“If Prop 103 Passes…” Squirrels, Monkeys and Maes

Since 2004, interested parties have relied on Colorado Pols for news and insight on Colorado politics and policy matters. Proposition 103 is an education funding initiative on the statewide ballot this November. If passed, Proposition 103 would restore the income and sales tax rates that were in effect in 1999 in Colorado: increasing from 4.63% to 5%, and 2.9% to 3% respectively for five years.

But that’s not all!

If Proposition 103 passes, Colorado will immediately be set upon by a fierce, probably rabid plague of squirrels. Yes, squirrels. Scary ones. Scarier, even, than the one in the picture at right.

In order to combat this squirrel attack, Colorado will be forced to import massive numbers of Squirrel Monkeys, which we presume eat squirrels (and also stuffed ducks). Over the course of three years, these Squirrel Monkeys will succeed in decimating the population of crazed squirrels…at a terrible price. You see, the Squirrel Monkeys will reproduce at incredible rates. In pictures we’ve seen, they can fly between trees and stuff, which means that they will soon be soaring back and forth across the skies of Colorado.

This new menace will force more Coloradans to abandon their bicycles and stick to riding in cars (but the convertible business will be destroyed). Ultimately the Squirrel Monkey infestation will expose the folly of the United Nations’ sinister plan to force people to ride bicycles, thus validating the beliefs of 2010 Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes (which, frankly, is still the most unbelievable part of this entire post), propelling him to victory in the 2014 U.S. Senate race over Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

And all because of Proposition 103. It’s in the data!

Who Fragged Dan Maes, Revised History Edition

It piqued our curiosity when we heard the book was coming out in June–as the Durango Herald’s Joe Hanel reports, 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes has some new theories on what happened to him, and his (nominal) party’s chances in the governor’s race last year:

Maes blames part of his campaign’s collapse on tea party groups – also known as patriot or liberty groups – for demanding perfection and a rigid adherence to ideology.

“The tea party was looking for Jesus Christ and nitpicked anything they could. They wanted purity, and the harsh reality was and remains that no one is perfect or pure, not even little Danny Maes.” he wrote in a book he published this summer, Running Without Cowboy Boots…

[Scott] McInnis dismisses any talk of internal divisions in the party.

“I don’t think there are lasting impacts. All of that upheaval was caused, frankly, by an ambush on me,” McInnis said.

Without the discovery by Democratic-aligned operatives that portions of the “Musings on Water” papers his research assistant wrote were plagiarized, McInnis thinks he would have been the GOP nominee and won the governor’s race.

Tancredo, who has rejoined the GOP, said the best scenario for Republicans would have been McInnis as the nominee without the taint of scandal that followed him last summer. Tancredo thinks his own candidacy was a longshot.

As we’ve said repeatedly and we believe is conventional wisdom now, any hope of GOP victory in the 2010 gubernatorial race vanished the moment that Scott McInnis was brought down in scandal. Tom Tancredo had no ability to win, or even produce a face-saving result–and Maes was never a serious candidate for governor. Nonetheless Republican leadership, beginning with former party chairman Dick Wadhams but certainly not ending with him, made a disastrous mistake by publicly abandoning Maes after failing to pressure him to withdraw in time to be replaced on the ballot. A worse message for primary voters could not possibly have been sent.

Even though Maes could never have won, the chaos that ensued as Tancredo jockeyed for position and top-level Republicans spurned the GOP nominee was a huge distraction–and a source of conflict in the grassroots to the present day. And that leads to the key point: whatever Maes says now, it wasn’t the “Tea Party” that sealed his fate. It was Colorado GOP leadership who believed they could salvage an unsalvageable situation by muscling Maes out of the race. The “Tea Party” was little more than a confused rabble by this point, as incapable of affecting the outcome as Wadhams or anyone else. And given a different cue from GOP brass, they would have been happy to give Maes enough token support to avoid this lingering sense of treachery. Besides, all of the things that Maes complains about regarding the “Tea Party”–those problems exist for every Republican candidate for every office.

As it happened, everyone involved made the worst possible choice for their credibility, with the lone possible exception of Maes. Perhaps Maes feels obligated in hindsight to cover for those most responsible for his electoral fate? Given the way he was treated…he shouldn’t.

Dan Maes Still Mad…At Everybody

Republican Dan Maes, the 2010 GOP nominee for Governor (it still feels weird to write that) is apparently not letting his bygones, uh, be.

We didn’t have a chance to get to this earlier in the week, but didn’t want to forget to mention it. On Tuesday, Maes sent out a long note to supporters and people who “want the truth” detailing his continued anger at Tom Tancredo, Steve Durham, Bob Beauprez, Josh Penry, etc., etc. We were forwarded Maes’ “newsletter” as it appeared on a Facebook page, and we’ve included the entire missive after the jump.

