Archive for the 'Colorado 4th Cong. District' Category

FACT CHECK: Senate Democrats did not want abortion money in Zika bill

Friday, September 9th, 2016

On KNUS 710-AM yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck accused U.S. Senate Democrats of holding up funds to fight the Zika virus.

Buck: “Senate Democrats filibustered that bill. They wanted more money for Planned Parenthood for abortions related to the Zika virus.”

In fact, Senate Democrats did not want more money for abortions, and federal dollars can’t be used for abortion anyway.

The truth is, U.S. House Republicans, including Buck and Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, passed a Zika-relief bill in June, but the legislation blocked the United States’ Zika-response funds from going to groups (like Planned Parenthood) for birth control and family planning programs—even though Zika affects the developing fetus and appears to be sexually transmitted.

Since then, Senate Democrats refused to pass bill, which they see as fatally flawed. The New York Times reported June 28:

Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, said Republicans had poisoned the chances for moving ahead by blocking money for Planned Parenthood, knowing Democrats would never agree.

“They’re just not living in the real world, and they’re just not facing the fact that this is an emergency,” Mr. Nelson said. He noted that at least five babies had been born with microcephaly in the United States — the most recent one in Florida — but said he expected the disagreements to continue.

Yet, Buck told KNUS host Krista Kafer, “This is tragic in a number of ways. It really is going to create a human tragedy, number one, and, number two, a burden on taxpayers in the future if we don’t start dealing with the epidemic , certainly the disease, that is rampant in some parts of this country.”

Buck called Trump a “fraud” but now says will vote for him

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

After once calling Donald Trump a “fraud,” and then remaining silent on the GOP presidential nominee for months, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck has now thrown his endorsment to the celebrity mogul.

“What we have to do as Republicans, in my view, is we got to get Donald Trump elected, and then we got to hold him accountable,” Buck told Randy Corporon and Steve Kelly on KNUS yesterday afternoon. “We got to surround him with good, sensible people who will give him the best advice on how to move this country forward.”

Earlier this year, however, Buck slammed Trump, after Trump proposed a temporary ban on allowing Muslims to visit the United States. Buck told CBS 4:

“Trump’s proposal violates the Constitution, the values of our nation, the Republican Party platform, and my conscience. He should withdraw from the Presidential race. He is a fraud,” said Buck.

Yesterday, Buck sang a different tune, pointing out that “we have a system of checks and balances in this country which allows Congress and the Supreme Court to rein in the power of the president,” and that’s what Congress may have to do with “either president.”

If Trump doesn’t behave, “there are remedies,” said Buck, calling Buck a “strong person” who has “never been tested in office.”

“We have an unknown entity that we are going to be taking a risk on,” Buck said, adding that Hillary is “known entity” that he wants to reject. “I don’t think anybody can argue that Donald Trump isn’t an unknown quantity, to a cerntain extent.”

“There is one thing I know for sure,” Buck said on KNUS, in what appears to be Buck’s first public endorsement of Trump.  “If I call the White House, and President Clinton is in the oval office, no one is going to take my call. If I call the White House with a President Trump, I have a chance of influencing policy in the executive branch.”

Listen to U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on KNUS Aug. 24

Media omission: “Be careful what you wish for,” Buck chides fellow House conservatives

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck snapped at his fellow House conservatives, telling a Denver radio host Oct. 9 that any new Republican House speaker is “immediately going to be cast as someone who is compromising.”

On the radio, Buck likes to present himself as a hard-core Tea Partier, all about principles all the time, but in reality, Buck likes to have it both ways.

Buck previously voted for House Speaker John Boehner, who resigned under pressure by uncompromising Republican warriors. And Buck was set to vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who was under pressure by the same uncompromising Republican warriors when he withdrew from the race to replace Boehner as House speaker.

Buck told KHOW 710-AM’s Mandy Connell that the current situation is so difficult with Boehner and McCarthy out that some House Republicans are considering “forming a coalition government” that would keep conservatives “out of the mix in terms of choosing a speaker.”

