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August 13, 2010 10:08 PM UTC

BREAKING: Republicans Meeting with Maes Today on Pulling Out

  • by: Colorado Pols

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: As we suspected, Dan Maes is not proving agreeable to ‘suggestions’ that he exit the race–posted to his Facebook profile last night:

To be clear, the story is about high-level Republicans wanting Maes to get out of the race, or failing that to select a running mate from their approved roster. The only part of the “rumor” he has control over is his response–and for the time being anyway, there you have it.

UPDATE: In this video from a gubernatorial debate between Scott McInnis and Dan Maes at the end of last month, McInnis strongly defends Maes (and himself) from any attempt after the primary to force either of them from the race. McInnis calls attempts to force either of them out a “bait and switch,” and flatly states it would be “out of line” to go against the choice of primary voters.

No doubt he still thinks so.

Top Republican “emissaries” are meeting with Republican Gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes today in an attempt to convince him to drop out of the race and let the GOP replace him with someone else.

According to an anonymous Republican source, GOP Chair Dick Wadhams is not among those involved in the meeting in an effort to keep some official distance from the process. The message from Republicans is that there will be no outside money and no fundraising assistance for Maes if he stays in the race, but if he drops out there could be support for him for future opportunities.

Republican leaders have been conspicuous in their public silence about Maes, and that silence was apparently part of the plan leading up to today’s meeting. Top Republicans wanted to let Maes have a few days to himself after the election, hoping that their lack of attention would show him that he doesn’t have the support he would need to win in November.

From what we have heard over the last 24 hours, however, Maes is unlikely to agree to any terms that would see him remove himself from the race for Governor because he truly believes that he has earned the nomination. As part of a last-ditch effort, top Republicans may try to get Maes to agree to their choice for a running mate, in hopes that a stronger Lieutenant Governor could be in a position to take over the ballot at some point.

It’s important to keep in mind that these discussions are not really about finding a candidate who can win the governor’s race in November. As we first reported in mid-July, Republicans recognize that their chances at beating Democrat John Hickenlooper are close to zero. What they want now is to find someone who can excite the GOP base and not be a drag on the ticket — both for Ken Buck’s U.S. Senate bid and for the downballot races. Maes can’t win, and neither can a potential replacement; but at least a potential replacement isn’t regularly being mocked both locally and nationally as a joke of a candidate. Maes’ much-discussed “U.N. Bicycle Plot” is bad enough when he’s just one of several candidates running in a Primary, but now it’s the Republican candidate for Governor saying these things. That’s a lot different.

Whatever the decision, Republicans don’t have a lot of time to make it; the Secretary of State certifies the ballot on Sept. 3. A replacement candidate could still be programmed into the voting machines for early and Election Day voting, but the new name likely wouldn’t make it onto the early mail ballot if something wasn’t done before Sept. 3.


129 thoughts on “BREAKING: Republicans Meeting with Maes Today on Pulling Out

  1. I mean how dare he consider himself worthy of even being in the same room with a plagiarist, an elk whisperer, an Abramoff bag man, a midget and an Islamophobe ?

    Its like he’s trying to chisel his likeness on Mt. Rushmore. The nerve.

  2. For the GOP.  They are going to splinter even more if they get Maes to drop out, because they will alienate the one part of their base that is energized–the Tea Party side–and, at the same time, alienate the less ideological voters, who will have to wonder if their vote, and support, matter any longer.  

    Then again, perhaps the GOP “emissaries” either don’t know or don’t care about alienating everyone else.  

    The best thing the GOP could do in the governor’s race is to let Maes run, take their lumps and earn their props, and make sure they have a credible candidate in 2014.  In other words, go back to the drawing board.

    1. Maes won’t drop out (I wouldn’t if I were in his situation).

      The GOP is at a dead end – anything they do will be futile.

      Just who are these party “leaders” who can subvert the will of the electorate and appoint their own candidate? I thought this was Colorado, not Cuba or China.  

    2. This isn’t about winning the Governor’s race — it’s about trying to get someone who will damage the entire ticket out of the race. Maes can’t win, and neither could a replacement, but that’s not what this is about.

      1. they are damned either way.  If they manage to replace Maes, they alienate the voters they are trying to keep.  If they don’t, they run the risk of the governor’s race damaging the rest of the ticket.

        In my view, the GOP should take the longer view and recognize they will gain more/lose less by letting Maes stay on the ticket.

