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July 17, 2010 10:07 PM UTC

Josh Penry Still Wants It

  • by: Colorado Pols

Read between the lines of today’s report from the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby–we don’t think you’ll have trouble seeing what we mean.

“Scott has been a friend, a boss and a competitor,” Penry wrote in an e-mail to The Daily Sentinel. “He’s done a lot for the state, but he’s committed a very serious error that’s significantly weakened his candidacy. And let’s call an ace an ace: Dan Maes’ misuse of his campaign funds was probably an even worse offense.”

Penry, who is managing Jane Norton’s bid for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate against Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, said conservatives need to win the governor’s mansion…

“When people ask me what Scott should do, what Dan’s going to do, or what I’m going to do, here’s my answer: Conservatives need to win the governor’s race,” he wrote. [Pols emphasis] “How we accomplish that objective at this point is more than a little unclear. The best thing to do now is to let the dust settle.”

Think back at how the last year must look through the eyes of once-and-possibly-future gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry. Almost exactly one year ago, Penry rolled out an energetic campaign that had every sign of being more than a match for his former boss Scott McInnis. By the time Penry announced last July, McInnis had already shown an ominous propensity for gaffes, and flashes of what would later emerge as a serious personal credibility issue dealing with a naturally inquisitive press.

Penry took a look at his former boss’ early struggles on the trail, and we have no doubt it was an easy choice to enter the race. We would have thought the same thing: I can beat this guy.

But it wasn’t to be: Penry battled against the same GOP ‘establishment’ kingmakers who McInnis had bemoaned after he was forced out of the U.S. Senate primary against Bob Schaffer in 2008. In November, despite–or because of–the fact that Penry was favored by the base and outmessaging his old boss at every step, the plug was suddenly pulled on Penry’s campaign: a move attributed to powerful friends of McInnis such as Phil Anschutz.

Well, we haven’t heard any comment this past week from those Republican kingpins considered responsible for forcing Penry out of the gubernatorial race in favor of Scott McInnis, but we’re willing to assert with some confidence that they feel pretty stupid right now.

We can’t say with certainty what’s going to happen with McInnis’ imploding candidacy, or assess the as-yet unknown legal or electoral strategy (or both) Colorado Republicans hope to employ to extricate themselves from what otherwise looks to be a total disaster. But it’s pretty clear from the story above that Penry is positioning himself as the most viable alternative candidate–should any alternatives turn out to be workable. And after everything the GOP rank-and-file has been through in this long race, he just might be right about that.

He’s got signs ready to go, too.


71 thoughts on “Josh Penry Still Wants It

    1. If/when Buck wins the Senate primary and puts Jane to rest, Josh will be tanned, rested, and ready to dust off those “Penry for Governor 2010” signs tucked away in his garage.

  1. Now, if he is appointed to replace McInnis I will vote for Hickenlooper. He jumped in bed with the establishment when he dropped out of the governor’s race and became Norton’s attack dog (to be more precise, Norton’s female dog…). The guy is worse than McInnis at selling out.

              1. would have any contact with national politicians? But yes, I guess I should have said how would he stand up to anyone in Colorado government? He would basically be a sock puppet for Wadhams.

    1. when I find myself in agreement with bj.

      Am I getting soft and going over to the dark side or does he actually possess more astuteness then I give him credit for?  It is a strange agreement and for essentially the same reason: Penry is a sell out dick who can’t be trusted.

      1. We hate the Republican establishment. Hopefully, true conservatives will be deserving of your trust, but I don’t blame you for being mad at Republicans.

        1. Penry was running as a different kind of leader, and nothing says different kind of leader like…dropping your campaign for governor to work as a political hack for an establishment candidate…right?

          I don’t actually know how the different kind of leader thing really meshed with his state leg record, so that would have probably eventually drawn some scrutiny.  

        2. a “true” conservative would say to a bagger that the Constitution guarantees citizenship to all born here and would not try to make exceptions for those with darker skin just because the parent may not be here legally. That is a start.

          1. “just because the parent may not be here legally” as if that’s no big deal. Who cares about the rule of law anyway?

            So the baby stays but the parent has to go, and then our social services are deluged with the “citizen” children of criminals who broke into our country and ignored our laws.

            1. You don’t get to pick and choose the parts you like and ignore the parts you don’t. If you really want to change the parts you don’t like we do have an Amendment process. Really sick of “true” conservatives and tea baggers alike that pick and choose and then have the nerve to use the Constitution like a prop.