The 2010 election is old news, certainly, but it’s interesting to read Maes’ detailed account of some of the events leading up to his nomination for Governor, as well as his calling out a handful of Republicans individually:

Bob Beauprez – you broke my heart.  You mentored me and you called me from Chicago right after the assembly to congratulate me personally.  Your radio commercial was a betrayal to me and conservative voters.

Freda Poundstone – you called me 4-5 times a day, even at 7:00 AM on the weekend to snoop around while acting like you supported me.  Shame on you.  You gave 300.00 to another candidate and told him not to cash it until after his election.  The games you played.

Josh Penry – you were a hired gun that could not hit a target.  Your political capital is gone except in parts of GJ and with some of your cronies.

Greg Brophy – you sell out to whomever Penry tells you to.

Ted Harvey – be thankful for your strong R base in Douglas County.  Their loyalty to you is admirable and your loss for chair has been your chastisement.

Click after the jump to read the full “newsletter,” complete with references to The Christmas Story, Men In Black and a sermon about giving forgiveness 77 times.


Calling A Spade a Spade


There are many classic movie bullies.  One of my favorites is the kid from The Christmas Story.  You remember him don’t you?  The tall one with the coonskin cap, braces on his teeth, and a bad chip on his shoulders.  Ralphie got his vengeance one day when he finally lost his cool and pummeled the poor kid with years of rage that had built up.  A classic!

Next to the common bully or gang of thugs is the more annoying one.  Come on, you know the one.  The short one with the big mouth.  He wants to be the bully but only talks smack when his gang is around to protect him.  If he spoke without the gang he would likely get his butt kicked.

These guys are not usually welcome at the spring formal or invited to the social event of the year.  Why?  Because they are who they are, they ticked off the wrong people, or they simply went over the line one too many times and no one wants them around.  If they show up, you know there is going to be trouble and it’s better for everyone if they just stay away.

Well, the bully of the 2010 election has decided he wants to hang out with the popular kids and he just is not feeling the love (tissue please).  That’s right, Tom Tancredo has friends trying to grease the skids for him at Lincoln Day Dinners.  “Uh hem, Mrs. Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth would like to join you for dinner.  He asked me to speak for him because he felt a little uncomfortable asking for himself”.  History buffs, just go with it.

Scripture says we are to forgive not just 7 times but 77 times.  During a great sermon on unforgiveness a month ago I broke down when I was convicted for the same.  I had let my anger get between me and God and that was a bad place to be.  I chose to forgive; but forgetting is another thing.  It is extremely interesting to me that it is the offenders who preach the message of “let’s put the past behind us”.  I had done so but just this week some of you asked me to revisit some of the details in an effort to shine the light on the truth so many who were mislead will hopefully not make the same mistake again.

Premeditated Assault on the Republican Party

Remember the memory erasure in Men In Black?  The feds waved a cool device with a bright light in front of a citizens eyes to erase their most recent memory of an alien encounter.  Folks, we are not talking about the Both Ways Bob thing of 2006, nor the poor judgement of running vicious attack ads during a primary.  We are talking about the premeditated, intentional, attack of BOTH the Republican Party AND its rightfully elected candidate.  Folks, do not look into the light!

Let’s revisit the highlights:

Summer of 2009 I am told to meet with TT and his henchman Steve Durham (see loud mouth and bully above) by one of their old friends who thought I could get them on board.  TT chooses not to attend but Durham does.  The conflicting environment of the beauty of the Garden of the Gods Club and the ugly conversation that took place was prophetic of the highs and lows of campaigning.  Durham proceeded to tell me how I could not get from here to there and win.  The conversation was like a verbal whooping and intended to convince me I was irrelevant.  Then his bravado reached out toward McInnis when he stated that he would see to it that McInnis did not make it past September if he had anything to do with it.  You see, this machinery was being prepped for manufacturing their candidate, Josh Penry. Need we talk about the track record of 30 something Josh’s in Denver?&n bsp;

November 2009.  TT starts rattling his sabre about entering the race for Governor as an R. He has his shot, he chokes.

Fast forward to spring of 2010 when some no name got 40% of the caucus straw poll for Governor.  Soon appeared the websitewww.danmaescan’twin.com .  That’s right (currently down for maintenance)!  Stay with me here folks, it gets better.  The spokesman on the website was Big Ben Goss, the leader of the American Constitution Party.   That’s right, the guy who stepped aside so TT could run on the ACP ticket.  The video droned on about the exact same thing TT had droned on to me about in private as to why I could not win, money and the lack of it as well as lack of power broker support.

Then comes a few weeks before the assembly and the rumor is that TT will try to flank both me and Scott with some floor maneuver to get on the ballot.  He will swoop in and save us all.  He chokes again.  As I said above, talk is cheap when there is no one to back it up.

Need we even revisit the ugly events of TT and Wadhams on the Boyles show?  Yes, I think so.  I never thought Dick was behind TT early on.  I think he got on board later.  The show revealed TT’s disgust with the Republican party that was backfiring at him and Dick was the face of the machine.

