Oct 102010
Authors: Chadwick Bowman

Every morning he wakes up, Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck says he gets to do the right thing.

And if elected as the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, Buck says that ideology will hold true.

“When I go back to Washington D.C., I plan on taking that same idea,” Buck said in a phone interview with the Collegian Friday while on the campaign trail in southern Colorado.

Buck is campaigning for the job in Washington to get America back on track by alleviating stressors on the middle class and the diffidence of small business owners.

“The most important thing we can do right now is to give small business owners certainty,” Buck said.

Small businesses employ much of the nation’s workers –– half of all private sector employees, according to a September U.S. Small Business Administration report. Buck wants to ensure the cost of their tax, energy and healthcare bills is more consistent.

“The government needs to get out of the way of small businesses that create jobs, and I believe that Ken will fight for tax cuts for these small business owners,” said Kelly Carnal, president of Colorado State College Republicans and Ken Buck supporter.

Next to small business advocacy, Buck says the biggest concern he hears on the campaign trail from college-aged Americans is the challenge of their increasing debt and the lack of jobs available after graduation.

As a father of two college students –– his son attends West Point and his daughter, Clemson University –– Buck is no stranger to higher education.

“It is scary to think about graduating from college and entering into the current workforce,” Carnal said. “Ken is dedicated to creating jobs to get Americans back to work and lessen the tax burden on working Americans.”

With America’s future development and economy dependent on education, Buck said that students need encouragement to get into the sciences and engineering. The government body responsible for developing American education needs to shift, too, he said.

“The federal government has a limited role in education,” Buck said. “We really need to work at the state level and the local level in developing our educational programs.”

Buck is also concerned with the viability of Social Security, which he said has proved to be unsustainable by the federal government. With the influx of the baby boomers beginning to retire and the simple fact that people are living longer, Buck believes facets of the program need to be revamped.

The Princeton University graduate has pitched the idea for a “Social Security plus” program affecting those who, right now, are among the ages of 18 to 35. This plan will supplement Social Security with an account that Americans can build up as fast or as slow as they like, tax free.

Buck’s support on and off campus is mixed.

Some CSU students are concerned with what they have heard Buck, who earned his law degree from the University of Wyoming. Throughout his campaign, his opponents have argued that his stance on issues is too radical.

“I’ve heard that he’s extreme, and sending him to Washington is a scary thought,” said Jill Conway, a junior social work major.

Buck is one of the few Republican candidates who has the support of Tea Party activists.

“I see the Tea Party as a group of individuals who didn’t feel that the Republican Party was representing them, or the democrats representing them, and they wanted to be heard,” Buck said.

Other issues represented by Buck’s campaign include illegal immigration, specifically securing the border and implementing legislation to “establish a program that will help make legal immigration a feasible option,” according to Buck’s website.

He also takes aim at stimulus spending, calling it “counterproductive,” as well as big government, believing that no business should be treated differently if they are too big to fail. Buck wants to repeal recent healthcare legislation, supports a pro-life agenda and does not favor doing away with common forms of birth control, like the pill.

Staff writer Chadwick Bowman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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