              1. I’m not really hard core on this stuff, and don’t want to get off on a tangent, but here’s what the 14th Amendment says:

                “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

                It’s judicial precedent, based upon a misinterpretation of the this clause, that has provided for allowing those born in the US to illegal immigrants – to be citizens.

                George Will makes a compelling case:


                1. to be compelling at all.

                  If, as an immigrant, you leave your home country and come here, you are instantly subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, unless you have deliberately retained your foreign citizenship (the example Will uses is a foreign diplomat, a business traveler or a student would be other examples).

                  It is entirely conceivable in my mind that the founding fathers would, indeed, be willing to grant citizenship to anyone born here, because it wasn’t always so easy to get here.

                  Doesn’t the inscription on the Statue of Liberty say something like, “give me your tired and huddled masses, yearning to be free”? Our country encouraged immigration in those days because we had a huge continent to fill up with Europeans. After all, we had to do something to drive out those damned redskin savages (my ancestors) and a steady stream of new “Americans” was just the ticket.

                  George Will has never done a good job of hiding his bigotry.


              2. one of my pet peeves with conservatives and tea-partiers:

                You don’t get to pick and choose the parts you like and ignore the parts you don’t.

                Well said, EK76.

                1. Couldn’t tell if you were replying to me or not.  But my point is that there is a ‘part’ that clearly implies that birth geography alone isn’t enough to be a US citizen.  By the speed of your response, I assume you didn’t read the article.

                  Anyway, I’ve said my piece.  Don’t want to get off subject.  If there’s another thread somewhere I’d be happy to oblige.

                  1. And are not subject to the jurisdiction thereof are diplomats.  The “jurisdiction” clause would appear to apply only to children born to parents in the diplomatic service, but I’m sure one of the attorneys who posts here can chime in and comment.

                    George Will has been wrong before, and undoubtedly will be wrong again.

                    I believe Duke was pretty clear in his post about who he was responding to.

                2. And ignore the parts they don’t, what’s next?  Picking and choosing the parts of the Bible they like and ignoring the parts they don’t?

                  Oh, wait…

            2. but are eager to pontificate on.

              1) Entering the country illegally is not a “crime,” but rather a civil offense. This is so in order to avoid triggering the more stringent constitutional protections of people in removal proceedings were it to be a criminal prosecution.

              2) “Citizen” children does not belong in quotation marks. They are citizens, period, according to the 14th Amendment of The United States Constitution. The United States adheres to both jus soli and jus sanguinis, which means that children of an American citizen, no matter where born, are citizens of the United States, and that anyone born on American soil (unless here as part of another nation’s embassy), are citizens of the United States. That’s the law of the land.

              3) The United States has historically exploited the permeability of our southern border, and the relative poverty south of it, to create a membrane through which cheap disposable labor can pass (sometimes assertively imported) when it is convenient for us, and can be blocked and removed when it is inconvenient for us.

              4) The true economic impact of illegal immigration is far more complex, and far less large, than ignorant xenophobes like you contend. Most analyses conclude that there is a net, nation-wide economic gain due to illegal immigration, though the distribution of costs and benefits does lead to real strains on local social services.

              5) Human beings have always migrated away from poverty and toward opportunity, and always will. Any parent who would place greater weight on their children’s future than on the prohibition to cross a line drawn in the sand. To villify people for doing so is simply reprehensible.

              6) No legitimate free market advocate can argue in favor of blocking the free flow of the factors of production across national borders. If not for the political opposition of anti-free-market hypocrits like you, allowing the free flow of workers across national borders would lead to an increase in aggregate global production.

            1. He’s clearly no old, jaded RWFG, with two soccer mom ex’s and a modern family with kids and steps and baby mamas and all. So he’s got that going for him.

  2. But will be complicated.  So if McInnis drops out prior to August 10th than Maes wins and is the nominee.  I suppose the only way it can happen is if McInnis somehow surives to take August 10th and then steps down and then Penry could be appointed

    1. Never gonna happen.

      Maes wins the nomination outright if McInnis drops out before the primary and a Mcinnis will never drop out if he wins the primary.

  3. Scott McInnis names the next person in line as his running mate within the next week, squeaks through to a primary victory, and then resigns from the ticket just after Aug. 10th for “personal reasons” giving the GOP a good excuse to promote the Lt. Gov. candidate to the top of the ticket.

