted to emphasize that candidates such as Buck and Dan Maes, who is running for governor, are not generic Republican candidates.
“They are flawed and as far out of the mainstream as you can imagine. And the Republican Party knows it. The [party] didn’t want [tea party candidates] Sharron Angle or Rand Paul or Ken Buck or Rick Scott or Linda McMahon to be their candidates because they know what will soon be obvious to voters: [those candidates] are flawed and out of the mainstream.”
Buck has said that he believes it would be good to move toward more local control of the schools. Any “plan” he might have to dismantle the departments of energy and education at this point seems vague and incremental at best, although startling in part for that reason.
The DNC video notably fails to mention Buck’s controversial stance on abortion and reproductive rights. Buck, like many of the major Colorado Republican candidates for office this year, including Maes and Cory Gardner, who is running a hard-right campaign against Betsy Markey in the Fourth Congressional District, has endorsed the so-called personhood amendment scheduled for the ballot. The amendment would grant full citizen rights to fertilized human eggs.
Buck made national news for saying he was against abortion in cases of rape and incest. But the fact is that the personhood amendment would outlaw all abortion, no matter how the pregnancy occurred, just as it would outlaw various forms of contraception and fertilization techniques and stem cell research, just as it would infringe upon the rights of pregnant women in ways difficult to measure.
A similar measure failed in a landslide vote in 2008 in Colorado but back then Republican candidates for office mainly did not endorse the initiative. They said it was too extreme.