Although the first reports of the withdrawal of gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry from the GOP primary claimed his sudden exit from the race was due to “personal reasons,” multiple outlets have turned today to a, if you will, more plausible narrative–that Penry didn’t leave the race willingly. The Denver Post’s updated report today:
Faced with the threat of an independent political machine opposing him and the prospect of lackluster fundraising, Republican state Sen. Josh Penry of Grand Junction has decided to end his campaign for governor…
Penry, 33, was facing fundraising challenges, especially with big-money names in the state who had launched a political committee aimed at anyone opposing McInnis. The nonprofit committee, known as a 501(c)(4), legally permits donors to contribute unlimited amounts of money with limited disclosure.
That message was sent to Penry.
That’s consistent with the story being reported pretty much everywhere today. We’ve heard the message that the Republican powers-that-be intended to clear the field for Scott McInnis was delivered to Penry by kingpin funder Phil Anschutz personally, on behalf of other principal GOP donors like Alex Cranberg and American Furniture Warehouse CEO Jake Jabs.
That’s how it goes sometimes in the rough-and-tumble world of politics, but there are some lingering questions about this that could be troublesome for McInnis. For one thing, might this “independent committee” that frightened Penry into submission have any relationship to “my 527” from McInnis’ infamous voicemail message? Since McInnis has already admitted far more than he should about knowledge of supposedly uncoordinated resources…how much did he know about Anschutz and friends threatening Penry over the weekend?
As interesting (and even legally problematic) as that all may be, we think the risk in this story for McInnis is simpler–he’s not the choice of the conservative base, the base’s candidate is the one who got punked. By McInnis’ well-heeled supporters. Anything that feeds the narrative of rich insiders making the base’s primary choice for them is extremely dangerous to McInnis politically, and risks a backlash that money cannot control (see: Dede Scozzafava).
While the back room dealings that have forced Mr. Penry out of the Governor’s race are dirty and represent everything wrong with government, I think it is a wise political move for Republicans.
Looking at the 2 Gubernatorial elections earlier this month, we saw 2 Republicans running on a fairly moderate platform. The one federal race that featured a far-right ‘Tea Party’ candidate went to the moderate democrat in New York.
It seems, despite what the ‘Tea Baggers’ proclaim, they really don’t have a very strong movement. Josh Penry was just too far to the Right to beat Bill Ritter. His history of extreme partisan rhetoric in the State Senate would likely have turned away independent voters.
The people want an end to the ridiculous sideshow that our government has become. McInnis, though not much of a moderate, can at least sell it better than Penry.
As long as the base doesn’t get wise to it. Which could happen, then it isn’t so smart.
If this turns out to be true, it certainly doesn’t make Mr. McInnis popular with the Republican base or the general public. I wouldn’t want to be known as the hand picked candidate of millionaires. A candidate with that hanging around their throat owes those millionaires too much at the expense of the rest of us.
That’s the McInnis-Norton ticket! Could Anschutz and the Beauprez cabal have designed a better way to get the base to sit on its hands next year?
But the newspaper reports were unclear as to who was in the 527. (I know, technically it’s not called a 527 at the state level, but you all know what I’m talking about. The independent education group.)
I figured they were reassembling the Trailhead Folks, and they were gonna do to Penry this time what they did to Holtzy last time around.
Most people are using 501(c)(4) organizations. Virtually no reporting requirements at the individual contributor level. Report the bottom line to the IRS, but you can keep the contributors secret.
He doesn’t have the cajones to stand up against them? His bending over for them and quaking in his boots shows exactly what he is made of. A jello spine. Geesh, if Penry would have just listened to me from the beginning, I would have saved him a lot of embarrassment. Or he could have heeded MAH’s warnings.
No wonder he refuses to endorse McFruitcake.
If quarterbacks liked getting hit, they’d be wide receivers.
…I really really wish I hadn’t used such expletives to make that quoted point above…
…overall though from what I learned, if you have a message that you truly believe in and you can deliver it passionately, you WILL find an audience and you’ll probably find enough money to make it viable….
…the achilles heel of many politicians is that they view money-men as the gateway towards victory – that’s the wrong assumption – money can’t buy a good message, passion, and energy
…but a good message, with energy and passion can bring enough money to get it out
Kingmakers? Kingmakers do NOT control politics – your relationship with your community and state is what controls politics, and the endorsement of kingmakers cannot give you a better relationship
….that’s my two cents based on what I’ve learned
Did he quit because he had a bad message, poor energy, and tepid passion? That would seem to validate your two cents’ worth.
Or, did he quit because, contrary to your two cents, having a good message, energy, and passion is simply not enough to get out your message and find enough money to be viable?
You’re just gonna have to take what you can get out of it
I’ve gotten to know Senator Penry pretty well and I find him to be very sharp – I hope he stays active in the Party, as he is a great candidate
Good luck to Congressman McInnis and team
…I will assume that you believe you are correct in this case. Which means your two cents’ worth is accurate. Which means that you think Penry’s campaign sucked (and that is why it failed). Which, of course, contradicts your (obviously) false statement that you think he is a great candidate. You have trouble being straightforward, don’t you?
“Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican”
– Ronald Reagan
(And Jamba – if you don’t like it, then that ain’t my problem…)
..you just won’t admit as much.
And whether your inability to be straighforward bothers me is not the issue. I would think your duplicity would bother you. In any event, I hope anyone who might think of supporting you in the future also realizes your falseness.
weren’t you ushered to the door by uberCon kingmakers, crushing your senate bid dreams? You must feel Penry’s pain. But isn’t that what the Republican Party has become in Colorado? …every decision made by a corrupt oligarchy, wanting to advance their own interests, not Colorado’s.
I’ve come to believe that you are really a blue dog D at heart, MAH. Have you had a serious conversation with your family about ya’ll defrosting and entering the 21st C? Surely, you understand that today’s R Party is nothing close to the party it was when you knocked on doors with your RR tippy cup.
Dude – I’ve got red-Republican-blood pumping through my veins and I’m very proud of that – proof is my running hard for my Party in 2008, when the deck was stacked hard against us
Yes – I have some liberal tendencies on social issues, but you’ll find no Republican who is more ardent in his/her support of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and limited government than myself – seriously – if Jon Caldara and Big Daddy Doug Bruce had a baby, they would birth me
As far as the SD8 senate race goes….. if I had known then what I know now, I would’ve handled things much much differently…. that said, Al White is doing a solid job as my State Senator and I was proud to endorse him in 2008
The lessons I learned from SD8 and HD56 will serve me very well in the future, especially in my evaluation of when to run again and why
I’m excited that my best days are ahead – the lessons from 2008 will guarantee that
have the courtesy to forego the use of the term “Big Daddy”, when referring to Doug Bruce. The real “Big Daddy Bruce” was the late Bruce Randolph. The former is a demented ego-maniac, the latter was a fine man and a much-loved pillar of his community.
Big Daddy is a nick sometimes used for Bruce and I take nothing away from Randolph, who was a terrific man
ergo hominem factus rectu
…as long as people like Josh Penry think money trumps those other tools, money will trump. Because it will cause people to unnecessarily give up.
I hope the far right Republican base feels as alienated in this statewide race. Meanwhile the far-right has taken the school board in Douglas County and the city council in Longmont. The ensuing battle will be interesting.
Now I just wonder if anyone on the right is pissed off enough to put a Tea Party candidate in the mix???
Remember Swastika Guy? Via Westword:
I would just love to someone run under the Conservative Party or Tea Party to show the far-right that they are not the majority. Independent is good, too.
Let me get this straight. Ritter does Anschutz a favor by appointing his former employee to the U.S. Senate. Anschutz rewards Ritter by kicking out Ritter’s opponent’s opponent. This either doesn’t make sense or Anschutz is very ungrateful. Maybe that’s just politics.
Is that all you have to throw?
Just trying to provide you with all of your options. 🙂
…is mostly a rhetorical hail-mary, as you surely know. Thus, you should expect to encounter resistence to such a clumsy flourish.
it sounds so much nicer than when I do? 🙁
But PR was right- moron seems so predictable…
and so many more choices- just based on fleshing out the options
So many options out there for Paul. He should really be grateful for people like you.
Damn, I bungled it!
…but I’m no coward–at least I put my name to what I write.
or an even bigger moron to have your name attached to some of the ridiculous drivel you write here.
I didn’t call you a moron or a coward. Your response to me is utterly random, but at least your name is attached to it. Thank goodness for that!
You guys are just jealous you didn’t see the delicious irony in Anschutz’s alleged actions.
I am soooo jealous that I can barely breathe. Alas, alleged irony doesn’t taste as sweet as actual irony. But you keep reaching for the stars.
Think I’ll carve a heart with Jammy’s name in it, the next tree I come across.
pretty harsh words toward Paul…
“…politics is fun until it gets political…”
Ain’t that right, Josh?
Penry email to supporters (and me)…
There was quite a bit more, this is the abridged version. So what is the real story about why Mr. Penry walked away?
“Thus, I quit.”
“Almost Went Rogue”
And the dream shall never die.
What the hell is going on? Penry just barely keeps from lapsing into Kennedyesque rhetoric.
Dead girl, live boy, other…
except when I want to speculate idly, but a non coordinated (snort) 527 or 501(c)(4) is not enough to scare off someone.
Name recognition? please.
Some people who know:
– Mrs P.
– Whomever from the 527/501c4 called him
– someone who worked for the whomever above
Right now that means either Mr. McInnis or Mr. Maes. You would think Mr. McInnis would be the slam dunk choice. I’m betting someone else is going to enter the race (Tancredo?) and Mr. penry will endorse that candidate.
The correct spelling is:
Only dead fish go with the flow.
Penry was probably counting on 501c4 support from his fracking friends in Mesa and Garfield Counties, but McDrill had those guys lined up before Penry was out of diapers.