Colo. U.S. Senate Race Turns To Money

By Peter Marcus, DENVER DAILY NEWS

The heated U.S. Senate race between Republican Ken Buck and Democrat Michael Bennet yesterday turned to money, with both sides attacking each other over campaign donations and income sources.

Buck, the Weld County district attorney, attacked incumbent U.S. Sen. Bennet for having made investments in the past into controversial foreign companies, including Russian-based Gazprom, the China National Offshore Corporation, China-based Huaneng Power International, and PetroChina Company.

In a campaign news advisory yesterday, Buck’s camp said Bennet profited from the investments. The campaign says the companies have ties to Iran and genocide in the Darfur region in Sudan.

“The fact that Bennet invested in companies with ties to tyrannical regimes and genocide, should be of great concern to the people of Colorado,” John Swartout, Buck’s campaign manager, said in a statement.

Bennet eventually divested the stocks, but Buck’s camp believes the investments were wrong in the first place.

Meanwhile, Bennet’s campaign yesterday called on Buck to denounce the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for collecting contributions from foreign corporations to fund campaign attack ads, including ads that attack Bennet on behalf of Buck.

“Ken Buck should reject the Chamber’s support and call on them to immediately stop running ads on his behalf with tainted foreign money,” Bennet campaign spokesman Trevor Kincaid said in a statement.

Reports surfaced this week that the Chamber has been using foreign funds to finance its political campaigning in America. It is illegal to use foreign dollars to fund U.S. elections campaigns.

The Chamber says the foreign companies pay dues that are used to support operations, but not political activities.

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