        1. But I think you are spot on. If the party tells the base that the primary only counts if the select the anointed candidate, they’ve then eliminated any sense of ownership the base would have in the party.

          1. The base is the party.  Ever been to a GOP convention?  Not a whole lot of old Arlen Specter tshirts in the mix.  And you’re not a member of the central committee unless you’re part of the base.

            Nonetheless, if the report is true, I’m a little surprised.  Just because I don’t see a likely way out.

            But I’m not surprised at all by the histrionics going on.  Everyone here, experts all on the innerworkings and psychology of the GOP base, think that the ‘party’ is going to be up in arms.

            Because 200k Republican voters are devout Maes fans?  Had election day happened two months ago Maes would have been beat like Dukakis.  The vast bulk of his votes didn’t come from his cult following.

            Rather, they came from those who knew enough about McInnis not to vote for him.

            As for the supposed intervention:  if Dan steps down and the party nominates Hank Brown, Mark Hillman, etc – the aggreived masses will quickly get over it.  

            The point is, we don’t know if this is a stupid move or a brilliant one until everything shakes out.  But don’t let the lack of facts keep everyone from getting apoplectic over the dark cloud that hangs over the GOP.

            1. The effect is not just on rank and file Republicans who can be easily manipulated with the right buzz words.

              There is also the effect on the independent voter to be considered. They might look at all these political mechanizations and decide that Republicans can’t be trusted because of what appears to be a backroom deal.  You might be able to keep the Republicans in line but it might be so stinky that independents bale not only on the governor race but down the line.  Who’s going to trust a party that can’t follow it’s own rules?

              1. The GOP fringe might be disenchanted if Maes is forced out, but I think a large number of Maes votes were anti-McInnis.

                So between a rock and a hard place, a sign of rational thought by GOP insiders probably is a good thing in the long run.

                1. but I do try to keep up.  Even independents at my lowly level would be able to see that Republican elites had cut a backroom deal to replace a flawed candidate.

                  My original point was that the 20th was solely focused on the acceptance of a replacement candidate by his voters in his/her/its own party and hadn’t considered the repercussions among independents.  

                  1. It appears that their ‘anonymous source’ is anonymous to everyone in the GOP…

                    That being said, if Independents had a kick-ass candidate for whom to vote, they wouldn’t likely know or care how that person got on the ballot.  If they trust that person’s experience & platform to improve their lot in life, they will vote accordingly.

                    Right now, in my opinion, most are inclined to vote Republican generically but will vote for Hickenlooper anyway.

  3. This is too funny. I hope Maes is sending his emissaries to meet their emissaries and not going himself.

    Pols will soon be reporting that “Anonymous GOP sources have just informed Colorado Pols that Dan Maes is gone. ‘What do you mean he’s gone?’ asked Pols. ‘He’s just gone,’ said the source.”

    1. Sure, he won with a bigtime assist from Scottie – but a win is a win.

      And I don’t fully agree with Pols – that this is only about the downticket races.

      Electoral politics is a funny thing and anything can happen in a campaign (ask McInnis) – Hick could somehow implode. (Sure, unlikely but that’s my point…..)

      If I was Dan Maes I’d tell the GOP emissaries that they, DickWad, and every other self-proclaimed kingmaker can damned well get behind me, Dan Maes.

      1. Is that his campaign has financial problems (and so does he personally). But we agree that it’s unlikely Maes pulls out because of the miracle that’s gotten him this far. No sense in jumping off that train until it stops.

        1. Some of which may not have been fully understood by Maes….I suspect that a helpful description might be part of the visit.

          Now, Maes said on the boyles show, today, hosted by george somebody, that the only way he would leave the race is if someone in his family needed him….One Scenario, then:

          His wife has been keeping the books, I think, for the various businesses and campaign and suddenly Maes’ financial problems are due to alleged mismanagement on her part and he withdraws because “someone in his family needed him.”

          But, I am from North Denver, why would I suspect such a crazy outcome???

      2. will drop out if they find him a job so he can continue to pay his bill, and draw mileage reimbursement, while refining and redefining himself for the future. The dude needs $$$ bad.


    Under the cover of darkness, on a mission fraught with peril, a caravan of black Cadillac Escalades winds up a narrow road to Evergreen, Colorado and the private aerie of Daniel Maes…

    This is just too hilarious for words. Do the Republicans have any idea how ridiculous they look just now?

