A Denver District judge dismissed a lawsuit 7/14 against the CO Sec/State’s office “alleging the office didn’t properly verify signatures to get” LG Jane Norton (R) on the ballot. The suit was filed by Weld Co. DA Ken Buck (R) supporter Tom Bjorklund.
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Norton mgr. Josh Penry: “The fact that Ken Buck’s friends would pay Tom Bjorklund to sue Jane Norton to keep her off the ballot was a surprise. The fact that Ken Buck-Tom Bjorklund’s challenge was thrown out by a judge as a silly work of legal fiction was no surprise at all” (Sherry, “The Spot,” Denver Post, 7/14).
The Right Side Of Things
Norton and Buck’s agreement with ex-Rep. Tom Tancredo‘s (R) recent comments, “claiming that the danger of the nation’s debt far outweighs threats from al-Qaeda” (see Hotline 7/13), “underscore a central theme” in CO’s GOP Senate primary. “Both Norton and Buck are battling in far-right fields to win base votes before Aug. 10.”
Still, “what is unclear is how these positions will play out with unaffiliated voters.” Norton: “I don’t think we’re worried about scaring off people. What we’re concerned with is reaching out to disaffected friends in the Democratic Party and unaffiliated voters. Coloradans are concerned about the economy. The federal government is out of control.”
Additionally, Buck initially “disagreed” with Tancredo’s comments, but “after Norton posted her comments to Facebook and distributed them to media outlets and supporters, Buck changed course.” Buck: “The threats change day to day. Our country is weakened by increasing debt, and we won’t have the ability to fight al-Qaeda or an Iranian nuclear threat. I think by increasing debt…we are weakening ourselves against those threats.” Buck has “said he is not trying to be the ‘most conservative’ in this race.” Buck: “I won’t say something more conservative than Jane just because she said something. I’m not trying to get to the right of her. She is not a barometer” (Sherry, Denver Post, 7/15).
Meanwhile, in an interview with The Hill, Buck “argued that in several of his comments” seized upon by Dems “are what he sees as mainstream political thought.” Buck: “People have said to me, ‘Well, you’re trying to run to the right of her,’ and that just isn’t true. I have my set of beliefs and she has hers. I’m not sure who is more conservative.”
Buck also said he “is no ‘birther’ who questions whether” Pres. Obama was born in the U.S. Buck: “I have done my best to make it clear that I’m not one of these folks who is going to be talking about the birth certificate issue.” Buck “said legislation to require a birth certificate for presidential candidates would be ‘a reasonable thing,” but “says that comment was ‘immediately taken out of context” (D’Aprile, “Ballot Box,” The Hill, 7/15).
Rebels With A Cause
AP’s Wyatt asks, “Will the real political outsider please stand up? That question easily could be asked in” CO’s Dem Senate race, where both Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and ex-state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff (D) “are arm-wrestling over who is less likely to embrace anything Washington. Being seen as the bona fide outsider is a powerful election-year quality as frustrated voters turn their backs on the establishment.”
Still, Bennet “called his primary race completely different from the races involving longtime” Dem sens. in PA and AR this year. Bennet: “It’s not as though I’ve been in the Senate for three terms.” Bennet said voters “appreciate that I bring a lifetime of experience outside politics” (7/15).
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The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
Sources tell CNN that longtime Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has been Vice President Biden's chief of staff, is "high on the list of prospects" to be chief of staff in a Clinton White House. "John Podesta, the campaign chairman, has signaled his interest in joining the Cabinet, perhaps as Energy secretary."