Politics & Policy

CO Tuesday Afternoon Roundup

U.S. Senate

• Vulnerable Dems are attacking Republicans on education issues, including the status of the Department of Education and student loans. Bennet is leading the way:

In Colorado, Sen. Michael Bennet (D) is assailing his Republican challenger, Ken Buck, for having said repeatedly during the primary that the federal government should not be involved in education or in the business of providing student loans.

Bennet’s campaign aired a 60-second ad with footage, obtained by a Democratic tracker, of Buck saying, “We don’t need a Department of Education,” and, “I don’t think our Founding Fathers ever intended for the federal government to have student loans.”

• Bennet has asked Ken Buck, in response to Buck’s requests he take down “misleading” attack ads put up by the senator’s campaign, to implore Karl Rove to do the same–in effect calling for him to break the law through illegal campaign coordination:

At the Grand Junction debate Bennet asked Buck to tell Karl Rove to stop ads criticizing Bennet’s record; he has made similar statements at town halls across the state. However, if Buck were to contact Rove with such a request, he would be in violation of campaign finance laws. Under current finance laws, political campaigns are forbidden from coordinating with “527 groups”. If Buck were to ask any of these groups to change their message, that could be considered coordinating and a violation of federal law.

• Politico’s key analysis–Bennet/Buck battle at #3 for most competitive:

“Bennet’s insistence on pushing social issues says a great deal about how his team gauges the issue environment. They know if this election is about jobs, the economy and government spending, Buck wins,” said Rob Witwer, a former GOP state representative and author of “The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado.”

• Rasmussen continues to list the seat as a “toss up,” as does Rothenberg (9/24) and Cook Political Report (9/20). FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver gives Buck a 76 percent chance of taking the seat, according to his September 22 model.

• Buck’s Hispanic coalition–”Viva Buck”–has launched.

• South Dakota’s Sen. John Thune, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, will stump for Ken Buck at an unspecified date and location in the coming weeks. Buck is attending an NRSC fundraiser in DC today, with Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn.

• Bennet praised sportsmen on National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Governor

• The police personnel file of Dan Maes from the mid-1980s has finally been released, according to the Denver Post:

Would-be governor Dan Maes today released more than a dozen pages of his police personnel file that he says validates his story about his time with the Liberal Kansas Police Department a quarter century ago.

While the documents show Maes was part of an ongoing investigation into a small-town gambling ring back in 1985, they also show that he was fired for leaking information about the probe to a relative of a suspected ringleader.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation still denies Maes worked undercover in cooperation with their agency, a point of contention that pushed the story to the forefront of Colorado politics and began Maes’ spiral in the polls. He currently receives only 15 percent support from likely voters in the latest poll.

• Maes: dragging other Republicans down, or just an “embarrassing afterthought”?

• Tom Tancredo’s recent fundraiser–headlining Duane “Dog” Chapman and Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio–appears to have been a success.

• Tancredo used portions of an earlier Republican Governors Association ad in a new ad against John Hickenlooper, but the RGA did not authorize usage of the footage, and Tancredo’s campaign claims “fair use”:

• Bob Beauprez — the former state GOP chairman who is also the incumbent congressman for the 7th district and the 2006 GOP nominee for governor–discusses why he is supporting Tancredo. He says calling 2010 a “strange election” would be “an understatement”:

• Pollster.com’s latest Colorado tracking poll:

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