Finally we have the High Noon Show Down and the general election.  TT was literally demonstrating his arrogance and possibly his psychopath side.  Did anyone really think we would listen?  Did anyone really think either one would step aside?  The man who had no loyalty to the party and said multiple times, “the party is just a vehicle to accomplish my goals” was threatening the party’s candidates.  His actions would lead to the loss of the election for R’s, the loss of bonus members, and potentially lead to the party becoming a minority party.  If you do not know what that means then you have no clue what damage he could have caused all current and future R candidates!  


Can You Explain the Hysteria?

I still speak with a mentor who supported me publicly, pulled his support publicly, and then encouraged me not to drop out.  Yea, you read that right.  He jokingly challenged me  over breakfast to hire a specialist in mass human behavior to explain the quick and massive movement of support to TT when he got in once and for all.  Even he was shocked at the speed and size of it.  Many made the move for many reasons but I think most of it was the fear of backing the loser.  That is one of the most weak and politically motivated reasons I have ever seen or heard of and, in this case, reflected a temporary irrationality and lack of reason  given even the most novice of voters knew TT could not win a statewide race.


I understand the mass mentality for the average voters but some made calculated decisions to also betray the party and they must be held accountable.

Bob Beauprez – you broke my heart.  You mentored me and you called me from Chicago right after the assembly to congratulate me personally.  Your radio commercial was a betrayal to me and conservative voters.

Freda Poundstone – you called me 4-5 times a day, even at 7:00 AM on the weekend to snoop around while acting like you supported me.  Shame on you.  You gave 300.00 to another candidate and told him not to cash it until after his election.  The games you played.

Josh Penry – you were a hired gun that could not hit a target.  Your political capital is gone except in parts of GJ and with some of your cronies.

Greg Brophy – you sell out to whomever Penry tells you to.

Ted Harvey – be thankful for your strong R base in Douglas County.  Their loyalty to you is admirable and your loss for chair has been your chastisement.

There are others my Patriot friends but I fear the list is too long and they will be forgiven by their obscurity into the future.

I promised an article on Patriot Groups in this addition but that will have to wait another week.  I will explore what groups walk their talk and which ones sold out their principles for personal gain.

Until next time,

Dan Maes

Dan Maes Saved the Republican Party

We can’t tell you how much we are going to miss Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes. His bizarre statements and appearances have kept us entertained for more than a year, and Maes didn’t disappoint with his “end of campaign” email to supporters.

You can read the full email below, but the highlight is his spin that he saved the Republican Party from “minor party” status:

As most know, we delivered what may have been the most cost effective campaign in state history. We won the primary on approximately $175,000.00 and saved the Republican Party from minor party status on just under $300,000.00! [Pols emphasis] That, of course, with no thanks to the Republican Party financially.

Of course, if Maes wasn’t the GOP nominee, there would never have been a risk that Republicans might end up with “minor party” status, but, whatever.

The fact that Maes saved the Republican Party should be enough incentive to send another contribution his way:

We need a little help closing our books. Your contribution of $50.00, $100.00, $250.00 up to $1,050.00 will help us make those final payments to vendors and maybe even a bonus to one of the hardest working young ladies in politics, Jordan. Jordan worked as my scheduler, executive assistant, and driver for 11 months. Many days started at 6:00 AM and ended as late as midnight for Jordan and she earned every penny making just $1,300.00/mo. For those of you who met Jordan you know she worked very hard and always had that beautiful smile on her face and a positive attitude that complemented her loyalty and dedication to our race.

Send that woman a bonus! Hell, we’d be in favor of giving Jordan Maes a bonus just for putting up with her father’s campaign. And “bonus for daughter” looks (a little) better on a filing statement than “more mileage reimbursements.”

Maes says in the email that he’ll have an announcement about his future in a few weeks. We can hardly wait.


Campaign Wrap Up


With Campaign 2010 behind us all many have moved on to the next thing in our lives. Before I do that I wanted to thank all of you who fought the

battle to the end. Our Election Night Party was very well attended and the mood was upbeat all evening. I was so proud to be associated with so

many Patriots that stuck to their principles and did not let the politics as usual manipulate them to surrender.

The critics and sell outs will stick with the message that it would have been better to have ANY conservative than a Dem. Not in this case. This was no longer just about the Governor’s race but about the future of the Republican Party. The elitists had to understand that a compromise for

the sake of victory (which was never a possibility anyway with the ACP candidate) is not victory in 2010.

So as the pundits exhaust themselves trying to analyze things and pretend that they know what happened, or what thoughts rest in a candidate’s mind, or what motivates them to do what they do, I will thank you again for your support, hard work, and sacrifice over the last 20 months.

Help Us Close Up the Books

As most know, we delivered what may have been the most cost effective campaign in state history. We won the primary on approximately $175,000.00 and saved the Republican Party from minor party status on just under $300,000.00! That, of course, with no thanks to the Republican Party financially.