“Be careful what you wish for,” Buck condescendingly told Tea Party Republicans who might have been listening:

Buck: “I have to tell you though, be careful what you wish for, because we’ve gotten rid of John Boehner, and Kevin McCarthy has decided not to do it. There are Republicans now, because they are so frustrated with conservatives holding this up, talking about forming a coalition government, talking about working with Democrats to create a majority and keep the conservatives out of the mix in terms of choosing a speaker… It would be horrible. It may very well form a 3rd party. And I strongly believe, if you split the Republican Party into two parties, and the Democrats win for the next  [inaudible] years. Listen to Buck on KHOW 10.9.15.

Interestingly, Buck apparently doesn’t consider conservatives like himself among those who’d be iced out, since he voted for Boehner. Neither did Buck say on air how many Republicans were considering a move against the uncompromisers.

But he indavertantly made the case for such a move, which he said he was against, when he told Connell how difficult the coming weeks will be for the next Republican speaker, if he or she is elected by the Republican caucus.

Buck (@11:25) : “The next month or month and a half will be a very difficult time for whoever is in that position. I say that because we’ve got a debt-ceiling vote that President Obama has moved up specifically because, not because we are running out of money, but specifically because John Boenher has stepped down. And he knows that the Republican House is in dissaray at this point and he wants to take advantage of that. And we have other votes. We have an omnibus vote on Appropriations that’s coming up. So we’ve got some very difficult decisions to make, and whoever steps into this is immediately going to be cast as someone who is compromising and it’s going to be tough.” Listen to Buck on KHOW 10.9.15.


Fiscal hawks squawk happily about throwing billions mindlessly at border security

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Conservative talk-radio hosts present themselves as fiscal conservatives, until they land on something they want to mindlessly throw money at.

So Colorado’s newbie Congressman, Ken Buck, was right at home on the radio last week when he disclosed that a bill will be introduced by House Republicans “doubling or tripling” the amount of money to be spent on securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The current border-security budget is about $12 billion, if you just count border patrol, fencing, surveillance, and ports of entry, according to Marc Rosenblum Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute.

“We’ll leave that up to the experts,” Buck told Kafer, explaining how the additional border-security money will be spent and adding that there are “certainly a number of miles of fence have not been built.”

The fact that Buck had no clue what would be done with $12 to$24 billion in additional border security funding, doubling or tripling the current border-security budget, didn’t bother KNUS 710-AM’s Krista Kaffer, a proud fiscal hawk.

Such fiscal prudence!

For what, all these billions of dollars? “There’s very little evidence that the border is out of control,” Rosenblum told me, explaining that if you exclude the recent surge of child migrants, apprehensions at the southwest border have plummeted in recent years to a 40-year low.

Still, in addition to more fence, there are drones, more agents, radios, and more that have been proposed in the past.

Buck disclosed that a “number of bills” will come before the House Judiciary Committee during the next “month, month-and-a-half,” including the border-security measure, “a temporary farm worker program, another guest-worker program,” and a “high-tech visa program.”

“We are considering a border-security bill that will double or triple the amount of money to be spent on border security on our southern border,” Buck told Kafer. “There are certainly a number of miles of fence that have not been built. There’s a question over what’s the most efficient way to secure the border, and I think we leave that up to the experts. But the funding will be there for border security and the guest worker program. And I think the two of them go hand-in-hand.”

“We don’t trust the government,” said Buck explaining why Republicans like him oppose comprehensive immigration reform and want to focus on border security. “If we solve the problem of what to do with the 11 million people who are here illegally, then the government will not have border security and a guest-worker program that works.”

But, in reality, if you only focus on border security and guest workers, you’ll get nothing, because comprehensive immigration reform unites enough Democrats and Republicans to actually pass a bill. Remember the Senate’s comprehensive bill passed last year, only to die in the border-security-crazed House, where Colorado’s Republicans, including Rep. Mike Coffman, opposed the Senate’s comprehensive reform.

So keep trying to throw money at border security, Ken Buck, and see where that takes us.

Media omission: Buck intends to weaken DC gun-safety laws

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

After being investigated by Washington DC authorities for having an AR-15 assault rifle in his Washington office, freshman Republican Congressman Ken Buck said he intends to be part a congressional effort to weaken DC gun-safety laws, which are among the nation’s toughest.

Asked on NRA News’ “Cam and Co” Show April 23 if his experience gives him “added impetus” to address DC’s gun laws, Buck replied, “Yes, it does,” noting that the issue falls under the jurisdiction of two committees on which he sits: the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.

