McInnis Isn’t Going Anywhere, But What About Maes?

Earlier we pointed you to a Politico story about former State Senator and former GOP Senate candidate Tom Wiens trying to throw his hat into the ring for Governor, should Republicans figure out a way to replace either Scott McInnis or Dan Maes on the ballot.

From what we’ve heard lately from top Republicans, however, there is probably no scenario whereby McInnis drops out of the race if he wins the Primary on Tuesday. Why not? The reasons are pretty simple:

First off, Republicans have nothing to offer in exchange for McInnis exiting the race. McInnis is so politically damaged, both within his Party and among Democrats and Unaffiliated voters, that this is his last chance to run for higher office. Dick Wadhams can’t say, “Pull out of the race, and we’ll promise to support you for (fill in the blank) in 2012 or 2014.” McInnis can’t run again; he knows it, Republicans know it, donors know it, everyone knows it. If you look at it from McInnis’ perspective, the only real political option he has is to stay in the race for Governor and hope for some sort of miracle that sweeps him to victory.

McInnis’ contract with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson is about up (or has already expired). Because of his plagiarism scandals, the general aura of mistrust that surrounds him, and (as we hear it) a not particularly stellar last couple of years with the law firm, McInnis doesn’t have any place to land if he pulls out of the race for Governor (not that he really needs it, since McInnis has a good degree of personal wealth). So, again, he might as well keep going.

The only rationale that would potentially convince McInnis to leave the race would be the old “do it for the good of the Party” speech, but that doesn’t work, either. For one thing, McInnis has never been considered a guy who is overly interested about doing what’s right for the Republican Party. And with Tom Tancredo’s entrance into the race on the American Constitution Party ticket, you can’t really argue that a McInnis replacement would be any more likely to win the seat anyway.

So McInnis is almost certainly going to stay in the race for Governor should he win the GOP Primary, but what about Dan Maes? Some of the rationales mentioned above would probably be pretty enticing for Maes. Even if he makes it out of the Primary, he’s clearly not going to win the General Election because he’s proven to be too inexperienced as a campaigner and a little too nutty when he opens his mouth. But Republicans could perhaps convince Maes that there is a future for him in elected office…just not now.

Maes also seems to need a job, since his business acumen hasn’t generated much wealth and he’s been using his campaign funds to (ahem) pay for mileage in dubiously large increments. If Republicans could offer him some sort of paid Party position, and/or promise to support him for another (more realistic) race down the line, we’d have to think that Maes would at least seriously consider the offer.

But that brings us back to Tancredo again. With Tancredo in the race, does any of this even matter? If Republicans can’t convince Tancredo to withdraw, then they could resurrect zombie Ronald Reagan for three months and they still couldn’t find enough votes to beat Democrat John Hickenlooper.

Republicans are definitely not going to convince McInnis to pull out of the Governor’s race if he wins the Primary, but they might be able to convince Maes to step aside. Either way, it’s hard to see how any of this keeps Hickenlooper out of the Governor’s Mansion.

Who Do You Think Is More Likely to Withdraw from the GOP Field?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. allyncooper says:

    and make that the very bitter end.

  2. bjwilson83 says:

    What if McInnis does win and stays in? He’s so damaged that nobody would vote for him, giving Tancredo a shot. Maybe that’s why Tancredo supported McInnis?

    • DavidThi808 says:

      About a month before the general McInnis/Maes drops out, and the Republicans don’t appoint a replacement. So it’s then a 2 person race. It sounds crazy, but the Republicans are better off with Tanc over Hick.

      • bjwilson83 says:

        on who people rally around. If one candidate starts to lose support people may flock to the other guy out of an “electability” argument. Depends how much Hickenlooper scares them.

      • I still think there are a lot of reasons for McInnis to quit.

        Is he smart enough to figure it out? Hard to tell. While he knows he’ll spend the rest of his life herding sheep on his wife’s ranch, he also knows that if he stays in the race, the the Colorado Freedom Fund ad is just a taste of what he and his family can expect.

        He hates the press. So why would he do anything to increase their advertising sales, readership and eyeballs?

        He hates studying the issues. Why would he want to give Tancredo and Hickenlooper more opportunities to show him up.

        He owes tons to his long-time sugar daddies. If he wants to work for them when he’s not herding sheep, why would he ignore their pleas  to quit (backed by a dearth of contributions)?

        He loves being a big shot. Is he looking forward to driving his pickup by himself with no staff and no driver and no one who will even pretend to listen to him?

        He’s proud. Is he ready to look at under 5% of the votes on Nov. 2?

        From the beginning, the unemployed Maes had nothing to lose, and he’s already lost that.