We need a little help closing our books. Your contribution of $50.00, $100.00, $250.00 up to $1,050.00 will help us make those final payments

to vendors and maybe even a bonus to one of the hardest working young ladies in politics, Jordan. Jordan worked as my scheduler, executive assistant, and driver for 11 months. Many days started at 6:00 AM and ended as late as midnight for Jordan and she earned every penny making

just $1,300.00/mo. For those of you who met Jordan you know she worked very hard and always had that beautiful smile on her face and a positive attitude that complemented her loyalty and dedication to our race…

…We are proud of the fact that we did not borrow to run our campaign. Your help will assure that we do not have to do it now.

What Is Next for Dan Maes?

My place in the conservative revolution will now take on a new role. I will be entering into a new private venture that will combine my entrepreneurial, small business background with my recent political experience to play a role in the support and guidance of the conservative revolution. We are building the infrastructure to this new venture as I type this message and I look forward to making an announcement in the next week or two.

What should be next for the conservative revolution? For what my opinion is worth these days, I strongly recommend that you stay the course. Continue your involvement in the Republican Party. As crazy as that may sound coming from someone who the party turned its back to; that is exactly why we must complete the task. We are half way there. Do not quit!

It has been an incredible journey getting to know all of Colorado over the last 20 months. We have an incredibly beautiful state but no beauty ever exceeded that of its people. I made friends that I hope I will be able to call my friends for years to come. I will treasure the trust you put in me and continue to strive for A Better Colorado.

May God Bless You All,

Dan Maes

Paid for by Friends of Dan Maes for Governor

Colorado Election Results Open Thread

UPDATE (11:25): The big Denver paper and many of the other big TV stations have some major problems with their reporting. The Denver Post, for example, had Buck ahead of Bennet 48-46, on the strength of a 52-45 advantage in Boulder. A quick check of the Boulder Clerk and Recorder’s website has Bennet leading Buck 67-29. There are a lot of somebodies who should have caught this immediately — there’s no way Boulder County would go solid red for any Republican.

We recommend sticking with the results from Fox 31, which not only has a page that seems to actually load correctly, but isn’t making any obvious errors that we can see.


UPDATE (11:16): It looks like we may be headed for at least one state legislative recount. In HD-29, Democratic Rep. Debbie Benefield trails Republican Robert Ramirez by 148 votes (50.34% to 49.66%).


UPDATE (11:12): That didn’t last long. With 56% of ballots counted, Bennet and Buck are now tied at 47-47.


UPDATE (11:00): Buck has pulled ahead of Bennet for the first time tonight, leading 49-46 with 49% of precincts reporting.


UPDATE (9:50): It’s looking like the race that will have the biggest impact from an ACP candidate will not be the one anybody expected. The Secretary of State race is neck-and-neck, but the ACP candidate is already pulling 6% of the vote. Buescher may well win this seat by virtue of the American Constitution Party.


UPDATE (9:44): The percentage of precincts reporting continues to rise, and Michael Bennet continues to hold a 50-45 lead over Ken Buck. This is not good news for Buck, because early returns should have favored him (Republicans voted in higher numbers than Democrats in early and absentee voting). Given Buck’s numerous gaffes in the last two weeks of the campaign, it’s not likely that late voters are going to choose him over Bennet, so it’s hard to see how Buck is going to make up 5 points with 27% of the vote already tallied.


UPDATE (9:08): It’s always fun to see those really early returns that show absurd numbers. In HD-22, Democrat Christine Radeff is pummeling Republican incumbent Ken Summers 7,875 to 12. Yes, 12. For a few more minutes, anyway.


UPDATE (9:05): Republican Cory Gardner is being declared the winner in CD-4.


UPDATE (9:03): The Secretary of State race is coming down to the wire, and may be decided by the number of votes pulled in by the American Constitution Party candidate. Meanwhile, the race for Attorney General seems to be widening in favor of incumbent John Suthers.


UPDATE (9:00): Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter has been declared the winner in CD-7.


UPDATE (8:38): The old adage that Jefferson County decides statewide elections is largely holding form. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, unofficially, are doing better in Jefferson County, as is John Suthers. Cary Kennedy and Walker Stapleton are neck-and-neck in Jeffco, while Scott Gessler leads Bernie Buescher in the large west Denver suburb.


UPDATE (8:35): Ladies and gentlemen, your next Governor…John Hickenlooper! The race has been called for Hick. Now the excitement turns to whether or not Dan Maes can cross the 10% threshold. From a Hickenlooper press release:

Colorado voters on Tuesday elected John Hickenlooper, a brewpub pioneer turned Mayor of Denver, as the 42nd Governor of Colorado.

“I am humbled and honored by the decision Colorado’s voters have made, and I accept the challenge you have entrusted to me to lead our state as Governor,” Hickenlooper said. “This is not the end of our journey. This is the beginning. And it starts with bringing people together.”


