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July 23, 2010 11:21 PM UTC

BREAKING: GOP's Gubernatorial Fix Is In

  • by: Colorado Pols

7NEWS breaks the details of what you’ve been suspecting all along:

Republicans are scrambling to replace Scott McInnis after — as Republicans expect — McInnis wins the August primary for the Republican nomination for governor, several campaign and Republican sources say…

“Everyone expects the great fathers (of the Republican Party) to come in the day after the primary … and say ‘Congratulations, now when are you going to get out?'” a campaign source told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia.

Top Republican sources confirm that[‘s] what will happen.

“The Republican Governors Association will also let him know it won’t support him,” a source said. “It won’t be easy to get him out. It may take (Association Chairman) Haley Barbour to make the call.”

…Republicans say if McInnis refuses to step down after the primary – which Republicans want him to win so Maes is not the candidate – his campaign funds will be cut off.

“They simply will not throw good money after a bad candidate,” one source said.

“If the dollar spigot dries up, it is academic,” another source said. “You’re done.”

This has been discussed repeatedly as one of the most likely scenarios, but it does directly contradict assurances from GOP chairman Dick Wadhams that the party would abide by the choice made by voters on August 10th. Those assurances were made to calm the base while acknowledging the career-jeopardizing scandal faced by Scott McInnis–we thought a more creative legal solution might have been in the offing. If this is how it plays out, whoever replaces McInnis for the GOP on the general election ballot is going to have to explain how they square with Wadhams’ promise; especially if, thanks to 7NEWS, they can’t make it look unplanned.

On the other hand, if McInnis survives until November, he’s going to get buried anyway.


115 thoughts on “BREAKING: GOP’s Gubernatorial Fix Is In

  1. The state’s GOP has a way of shoving people out of the way, only to have those same people get the nod (and the help shoving others out of the way) the next time a big race comes up. Penry was the last one asked to wait his turn.

    1. At this point, the GOP has almost no credibility with any voters, so why not push Penrod in (and, yeah, it won’t take a huge push to accomplish that) — lose the Maes wackos, and give Hick a 20-point victory over Penrod.

      That way, after 2010, Penrod will have almost as must future statewide appeal as Benson or Beauprez.

      Come on Wadster, this should be an easy decsion for you!

    2. He has to be kicking himself for letting them kick him out.  Plus standing along side their current crew I think he actually is respectable.

      1. Not kicking himself.

        If I know Josh, he’s somewhere under the radar, pouring gasoline on the fire.

        Sorry for the mixed metaphor, it just fits.

        Remember: Josh always fails upward.

        1. Josh probably has been sabotaging his current employer’s campaign so that he (Josh) will be available after the primary election is over. Because, as many have posted here before, Josh is all about Josh.

            1. Hickenlooper could get arrested this weekend in a drunk and disorderly bar fight. With a minor. After hours.  And he’d still beat McInnis.

              1. Over here, it is hard to find anyone who knows him who seems to like him …hard to find em’ cause they are all out hunting elk.

                Skin him and hang him up, boys…and stretch his hide out on the shed.

                And as far as our hometown boy (the Prince of Mesa County, Chairman of the Sarah Palin Fan Club…hence his endorsement of the Colonel) is concerned. This is a has-been quarterbacks’ dream. A hail Mary for the state championship…on Christmas Day.

                “And visions of sugarplums danced in his head”.

  2. Tancredo’s high noon Monday ultimatum to McInnis and Maes is still ticking.

    The Channel 7 story talks about the day after the 8/10 primary when the GOP godfathers would confront McInnis or Maes.  By that time, Tancredo may already be in the race.  

    1. But we haven’t picked Maes as the “likely” nominee necessarily; we do note his considerable turn of luck.

      Republicans don’t think that will be enough for Maes to win, despite the damage the plagiarism scandal has done to McInnis. There is also the possibility that enough GOP primary voters can be brought on board with the switch-out strategy to make it work. That could be fairly considered a longshot, but just about every scenario entails long odds at this point.

      1. And to play devils advocate, here’s another.

        A lot of rank and file Republicans who would have voted for McInnis are so disgusted with the whole thing don’t vote at all. McInnis losses the “disgust protest” vote, Maes picks up some of these votes (but not much), but his base, frothing at the mouth and smelling blood go all out to deliver the vote.