“It’s something I will look at,” said Buck on the podcast, noting that it’s not “on the top of the heap,” but he’s already talked to other Members of Congress about it.

“There is going to be an effort to look at what DC does and to try to rein in the really irrational–if you’re an honest law-abiding citizen, you want to have a means to protect yourself,” Buck said on air, discussing Washington’s gun-safety laws. “And it’s just unbelievable that people in DC believe that honest people should not be able to protect themselves. They should be victimized.”

Buck revealed the presence of the assault weapon in his office last week, when he tweeted a photo of it along with: “My friend Trey Gowdy stopped by the office — had to show him my AR-15 to commemorate the occasion.”

The tweet was first reported by the progressive blog ColoradoPols, which Buck referred to as “knuckleheads” in his NRA news interview.

“There were some knuckleheads back in Colorado that decided they wanted to cause some problems, and so they forwarded the picture to the Attorney General here in DC,” Buck said, when asked how Washington authorities became aware of the assault weapon in his office.

It appears that Buck did not break Capitol-Police rules by having the weapon in his office, but the Metropolitan DC Police have apparently not commented. The Washington DC Attorney General looked into the matter and referred it to the DC police,

“As conservatives, we are more cautious [with their weapons], because we understand that there is a double standard,” Buck said on air. “But in this case they ate crow, and I hope they continue to eat crow for a long time. I hope other Congressmen see that they can have a gun in their office and follow the lead.”

“I have a very patriotic AR15 hanging in my office. It hangs directly above my Second Amendment flag,” Buck said in a statement, as reported by The Denver Post.


Even talk-radio hosts should question Buck when he says Obama wants to create a “majority vote” of people “receiving benefits from government”

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Even if you’re a just a talk-radio host, you shouldn’t just say “Yap,” as KHOW 630-AM’s Mandy Connell did yesterday, when your special guest, in this case, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), insults the President.

“He’s a wonderful orator,” Buck told Connell during her morning show yesterday. “And he makes everybody happy. The reality is, that he has no intention of flattening the tax code. He has every intention of making sure that he is creating a majority vote, a 51 percent vote, of people who are receiving benefits from the government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

As I noted, Connell’s reply to this was the utterance of “Yap.” My own thought was more along the lines of WTF.

Where’s Buck’s proof that Obama has a political agenda to create a “51 percent vote” of Americans “receiving benefits from government that they wouldn’t otherwise receive.”

Is he reading Obama’s mind? If Buck has evidence for this wild and insulting accusation, we’d all like to see it. But if he doesn’t, it’s more grossness from our new Representative from Colorado.

Buck isn’t a lonely District Attorney anymore–or a candidate making yet another gaffe that reporters don’t have time to dig into. Now he’s a Congressman who should be held accountable–even by radio hosts–for his insults and baseless mud slinging.

Good job KLZ for asking Buck if he’d shut down security agency to halt Obama immigration program

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Would the Republican-controlled Congress shut down the Department of Homeland Security to halt Obama’s program delaying deportation of undocumented immigrants whose children are U.S. citizens?

Colorado’s own Rep. Ken Buck would do it.

KLZ radio host Randy Corporon gets a moment of respect for putting the question directly to Buck during an interview Jan.14 on his “Wake-Up” show. (Beginning at 1:50:30 here)

Corporon: Republicans in the past anyway have shown a willingness to cave in the face of public pressure and media assaults. When the President says, ‘Hey look, Congress is messing with the security of the United States,’ are you guys in Congress ready to make the case that we’ve put the bills on his desk…and are you going to have a message that keeps you guys standing together and actually lets this thing play out.

Buck: I can tell you this: Ken Buck will. I will make the case, and I will make sure that we are not funding those portions of his executive action that are so repugnant.

So repugnant? Keeping parents together with their American kids?

Buck told “Righty” Corporon the Republican-controlled House is ready to shut down the government to stop this repugnancy (not a word, but I used it anyway to highlight Buck’s own grossness.)

Obama has used his executive authority to temporarily halt deportations of young undocumented immigrants who came here illegally as children. He’s also launched a program delaying the deportation of immigrants whose children are American citizens..