  5. If we have to put up with Alvin Greene running for Senate in South Carolina, the least Republicans can do is tolerate Dan Maes running for Governor in Colorado.

          1. Didn’t even consider that when writing.  Somewhere in some distant future when I’m running for office, someone is going to take that subject line completely out of context and say I’m a racist.  “Contest” or “primary” it is.

  6. He went from zero to 100. He already proved he can win with no money and recent polls show Tancredo is dropping. Maes is only 12 points down WITH Tancredo in the race. Shall I remind everyone PPP had him at 8% in March? The point is the election is not today, it’s November, there’s a lot of work to be done.

    My guess is Maes will be given a short list from these guys and he may pick from there. I’m thinking a Maes-Martinez ticket (I would want) could be a Maes-Mitchell ticket.

    And psh to they’ll support Maes in the future, they won’t and we all know it’s a plain lie. Maes was on his own from the start, he hasn’t lost anything like McInnis would have lost if he was the nominee, like money.  

    1. Refocus on State Senate and House races–plenty of potential pick ups. Then again, if Republicans have a low turnout for Governor’s race, downticket is going to suffer big time and I’m guessing that is the biggest 2nd reason for today’s rumored “intervention.”

      In my opinion, if they replace Maes, it will significantly dampen turnout even more, so they may as well suck it up and dance with the one they brung.  

  7. Far as I can tell, ColoradoPols is the only one to be in touch with an anonymous Republican source reporting o a secret meeting between Maes and anonymous top Republicans minus Wadhams.

    Nice thing about this story is that if nothing comes of this secret meeting with unnamed emissaries, no one has to deny anything, and ColoradoPols can remain alone with its exclusive from an anonymous source.

    Cool. Journalism enters a new era.

    “Top people meeting with top officials secretly, says anonymous source.”

      1. Certainly not breaking ground – journalistic or blogistic (?) — to quote unnamed sources, or even to report on developments that didn’t happen, even though certain anonymous sources wish they had and said that they did. Plus, my sources tell me that three cars were seen leaving Evergreen this afternoon carrying important people who attended a secret meeting at an undisclosed location. Details if they become available on

        1. The proof is how they treated Andrew Romanoff, though. Those awful blog bastards! They’re the reason we have Buck vs. this bastard whose name also starts with a “B.” Scandal!

          It’s going to take you and protestinthestreet guy a little longer to get over the primary. People expect this from you, it’s ok.

        2. Maes names Maes as Lt. Gov. candidate. Says “at least that way, if I lose the governor’s race, maybe I can get the #2 slot.”

          We can also report that

          at least four cars left Evergreen this afternoon on their way somewhere else. Anonymous sources have told TalkBlog that two of the cars were dark colored; two were light. There was at least one senior person in at least one of the cars carrying an EgoInflater(r).

          On this, we conclude that…

            1. Curiosity sparked by some earlier comment of yours today caused me to look at your two most recent diaries–just to see how it’s done, doncha know, and from that came the notion of Cut & Paste Journal! And yes, I’m quite well, especially thanks to you.  

        3. … Other than bitchy in a juvenile “I’m going to express cynicism about everything, whether it makes sense or not, because I think it makes me sound sophisticatedly world-weary” way?

          1. I know it seems like a long wait, Raymond1, but as reported today in Cheery Cheeks News, the lines have been long and somewhat slow-moving. Your chance to kiss and make up is coming; your reservation will be honored. And please remember: refrain from using ChapStickВ® for at least 24 hours beforehand. Thanks.

  8. that Hickenlooper could now get caught with THREE dead women and/or TWO boys and still win. Maes canNOT drop out now – this is the most fun I’ve had since that idiot Beauprez ran.  

  9. He gots no money and no prospects right now.  If he gets some of both as a result of dropping out of a race that he can’t win, he’s scored!  

    1. He’s pretty damn desperate. The combination of financial gain, new opportunity and the chance to look like a hero in the Republican Party will be tempting to him. But then again he may be one of those people who think God has put him in this spot and that it’s his destiny to save Coloradans from the UN.  

      1. but crazy appointed messengers from the Tea Party might not be so easy to push aside.

        Tancredo is also going to be a tough one to persuade.  His credibility is shot if he bales on the ACP and if there is one thing the Tank loves to do it is to run for office.

