August 24 2010, 9:57 AM
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck (left) may have savvy political consultant Walt Klein, the Jane Norton "killer," by his side. But his opponent, Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, won the day yesterday by sending the media, including us journos here at 5280, a press release entitled "Ken Buck's Day (Year) Off." The release, which slams Buck in his fiscally conservative wallet, claims that the Weld County district attorney "owes taxpayers $60,038 for missing nearly one-third of work days to campaign." The release goes on to state that he also missed 113 days of work while on the road. Buck, who earns $140,000 a year, at least partly relents to the criticism, telling The Greeley Tribune he will return his salary to the county for the next two months---September and October ($23,333)---while he campaigns. "Campaigning for the United States Senate is a time-consuming endeavor, and I believe it appropriate to return my salary to the Weld County taxpayers," Buck writes. His campaign spokesman, Owen Loftus, also weighs in, telling The Denver Post, "Most of Ken's events take place on nights and weekends." Meanwhile, the Post "fact checks" a television ad paid for by Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a 501(c)(4), which claims, "Since his appointment, Michael Bennet has voted to spend an average of $2.5 billion every day." The paper finds that the numbers add up, but it also breaks them down for readers to see where, exactly, that money is going.