The Scan - June 11, 2013

National Journal
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June 10, 2013, 3:49 p.m.

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.

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

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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