        If I was a semi-ethical mainstream Republican who had intended to vote for McInnis, I’d be sitting this one out.  

        1. And I am sitting this one out.

          The only way the TABOR worshipping, far right extremists in the State party are going to realize that they have to promote a pragmatic leader who can actually win in November, is to get their butts kicked this year.

          Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see a real candidate in 4/8 years.

            1. Their are no Republican OFFICE HOLDERS that hate TABOR, at least not openly. There are plenty of Republican voters that hate it. See: the room full of people who testified to gut it last session from both parties with HCR10-1002 and SCR10-002.

        2. A very large number of voters are fed up with the leadership. Being told to vote McInnis so the central committee can then pick a candidate will totally piss them off. I think this will help Maes as he’s asking people to vote for him, not a back room deal.

  3. I think they’ll be furious about being cut off at the knees by the big bosses, assuming the bosses can force McInnis out. Think it could hurt the Colorado GOP worse than McInnis or Maes running.  

    After all, it’s not as if beating Hick is much of an option at this point no matter who runs. Seems like if he runs, they lose.  If Maes runs, they lose.  If Tancredo runs, with them a or against them,  they lose.  I don’t think anyone really good is going to want to touch it at this point.

    Maybe they should just let the primary winner run, chalk this up to a lost cycle and at least look like they believe in the democratic process and in fighting the good fight? Naah!

    And by the way, remember when Dems started making fun of Wadhams and political insiders kept telling us wait, he was still a formidable force,  brilliant political operator, we shouldn’t kid ourselves just because of the a few defeats, yadayadayada?  Can we officially just make fun of him now?  

    1. who could compete effectively against Hickenlooper?  

      Or, put a different way, are there any moderate Republicans on the GOP’s bench?  I can’t think of any.  The reason I specify “moderate” is that I don’t believe a far right candidate can reasonably expect to win absent some extraordinary circumstances on the Democratic side.

      1. moderate who can win?  no




        NightHorse Campbell.

        and others. All “flawed” in a way that they could not win in the fall.

        Not least of which is the unavoidable perception and now obvious reality that the party insiders kicked the primary winner out and handpicked a nominee.  

        What they should do is get behind one of them with the message that “he’ll drop out later”, pick the right Lt Gov,  and then ride that horse all the  way through the swearing in.  Then the GOP can hope that the R Governor resigns right after he’s sworn in.  

        1. Nighthorse Campbell

          The Portuguese Congressman was the most disengaged member of Congress the whole time I lived in the 3rd CD.

          And it had nothing to do with being Portuguese.  He was just disengaged.

      2. yeah, I know, it’s a major stretch, but remember he was one of DickWads’ candidates. He’s had plenty of time to rehab his drunken image as chair of the CU Hospital Committee, and he hasn’t got any recent arrest for cruisy bathroom behavior.

        These days, that might be a perfect GOP candidate. Hick would still kick his ass, but….

    2. because of the accusations that may come my way, but Penry?  He’s newer, but not in the new sense of Maes where he literally stepped into politics a few months ago.  And I think he would register with more middle conservatives who are turned off by McInnis and afraid of Maes.

    3. Only a few of his best friends will vote for McInnis. All other votes for him will be for whoever a vacancy committee appoints if he drops out, if he does.

      1. a very weak assumption.  Making GOTV calls for the Dem primary targeted to voters who voted in past primaries and at some time expressed a leaning for my candidate, you’d be surprised how many “I really haven’t looked into it yet” or “Is he the Democrat because I’m definitely voting for the Democrat” answers I got.  Plenty of Republican voters will still vote for McInnis with the intention of voting for McInnis and if they’ve heard anything about the latest dust up they will assume it’s just libruls smearing Scottie.  

  4. .

    Sure, he uses and abuses my party in the process, but everyone now sees that he is the de facto leader of the state party, not the guy with the title.  

    Here’s how it plays out:

    1.  based on Maes’ statement earlier today, Tom must switch parties and become the nominee of my party.  That happens next week (I don’t really understand all the urgency about 26 July.)  