UPDATE (8:20): Here’s a couple of developing stories to watch. All of this can change, of course, but as of right now…

  • Bennet maintaining early lead on Buck

  • Hickenlooper holding early lead for Governor

  • Tipton well ahead of Salazar in CD-3

  • Kennedy surprisingly strong in Treasurer race

  • Buescher may be saved by ACP candidate for SOS

  • Third party turnout not yet playing role in CD-4

  • Attorney General race staying close

  • Every major ballot measure getting crushed

  • Both Rep. Diana DeGette (CD1) and Jared Polis (CD2) have been declared winners already
  • —–

    We’ll update results as we can. In the meantime, please keep them updated, with links, in the comments below.

    *NOTE: Candidates in bold and italics have been declared the winner by at least one local news outlet.


    Michael Bennet (D): 47%

    Ken Buck (R): 47%

    56% reporting


    John Hickenlooper (D): 51%

    Tom Tancredo (ACP): 37%

    Dan Maes (R): 11%

    48% reporting


    Cary Kennedy (D): 51%

    Walker Stapleton (R): 49%

    44% reporting


    John Suthers (R): 57%

    Stan Garnett (D): 43%

    44% reporting


    Bernie Buescher (D): 44%

    Scott Gessler (R): 50%

    Amanda Campbell (ACP): 6%

    44% reporting


    John Salazar (D): 45%

    Scott Tipton (R): 50%

    63% reporting


    Betsy Markey (D): 41%

    Cory Gardner (R): 53%

    Doug Aden (ACP): 5%

    Ken “Wasko” (I): 1%

    69% reporting


    Ed Perlmutter (D): 53%

    Ryan Frazier (R): 42%

    16% reporting

    Tom Tancredo Loses His Filter

    You didn’t really think he could make it all the way to election day, did you? We hope this clears up why, while everybody else was joining the handwringing bandwagon as American Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo began his “surge,” and the absurd whitewash meme of the “new Tancredo” tried to get legs under it, our only question was how long he could keep this up.

    As the Pueblo Chieftain’s Patrick Malone reports, not long enough.

    During a campaign swing through Southern Colorado on Tuesday, Tancredo told supporters about his perception of the threat Obama poses.

    “It’s to the Constitution, to the Bill of Rights,” the Canon City Daily Record quoted him as saying. “It’s not al-Qaida, it’s the guy sitting in the White House.” [Pols emphasis]

    …At an Oct. 22 debate with his opponents, Democrat John Hickenlooper and Republican Dan Maes, Tancredo defended past inflammatory statements he has made.

    The moderator pointed to past remarks by Tancredo that called for the bombing of Mecca, characterized Miami as a third-world country, whether he has the temperament to be governor, advocated literacy tests for Colorado voters and painted Obama as the greatest threat to the nation. He then asked whether Tancredo has the temperament to be governor.

    “I absolutely do not regret (the statements),” Tancredo answered.

    Our readers will recall that Tancredo said something very similar to this, at a rally for GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck just before the primary. After a couple of days of hemming and hawing, Buck agreed with Tancredo–and took hits in the press for days afterward. That was before Tancredo jumped into the gubernatorial race as a third-party candidate, of course, so Buck was the one who looked bad. Now, Tancredo’s self-inflicted wounds carry a price for himself; in addition to all the Republicans who have rallied to his standard out of desperation, amnesia, or whatever is going on.

    And that isn’t the only jaw-dropping Tancredo gaffe in this final week of campaigning–The Denver newspaper reports today that Tancredo embellished President Barack Obama’s oft-misquoted remark about how some “bitter” people “cling to guns or religion.” The thing is, Obama never mentioned “white people.” That’s, rather unsurprisingly, just what Tancredo imagined hearing.

    Or, as Tancredo said, “take the most inflammatory one I can think of and accept that it’s true.”

    Now that, dear reader, is the Tancredo we know.

    Bottom line: the gubernatorial race in Colorado has been over since several weeks before the Republican primary. All that has happened since then has been a sideshow with one possible outcome. Make that two outcomes: Governor John Hickenlooper, and a bunch of embarrassed Republicans who will spend the next few months wondering what the hell they were thinking — particularly if Dan Maes ends up with less than 10% of the vote.

    Tancredo, Maes Back and Forth on “Deal” Continues

    On Monday we posted screenshots from Facebook accounts of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes and supporter Joseph Harrington about alleged continued attempts by American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo to negotiate a way for Maes to exit the race for Governor. Tancredo and friends denied the accusations, naturally, but the story is far from over.

    As Fox 31 reports, Harrington claims to have “proof” of the discussions via a voicemail from Tancredo campaign manager Bay Buchanan:

    A voicemail has surfaced in which Bay Buchanan, Tom Tancredo’s campaign manager, can be heard inviting Dan Maes to come to the negotiating table, apparently contradicting the Tancredo campaign’s statements this week that they have not been looking to make a deal to get the embattled GOP  nominee to quit the governor’s race.

