I know there are a lot of members of Congress who are frighteningly devoid of ethics, but this story, involving the GOP’s Ken Buck, who is also Colorado Republican Party Chair , is revolting. He needs to be sanctioned, removed from office, disbarred as a lawyer, and repudiated by his party and his constituents. What he did is no better than taking bribes.
At issue is the Republican primary for the District 10 seat currently held by Sen. Owen Hill, who’s term-limited. State Rep. Larry Liston and GOP activist David Stiver were on the ballot. Liston received 75% of the vote and Stiver just 24%, according to documents filed later in Denver District Court. The law states that to qualify for the November ballot a candidate must receive at least 30% of the vote from Republicans within the district.
But Stiver complained the election was unfair, and the issue was taken up with the state central committee, which consists of nearly 500 members, including elected officials and county officers. In an April 17 conference call with less than half on the line, the group voted to place Stiver on the ballot for the seat, even though he failed to receive 30% of the district’s votes. The problem with this is that doing so would violate the law.
Nevertheless, after the vote, Buck asked Eli Bremer, the GOP chairman for state Senate District 10, to submit incorrect election results to get Stiver on the primary ballot for a state Senate seat. The phone call in which this was discussed was recorded.
Bremer refused, and went to The Denver Post to explain what happened.“You’ve got a sitting congressman, a sitting state party chair, who is trying to bully a volunteer — I’m a volunteer; I don’t get paid for this — into committing a crime,” he said. “To say it’s damning is an understatement.”
Rep. Buck protests that he was merely asking Bremer to abide by a committee decision. This is yet another use of the recently viral Rationalization #64. Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is.”
As usual, using this one assumes that listeners are either so blind, stupid or corrupt that they won’t reject it out of hand. “No,”Buck says. “I wasn’t asking Bremer to break the law. How dare anyone accuse me of such a thing? I’m outraged! I’m insulted! I was merely asking Bremer to abide by a committee decision…TO BREAK THE LAW.”
This scum is sitting in the U.S. Congress
“Do you understand the order of the executive committee and the central committee that you will submit the paperwork to include Mr. Stiver and Mr. Liston on the ballot, with Mr. Liston receiving the top-line vote?” Buck said on the call with Bremer.
Bremer replied., “Uh, yes, sir, I understand the central committee has adopted a resolution that requires me to sign a false affidavit to the state.”
“And will you do so?” Buck said.
Lawyers who sign false affidavits or who counsel others to do so are subject to professional sanctions.
“I will seek legal counsel as I am being asked to sign an affidavit that states Mr. Stiver received 30% of the vote. I need to seek legal counsel to find out if I am putting myself in jeopardy of a misdemeanor for doing that,” Bremer said. (I’m not licensed to practice in Colorado, Mr. Bremer, but you don’t need a lawyer to answer that question. Let’s see...I think I’ll answer it as someone with a functioning brain: Of course you would be putting yourself in jeopardy of committing a misdemeanor for doing that! You shouldn’t have to ask.
Buck pressed on, saying, “And you understand that it is the order of the central committee that you do so?”
Bremer: “I will consult with counsel. Yes, sir, I understand the central committee has ordered me to sign an affidavit stating that a candidate got 30% who did not. And I will seek legal counsel and determine if I am legally able to follow that.”
Ken Buck is a lawyer, a former DA, in fact,yet he thought deceitful double-talk was sufficient to weasel out of an obvious effort to induce another to commit a crime. “What I was asking Eli to do was not to commit fraud, I was asking Eli if he understood the decision of the central committee and if he was willing to follow the request of the Republican central committee. It wasn’t like I was asking him to do something because I have a personal stake in the process.”
Let’s see where Ken Buck went to law school… Ah! The University of Wyoming College of Law! Is there any course there that teaches that violating the law and committing a fraud on the public doesn’t count if the architect of the fraud doesn’t “have a personal stake in the process”? I don’t think so.
“We have two choices,” Buck continued. “We’re going to allow an unfair election to stand, or we’re going to require the chairman of the Senate district to put the candidate’s name on the ballot and let the primary voters decide.”
No, you blot on society, you have ONE choice. Follow the law.