    2.  He quietly organizes a campaign.

    3.  On the day after the primary, he surveys the landscape.  If the winner steps down, so does the Tank.  If not, the battle for the souls of conservatives is on, pitting the conservative party against the GOP.


    1. Answering my own question.

      Minor party candidates who get on the ballot by petition must register to vote as a member of that party at least twelve months before the election, something that Tancredo didn’t do.

      Assemblies of minor political parties must be held no later than 65 days before the primary election, which has passed without Tancredo’s nomination.  The ACP nominated Ben Goss instead.  

      The bylaws can waive the affiliation requirement for candidates nominated other than by petition, and the American Constitution Party’s bylaws do that (Article 11, Part 1).

      (Incidentally, primary losers are also prohibited from running for an office in any other way, but since Tancredo didn’t run, that doesn’t apply to him.)

      Ben Goss could resign at least 70 days before the election, and if Tancredo registered to vote as a member of the ACP and otherwise qualified to be a candidate as of the date of the primary election.  There is a fair reading of the statute that says he should have to be registered when the primary election voter registration roles are closed a month before, however.

      I think if the ACP tried in good faith to run him, that he’d probably be allowed to run, and it would be a losing effort anyway.  But, it appears that there is a loophole that fits him.

      1. But he will have to change to a U or an AC affiliation before they can picxk him to replace Goss.

        My reading of AC’s eligibilit6y requirements is they have to wait til after the primary for Goss to resign and pick TT. But thsat, or course, is easily done.

    2. Come on Tom run as the Constitutional candidate and give up that fine Federal pension.  What’s one more chuck of cash to give up….Did Bernie say thank you?  Idiot.

      1. .

        These things weren’t stated, but they occurred to me while listening:

        1.  After McInnis steps down, the state GOP will conduct an on-line election, using automatic runoff and beta testing the software that will eventually be used for real elections.  There will be dozens of people on the ballot.  It will legitimize the replacement candidate.  

        Folks who don’t use the Internet will be able to vote at county party HQs.

        2.  Tancredo is jumping in Monday so he can raise a boatload of money so he can support the eventual GOP nominee.  He only has from 26 July to 13 August, the day of the electro-election, to raise funds.  

        3.  Tancredo the ACP candidate will not support ACP candidates downticket; he’ll support Republicans.

        4.  Dan Maes would never step down.  

        5.  The incentive for Scott McInnis to drop out will somehow be tied in to someone (likely Tancredo) paying back the Hasan Foundation for him.  


        1. 1) NFW

          2) yes, but he has until the real candidate is chosen or made public.

          3) Yes.

          4) Yes. Not voluntarily.

          5) 300k and other payment for unspecified “campaign expenses” (not mileage)

  5. Anyone, under any scenario, that enters or is drafted into the race at this point is time is going to be largely viewed as craven — ala Trancredo — regardless of what they do or say.

    The hole is already deep enough (it sure is entertaining though), you can stop now.  Actually, you really need to stop now.

    Nothing good is going to come out of continuing to screw this pooch.

    1. .

      hate Tancredo for what he did.  Officially.

      I personally think Wadhams begged him to confront the two guys who are officially in the Primary, but I got’s no proof.


  6. For completely non-partisan fun please check this out.  Even you righties and even though it’s at HuffPost.  I give you:

    Rockies Gone Wild

    A little sample:

    And the debate rages. No, seriously! It really does! There was a actual debate Thursday night and today, the Denver Post devotes the first eight paragraphs of a fifteen paragraph piece exclusively to the matter of shoes. (It does eventually get around to talking about Afghanistan, where I’m told we’re fighting a war.)

    All of our races receive the same treatment.

  7. For McInnis to win, GOP primary voters need a comfort level that a vote for McInnis is a really vote for a particular GOP politician whom they like better than either McInnis or Maes.

    Without clarity on who will step in or certainty that McInnis will drop out, it won’t be possible to induce GOP primary voters to vote strategically quickly enough to make a difference.

    Also, Tom Tancredo is not widely enough loved by people would otherwise have voted for McInnis for the prospect of a Tancredo run to unify the GOP into strategic voting.

