Politics

In HBO film, Ken Buck suggests he will leave Congress soon


In an upcoming HBO documentary, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck paints a bleak picture not only of Congress but also of his own political party and the conservative movement in this era of President Donald Trump, before suggesting he will retire soon.

“The problem with the Republican Party now is that we have such a fresh history of violating the Constitution, of violating fiscal responsibility, of violating personal accountability, that we don’t have a high ground to stand (on) and say, ‘You guys are doing the wrong thing,’ ” says Buck, a Windsor Republican and chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, in a documentary called “The Swamp.”

The movie, which debuts 7 p.m. Tuesday, follows three Republican congressmen — Buck, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — through 2019 as they reveal their frustrations with the influence of lobbyists, the power of congressional leadership and a lack of legislative progress. In the film, which The Denver Post screened, Buck often appears exasperated and cynical.

“As you see from our movie, Ken is sad,” said Morgan Pehme, one of the film’s directors, in an interview. “Ken is beaten down by the system. I feel sad for Ken sometimes because you go in there, you think you’re going to make a difference, you’re a member of Congress, you have the pin on, and then you realize you’re just another vote in the pocket of (congressional) leadership.”

U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, center, walks alongside Rep. Matt Gaetz, left, and Rep. Thomas Massie, right, in a scene from HBO’s “The Swamp.” Photo provided by HBO.

During one scene late in the film, a camera pans over a framed Post article from Buck’s first congressional election victory in 2014, which hangs in Buck’s office near the U.S. Capitol. Then he offers a dark assessment of his tenure.

“I have to tell you, I think this place has drained me of a certain amount of life. After having been here for five years, I have no illusion that what I say, anybody cares about. I have thought about leaving and I don’t know whether this is my last term or whether I’ll run for one more term. I do know that a lot of the folks at home will not understand the long-term implications of what’s happening here in D.C.”

Buck did ultimately decide to run for re-election in 2020 and is favored to win over Democratic challenger Ike McCorkle on Nov. 3 in the safely Republican 4th Congressional District of eastern Colorado. McCorkle said it’s disingenuous for Buck to distance himself from a corrupt political establishment the congressman is a prominent part of.

“He hasn’t done anything for Colorado and even admits so himself,” McCorkle said of Buck’s remarks. “Coloradans need real fighters in Congress who will represent their interests. I’ll be that fighter, because as a veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I always have been. If Ken Buck isn’t up to the job, he needs to step down.”

Reached for comment, Buck’s spokeswoman, Lindsey Curnutte, …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Politics

      

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