Denver, Colorado (CNN) - In an interview with CNN, Colorado's Republican Senatorial nominee Ken Buck made clear he believes in the separation of church and state. He defended comments he made last year during a candidates forum in which he challenged the way courts have interpreted the First Amendment's religious protections.
Buck told CNN, "I have said I agree with the establishment clause. I agree with the idea that there is a separation of church and state. That teachers should not be leading prayer – a particular kind of prayer in classrooms. What I have said is that I think the federal government and we as a society have come too far in trying to separate good organizations that perform good functions for people just based on the fact one has a religious association and one doesn't."
(CNN) - Candidates in the upcoming Colorado Senate election faced off Saturday in a televised debate, sparring on everything from abortion to the war in Afghanistan, but focusing on jobs and the economy.
Republican Ken Buck, a conservative backed by the Tea Party movement, is challenging Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
The contest is close and one of the most hotly-debated races in the nation. The two men exchanged arguments for an hour in a debate aired by KCNC, which is not a CNN affiliate.
(CNN) - Two new polls suggest dead heats in the Senate battles in Colorado and Wisconsin, two states where Democrats are trying to hold onto seats.
A St. Norbert College Survey Center/Wisconsin Public Radio poll released Tuesday indicates that Republican nominee Ron Johnson holds a 49 to 47 percent advantage over Sen. Russ Feingold among likely voters. Johnson's two-point margin is well within the poll's sampling error.
(CNN) - Colorado voters have a clear choice in the state's upcoming Senate election, as demonstrated by a nationally televised debate Sunday.
Republican Ken Buck, a conservative backed by the Tea Party movement, said in the debate broadcast on the NBC program "Meet the Press" that homosexuality is a choice and that he favors a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
(CNN) - National Republicans are doubling down on contentious Senate races in Colorado and Kentucky Wednesday with new ads seeking to undermine the all-ready embattled Democratic candidates.
In the new spot hitting Colorado airwaves, the National Republican Senatorial Committee accuses incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet of championing his party's "reckless spending policies" and "more concerned about supporting President Obama's priorities than representing Coloradans' best interests in Washington."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/06/art.bennet.file8.gi.jpg caption ="Sen. Michael Bennet is pushing back against a critical report published Friday in the New York Times."](CNN) - A front page article in Friday's New York Times could spell trouble for Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, four days before he faces the test of voters in a competitive primary. But the senator and his campaign are pushing back hard against the article, which they consider one-sided and not accurate.
The story, headlined "Exotic Deals Put Denver Schools Deeper in Debt," reports that Bennet, who served as the superintendent of Denver's schools before being named to the Senate, persuaded school board members to strike a deal with Wall Street bankers two years ago to try and plug a $400 million hole in the school system's pension plan. Instead, the article alleges that deal, involving taking out high risk loans to cover mounting debt, "went awry" during the Wall Street collapse and eventually cost the school system millions of dollars.
"I know the New York Times is always looking to break a big story, but in this case, they just got it wrong. This story has been covered by local reporters who have provided more balanced, fair, and accurate coverage. The New York Times got caught up in a heated political primary where my opponent and his supporters have repeatedly tried to score points at the expense of kids and have once again disregarded the facts," says Bennet in a statement released by his campaign.
The senator adds that a report released last week by independent auditors indicates that Denver's schools are in "better financial shape than the rest of the state's pension system. Put simply, we left the district's pension in better shape than any other district in Colorado."
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/16/art.bennet.0316.gi.jpg caption =" President Obama will participate in a tele-town hall hosted by Senator Michael Bennet Tuesday night."]
Washington (CNN) - With a week to go until Colorado's primary, Sen. Michael Bennet is getting a helping hand from the nation's top Democrat.
Bennett, who faces a very competitive primary challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, teams up Tuesday night with President Barack Obama.
The president is scheduled to join a tele-town hall of Colorado residents hosted by Bennet. The White House sent out an email Tuesday afternoon adding the event to Obama's schedule. A Bennett campaign spokesman describes the tele-townhall as a political event.
Bennet remains in the nation's capital this week, as the Senate remains in session before leaving Washington for summer recess. Bennet was plucked out of political obscurity early last year when Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter named him to replace Sen. Ken Salazar, who stepped down to serve as Interior Secretary in the Obama Administration.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/29/art.clintonbill.gi.jpg caption="In an email to supporters, Clinton endorsed Andrew Romanoff for Colorado's Democratic Senate nomination, rather than incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet."]
Washington (CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton announced Tuesday that he is endorsing challenger Andrew Romanoff in the battle for Colorado's Democratic Senate nomination, rather than support incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. The move puts the former president at odds with his national party.
In an email to supporters, Clinton said that he supports Romanoff, "and I hope you will too. Please make a generous contribution to his campaign today."
In the email, the former president says he first met Romanoff in 1992. Clinton then goes on to describe what he calls the many accomplishments by Romanoff as a state lawmaker and then as Colorado's first Democratic House speaker since 1976.
"Colorado is far better off today because of Andrew Romanoff's leadership. America will be too," add Clinton.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/16/art.bennet.0316.gi.jpg caption="The White House is backing Sen. Bennett in the Colorado Democratic primary."]Washington (CNN) - A Colorado Senate candidate, who is challenging Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary, said Wednesday that a senior White House aide suggested last year that three administration jobs might be open to him if he abandoned plans to run against Bennet. But the candidate, former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, also noted that he was never offered a position by the White House.
"In September 2009, shortly after the news media first reported my plans to run for the Senate, I received a call from Jim Messina, the president's deputy chief of staff. Mr. Messina informed me that the White House would support Sen. Bennet. I informed Mr. Messina that I had made my decision to run," Romanoff said in a statement released early Wednesday evening. "Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina's assistance in obtaining one."
Romanoff said later that day he received an email from Messina with descriptions of three positions. Romanoff includes an attachment of what he says is the email from Messina, which is dated Friday, September 11, 2009. The three positions listed in the email are Deputy Assistant Administrator for Latin America and Caribbean, USAID, Director of the Office of Democracy and Governance, USAID, and Director of the US Trade and Development Agency, USTDA.