  3. H-Dog says:

    Republicans of the world, unite!  You have nothing to lose but your chains (as Marx wrote in the Communist Manifesto)! Give it up, and vote for those two godless communist Democrats, Johnny H. and Joey G.

  4. Barron X says:


    He doesn’t need approval from the GOP insiders; he knows who he is and is OK with that.

    Stepping down on August 11, after beating Dan Maes, Scott earns a debt of gratitude from all those detractors who have been sniping at his heels.


    • Half Glass Full says:

      I can see that happening. He just decides to retire. No preconditions.

      And shortly thereafter, Tancredo decides he’s gotten enough headlines, is tired of traipsing around to boring and pathetic American Constitution Party events, and drops out himself. Sure, he ticks off some ACP people who bought his latest snake oil, but what the hey: did they really think they were going anywhere with Big Ben Goss?

      And then the Republicans convene together in a smoke-filled room somewhere and nominate one of the following to run against Hickenlooper:

      Jane Norton (because she’ll lose to Buck)

      Tom Wiens

      Josh Penry

      Dan Caplis

      (Just kidding about that last one.)

      And in the end, Hickenlooper and Garcia win by oh, 5 to 10 points in November even though it’s a major Republican year.  

    • State Line says:

      The words ‘magnanimity’ and ‘class’ do not immediately leap to mind when one contemplates Scott McInnis.  

  5. lmstrawn2010 says:

    Scott McInnis’ campaign days are not over until the republican party disowns him. Clearly he is still considered a huge threat in the race for Colorado’s next Governor or the 527 groups wouldn’t be pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into attack adds against him. Mr. McInnis is still a very viable candidate and the thing is everyone else seems to see it still. Depending on the interview that you listen to with Tancredo he may or may not still be in the race until November; which leads me to believe that this is all just a publicity stunt for him. Stunt or not Tancredo has officially pissed off enough people that the democrats no longer see him as a threat and there for have only been attacking Scott McInnis. Mr. McInnis’ supporters are still standing behind him and holding strong. As he has said he is “in it to win it!” Maybe we can start calling for Tancredo to drop out next.

    • Half Glass Full says:

      Well of course they are… there just aren’t nearly as many supporters anymore for a man who, in the last few months:

      – Was found to have MASSIVELY plagiarized a $300,000 “work”

      – Tried to blame everything on his 82-year-old assistant

      – Refuses to release his tax returns, including records that will prove or disprove whether he paid proper taxes on his $300,000 stipend

      – Refuses to release records on his gross charitable contributions, yet insists he’s a wonderful human being because he gave some skanky old, bug-ridden, moldy, dried-up elk meat to some hapless family

      – Won’t even prove whether he had the right to bag that elk in the first place

    • Barron X says:


      Those are Hickenritter 527’s that think Maes will never fold, but fear that McInnis might, making way for a viable GOP candidate.


      • State Line says:

        to be so emamored of him?

        And maybe Ali Hasan for Light Guv. That way the Hasan Family Foundation, which apparently ‘settled’ with McInnis today, can get their payoff too.  🙂

        I’m just sayin’….

        • Barron X says:


          barely literate; can’t keep his 6 wives straight.  

          But he has a couple of things going for him:

          #1,    Jerry Bremer put out a hit on him, and wasn’t all that subtle about it.  

          That made him the most popular guy in Iraq.  

          #2,    the US Declaration of Independence.  Authority to govern arises from the consent of the governed, not weapons.  

          #3,    the main advocate for reconciliation across sects and ethnic divides, which is the main reason Bush and Obushma hate him.

          #4,    demands that the US leave Iraq immediately.  He is more pro-America than Obama, who promised to leave and be out of Iraq by 31 Dec 09, 7 months ago (and then by the end of May 2010, 2+ months ago,) but will never leave, because his Chief of Staff says it will make him look weak to act to advance US security interests.


          • State Line says:

            knowledgeable about it:

            – Bremer didn’t ‘put out a hit’ on Moqtada – if so, we would have killed him when we had him in custody.

            (We should have, in my opinion – he was responsible for the deaths of dozens of American soldiers and hundreds of Sunnis as well as more moderate Shi’ites, and a major force for instability in Iraq from 2003-2007.)

            Having done two volunteer (civilian) tours in Iraq I could say a lot more, but won’t.

            Other than – Moqtada seriously overplayed his hand in 2006-2007, particularly in Baghdad province and Hillah. Killing civilians left and right, smashing up liquor stores in Baghdad, making teenage girls afraid to walk the streets of Baghdad unaccompanied etc. Shelling the Green Zone indiscriminately on a near-daily basis, causing dozens more Iraqi civilian deaths.

