Michael Bennet (Democrat) defeated Ken Buck (Republican) to win the senate seat from Colorado in a closely contested election in 2010. Bennet was the incumbent US Senator from Colorado and was seeking reelection. Ken Buck was the District Attorney in Weld County, Colorado at the time.
A comparison of the policies and positions of senate candidates Ken Buck and Michael Bennet is presented here.
Michael Bennet strongly supports the Healthcare Reform bill by President Obama and voted in favor of the bill. He believes in providing quality, affordable health care to all Americans through health care reform.
Buck has opposed the health care reform laws that were enacted in 2010. He favors “free-market reforms”. His campaign website states, “We need to let the market work, make people responsible for their own insurance, and restore Americans' freedom to decide for themselves whether and how much insurance to buy.”
Bennet has emphasized the need to provide alternate energy sources which would reduce Dependence on foreign oil as well as surpass countries like China in production of alternate energy. In December 2009, Bennet cosigned a letter to Senate majority leader Harry Reid and President Obama urging them to consider supporting the Solar Manufacturing Jobs Creation Act (S.2755). The letter, signed by the bill’s sponsor and cosponsors, explained that this bill could create as many as 10,000 new jobs. The letter further stated concern that China and other countries are passing the US in production of alternative energy, and that this bill would provide an opportunity to reduce that trend.
Buck's energy policy is against the cap and trade legislation. He believes that the United States "can't meet our energy demands with windmills and solar panels and other alternatives in the near term." So he is in favor of expanding domestic and offshore oil drilling operations and explore nuclear power.
Bennet has been a strong supporter of immigration reform. In September 2009, Bennet cosponsored the DREAM Act (S. 729), which proposed amending the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 by giving residency to aliens enrolled in higher education programs or serving in the military. Bennet has also stated that the country is in need of comprehensive immigration reform and that even bills like DREAM will not be adequate to solve US immigration problems.
Buck says the government needs to secure the border, deport all illegal immigrants and not grant them amnesty and revamp the legal immigration program to fill the jobs American labor cannot fill.
Ken Buck is against stimulus spending by the government. He has promised to vehemently oppose any tax increases and to bring government spending down instead. For Social Security, Buck has proposed no change for current retirees, considering increasing the retirement age for those near that age (because people are living longer), and expanded private retirement accounts for younger workers.
Michael Bennet feels that financial reform and regulation could rein in the recklessness and greed in financial markets, which were the main reasons for the economic recession. As senator, he introduced a package of measures meant to increase lending and cut taxes for Colorado small businesses, including:
- Raising the Limits on Small Business Loans
- Cutting Taxes for Small Businesses
- Encouraging Small Business Development in Rural Areas
- Expediting Patents for Small Businesses
Buck opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest but makes exceptions if the mother’s life is in danger. Bennet believes that Roe v. Wade was correctly decided and that women should have a right to "govern their own reproductive health [free] from government intrusion."
Buck supports gun rights and is endorsed by the Gun Owners of America organization. He stated that he would "oppose any federal legislation to compile a database of gun owners or to further proscribe Americans' freedoms under the Second Amendment". Bennet has said that he has repeatedly voted to preserve the rights of Coloradans to own guns for legal purposes and voted to allow sportsmen to carry firearms in national parks.
Bennet campaign spokesman Trevor Kincaid has said the senator supports the right of states to decide on gay marriage but that he also supports the full repeal of the Clinton-era Defense of Marriage Act. “Bennet has said that as a private citizen, if a ballot measure were to come up in Colorado [providing for gay marriage], he would support it,” Kincaid said. Buck supports the "Don’t ask, don’t tell" policy of gays and lesbians in the military. He said, “I do not support the repeal of don't ask don't tell. I think it is a policy that makes a lot of sense.”Buck believes that being gay is a choice. He said, "I think birth has an influence over it, like alcoholism… but I think that basically you have a choice."
Early Life and Political Career
Michael Bennet was born to Douglas J. Bennet and Susanne nee Klejman in New Delhi, India. Bennet grew up in Washington D.C. He was dyslexic and had to be retained in second grade. He married Susan Daggett, natural resources attorney in 1997. Bennet earned his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in history with honors. He got his law degree from Yale Law School. Bennet was named to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by United States Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter.
Ken Buck was born in Ossining, New York.Buck earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in 1981. After college Buck moved west and worked in Wyoming at the state legislative services office and received a law degree from the University of Wyoming School of Law in 1985. He was also an instructor at the University of Denver Law School and for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy in Colorado. In 1986, he was hired by then-congressman Dick Cheney to work on the Iran-Contra Investigation. Following that assignment, he worked as a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C. In 1990 Buck joined the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado where he became Chief of the Criminal Division. Buck was elected the District Attorney for Weld County, Colorado in 2004.
Buck - Bennet Debates
Buck and Bennet have debated each other several times. The first debate between Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck and Democratic Senator Michael Bennet for the Colorado seat in the U.S. Senate was held on Saturday, September 11, 2010, by Club 20 at the Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction, Colorado. Another debate was held at the Center for New Media at Pueblo Community College. The sixth debate was held on Meet the Press on NBC.
Bennet vs. Buck Opinion Polls (from Wikipedia)
The senate race in Colorado is one of the closest contests among all the 2010 senate elections.
|Poll Source||Dates Administered||Michael Bennett (D)||Ken Buck (R)|
|CNN/Time/Opinion Research||October 20-26, 2010||46%||47%|
|Rasmussen Reports||October 25, 2010||44%||48%|
|Public Policy Polling||October 21-23, 2010||47%||47%|
|SurveyUSA||October 19-21, 2010||47%||47%|
|Ipsos/Reuters||October 18, 2010||45%||48%|
|Fox News/Pulse Opinion Research||October 16, 2010||45%||46%|
|Rasmussen Reports||October 14, 2010||45%||47%|
|PPP||September 30- October 2, 2010||46%||45%|
|Survey USA||September 28–30, 2010||43%||48%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 27, 2010||43%||51%|
|McClatchy/Marist||September 26–28, 2010||42%||50%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 27, 2010||43%||51%|
|CNN/Time||September 17–21, 2010||44%||49%|
|Rasmussen Reports||September 14, 2010||45%||49%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 30, 2010||44%||47%|
|Ipsos/Reuters||August 20–22, 2010||40%||49%|
|Rasmussen Reports||August 11, 2010||41%||46%|
|Public Policy Polling||August 10, 2010||46%||43%|
|Survey USA||August 1, 2010||43%||43%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 26, 2010||42%||48%|
|Rasmussen Reports||July 8, 2010||39%||48%|
|Survey USA||June 15–17, 2010||43%||46%|
|Rasmussen Reports||June 7, 2010||41%||46%|