“If [Obama] vetoes the appropriations bill, he is shutting down that segment of government. And that will be on the President,” Buck told Corporon. “He did his best to put that on Republicans last time when we wanted to de-fund parts of Obamacare. With a Republican Senate, this will clearly be on the President’s watch, that he will be shutting down the Department of Homeland Security. “

Buck: I can tell you, I don’t know what the Republicans in the United States Senate will do. And I’m not sure they can get the six votes that they need from the Democrats in the United States Senate to actually move a tough DHS appropriations bill forward. I do think there are the votes in the House to continue down this path.

Buck is in a decent position to know. He’s not only the president of the freshman Republican class in the U.S. House, he’s also on the House immigration subcommittee.  (He got the assignment just after saying, “I don’t owe people who are here illegally anything.”)

Corporon set up the conversation by asking Buck how congressional Republicans could design a bill that would ensure no funds would go toward deferring deportation of select immigrants, while allowing the Department of Homeland Security to carry on its other work, like securing the border that causes Republicans such consternation.

Corporon: If this bill got through both houses of Congress, got on the President’s desk, how would that work to just de-fund only specific areas and activities and programs within the Department of Homeland Security? Don’t you just write them a check?

Buck: No, we don’t write them a check. They receive line-item authority, and the authority may be for a broad area, like processing the applications for work permits. But then Congress can put in that language that work permits cannot be granted to people who’ve lived in this country, or whatever language we want. And so really, the key is, this is an appropriations bill. And we’re arguing about language that will go in the appropriations bill.  When the Senate passes their version, and it will come back, we’ll work on it in conference, and we’ll send the appropriations bill to the President. 

Click here to listen to Buck Call Obama’s immigration programs “repugnant.”

Media omission: On radio, Buck says the “middle” is not where he’ll be in Congress

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

You can’t win if you’re Rep. Ken Buck and you go on Tea-Party radio, just after you’ve voted to retain Tea-Party anathema John Boehner as Speaker of the U.S. House.

You’ve already been called out for treason on Facebook, and you have to say that’s wrong. On the other hand, you have to show that you understand why liberty listeners hate Boehner so much.

Under tough questioning by guest-host Nancy Rumfelt on KFKA last week, here’s how Buck threaded the needle.

Buck (at 12:40): “I want to face people.  And especially the people that thought they were being cute in putting ugly things on my Facebook.  You know, if you want to say something nasty to me, say it to my face.  Don’t put something on Facebook.  What happened yesterday was just a disgrace.  You know, go to Trey Gaudy’s town hall meeting and call him traitor. Say that he committed treason. It’s just ridiculous.  And yes, we voted for John Boehner.  We thought it was the best path forward, but it is not an act of treason.  And it’s just silly to use those terms.”

But don’t even think Buck will slide toward the middle:

Buck (at 6:50 below): “Speaker and the leadership team know that they cannot count on me when they move to the middle, that I will be voting against leadership’s efforts in certain areas, especially is true when it comes to the fiscal issues, the appropriations bills and the regulatory issues. And I include Obamacare in that. But absolutely. The people in the 4th Congressional District can count on Ken Buck to be with the conservative votes when it comes to the bills that are coming up in the future.”

Listen to Ken Buck on KFKA’s Amy Oliver Show, Jan. 7, 2015, guest hosted by Nancy Rumfelt.

Buck spokesman unchallenged when he said Buck would have voted against budget bill

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Whether you’re a leftist blogger, a right-wing talk-radio host, or a sad-eyed dog, you know by now that a government shutdown would be a blow to the economy.

So if you hear of a politician saying he’d risk shutting down the government by voting against bipartisan budget legislation in Washington, you should ask for his thoughts about the well-known damage from such a vote.

But Fort Morgan KFTM radio host Jon Waters didn’t question former state Sen. Greg Brophy, U.S. Representative-elect Ken Buck’s new spokesperson, today when he stated that Buck would have voted against the Cromnibus bill.

BROPHY: Ken has said he wouldn’t have voted for it. I think he said that publicly on a radio show, so I’m not speaking out of school. I’ve got to be a little careful because I’m not speaking for myself. But, I mean, the whole thing represents absolute failure by Washington [D.C.] to work, and you have to put the blame squarely on Harry Reid’s shoulders….

WATERS: You mentioned that, right at the end, ‘governing by crisis,’ and passing legislation to avert crisis at the eleventh hour, which has been standard operating procedure for a number of years, now.

