U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck Thursday released his first campaign ad of the general election. Buck announced weeks ago that he was going to take the high road in the campaign and not release any negative ads against Democratic opponent Sen. Michael Bennet. This first ad, though, is focused almost entirely on Bennet, calling him unfair and a “rubber stamp for his friends in Washington.” Buck says Bennet has established “a record of overspending, overregulating and overtaxing.” In the last 10 seconds of the ad, Buck tells viewers his plan as Senator is to “do what’s right for Colorado, not [for] the big spenders in Washington.”
Buck’s ad comes on the heels of an ad put out earlier this month by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS. Despite the feeling that Buck would embrace a sort of division of labor approach to the campaign– allowing the Karl Rove-style independent groups to work the low road while the Buck campaign worked the high road– the ads so far produced aren’t substantially different. They’re both 30-second spots that focus on Bennet and that attack him as a typical big spending Democrat.
The Buck ad:
The Rove Crossroads ad:
Buck and Crossroads GPS are legally barred from coordinating campaign activities. Fairly specific accusations however that Buck planned to coordinate behind the scenes with groups like Crossroads have dogged the campaign almost from its launch. A complaint filed with the Federal Elections Commission during Buck’s primary battle against Jane Norton, laid out those accusations at length. The Republican author of the complaint recently requested to withdraw it, saying that now that Buck had won the primary, the issue was no longer personally relevant. A coalition of groups has called on Buck to release his defense against the complaint to the public so voters can weigh the merit of the accusations before the November election.