            The reason a large % of the Shia population turned against him and the Mahdi Army. That rejection is one of the 4 reasons for the (surprising) success of the Bush surge.

            As for Obama, he’s doing exactly what he said he would do.

            Iraq is now safe enough (though still a mess) that if you wanted to fly there to spend some time on the ground in Baghdad interviewing people about Moqtada, you’d be safe to do so. But no thanks to al-Sadr.

            • Barron X says:


              The premise that a person in Iraq, working for the US Government, has a better idea than me about the politics and happenings in the country.

              Point:  The initial manning of the occupation authority was done by detailing Republican partisans from other parts of the federal Government, with staffs made up of Young Republicans.  Fer Pete’s sake, Meghan O’Sullivan is considered an Iraq expert today, along with Dan Senor and Jerry Bremer, because they were in charge 2003 – 2004.  

              Most American soldiers and truck drivers in Iraq know LESS of the big picture than someone back in Colorado who reads the International Press.  

              Acknowledged, if you were an Intel Analyst, you would have had the chance to gain a better understanding than me.  But you just referred to

              the (surprising) success of the Bush surge

              which suggests a personal investment that clouds your judgment.  

              The Surge was ostensibly intended to protect the people who lived in Baghdad.  Its official name: The Baghdad Security Plan.  What it did, in effect, was to permit Shi’a to expel about 30% of the city’s population, most of the Sunni portion, what is sometimes called “ethnic cleansing.”  Yes, that did reduce violence and killing, but we abetted a crime against humanity.  

              Who were we abetting ?  Much of the ethnic cleansing crime against humanity was perpetrated by al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.  

              As for Obama, he’s doing exactly what he said he would do.

              Campaigning, Obama first promised to get us completely out of Iraq in 1 year, clarified to mean before the end of 2009.  Then he promised to get us out completely in 16 months, by the end of May 2010.  

              AFTER THE ELECTION he promised to abide by the Bush surrender agreement, signed ~15 Nov 2008.  That document allows the US to keep combat units in Iraq, but they have to stay away from cities, cannot conduct military operations without first getting permission from the Iraqs, and keep the numbers below 50,000 after 31 August 2010.  Oh, and we can’t call them “combat forces,” though they are the same units, with the same capabilities and equipment, that are there today.  It also calls for complete withdrawal by the end of 2011.  

              This is a charade to conceal from American voters that Bush lost his little war in Iraq.  I guess it’s fooling some folks.  

              Obama is doing exactly what BUSH said he would do.


              I have to admit, you’ve got me stumped on that one item.  I don’t remember the US ever capturing al-Sadr.  I feel certain we never would have let him go if we had.  

              I spent 15 minutes looking for references to his capture just now.  I think you’re wrong, but if not, I’d like to be corrected.  That would be a significant inconsistency in my narrative.  

              But I’m not wrong about the price that Bush put on his head.  The cover story is that McChrystal’s hit squad targeted only al-Qaeda and Ba’athist Resistance fighters.  But he was enforcing US Occupation and trying to kill anyone who got in the way of that.  His #1 target was al-Sadr, even more important than the Hussein al-Tikriti brothers, members of the RCC or al-Zarkawi.    


              As you no doubt know, today al-Sadr is the main Iraqi advocate for complete expulsion of all foreign occupation soldiers from Iraqi territory.  Except for Kurds and those Iraqis receiving payments from Uncle Sugar, that’s what almost all Iraqis want.

              It’s not a perfect comparison, but he’s a little like the Iraqi Patrick Henry.  

              Finally, I’ve tried everything I could to get a job working for the US Government in Iraq in a position where I could help us stop the stupidity of trying to force occupied, subjugated people to like us and to be friends to Israel.  

              I DO NOT believe we are still there, 7 years later, because we want to help them learn to govern themselves in the manner they choose for themselves.    

              The most destructive force in Iraq for the last 7 years has not been the US Army; it’s been USAID.  

              We refuse to accord any respect to Iraqi people, leaders, values, culture, you name it.  

              If you were out among the population, your job was probably to try to convince the locals that things that nakedly served American interests were really for their own good.  Chew that over.  

              The Resistance really heated up when RTI, in al-Kut, withheld food rations until the locals acknowledged how blessed they were to have Americans to correct their beliefs and culture.  If you worked for RTI, you might have harmed the US and especially endangered soldiers more than al-Sadr ever could.  


              I am the original author of the “Model Communities” approach to stabilizing Iraq.  If you’ve heard of that, shut up.  If not, you really didn’t know very much about overarching policy in Iraq.  