BROPHY: It has, and I think they like it that way back here, frankly, because it lets them put stuff into a bill that they otherwise may not be able to get passed. It’s a lack of leadership. And so, when there is no clear leadership, and there’s no clear lines of authority, bad things have happened throughout history. And, you know, when you don’t have regular order, you’ve got disorder. And that’s what we’ve had back here, and that’s what the Cromnibus and all the previous omnibus bills represented. And, you know, the Republicans have tried to stop this stuff, and most of the time the media blame them then for shutting down the government. And heck, it’s really Harry Reid and Barack Obama’s fault, but our team takes the blame. So, it’s made some of them gun shy, and that’s arguably why a bunch of the guys voted for the Cromnibus bill. And I think, you know, that maybe some of them are thinking, “Let’s just get this garbage behind us so that we can get on to starting fresh and doing things right, come January — show the people of America what real leadership looks like, what a government that’s here to work for them actually looks like. And it will be transparent and it will be done on time, and it won’t be crisis after crisis, which is where bad things happen. You let people jam stuff through, just because it’s a crisis, and you have to do it.

Journalists deserve credit for documenting Gardner’s previous broken promises to modify abortion position

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Before being elected to Congress four years ago, Rep. Cory Gardner, who’s now running for Senate against Democrat Mark Udall, backed off campaign promises to ban abortion, much like he did agai Frniday when he un-endorsed the personhood amendment.

But, as documented by the Ft. Collins Coloradoan, Gardner subsequently broke his promises and co-sponsored multiple anti-abortion bills, including legislation banning abortion outright. Gardner’s history raises the question of whether Gardner’s latest twist of his abortion stance can be trusted.

In 2010, just after winning the GOP primary to run against Rep. Betsy Markey, Gardner promised journalists at the Ft. Collins Coloradoan that he wouldn’t introduce anti-abortion legislation, despite promising to do so at a campaign event.

The Coloradoan posted audio of a meeting between Gardner and Coloradoan editors in 2010:

Coloradoan Editorial Page Editor Kathleen Duff: You say you’re not running on social issues, so you’re not, for instance, planning any legislation.

Gardner: Correct.

Duff: And you haven’t crafted anything.

Gardner: [laughs] Correct. No. No.

Coloradoan Executive Editor Bob Moore: Although I’ve been at Tea Party events where you were at where you were specifically asked if you would introduce legislation on abortion, and you did say yes.

Gardner: Bob, I don’t recall that.

Moore: Yeah. At one, you even mentioned some legislation you had already introduced in the state legislature, too.

Gardner: I don’t recall that.

Moore: I can go back and dig it out. [He did. He posted the audio here.]

Gardner: Be that as it may, I am running to balance the budget…

After this exchange, Moore called out Gardner on his flip flop, in an article headlined, “Despite tea party pledge, Gardner says he won’t carry abortion bill.”

And later, Moore called out Gardner again, after he went to Congress and broke his promise not to focus on social issues or introduce anti-abortion legislation.

Moore reported Feb. 4, 2011:

During the 2010 campaign, Gardner sought to downplay abortion and other social issues, though he readily described himself as pro-life.

In a September meeting with the Coloradoan editorial board, Gardner said he wouldn’t introduce any legislation on social issues.

“I am running to balance the budget, cut spending and get this economy back on track,” he said.

Since being sworn in a month ago, Gardner has co-sponsored two abortion-related bills – [Rep. Chis] Smith’s bill to further restrict federal funding for abortion, and a bill aimed at Planned Parenthood that would bar federal family planning grants to any organization that performs abortions.

Smith’s bill aimed to save money by no longer allowing federal dollars to be spent on regular old “rape” but only for “forcible rape.” After an outcry, the proposed redefinition of “rape” was dropped.

Unfortunately, Moore had already left the Coloradoan when Gardner went further, with his co-sponsorship of federal personhood legislation, called the “Life at Conception Act,” which would ban all abortion, even for rape.

So, to recap, Gardner had pledged at a Tea Party event in 2010 to introduce federal legislation to ban abortion, but before he did it, he promised he wouldn’t.

The Coloradoan’s documentation of Gardner’s multiple flips and flops on abortion issues shows how journalism serves to hold politicians accountable for what they say at different times to different audiences.