  10. Give those, like Anschutz and his emmisaries, Bill Armstrong, Lininger, Schuck, the Hassan’s, Bill Owens and the rest of the old timers who let this genie out of the bag when they were told time and time again that they shouldn’t, the moon and I mean that literally.  Then he should send his response to them with a copy to the press.  His response should be a copy of the finger from his hand.

    The problem is that these old-timers still believe that these folks are rational, that they care about the Republican Party.  Well, this will not be a surprise to them when I tell them what I have been telling them for 20 years.  These folks care about  only ideology, not party.  They couldn’t care less about the Republican party and never have.  So I say to those guys, you have made your bed over the last 20 years.  Now you can sleep in it.  You’ll be lonely, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.  The only way to stop these guys is to do what I have done.  Namely, don’t vote for their candidates until the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs and then try to rebuild a new party.  You can’t stop them now.  Sorry you didn’t listen to me 20 years ago.

      1. Frankly, that is exactly what these guys deserve and I think that it might help Maes.  At least he has the guts to stand up to the “kingmakers” who think they still control things.  Too late buddies, you let the genie out of the bottle and now you can’t put it back.  Suck on it.

      1. Understand from anonymous sources that Ali was spotted at the Little Bear in Evergreen last evening, climbing into a black Escalade with tinted windows…..

        1. Just to clarify that Hasans are not party of the secret brigade.

          As to Ali’s whereabouts, that must have been a different Muslim who was seen in Evergreen.  

  11. Is this the same group that anointed Both-ways Bob, Pete Molson, Sweat-shop Schaffer, and “Untrustworthy” Scott McInnis for office? If so I’d like to know who they are exactly.

    I am thinking they may be worthy of a special lifetime achievement award at next year’s JJ Day dinner.

  12. Who is he kidding.  He’s not going to the meeting.  We he’s just plain scared that Maes will deck him.  And this:

    The message from Republicans is that there will be no outside money and no fundraising assistance for Maes if he stays in the race, but if he drops out there could be support for him for future opportunities.

    This isn’t Wadhams?  Of course it is.  It’s his SOP.  Just ask McInnis.  This is what McInnis was threatened with in the last thing he tried to run for before he ran for Governor.  Please, Wadhams set this up, typed the scripts and is probably listening in.  Are you kidding me?  He must really need the job of Republican Chair.  Guess what, Dick, next year you might have the support from your “emmisaries” but no one else will support you.  Look for another job before this goes so bad that you need to retire.

    1. I believe you. I’ve been wondering about Wadham’s “absence.” That he’s not involved up to his neck is just not possible. He’s got his nose so far up the arses of the  R bigwigs — it’s his job, after all — and he’s the master of bait and switch. The will of the people? Ha. This has Wadhams’ prints all over it. However, I feel he’s also doing the dirty work of of the elders of the party. They hired him.

  13. Penry who pissed off the base for nonsensical negative attack ads (AJS being a fake conservative organization, anyone?) against Buck?

    Norton who didn’t really know why they should vote for her except that she’s the “true conservative” and anything else that Cinamon tells her to say?

    The Republican bench is pretty thin right now.  

    Maybe Lang Silas?  He doesn’t have anything else to do right now.  

  14. As everyone and their mom has said, Dan Maes is not leaving the race.  I remember when he first began his campaign and no one gave two cents about him.  They brushed him off as having no chance. After pushing Penry out of the race, the GOP leadership deserves the mess they created.  Once the plagiarism scandal broke, Republicans were only left with one choice, Dan Maes.  Yeah, he overcompensated himself for the mileage he drove (and I know he drove around Colorado A LOT.. he’s was pretty much everywhere in the state).  In comparison to McInnis trying to shove his dishonesty and mistakes on an old man, the choice was easy. I would hope that Dan would come to his senses and start marketing himself as a moderate but I find that less and less likely.  The only chance for him to win in a race with Tancredo in it is to squeeze between the two as Charlie Crist is doing in Florida.

    In regards to the the UN Bicycle Plot, I find the story overblown.  It is common for conservatives to be skeptical of ceding authority to an international power even when they truly have no power over the federal government (we could break any treaty if wanted).  Maes took it too far in stating that accepting some principles for a greener city is in someway bad.

    Anyways, I haven’t posted here in a while (I only posted a few times before).  I hope to post more often and to also start my own political commentary blog in the future..

  15. I would think Maes would tell these emissaries I can’t turn my back on the 196,000 Coloradans who voted for me and you can’t just bump me for someone who got no votes.

