A perspective from a Ken Buck supporter.
Trying to convince a committed Norton supporter of the error in their thinking is as futile as going onto Coloradopols and convincing one of the regular ideologues to become a conservative. Okay, perhaps that is a poor comparison. Moving on. I certainly do not expect my rebuttal to change a Norton supporter’s mind. My intent is to offer a dissenting opinion for those readers who are still undecided.
Was the information of Jane Norton supporting Ref C over the top? Was the labeling her an insider over the top? Or was it the mention of the NRSC obtaining web addresses for Norton prior to her announcement over the top?
Was pointing out she was selected by John McCain to run for senate (weeks after Ken Buck and Ryan Frazier had announced) over the top? Was the claim she was a lobbyist over the top? Or perhaps it was the claim that she was the sister-in-law of Charlie Black that was over the top.
Was this information detrimental to Jane Norton, certainly. She entered this race with pockets bulging from Washington fundraisers the first two weeks following her announcement. She was proud to announce that at the beginning of the campaign. She had the endorsements of Old School state Republicans like Owens and Brown. The money in Colorado dried up for Frazier and Buck as soon as she entered the race. She proudly stated that she met with her friend John McCain before she decided to enter the race. At the time she made the statement she believed name dropping was key to validating her candidacy. Historically names, endorsements, and willing donors were the keys to success……..but this is a different time in history.
She had national party regulars as her campaign managers. She had connections to get free air time on Fox News. She had everything. Frazier dropped out and certainly Buck considered it…but for less than a day.
Buck, on a shoestring, made the race about the insider against the outsider. The have nots against the haves. It worked. It worked so well Norton attempted to regain momentum by declaring Buck the insider. Problem with that is she reasonably flaunted that which had proven to be so important in the past. CONNECTIONS. What is that saying about the genie… can’t be put back in the bottle.
Norton raised a million dollars that first quarter. Buck raised a paltry $40,000.00. If that is not evidence of the state putting out the word to party faithfuls, then no evidence would convince people otherwise. The next quarter Norton raised $800,000.00 Buck well he raised $100,000.00 with an added $100,000.00 personal loan to his campaign. Ken has never been to Washington or Alexandria for a fundraiser. His fundraising consisted of small individual donations from people who believed and wanted a changing of the guard.
My wife howled when I gave $500.00. You would have thought I was sending us into our own personal recession. That is a lot of money to a cop and his family. It is certainly felt, unlike those max donors who can pull five crisp hundreds from their wallet and still have walk around money. Me, I still have not been able to get my wife to give me a 5 dollar bill as walk around money. She has not said how long before I can start getting my feel good five! I digress.
Buck’s campaign certainly benefited from PACs, hell it may have been his salvation, but I think not. I personally think the negative tone of the one ad buy was not helpful.
Ross Kaminsky of Peoples Press Collection mentions the poor campaigns of Buck and Norton, I wholeheartedly disagree. Buck had a staff of four at the beginning, I believe. There were no overnights at five star hotels while on the campaign trail. There were no overnights period. This was a campaign with no money but a tremendous amount of talent at the helm and a hard working candidate with a spouse who could run circles around him.
All the while Buck had tremendous respect in Northern Colorado where he had established a record as a DA that made good on a promise and delivered the unimaginable. A drop in crime by something like 40%. Greeley is infamous for two things, the smell and gang violence. That has all changed now. Greeley was the fastest growing metro area in the United States (and people have the audacity to claim he increased his budget). People in this part of the state will tell you it was a great investment. This part of the state became Buck’s base followed closely behind by that great Republican bastion in El Paso.
My personal opinion is Norton did not turn negative because Buck had disparaged her in any underhanded way. I believe Norton turned negative as she was indignant that Buck had the momentum and it was not supposed to work that way. She had everything, it was just not supposed to be that way.
Buck lacked everything a candidate for such a high office was deemed necessary by those in the know, or so it was written. But what is written does not take into account heart. Not only a candidate’s heart but the volunteers who believe and work for him as if their paycheck depended on it. But you see there were no paychecks. These are volunteers. Some have called them shills. I prefer the term dedicated. Paid staff is not necessarily a guarantee of dedication. Although Ken’s small staff is dedicated, we see them at every event. Ask the volunteers about the level of commitment and dedication of Ken‘s staff.
And then there is the guy at the helm—The guy at the helm, (who once worked on Abe Lincoln’s campaign) stated: “I have never seen a candidate do so much with so little.”
Buck was fortunate enough to attract Erick Erickson’s attention and endorsement early on. That was followed by Senator DeMint. Today FreedomWorks had endorsed Ken Buck.
Let me wrap this up by saying Buck is getting hammered on a mistake, yes a mistake he made 10 years ago. He released the records. He was willing, perhaps reluctantly, but who would not be. We all have closets that contain history we are not proud of. Some people like me have two closets. I don’t fear people seeing what is in my closet as I will neither run nor accept …….anyway.
A portion of that reprimand in Suthers hand has been widely publicized. But the rest of the memo speaks to the mitigation brought about by Ken’s excellent service to the citizens. One small indiscretion….it was not a crime as some would have you believe, but did the case go forward? You bet. The end result; the defendant was such a bad actor he received ONE DAY OF PROBATION. When Buck becomes a Senator they will use his campaign, deftly steered by that veteran from the Lincoln Douglas debates at the helm, as the template for campaigns.
Hat tip to Ross Kaminsky. We disagree on this race and the events but you have to admit Ross has heart and shoots straight.