When I heard audio of the Las Vegas shooter opening fire on a crowd of concertgoers, I heard the sounds of combat. The uninterrupted bursts of gunfire reminded me of a fully-automatic, belt-fed military weapon. But the shooter’s weapon of choice turned out to be lawfully-purchased AR-15 rifles—weapons easily available to civilians, including the teen who recently used one to murder 17 kids and their teachers at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
THEY GRABBED A CLIPBOARD ... It looks like a lot of Coloradans took the advice of a certain soon-to-be-former president.
In his farewell address, delivered just over a week before leaving office, President Barack Obama said an oft-quoted line — "If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself" — that might have launched a thousand candidacies, including quite a few here in Colorado.
Castle Rock Democrat Chase Kohne has been endorsed by Colorado-based Blue Rising PAC in his uphill run for the 4th Congressional District seat held by Republican Ken Buck, the group announced this week.
The last Democrat to represent Colorado's 4th Congressional District, former U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey, on Monday threw her support behind veterinarian Karen McCormick, one of four Democrats hoping to challenge Republican Ken Buck in next year's election.
Nearly 3,000 Americans died in the Sept. 11 attacks. The opioid overdose emergency now kills the same number of Americans every three weeks. The overdose death toll has grown 532 percent since 2002, overtaking car crashes as a leading cause of death; last year, 528 Coloradans died due to opioid overdose in another record year for drug deaths. By now, most Americans know someone who has struggled with addiction and many have lost someone they love.
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck pronounced the Republican Party dead, as if he is merely a witness when in fact he’s holding a smoking gun.
He decries the partisan gridlock gripping Congress, yet in his thrall to an extreme agenda he offers the most partisan “solution” of all: permanent single-party rule. Americans yearn to return to the days when Republicans, Democrats, and independents actually worked together to solve our nation’s biggest challenges. But Buck doesn’t play well with others: according to his GovTrack.us report card, he’s among those least likely to work across the aisle, coming in at number 406 on a list of 438.
Buck routinely supports policies favored only by fringe groups and he often says one thing and does another. He voted yes on the disastrous American Health Care Act, a bill opposed by the vast majority of Americans. He doesn’t trust women to make their own health-care decisions even in cases of rape and incest. He calls for term limits for Congress yet in a stunning display of hypocrisy, he refuses to impose one on himself. He claims to oppose tax policies designed to favor the wealthy even as he supports legislation that functions as a Trojan Horse tax cut for the rich.
In a Facebook post dated July 13 of 2017, Buck said “our duty as Americans is to protect the vulnerable in society.” Just days later, he lambasted Congress for failing to pass a healthcare bill condemned by organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics for the negative impact it would have on the most vulnerable among us: the sick, the young, and the elderly.
Americans don’t want to balance the budget on the backs of working people and the vulnerable. History has completely discredited Buck’s trickle-down ideology: We’ve seen that while wealth can sometimes trickle down, there’s too often no incentive for the wealthy to spend, so they’ve merely accumulated more and more wealth while the gap between these wealthy elites versus middle class and lower income Americans has only grown much wider and deeper.
In claiming that no one else has stepped up to provide solutions to the problems he himself helped create, Buck demonstrates just how far out of touch he is. Millions of Americans have organized, contacted their representatives, and even launched their own runs for office. Americans of all backgrounds keep sharing their visions for a better nation while Buck and other representatives keep turning their backs.
After launching my campaign, I’ve toured eastern Colorado extensively, where I’ve heard the same complaints about Buck from all corners of the district: He does not hold real town halls; his staffers are rude, and the people who try to reach out to Buck are left with the general sense that their voices don’t matter to him one bit. This is unacceptable. Our representatives depend on feedback from voters to do their jobs right, so they should respond to it promptly and always with gratitude.
The late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota famously said that “we all do better when we all do better.” Parker does better when Trinidad does better; children who live on the eastern plains do better when they have the same opportunities as children in Castle Rock, and the people who vote for Republicans do better when the people who vote for Democrats do better. If Buck can’t understand that, it’s time to replace him with someone who does.