Ken Buck Actually More to the Right Than Dan Maes

We’ve taken our share of jabs at Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes for his colorful positions on random issues like the nefarious plot of the U.N. to take over Denver through a bicycle sharing program. But while Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck hasn’t been nearly as entertaining as Maes (until recently, anyway), we wondered: Just how different are the two candidates at the top of the GOP ticket?

The answer, frankly, surprised us. Based on some of the core issues highlighted by each campaign over the past year, you could very well make the argument that it is Buck — not Maes — who is the more extreme of the two candidates. Handy chart after the jump:


Issue Agree/Disagree Dan Maes Ken Buck
Personhood Amendment/Abortion AGREE Supports Personhood Amendment Supports Personhood Amendment and opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest
Illegal Immigration AGREE Opposes amnesty, supports E-Verify as well as guest worker programs Opposes Amnesty and supports guest worker programs
Energy AGREE Supports more oil drilling and nuclear energy Supports more oil drilling and nuclear energy
Federal Health Care Legislation AGREE Opposes legislation passed by Congress in 2010 Wants to “repeal and replace” federal Health Care legislation
Federal Stimulus AGREE Would refuse most federal stimulus money Opposes Federal Stimulus Package
Taxes AGREE Signed pledge to oppose all tax increases Signed pledge to oppose all tax increases
Social Security DISAGREE Has often said that Social Security saved his family Says Social Security is a “horrible policy” that will “bankrupt the nation”
Federal Student Loans DISAGREE Supports federal funding for college education Says the government should not subsidize student loans
Separation of Church and State DISAGREE Says that church and state should be kept separate Says separation of church and state is too strict already

We’re not going to say that Buck is as loony as Maes. But it is striking to compare their opinions on high-profile issues and see Buck tacking even further right than Maes — much more to the right than we assumed before we started looking.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    more conservative but without tin foil hat?

  2. caroman says:

    This is much more informative than the interview conducted by David “Neville” Thielen.  David allowed Buck to speak in platitudes without demanding policy specifics.  Your analysis tells us how Buck would actually vote.  And, it illustrates why Buck is endorsed by the Tea Party and the Club for Growth.  This is the information that Colorado voters need to make their choice.

    • BlueCat says:

      think it’s less a matter of Neville-like appeasement on Dave’s part and more a matter of being too nice to do particularly useful interviewing. Dave functions more as a conduit for the same stuff you could get from candidate press releases, no sentient middle man required, bless his tail wagging puppy dog heart.  

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        There is more of the detail you want in the recording. It’s just that if I wrote out every single word that was said the interview would be so long no one would read it. So I summarized.

        Also, you generally won’t get any candidate you dislike phrasing things the way you want – because they see that issue differently.

        • BlueCat says:

          as a hard hitting journalist, Dave. Since you yourself have often explained why that’s not what your interviews are about, there doesn’t even seem to be much of a disagreement here.  Unless you disagree that you are a very nice interviewer?  

          In any case, the format of this diary does do a much better job of delineating Buck’s positions than does your interview and in a very cut to the chase, easy to use fashion. It doesn’t give us a window into Buck’s soul but I’m much more concerned with the way he would likely vote than with the feeling I might get gazing into his eyes and trying to gauge his sincerity and niceness quotient.

          • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

            And no, not disagreeing. Just that that there are more details in the recording. And on a lot of this stuff we each have to make a guess as to what a candidate will do in the future. A lot of the time I don’t think even they know for sure.

            • caroman says:

              I listened to much of your interview and you did a fine job of transcribing Buck’s vacuous answers.  He did not provide any additional details, particularly on how to stimulate the economy and provide jobs.  You did try to point out that without demand for goods/services there is no need to create new jobs.  He provided the circular answer that without new jobs there is no demand.  Completely useless answer to those suffering in this economy.  So, there is no need for anyone to waste their time listening to the recorded interview.