Bremer never filed the paperwork as Buck had insisted. He persuaded his vice chair to filed a “friendly lawsuit” to prevent him from doing so. District Court Chief Judge Michael Martinez ruled Monday that any certificate of designation filed with the Secretary of State’s Office showing Stiver as a candidate would violate state law because he did not receive at least 30% of the district’s votes.
The state Republican Party then proved that it is corrupt to the core by appealing the case to the Colorado Supreme Court, which allowed the lower court’s no-brainer of a decision stand.
University of Denver politics expert Seth Masket was as shocked as I am. “There are plenty of examples within Colorado and elsewhere of party leaders pressuring subordinates to sort of fudge results or to change their views on things, but it’s very rare you see someone directly ordering someone to commit a crime,” Masket said.
Joe Webb, former chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party, added, “Eli was being asked, and this is very serious, to attest to something as true when he knew it was false.There’s a word for that in the legal jargon; it’s called perjury.”
“How in the heck is the Republican Party going to go out and say we’re for the rule of law except when it applies to us — we can do whatever we want to?” Bremer said. “That’s not my Republican Party.”
Ohhhhhhhh yes it is!
Now what are you going to do about it?
26 thoughts on “There Is No Ethics Alarms Category Sufficiently Derogatory To Describe The Corrupt Conduct, Reasoning And Statements Of Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colorado)”
Okay, my degrees from the University of Wyoming came out of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, and Engineering, and I know that UW’s claim to fame are the Engineering and Agriculture programs (and being the most affordable public university in the country!), but still it makes me hang my head in shame that UW would have such an alum. Jack, I think I now truly appreciate your comments about turning your Harvard degrees to face the wall…
I assume in the title, where you say “Ken Buck (D-Colorado)” that the D stands for dumbass?
And that quickly, the “D” was replaced by an “R”…
Yes. Tim LeVier already flagged that…it wasn’t too harmful because it was only up for a minute, and because “Republican” is the only party mentioned in the post.
I think I pushed D by reflex. This hasn’t been an ennobling week for the Democrats.
The law states that to qualify for the November ballot a candidate must receive at least 30% of the vote from Republicans within the district.
Just to clarify – I think this was a March Caucus event and candidates needed 30% of the vote to get on the June Republican Primary ballot. If they did not attain 30% during Caucus, then they have to petition and collect signatures to appear on the Primary ballot in June.
I’m still confused. I need to check the law..doesn’t it state that if you don’t get 30% in March, you’ve been disqualified for the November ballot for the general election? If not, then why was there any need for tthe fake vote totals?
Well, think of what you also wrote – that candidates need 30% total to qualify for the ballot? Why would you have 2 GOP candidates on the November ballot? You’d divide your totals and ensure the other party who only ran 1 candidate would win.
So, what I said makes sense. To understand it, here it is:
March 3, 2020 – Presidential Primary (to select the GOP nomination for President)
March 7, 2020 – Local Caucuses to determine eligible candidates to appear on the Statewide Primary Ballot. Candidates who achieve 30% support at a caucus will automatically qualify for the primary ballot.
Candidates who do not achieve 30% support during caucus should take that as a sign that they suck. If they refuse to believe they suck, they can collect signatures from party registered voters to appear on the primary ballot.
June 30, 2020 – Primaries take place to choose from available party candidates to select the best candidate to be placed on the November ballot. Up to 3 can appear automatically from the local precinct caucuses (30% x 3 = 90%) or it may just be 1 candidate that attained over 30%. Additional candidates may have petitioned onto the ballot.
Given the above framework, and given the current situation of COVID-19, someone who attained 24% would need to petition, in public places or door to door and interact with registered voters to gather signatures. Buck and the committee probably felt the signature gathering process was clusterfucked this year and their outpouring of sympathy led them to ask for a falsified affidavit.
***Note – this wouldn’t be an issue if they’d just let us do our petition signatures electronically.***
So – more simply and direct: the fake vote totals were needed because the committee felt the candidate had a “good enough” showing and they recognized that the candidate had wanted to continue to pursue a place on the republican primary ballot by petitioning through the signature gathering process. However, due to COVID-19, that option was essentially taken away from the candidate and they wanted to “make an exception” to the normal rules given the “good enough” showing. Apparently, they felt they were giving republicans in the district a chance at choice for the primary rather than an uncontested primary election.