    1. to be his running mate? Only if that agreement were made public at the LG announcement would anyone that desires credibility accept.

  4. but will the base want him?  He burned a lot of bridges with his attacks on Buck.  Not only that, but they were stupid attacks (Ritter being the best man so he must be an insider, AJS being a fake conservative org, etc).

    I think some of the base might be able to forgive, but many probably won’t.  

    1. He’s really good at campaigning and most people won’t remember his efforts for Jane Norton. But his dropping out, working for Norton will hurt him some – and it will be enough to kill any chances at winning in November.

      But look long term. Penry runs a really strong campaign. Hick is governor for 4 years. The job market still sucks. Penry coasts to the primary win for a 2nd run for governor and wins against Hick in ’14 based on the economy.

      1. will turn around by 2014.  Hick takes credit, Penry runs, loses, where does he go from there?

        Also, how does he stay in the public eye?  He might be able to run a strong campaign, but looking at what he’s done so far with Norton’s campaign, I don’t have as much faith as you do.

      2. David, we’re not talking the next election, we’re talking next month. And you better believe everyone they’ll want walking precincts or making phone calls will remember. That’s just crazy talk.

  5. and now believe he has a real shot at this.

    However if McInnis is the nominee, I don’t want Penry. I would have been okay with him a while ago but 1) he dropped out as BJ said and 2) has clearly shown he is as terrible as a 5 year old with temper tantrums with how he’s been with the Norton campaign and after that, I don’t want him in office again.

    1. Wait, since he quit before he even got to be governor, doesn’t that make him an even better conservative than Sarah Palin, who took her time quitting?

      1. At your “joke” that is, not Sarah Palin, who is quite enjoying her post-governor career, and apparently planning on being the next president of the United States.

        1. If Sarah Palin decides to give up her cash making machine to run for President it will be quite the show. She will be going from making all those millions to spending them in a hopeless grab for an office she is painfully ill-equipped to hold. She will either force other “conservative” Republicans to crush her in the primaries or by some miracle she will make it to the generals and be torn to shreds by the Obama machine. I’m sure she’ll hop up on her cross and play the victim at every opportunity.

          Oh please, let her run. It will be a blast to watch.

        2. She quit remember?  And now she’s being forced to pay back public money she spent inappropriately while ‘on the job.’

          While I would certainly appreciate the humor of a Palin candidacy–and sure, Tina Fey needs more work too–I believe there are still enough somewhat sensible Republicans out there to prevent that.  

            1. Read all about it here

              An investigator has determined former Gov. Sarah Palin’s legal defense fund broke state ethics law and said Palin has agreed to settle the matter by having the trust return more than $386,000 to donors.

        3. I still think it quite possible that the Tea Partiers snatch what could be a significant GOP year into what is likely to be a mediocre one, all things considered.  

          While the Dem congress polls low, the GOP congressionals poll substantially lower. With an anti-incumbent mood reported (although the results, in reality, are quite inconsistent–that’s the narrative anyhow) this set up hurts Dems more–because they are in the majority–at least in the ‘generic’ sense.  

          But rather than take advantage of the reality and nominate candidates more likely to win, the GOP has been chasing after Tea Partiers on some powdered-wig fantasy.  Meanwhile, back on 21st Century Earth, real candidates run against real candidates. GOP can try to make it all about Nancy Pelosi and Obama and whatever caricature they can whip their retrograde base into a frenzy over, but at the end of the day its still whack jobs like Sharron Angle and Rand Paul getting the nod, with people like Maes and Bob “Cowboy Colonel” McConnell running amazingly strong up toward the Primary.  Reid is already pulling ahead, back from near-certain death, and Paul–who will win–is likely to have the lowest margins in a while.  I hope the GOP nominate Maes.  Oh wait, I hope they nominate McInnis…  Either work for me.  

          Less sure in the 3rd what my preferences are–is the double humiliation better than beating a new candidate?  

          In short, the Tea Partiers are more damaging to the GOP than the Dems, although a question remains whether they can have any sizable national impact in the General (this cycle), other than the damage they do in the Primary.  Past that they are but an interesting, if bit cliche, footnote.  

            1. following the most extreme political elements in the last 50 years off the cliff of moderation isn’t probably in the best interests of long term relevance and popularity of the Republican Party.  Republicans need to get their noses bloodied before they will concede that moderates don’t want extremists engaging in cultural wars at taxpayer expense.

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