              You walked into this interview totally uninformed about Buck’s positions, or unwilling to raise them.  You asked these broad questions like, “What’s the biggest problem facing the country today?” and got played by a GOP politician for the pansy that you are.  You should have should have asked questions about the positions he’s taken; e.g., “You’ve said that Social Security is horrible policy that will bankrupt the nation. So, what’s your proposal?”  Or, “You say that the government should not subsidize student loans.  So, what happens to students that need those loans to go to school?”  Were you even aware of his positions??

              Bottom line:  You squandered an opportunity to educate us about the real Ken Buck.  Pols taught us a lot in a little chart.

  3. Barron X says:

    .

    how ’bout putting the conservative running for Guv, Tom Tancredo, up there in the chart ?

    .

  4. HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

    It’s “extreme” to think that Social Security will financially bankrupt the country.

    It’s “extreme” to support private sector college loans over those administered by the government.

    And, it’s “extreme” to believe that some court decisions on church and state may be a little too restrictive.

    Interesting.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      1. There is no factual basis to say social security will bankrupt the nation. If the raise the salary cap to match the COLA increases in payments it should last forever.

      2. The government administered student loans cost us less. But it is fair for you to say you prefer to pay more taxes to have student loans go through private companies – but be honest about the additional cost.

      3. Nope, that is an area where we will always be discussing the right balance.

      • ajb says:

        i suspect that Hiker, and Buck< think that the govt has no place in the student loan market. The old way was the worst of both worlds: Govt guarantees for private financial markets. Logically it makes sense for either (a) the fed has no role in student loans, or (b) the govt takes over the program. (b) is cheaper and makes loans available to more students, but I can see where small-govt conservatives think the govt has no role here.

    • marilou says:

      When the feds took over the student loan program, they added another 0.5% to pay toward nationalized health care.  Maybe that will offset that $60 billion a year in Medicare waste and fraud.

      It is extreme to assume the feds can do anything better and more efficiently than private industry except probably, national defense.

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Is that Dan Maes does support the federal government where it directly helps individuals. That’s probably due to the difference in their backgrounds, Maes probably has close family members who found student loans, social security, etc. to be a lifesaver.

    • missmuffet says:

      this is what gets me about some politicians (well, people in general I guess).  If they don’t know someone who has benefited, then they think no one should get it. Why can’t people imagine that some people might benefit from any given public policy? Why shouldn’t the government help people get educations, for instance? Or not go bankrupt obtaining healthcare? So many politicians just listen to people like them, and forget that there are other people out there in different circumstances.  

      • marilou says:

        Get off your duff and take care of yourself.  Why should the government take care of you or anybody else?

        • missmuffet says:

          you never have to choose between health care and housing because you lost your job. Even those of us with college educations, who have worked our whole lives, are not immune to the impacts of the bad economy.  

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          I thought it was simply sarcasm.Then I saw who wrote it. What a world you live in where only effort matters.

          I guess then, marilou, that you don’t think jobs is an issue. And, how do you like the Imam getting off his duff to get the cultural center built?

        • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

          Suppose the government stops paying unemployment benefits? Let’s say unemployment is at 10%. How many businesses do you know that would not be in deep shit if 10% of their customers suddenly disappeared?

          What do you think the people who get unemployment benefits are doing with that money? They spend it. All of it. They’re not building a nest egg, because it’s just barely enough (if at all) to cover their necessities.

          Programs like unemployment insurance aren’t just to protect the unemployed — they protect everybody, because in an economy like ours, everybody depends on everybody else. The longer it takes to process an unemployment check, the longer it takes to get that money back out into the marketplace. And who suffers then? Not just the unemployed, but the businesses that depend on their customers.

        • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

          If you get robbed, don’t call the police you whiner.

          If your house is on fire, don’t call the fire department you wimp.

          If you need to drive somewhere, don’t you dare use the road you parasite.

          You people who depend on the government make me sick.

          (To the totally clueless like marilou the above is sarcasm.)

  6. Leonard Smalls says:

    the biggest knock on Dan Maes is that he’s a blithering idiot, not that he’s conservative.

  7. marilou says:

    Why aren’t Hickenlooper and Bennet on there too?

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.