              • State Line says:

                although it’s not ALL wrong. Think however we’ve spent too much of this thread discussing an off-topic subject so I’ll drop it – you can always email me if you’d like.

                Couple of closing comments then I’m done:

                1) You earlier called Moqtada a force for reconciliation, yet in this post you said (more accurately) that the Mahdi Army was reponsible for ethnic cleansing of 30% of Baghdad’s population. That doesn’t exactly strike me as ‘reconciliation’.

                2) I referred to the ‘surprising’ success of the Bush surge because I did not believe it would work, and opposed it at the time from my postion in the Embassy. It succeeded for a variety of reasons, al-Sadr’s overplaying his hand being one of them, though not a major one in my opinion.

                3) I didn’t work in intel although I had access to some of it.

                4) I’m hardly a Republican partisan: actually a lifelong Dem and career civil servant. Worked in rather intense political positions in Iraq 2003-2004 and again 2006-2007, first tour out in the dust, 2nd in the Embassy in senior management.

                5) Never worked for RTI either and had mixed opinions about them. Think you overstate things just a weeeee bit when you ascribe the beginning of the resistance in RTI’s work in one province…..

                6) I think Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was arguably the gravest mistake in American foreign policy, ever. That said, Iraq is now one of two democracies in the Middle East – three if you want to count the West Bank. As messed up as Iraq still is today, most Iraqis would say they are FAR better off now than they were under Saddam.

                7) For an armchair analyst such as yourself to tell someone who volunteered twice for hard duty in an active combat zone in service to his country to ‘shut up’….well, let’s just leave that one alone.



      • Gray in Mountains says:

        and they are trying to weaken Scotty. But, it isn’t so he’ll fold. Not many expect that. The Dems would rather hve Maes has an opponent. At least this Dem would.

        • Voyageur says:

          obviously, Maes would be easier to beat.  But there is a possibility, very small but finite, that the R candidate will win.  In McInnis, we’d have a plagiarist.  In Maes, we’d have a total, unmitigated, lunatic in office.  Colorado would be the laughing stock of the universe!  As a bumper sticker in Lousiana said when Edwin Edwards ran against David Duke

          Vote for the crook.  It’s important!

  6. Early Worm says:

    Tancredo can’t win.  

    If Tancredo stays in, the Republican nominee (McInnis, Maes, or other) can’t win.

    If the primary winner (McInnis or Maes) stays in, the Republicans can’t win.

    The only way to get a Republican Governor is to get Tancredo, McInnis, and Maes out.  The primary will take out one of the three, but the other two will hang on, and play spoiler, unless they are offered something of significant value.

    What you any of these three value more than a chance (long shot though it may be) of being the governor?  I don’t know any of them and don’t know what excites them.  But, while the chances of getting one of them out might be slim, the chances of getting two of them out seem like none.

  7. Leonard Smalls says:

    This is the guy who once sent out an email newsletter saying that he has finally understood that God wired him to be a leader. He has also supposedly let slip that he could harness the Tea Party for a presidential run if he gets elected governor.

    Yeah, don’t think he’s dropping out.

    Maes isn’t so much running a gubernatorial campaign as he is on a Blues Brothers style “Mission from God.”

  8. A-bob says:

    and he has much more of a chance to convince Tancredo to get out of the race than McInnis does. He’s also doing better in the polls than Tancredo. I mean, there goes Maes picking a Hispanic for Lt. Gov, but if it gets Tancredo out…

    Maes also does in fact realize he has a future if he doesn’t win this so there is the possibility he’d drop out, but so very slim.  

  9. MADCO says:

    I don’t know him well enough to speculate on how personally important this campaign is.

    But if it’s big but not BIG – he could be persuaded with the right job offer. Wouldn’t have to be political – wouldn’t have to be in Colorado.

    He’s got a $300k bill- even without legal fees.

    He may have a hard time continuing as a member of the CO bar in good standing -depending on how serious they take the ethics/prof standards thing.

  10. ohwilleke says:

    Even as damaged goods, it is much easier to find a private sector job for someone with a resume that includes years as a Congressman and years in big law than it is to do so for a man with a record as a mediocre businessman and a reputation as a conspiracy theorist.  Indeed, in some lines of work, a reputation for not always coloring within the lines is considered an asset.

    And, as noted, McInnis may be sorely in need of a private sector job.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a GOP lobbying or PR firm willing to take one for the team by giving McInnis an exit strategy.

    And, while Tancredo is bat shit crazy, he is not so nutty that he wouldn’t drop out of the race is a solid GOP candidate were chosen to replace the GOP nominee after the primary.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.