    The recorded voicemail was sent to Joe Harrington of Highlands Ranch, a Maes confidant, who posted a video of himself playing the voicemail on Facebook Thursday morning.

    “Tom is within four points of Hickenlooper,” Buchanan says in the message, which was sent at 12:56 p.m. last Friday. “It’s the time. He’s got to find somebody he trusts to talk to us, somebody who he trusts their word.

    “Give me a call if you’re interested. I won’t bother you any more if you guys aren’t, but the time is now. The time is absolutely now.”

    So what does Tancredo’s campaign have to say about this voicemail? That it’s all Harrington’s fault…or something:

    But, Buchanan says that Harrington first opened the door to negotiations last week when he walked into Tancredo’s campaign office and met with [Cliff Dodge (a Tancredo advisor)] last week — and that her voicemail was a response to his initial inquiry about a way for Maes to exit the race.

    “He came to us and indicated that Dan was tired and might be interested in getting out,” Buchanan told FOX 31. “We do not deny having many conversations with them, because we felt like we had a contact with Maes and that we might be able to work this all out. [Harrington] wanted us to put something in writing, he even mentioned specific jobs. And I sent him the law that states it’s illegal to even talk about those types of things. We said he could be involved in the campaign, but beyond that we were very clear that we couldn’t offer him a job.

    “When he asked what we could do, we told him ‘nothing’.”

    None of this is going to change the fact that Democrat John Hickenlooper is going to be elected Governor in two weeks. But at the rate this spat is going, somebody (if not several somebodies) may be looking at serious legal problems.

    It’s bad enough for Republicans that they have essentially given away the Governor’s race for a second straight cycle, but what they really don’t need is for this mess to produce serious legal challenges that include various GOP officials ending up giving depositions on potential backroom deals. From all indications, there are a lot of different people who had conversations with Maes over the last few months about getting out of the race for governor, and it’s not out of the question that many of them could be dragged in front of lawyers over the next 12 months.

    Colorado Ethics Watch earlier this week called on Maes to disclose details of any potential offers in a press release:

    Colorado law (C.R.S. § 1-45-115) provides that “No person shall offer or give any candidate or candidate committee any money or any other thing of value for the purpose of encouraging the withdrawal of the candidate’s candidacy, nor shall any candidate offer to withdraw a candidacy in return for money or any other thing of value.”  Under this law, a person who made a financial offer to Maes or his campaign in order to induce him to withdraw would violate Colorado campaign finance law even if the offer were rejected.

    “If, as it appears, Dan Maes has evidence that someone offered him money to drop out of the election, he should reveal it,” said Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch.  “Because even making an offer is illegal, it is incumbent on Maes and his campaign to disclose everything they know about any alleged offers to get him to drop out of the governor’s race.”

    Um, It’s a Little Too Late for That Now

    Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes today pointed to a post on Facebook from a supporter named Joseph Harrington about apparent continued efforts by Republicans to get Maes to leave the race for Governor.

    Talk about beating your heads against the wall. Republicans have been trying to get Maes out of the race since at least July, and he has yet to agree to any of their deals. So why would they keep trying, especially with the election just a few weeks away now? Do they really think Maes is suddenly going to decide to drop out now? Of course he isn’t, and the more that these stories continues to come out, the more that the Republicans involved risk getting exposed for obviously illegal activity (assuming this is true).

    Anyway, the Facebook postings are after the jump:

    New Rasmussen Poll Actually Bad News for Republicans

    From Rasmussen Reports:

    Is independent Tom Tancredo now becoming the de facto Republican candidate for governor of Colorado? He’s now moved to within four points of Democrat John Hickenlooper to turn the race into a toss-up.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Colorado finds Hickenlooper with 42% support, while Tancredo, the candidate of the American Constitution Party, earns 38% of the vote. Support for Republican Dan Maes continues to fall and now stands at 12%. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

    Less than two weeks ago, Tancredo earned 35% of the vote to Hickenlooper’s 43% and Maes’ 16%. That shifted the race from Solid Democrat to Leans Democrat in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard. Now the race moves to a Toss-Up.

    First off, we don’t believe for a second (and neither do most informed politicos in Colorado) that the governor’s race here is anything close to a toss-up. Democrat John Hickenlooper is going to be elected governor — he’s been too far ahead for too long, and he has significantly more resources than Tom Tancredo.

    But news of this poll from the notoriously right-leaning Rasmussen Reports is not actually helpful for Colorado Republicans. Tancredo is going to (rightly) tout these polling numbers as proof that he can defeat Hickenlooper, which will do two things: 1) Convince more potential Republican voters to choose Tancredo over GOP nominee Dan Maes, and 2) Give a big boost to American Constitution Party candidate Doug Aden in CD-4.

