The Backroom Deal

Before Cory Gardner ever got into the U.S. Senate race, he pulled strings behind the scenes to eliminate his Republican primary opponents.

Hill was sharply critical of the announcement that Garner and Buck are swapping races.

“Two weeks ago, Cory tried to push me out of the race,” Hill said.

When asked if he worried about upsetting the GOP by not deferring to a sitting member of Congress, Hill replied, “What people should be angry about is that we keep doing back-room, insider deals like this one.”

Before Gardner entered the Republican U.S. Senate primary, three other viable candidates were making their case to primary voters: Amy Stephens, Owen Hill, and 2010 GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck.

In 2010, Ken Buck lost the election to the U.S. Senate largely due to his alienation of women voters. Buck’s hardcore stand against reproductive choice, proudly opposing abortion rights even in cases of rape or incest, repelled women voters and directly resulted in Buck losing one of the most expensive and hard-fought races of the 2010 elections.

But Gardner is every bit the anti-woman, anti-choice extremist that Ken Buck is. Video of Gardner during his run for Congress (click here) shows him proudly proclaiming his support for a statewide ban on all abortions in Colorado–even helping to gather signatures to place an abortion ban on our state’s ballot. In 2011, Gardner joined with fellow Congressman Todd Akin–yes, that Todd Akin–to sponsor a bill “redefining” the crime of rape to make it hard for victims to get an abortion.

National Republican insiders including Karl Rove himself are believed to be behind the backroom deal to put Gardner in the Senate race. What makes Gardner different is his ability to bring big money into the state. Gardner’s allies started placing million-dollar ad buys within weeks of his entrance into the race. And Politico reported that Gardner offered to pay off rival Amy Stephen’s campaign debt in order to secure her exit from the race.

Republicans and Democrats agree: Colorado voters deserve real choices, not backroom deals that shut ordinary citizens out and deliver more of the same.