  16. It seems like this could only get uglier for the GOP.

    Even if they can convince Maes to step down (and if I were him, it would take an enormously sweet deal, no promisory notes), what does he say to explain it? I’ve been there (not in the electoral realm) and very few people buy it unless the story has some plausibility to it.

    But here, the story is on the surface already. The GOP thinks he’s going to drag the rest of the ticket down and they want to put someone to vitalize the rank and file old guard.

    So, even if they succeed, he gives a short speech explaining his decision. But nobody buys it because they know what was going on. Maybe not 200,000 of them but a big chunk of the energized primary voters do. They get hopping mad and sit on their hands until Nov. 3rd although a good number still show up on election day. For the sake of argument, let’s say that 180,000 of them show up, that’s an average of 300 missing voters in each House District. That has the potential to swing each HD election by a full percentage point. Kiss the hopeful pickups in swing House and Senate districts goodbye.

    And my experience from talking to them is that independents who vote R ESPECIALLY hate these kind of trick plays. Its the reason they don’t join a party. That’s another potentially huge chunk of voters that might be de-energized by this game.

    I agree that Maes is a drag on the top of the ticket. But I don’t see how he steps out in any way that doesn’t visibly show his arm being twisted and I don’t see how this strategy actually helps the GOP.

  17. If they have an alternative – run them in the primary and let the voters decide. Oops, they weren’t willing to do that…

    How on earth do they figure someone who wasn’t willing to even try should take the place of the person who won?

    1. I agree completely. I believe most would agree Dan Maes was not the “absolutely strongest conservative” candidate the Republican party could have fielded, however, he was willing to throw his hat in the ring, went through the Primary process in accordance with Party requirements and won the Republican nomination.

      While I deeply hope Hickenlooper is defeated this fall, Dick Wadhams and Sen. Greg Brophy arrogantly inflicted unforgiveable damage to the Republican chances by their repeated childish (and churlish) public comments.

      Here’s hoping these two knuckleheads switch parties and wreak as much damage to the other party — you can have them!

        1. So true.  He is a little more higher caliber than Greene though.  He never showed porn to a college student for example lol and in all seriousness.. he’s a snake oil salesman. nothing more nothing less.

      1. is Colorado’s political tar baby.

        Sorry, my friend, you’re stuck.

        (You can take some small consolation, however, in the fact that the Colorado Dems have Chris Romer.)

  18. It’s GREAT:

    1) To see substantially more Republican Party representation & commentary on Pols, a much needed change.

    2) It’s even more refreshing to read a thread that is not consummed by the flame wars between Romanoff and Bennet supporters.

    Here’s hoping this marks the emergence of a new Pols complexion for the the nascent general election!

          1. You’re dragging the rest of the party down. Haven’t they yet offered you a sweet deal somewhere else, in the future? And PS: Wadhams sent them.

  19. has screwed the pooch. (I apologize for any tender eyes offended by that phrase)  There is no other way to say it.  They cannot replace Maes without losing a lot a credibility not only with the independents, but with the base as well.  

    Also, I can’t think of anyone who would be willing to take that position (with the exception of the current Constitution Party candidate) with the current circumstances.  With Tancredo doing his best to ensure that the Democrats hold on to the Governorship, no one with any credibility at all would take the job on.  

    If it is true that the state Party will obviously withhold support from the winner of the primary, they will destroy any credibility they have left with those of us who have worked at ground level for the Party.

  20. I’m thinking now that Maes has given them the moon, they may just rally around Tancredo as their only viable option and Maes becomes like the Repubublican candidate in the race where Liberman was elected as an independent.  Could happen.

  21. Seriously, Maes should not pull out of the race, the majority of registered republicans who took time to vote in the primary voted for him.  he deserves to have his run for governor…we can all listen to what he has to say, what he can offer Colorado, then decide whether to vote for him or Hickenlooper.

    For me, I already know I will vote for Hick!

    Sadly, I think Maes will, in my view, continue to say goofy stuff, take outrageous positions that are so far off the wall…but, he deserves to say what he has to say, and the Colorado media can report all that stuff so the people will gain a better understanding of what this candidate is about.

    Pretty shocking,,,eh?

  22. Who is this Republican Leadership that you are talking about? It’s not Wadhams?  Who is in the room of conspirators?

    I think ColPol is making this up.

    After all the beating and negative press Maes is only down 12 to His Holiness and up 13 on the old pro Tommy T.

    The people are ticked with the inside guys. Go Dan!

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