    According to Rasmussen, Maes is sitting at 12% of the vote, just two points away from falling under the 10% required to cause Republicans to lose their “major party” status. More significantly, any rise for American Constitution Party candidate Tancredo makes Aden look more credible as well, and just about every vote that Aden receives is a vote that would have otherwise gone to Republican Cory Gardner in CD-4.  

    Weak Gubernatorial Candidates Hurting Others Nationwide

    As “The Fix” reports yesterday, Democrats across the country are suffering the fallout from a weak top-of-the-ticket showing:

    Rick Snyder may be House Democrats’ biggest nightmare.

    The Michigan Republican, a former head of the Gateway computer company, is running way ahead of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (D) in the Wolverine State’s gubernatorial race. (A poll released Sunday gave him a 20-point advantage.) Such a wide margin for Snyder creates the potential for a down-ballot sweep that could wash out Democrats’ chances in two hotly contested House districts…

    …With Snyder leading Bernero by such a wide margin, there is considerable concern among Democratic strategists that a poor performance at the top of the ticket could make just enough difference to sway the 1st District and 7th District races against them.

    The situation in Michigan is the most extreme – but far from the only – example of how Democratic struggles at the top of the ticket could well cost the party a handful of congressional contests on Nov. 2.

    “Getting tied to an unpopular ticket hurts with swing voters, but it also makes it even harder to rally your base and get them to turn out,” said one Democratic consultant who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the problem candidly…

    …In close races – and there will be lots of them at the House level in 22 days’ time – a few hundred votes can make all the difference. And that’s where a stronger-than-expected (or weaker-than-expected) than expected showing at the top of the ticket will matter – in a major way.

    There’s no mention of Colorado in this article, but Republicans stand to face the same problems with the, uh, less-than-venerable Dan Maes as the GOP candidate for governor. We’ve been saying this since even before Maes’s primary victory in August, when it became clear that the Republican Governor’s Association would not be playing in Colorado.

    As we’ve also said, this is why ballot-chasing and GOTV efforts will be so critical to many other top races. For example, Cory Gardner’s campaign in CD-4 needs to find those Republican voters — who might have lost interest in casting their ballot after watching Maes flounder around for months — and make sure they still decide to vote for him. But without RGA money in Colorado, there are fewer resources available for exactly those ballot-chase and GOTV efforts that many Republicans candidates rely upon. That’s the dangerous doubly-doozy you get with a disaster of a gubernatorial candidate like Dan Maes.

    Maes Picks Up Palin Endorsement (Not that One)

    UPDATE: Click after the jump to see some of the comments on Dan Maes’s Facebook page about this endorsement. They had us laughing out loud.


    We’re really going to miss Republican Dan Maes when his campaign for governor comes to a close. He’s just too much fun.

    Today Maes announced via Facebook that he has the support of a Palin for his campaign. Not former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, mind you, but her father-in-law, Jim Palin, who apparently makes endorsements of his own.

    You can read the endorsement letter after the jump. We’re assuming that this is the same Jim Palin from Wasilla, Alaska, who is Sarah’s father-in-law, but for all we know (and given what we all know of Dan Maes), this could just be some other dude named Jim Palin who also happens to live in Alaska.  

    Check out the comments on Dan Maes’s Facebook page about this. Jim Palin is either Sarah Palin’s husband, or father, or father-in-law, or…

    Maes, Tancredo Fallout Could Handcuff Future GOP Fundraising

    We’ve discussed before in this space the many various repercussions that could come from the Gubernatorial candidacies of American Constitution Party (ACP) candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Party nominee Dan Maes, but apparently the downside is even worse than we thought for the GOP.

    As we’ve written before, Colorado law designates “major party” status on any political party whose candidate receives more than 10% of the vote in a general election for Governor. Republicans who support Tancredo over Maes — their own Party’s nominee — may be crippling future Republican candidates for years to come. Check out our previous post on the perils of opening the door for more ACP candidates, but there’s a much bigger problem if Maes fails to generate 10% of the vote in November (which is very possible).

    If Maes doesn’t get 10% of the vote in November, then the Republican Party will become a “minor party” for the next four years. As the big Denver newspaper reports, this could cut in half the amount of money every Republican candidate could raise. “Major party” candidates are automatically on the ballot in both the Primary and General Election races, whether they have opponents or not. The benefit of this is that “major party” candidates can raise money for both a Primary and a General election campaign.

    But “minor party” candidates are NOT automatically placed on the Primary ballot — they only appear on the Primary ballot if they have an opponent. So if Maes gets less than 10% of the vote (which would be in part because so many Republicans supported Tancredo for Governor instead of Maes), then for the next four years Republican candidates could only raise half as much money as Democrats or ACP candidates.

    For example, an unopposed Republican candidate for State Senate in 2012 could receive a maximum contribution of $200 from each donor, while a Democrat or ACP candidate in the same race could get a $400 check from the same donor. D’Oh!