    There are actually GOP primary voters out there for whom Maes is their first choice and had planned to vote for him in the first place, and there are more who would otherwise have voted for McInnis due to his perceived electability, but who will now vote for Maes.  

    And there are a plenty of GOP primary voters who will simply not cast a vote in that race because all options seem hopeless who would otherwise have voted for McInnis.

    McInnis needed to have had a much more overwhelming lead to start with to win the primary without massive strategic voting, and a last ditch effort to get people to vote for in on the off chance that they will get a wild card candidate instead isn’t going to cut it.

    1. If I were a Republican I would looking at these two this way:

      Maes is crazy. McInnis did something stupid.

      McInnis has learened a valuable lesson about honesty and is therefore salvagabale.

      Maes is still crazy.

      So, unless I share Maes’ insanity, I would be voting McInnis despite his whoopsie.

      If I were GOP

    1. You made me laugh out loud while all by myself, which is no mean feat.  And I do not mean that snidely.  I’ve written elsewhere that I think the state (and country) are better off when the two major parties are engaged and competing with solid ideas.  

      The GOP, in this case, seems hell bent on moving farther and farther right, and to just reflexively say “no” to any proposal that does not cut taxes and spending.  And yes, the Dems have been in a similar spot in the past . . .

      I feel your pain.

  8. that eventually the Republicans will learn. I’m not sure WHY I think this, because inevitably the next huge screwup comes along and I’m forced to conclude they won’t learn after all.

    1. alter their thinking to the possibility that tomorrow may need a different approach than the past…

      we are talking about Conservative/republicans here.

      their very nature, alas their DNA prohibits thinking or learning something NEW.

      parish the thought doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. is not just the definition of insanity. IT IS also the very definition of conservative.  

      1. I’m starting to think what the Republican really need a sanity test.  Do you think America is dead as Beck said tonight?  Do you think Obama is African?  Can you find Kenya on a map?  Do you spew spittle when you talk?  If you answer any of these questions yes – you have failed the electability test.  (Okay, one question in there was a ringer….)

  9. can anyone support Scott McInnis?

    The man’s behavior shows, beyond any doubt, that he completely lacks integrity. He essentially defrauded the Hasan Foundation and, despite a promise to pay back the ill-gotten money, has apparently made no effort to actually do so.

    Moreover, this isn’t the first time the guy has crossed fairly clear ethical lines. There was also the incident when he put his wife on the campaign payroll AFTER announcing he wouldn’t run for re-election to Congress. And there was his close connection to Tom DeLay, he of the lobbyist payola scandal.

    McInnis is a liar and, basically, a thief. He has no business being anywhere near the governor’s seat.

    John Hickenlooper’s political ideas may not appeal in their entirety to your average Republican, but the fact is that the man is honest and really has been a success both in business and in government. It’s not a hard call.

    1. .

      don’t you think Scott should have vociferously refudiated (I like it!) the Tancredo (challenge smackdown / gantlet throwdown / high noon showdown) thingy ?  

      Match Maes stride-for-stride ?

      Just out of self-preservation, if nothing else ?


  10. I believe everyone has under-estimated the support McInnis had before this plagerism thing went down, and although his supporters are disappointed, they are still going to vote for him.

    Scooter may be damaged goods, but it’s not fatal yet. Too many have buried McInnis when the patient is still in triage.

    However, this plagerism scandal is obviously not the skeleton McInnis’ campaign has locked in the closet. Don’t know what it was, but something kept him out of the US Senate race two years ago.

    1. However, this plagerism scandal is obviously not the skeleton McInnis’ campaign has locked in the closet. Don’t know what it was, but something kept him out of the US Senate race two years ago.

      yeah, I was wondering about that too actually the last few days

    2. And believe that whatever skeletons remain, those who need to know, do.  If he wins Aug 10, and makes no move to get out, we’ll find out.

      1. Dems will hammer him unless they decide he’s irrelevant. Then they’ll hammer Tancredo unless they decide they don’t need to. Look for an upbeat, positive campaign from Hickenlooper.

        1. We all do, esp when the opposition spin machine can make anything look like, well, anything.

          Look for a nasty omg muddy barf fest.

          Hick has stayed out of it so far – he could.  But after 8.10 it’s going to get energetically contentious and mean.  He either fights it off- meaning he’s got to get in the ditch and fight. Or he’ll have trouble.  

