Results for category "Campaign Contrasts"

Stranger Than Fiction

In high school I enjoyed reading fiction:  Douglas’ Magnificent Obsession, Disputed Passage, The Big Fisherman, and others, Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind.  As an undergraduate I studied science.   Our young President, John F. Kennedy, had promised we would land on the moon before the decade of the 1960’s was out.   Exciting days tragically cut short with his assassination.  Neither my mood after that nor the demands of my courses allowed much time for reading fiction or poetry.   Graduate work in Political Science further distanced my reading from literature to technical texts.  

Forty years later I still have little time nor interest in fiction.   For one thing the quality of this line of communication has fallen.   One philosopher has said that a society without good poetry will not have good plumbing either.   Perhaps the sad quality of the Jane Norton campaign proves his point.   Hers is not good or convincing fiction.

When we watched her early ads they lacked energy and seemed rather listless.   At that time she was considered to be already the winner for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate from Colorado.  But things have changed.   With less money and fewer resources Weld County District Attorney, Ken Buck, has moved ahead of Norton in the polls.   Why is that?

I see some clues  to answering this in a breakfast held here in Greeley on March 10 where Mr. Buck spoke about a day in the life of a candidate.  He had been in all 64 counties, several more than once in what Lyndon Johnson called, “pressing the flesh of the hand of the voter.”   Sometimes the day did not end until 1 or 2 AM with the next day beginning with a 7 AM breakfast such as the one we attended last spring.   There is nothing listless or vapid about this campaign.   The media has spoken about Ken’s all out effort.

A second clue was in the Q and A after Buck’s remarks.   Some voters, clearly upset, asked about Jane Norton and her Establishment John McCain connection and how she was the D.C. choice.   Ken did not say a thing against Ms. Norton.  On the contrary he said the rigors of a campaign leads one to admire an opponent be they Republican or Democrat as the demands are so great.    He did allow that John McCain and other Establishment Republicans bear some responsibility for the state of the nation which has led the GOP into the wilderness presently.

In contrast I received a recorded call recently from the Norton campaign.   At least I think it was Norton as she was not mentioned much.   It was all about the Weld County D.A. who raised budgets, Buck the Clinton man, Ken Buck under an ethical cloud and finally Jane was mentioned as a cutter of government spending.   I thought I was back in high school reading fiction again.   So let us look at this call from a panicked campaign.

First, District Attorneys do not set budgets for their office.   County Commissioners do.   But in a phone call packed with fiction it is not sexy to say the County Commissioners did it.   The second charge belongs on Comedy Central.   Ken Buck was not a Clinton man but, rather was hired to serve in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Colorado by Mr. Mike Norton husband of–that’s right–Mrs. Jane Norton.

The third part of the charges is important and needs a bit of attention.   It is not easy to be a leader.   Such men and women often stand alone.  In a case involving career politicians, the Second Amendment, and a small business owner, Ken Buck stood for the latter two.   This angers career politicians who then target the one who walks outside their expediency.  Ken Buck was that man.   Dave Kopel, a scholar who has written on the life of master historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who is an expert on the 2nd Amendment and gun rights, and who is a DEMOCRAT, says the Ken Buck is a man of courage who did the right thing in this case.   The Norton campaign calls this an ethics violation.   We live in strange days.

The final part of the call was really an absurd whopper.   We were told that Jane Norton is a cutter of government spending.   Wow!.  In fact, as Lt. Governor she was part of one of the largest tax increases in Colorado history.   Some call it the largest tax increase ever in Colorado;   nonpareil in taking from the tax payers.   In one phone call Jane’s campaign reminded me of why I no longer read fiction.  

We just celebrated the 4th of July.   Here in Greeley we had an I Love Americal Rally in Bittersweet Park where we honor our veterans.   We thought of our Founders steeled with an idea of liberty for each person.   It was an inspiring day with at least 1500 present.  There are still persons of courage and moral clarity among us.   Kopel is right.   Ken Buck is a man of integrity.   May we have that same steel in our backbones for these demanding but exciting days.   I am proud to support candidates who reflect our Founders vision.   I am proud to support Ken Buck for the U. S. Senate.