    “(The Republicans) would really be behind the eight ball on that. Maybe for governor or some statewide offices they’ll be opposed,” attorney Bill Zimsky told The Denver Post. “But there will be plenty of Senate and House seats that will be unopposed, and they’ll be totally whipsawed by this.”

    And if that happens, Republicans will have nobody to blame but themselves.

    Thanks for Playing Tea Party, But Republicans Are Leaving

    As “The Fix” explains:

    Marketing consultant Christine O’Donnell’s stunning primary victory over Rep. Mike Castle last night badly imperils Republicans’ chances of winning the seat being vacated this fall by appointed Sen. Ted Kaufman (D).

    Whereas Castle was a known — and liked — commodity to First State voters based on his more than four decades of service in elected office, O’Donnell has next-to-no presence among the general election electorate and, given the sort of primary campaign she ran, seemingly little interest or ability to expand her sphere.

    National Republicans signaled privately last night that they would take their attention — and, more importantly, money — elsewhere in the country, focusing on what they believe to be growing opportunities in places like West Virginia and Connecticut to name two.

    That decision almost certainly dooms O’Donnell’s candidacy as she has no demonstrated ability to raise the money she will need to be competitive in the pricey Philadelphia media market against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) [Pols emphasis]

    …Against Castle, an icon in the state, it was hard to see Coons pulling off the upset.

    Against O’Donnell, Coons is rightly regarded as the favorite.

    This race moves from “Lean Republican” to “Lean Democratic” — and in so doing gives a major boost to Senate Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the chamber in the fall.

    Sound familiar? While there are certainly significant differences here, O’Donnell’s victory is reminiscent of Dan Maes’ win in Colorado’s gubernatorial primary. In both cases, victory by the “Tea Party” favorite has given the Democrats a clear path to victory. But more telling is that once the “Tea Party” favorite won, national and local Republicans quickly abandoned them.

    The Republican Party LOVES the Tea Party…only so long as they do what the GOP wants. Which makes us wonder, again, why the Colorado Tea Party doesn’t just form their own party.

    Tancredo Candidacy Opening Door to Future ACP Candidates

    A Colorado Pols diarist first noted last week the potential for Republicans to lose their “major party” status if gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes fails to get 10% of the vote in November. But whether or not Maes drops below that 10% threshold, it appears as though American Constitution Party (ACP) candidate Tom Tancredo will receive more than 10% of the vote in November — which means that the ACP could become a “major political party” for the next four years.

    The effect of Tancredo’s candidacy on Republicans will be felt in 2010, but the GOP could face serious problems for years because of Tanc’s run for governor. If the ACP becomes a “major political party,” then they gain the ability to nominate candidates for every office in Colorado. As a “minor” party, ACP currently can only get candidates onto the ballot in downballot races by holding a convention for that seat or by gathering petition signatures — but if Tancredo gets more than 10% of the vote in November, the ACP will essentially be able to pick candidates to run in any partisan race in Colorado. That’s bad news for Republicans, because an ACP candidate is always going to be more likely to siphon votes away from a Republican than a Democrat.  

    The other significant change that could come from “major party” status is that it would give the ACP a seat at the table in many committees that are filled by the governor. The governor is allowed to appoint committee and board members to all sorts of different commissions and boards throughout the state. Many of these commissions must contain a certain number of “major party” members (check this link for an example). Adding ACP members to Colorado boards and commissions certainly would help the resumes of potential future ACP candidates.

    Republicans who support Tancredo aren’t just making a difference in the 2010 elections — they may be crippling future Republican candidates for years to come.

    Tancredo, Poundstone’s Absolutely Vicious Anti-Maes Ad

    Wow, folks.

    Colorado Independent’s John Tomasic:

    Freda Poundstone, well-known Colorado conservative political figure, appears in a Tom Tancredo campaign ad released Tuesday in which she calls embattled Republican candidate for governor Dan Maes a con and a liar.

    “Dan Maes not only conned me out of my money, he lied to me about his background, and he deceived my friends and myself about his conservative principles,” says Poundstone, brimming with emotion. “I’ve had so many people call me and ask: What kind of a man would do that to an 83-year-old lady? and I don’t want that to happen to the voters of this state.”

    Freda Poundstone, a longtime GOP activist and one of the principal figures in this year’s “Dr. Evil” initiatives, is of course no helpless old lady–but we’ll be damned if she doesn’t play one convincingly on television.

    At the same time, it’s hard to see how attacking Dan Maes gets Tom Tancredo elected. This ad is going to hurt Maes, to be sure, but it also hurts all Republicans because Maes is at the top of the GOP ticket. Tancredo doesn’t have enough time or money to cripple Maes and damage Democrat John Hickenlooper and put out a positive message about himself.

    If the only thing Tancredo accomplishes is to bash Maes (whose campaign was already DOA), and by association, the Republican Party, then what was the point of Tancredo getting in this race? And why are so many Republicans endorsing a guy who is openly destroying another Republican?