          I jus tdon’t have confidence that the high road resonates, otherwise we’d have elected Gore in 00 and Kerry in 04.  

  11. What an ugly sight.

    There seems to be no regard for the electorate or even for the voters in their own party……they can manipulate the system to get whatever they want…


    Florida in 2000

    The “wmd” excuse to invade Iraq

    Palin walking away from the office to which she was elected

    Simply ignoring the fact that a majority of the nation elected Obama and asserting that only “they, the republicans” had the right to speak for Americans…

    Money seems to factor in……Cheney/Halliburton made a  

    fistful on the wars

    Palin is rich

    Tancredo kept talking about how he would garner two or three million dollars coming in from all over the country as soon as he announced his candidacy on Monday….

    I don’t want these people anywhere near my country’s governments.            

      1. I believe that Maes and Tandredo would appeal to the same constituency and would truly split the conservative vote.

        I think that Maes has a very good chance of winning the primary, David’s right,

        Now, I hope someone’s shadowing Maes and documenting everything which is happening.  

        CP should set up a “Maes Watch” thread.  IMHO, he is the single most important political figure in Colorado.  As goes Maes, goes Colorado.  

  12. When I lived in GJ, McInnis had made a promise on his first election to limit himself to x [can’t remember the number, maybe 4 congressional terms], and of course he ran for an extra [perhaps 5th term].  I remember sitting in the audience at a town hall, watching him get testier and nastier to the audience when they kept pushing him on why he didn’t keep his promise.  It came down too -“he don’t want to quit” in the end.

    He is not a promise keeper (pun intended).

        1. A unanimous vote for the guy might give him a swelled head.  I figure 2 percent for Tancredo, 3 percent for McInnis, and 95 pct for Geek Chic looks about right for now.

    1. He had taken the U.S. term limits pledge, which is to limit to three two-year house terms or one six year-Senate term.  Of course, he lied like a trooper.  Of course, Tom Tancredo’s betrayal of his own three-term pledge was even more odious.  Tancredo had actually be a leader of the term limits movement in Colorado.  But when the time came to give up that big Congressional salary and huge pension, he decided he was much too important for the nation.

  13. Am I supposed to write-in a vote for Joe McCarthy which will be interpreted as a vote for Tom Tancredo, but only if he runs as a Republican, unless Dan Maes wins which means a victory for Sarah Palin, except she hasn’t really endorsed him yet, but is expected to, which means that Tea Partiers are really Independents, but wouldn’t that mean that I should vote for Tancredo on the AC Party, except they aren’t true Independents?

  14. After all the negative publicity and editorials denouncing McInnis, Dan Maes is likely to win the GOP primary.  Good luck getting that huckster to withdrawal.  

  15. Tancredo hinted that he has a plan: winning votes from the far right based on his reputation as a hard-liner on illegal immigration, and winning votes from the left by highlighting his commitment to an issue many liberals hold dear.

    Tancredo plans to campaign in favor of legalizing marijuana.

    “I have come out more than once in favor or legalization,” Tancredo said. “So there are things that give me some hope.”

  16. to vote for a Republican. Like the lives of everyone I loved hanged in the balance…

    McInnis would not get my vote as he has burned too many bridges. He broke his promise about his term limit pledge to the most important people. His constituents. He took money from Hasan Foundation in return for plagiarized papers. He threw a “friend” under the bus to save his own ass and expected that friend to sacrifice his own credibility. McInnis is completely unelectable.

    Tancredo is as completely odious a person as I’ve seen in a long time. His comments regarding civic literacy tests assure that I would rather my loved ones died than I ever vote for him. He also broke his term limit pledge. His deep seated hatred for illegal immigrants (instead of illegal immigration) points to a much deeper issue at work.

    Maes – Out of all of the candidates running I know the least regarding this one. Maybe ignorance is bliss. I do know he had some “financial irregularities” but that seems small when stacked against his opponent or Tancredo. Ok he was skimming the til. I was just trying to downplay my guys bad move. But when you measure Maes’ one screw up to the others, he’s the one I would vote for.

    Wonder if the real Republicans will see it the way I do?

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