Politics & Policy

DSCC Ad Targets Buck’s 2009 Statements on 17th Amendment Repeal

A new DSCC ad entitled “We the People” takes aim at Ken Buck’s briefly held position that criticized the Constitution’s 17th Amendment, which took the power to elect senators away from state legislatures and gave it directly to the voters.

While the ad was just released, Buck had already clarified his statements, made in June 2009, about his reconsideration of the issue more than a week ago:

Reached by phone on Friday afternoon, Buck explained that immediately after delivering those remarks, he rethought his position on the 17th Amendment debate. Since then, he stressed, he has been opposed to the notion of repeal.

“It is not a position I still hold and it wasn’t a position I held a day later when I called back the guy who asked the question and talked to him about the issue and reflected more on it,” Buck said. “It doesn’t make sense to repeal the 17th amendment and I have said it a dozen of times.” [emphasis added]

The new ad presupposes the public not knowing about the context of the original statement, or Buck’s subsequent disavowal of a repeal of the 17th Amendment made more than 14 months ago:

Buck’s campaign responded to the latest round of questions about his 2009 statements:

“Instead of focusing on saving one appointed multimillionaire’s job in the U.S. Senate, the DSCC should focus on getting the millions of unemployed Americans back to work,” said Buck campaign manager John Swartout.

Campaign spokesman Owen Loftus then added this: “Unlike Bennet, Ken will admit when he’s made a mistake. Upon reflection, Ken admitted that he was wrong about the 17th Amendment, and clarified his remarks the next day.”

The ad is part of a four-state push–in Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Colorado–that the DSCC hopes will make use of part of the $22 million it has reserved for the final months of the 2010 election.

Real Clear Politics gives Buck a slight poll average lead in the “toss up” race.

**Update–the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Amber Marchand responds:

“It’s clear that the Democrats are rightfully concerned about their chances in Colorado after their costly and contentious primary drove appointed Senator Michael Bennet to the far-left of his party and his constituents. Ironically, what Bennet’s campaign handlers in Washington continue to fail to recognize is that Colorado voters believe Bennet’s reckless spending agenda, massive government health care bill, and record $13 trillion debt is what’s truly ‘extreme,’ and that’s why he continues to trail Ken Buck in recent surveys.” [emphasis in original]

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