” Of course you would be putting yourself in jeopardy of committing a misdemeanor for doing that! You shouldn’t have to ask.”
Oh, I’m sure Bremer already knew that. The way he worded his answers appears to have been a deliberate attempt to make it clear to anyone listening what he was being asked to do, as well as making it clear to Buck that what he was being asked to do was against the law. It was the equivalent of “I know what you’re asking me to do. Are you sure this is what you want to be asking me to do?”
As for Buck, throw him out. One of “The Resistance’s” talking points is that the Republicans steal elections and that Donald Trump will try to steal this one (using voter fraud they insist is non-existent, apparently). His whole party needs to signal that being caught on tape ordering election fraud is the End of the Road for any Republican.
I agree, he is clearly trying to appease a United States Senator asking him to break the law. Balancing the tightrope of directly accusing the Senator of misconduct and risking his wrath, but also not agreeing to an illegal scheme to get off the phone call.
Balancing the tightrope of NOT directly
This definitely warrants a formal impartial investigation.
One Chiraq is one too many.
Hey jack! Ken buck is a very trumpy republican.
Sent from my iPhone
But Congressman Ken sure looks great in a blazer, shirt and tie and he has great executive hair (and it’s turned nicely silver). Classic white guy in charge. Right out of central casting.
And speaking of things central, what’s with “The Central Committee” name being thrown around in the Colorado Republican party? Are they Stalinists? A “committee” of five hundred people? At least they didn’t call it “The Select Central Committee.”
In general, state legislatures are run by and filled with really sketchy people. I’m amazed a U.S. Congressman would be this involved in state level shenanigans.
That’s the right answer, whether Phil’s accurate or not.
Phil Alperson wrote, “Hey jack! Ken buck is a very trumpy republican…”
…and Adolf Hitler would probably support modern progressive totalitarianism as long as he benefited from it; what’s you’r point?
WOW! What an imbecile Rep. Ken Buck is. You can’t fix that kind of stupid!
Happy V-E day eve Jack.
Looks like I’m calling an office and demanding a resignation when I’m off of work. Working nights I don’t get much day time to cause shenanigans.
My state of Colorado deserves much better than this.
You all want a “laugh”?
I have a friend that openly claimed on Facebook to have read this particular post and still thinks it’s “right wing propaganda”, of course this same person thinks that Jack is perpetrating an “elaborate ruse” and claims that Jack is a “propagandist”. Of course he couldn’t support any of his claims and he deleted the entire discussion after his nonsense was directly challenged.
I’ve have noticed a disturbing pattern; when you try to talk to someone that appears to be a fully consumed Bernie Sanders supporter, or an extreme progressive, what you get back is attacking the messenger, blatantly obvious psychological projections, direct and indirect personal insults and open bigotry. No it’s really not funny that there are people out there that are this completely closed & shallow minded that wallow in their own double standards and hypocrisy. It appears to me that these people have absolutely no ability whatsoever to see themselves.
We can, however, expose them for the fools that they are.
Michael Ejercito wrote, “We can, however, expose them for the fools that they are.”
Sure we can point out their foolishness point by point and/or we can choose to encourage them to veer away from their foolish ways. Sometimes it takes a lot of both to really ring their bell but it’s good to know the ones that are likely a lost cause.
Exposing them for fools is for the benefit of lurkers who read the comments.
Michael Ejercito wrote, “Exposing them for fools is for the benefit of lurkers who read the comments.”
Ethically, I disagree.
Exposing foolishness is for the benefit of the foolish so they can learn not to be foolish in the same way again, if embarrassment is seen as a necessary tool of teaching the repetitive foolish then sobeit. The core ethical goal should be to correct the foolish not to just to personally embarrass the foolish in front of their peers.
I’ve used this more than once…
All that said; sometimes there are stupid people that appear unfixable no matter how many times you try and just sitting back and watch them sink themselves can be somewhat entertaining. Always remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results; this concept goes both ways, sometimes walking away from apparent stupidity is the right thing to do.