Maes Agrees to 10 Debates with Hickenlooper

That loud “D’Oh!” you hear is coming from Republican strategists all across Colorado.

According to a joint press release sent out by the gubernatorial campaigns of Democrat John Hickenlooper and Republican Dan Maes (full release after the jump), the two candidates have agreed to 9 more debates through Oct. 29. This is terrible news for Republicans in Colorado, because every time Maes opens his mouth there is a serious risk that he will say something completely absurd, and the lead story in the media will be “Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Maes Said _________ Today.”

Ordinarily, in a race like this with a clear leader heading into mid-September, the frontrunner would be doing everything possible to duck more debates. But this is not an ordinary race, and the more that Hickenlooper gets to contrast himself with Maes, the better off the results for all Democrats.

Most voters may not associate Maes with other Republican candidates in Colorado, but some will, and a debate schedule like this just increases the chances that Maes will damage the Republican “brand” for the General Election. The odds of this happening will only increase as Election Day nears and polls still show Maes to be far behind Hickenlooper; any “Hail Mary” passes that Maes feels like he has to toss are more than likely going to be wounded ducks instead, and a media corps already bored of the governor’s race will be more than happy to point that out.


The Republican and Democratic nominees for governor pledged today in a joint press release to run campaigns specific to the issues, and they agreed to a fall debate schedule.

Dan Maes and John Hickenlooper agreed to 10 debates, including the Colorado Decides 2010 “Gubernatorial General Election Debate” that aired last week.

“Coloradans are sick and tired of the personal attacks that tend to typify election season,” Maes said. “John and I will engage each other on the issues on these 10 occasions and at numerous other forums and smaller events to let Colorado voters decide whose vision for the state they prefer.”

Hickenlooper said he appreciated the commitment to a substantive campaign from Maes.

“Dan and I have had healthy disagreements on various issues throughout the campaign so far, but I respect the way he has campaigned with class and respect,” Hickenlooper said. “I’m confident our joint commitment to discuss the issues facing our state will mean the rest of the country takes note of Colorado as a place that does things the right way.”

In addition to the agreed upon debates, both campaigns will participate in numerous forums on a range of issues before Election Day.

The debate schedule is based on invitations the campaigns received and joint availability of the candidates. Any decision on inviting third-party candidates is up to the individual event sponsors.

The Maes and Hickenlooper campaigns have formally agreed to the following debates:

Sept. 2:            Colorado Decides 2010 “Gubernatorial General Election Debate;” Denver

Sept. 11:          Club 20; Grand Junction

Sept. 17:          Progressive 15; Loveland

Sept. 25:          Action 22; Colorado Springs

Oct. 5:             Channel 7; Denver

Oct. 12            Pueblo Chieftain; Pueblo

Oct. 13:           The Denver Post/ 9news; Denver

Oct. 14            Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry; Denver

Oct. 22            Fox 31; Denver

Oct. 29            CBS 4; Denver

59 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Jack Burden says:

    1) What compelled Hick to even agree to debate Dan? The Republican party doesn’t take their nominee seriously, so why on earth would the Democratic nominee (and frontrunner) want to lend any credibility to the Republican candidate for Governor? Obviously Hick won’t do anything disastrous and Maes probably will, but this many debates does give Maes an opportunity to score a few points against Hick.

    My second question is, why didn’t they invite Tom Tancredo?  

  2. Ralphie says:

    It’s free media.  More campaign money he can siphon off for house payments.

    Meantime, Jack Burden is right.  Why would Hickenlooper allow Maes to look like an equal?

    • ajb says:

      Maybe the Hick camp thinks that the only threat is Tancredo? This effectively marginalizes him.

      • Ralphie says:

        But what the hell do I know?

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          It’ll be way, way under when Tanc finally pulls the plug on his ACP charade.

          • Barron X says:


            He isn’t really going to deport all Progressives.  That was a joke, son.

            Gosh, there’s even a chance that he might not even win.


            • Diogenesdemar says:

              it’s not like he’s the undead, is he?

              Is he?

            • SSG_Dan says:

              He’s a one-issue idiot who ignored everything else while he was a Congressman. He’s the worst sort of media whore regarding that one issue, and he’s never EVER publicly embraced any of the other platforms of the ACP other than maybe Abortion.

              From a purely selfish, operational standpoint I do understand making a deal with this Devil in return for the potential media you’ll get in return. If Tank manages to remember a few other ACP platform issues he might manage to drag away a few people away from the GOP and into your party.

              But at the same time, he’s also going to drive away a lot of other voters who might have considered joining, but equate the ACP with his racist ideology.

              Write a diary if you must, but why would you make a deal with this devil in return for a showing in a state election?

              • Barron X says:


                The caricature found here about him being racist and only having one issue – deporting all Hispanics – you can get a lot of mileage out of that,

                but it’s not based on anything he’s actually said.  It’s based on what has been put in his mouth.  

                Me, I’m more concerned about the “bomb Mecca” remark.  It is bigoted, and he really did say it.  

                But I am pretty sure that the 2-Party system is bad for the country, at least the way it is playing out today.  I think having more thoughtfulness in our framework of governance would be good, and that will not emerge from the “Spy vs. Spy” mentality.  

                Lots of trade-offs.  He’s not an ideal candidate, but he’s a pretty good vehicle for fostering change in the foundational dialectic debate.  And, I might add in a moment of candor, he’s better aligned with the ACP platform than me on several key planks.


    • Diogenesdemar says:

      It’s free media.  More campaign money he can siphon off for house payments.

      And, most importantly, unless those debates are being held in the Maes’s living room — Dan’s getting mileage reimbursements.


      Why would Hickenlooper allow Maes to look like an equal?

      Isn’t a big concern for Hick — Maes is undoubtedly going to look alot like Maes, and that’s what Hick is counting on.

      • Colorado Pols says:

        He’s got the Governor’s race in the bag. This is about helping other Democrats by getting Maes more publicity.

        • RedGreen says:

          Making sure all the republicans don’t bolt to Tancredo.  

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            but, sorry, your comment makes no sense whatsoever RG.

            Why would allowing Republicans to hear Maes speak keep them from bolting to Tancredo?  Given Maes’ history to date, I’m thinking this actually guarantees that all but the die-hardest lunatic fringe bolts somewhere.

            • RedGreen says:

              If Hickenlooper didn’t debate Maes, coupled with the state GOP’s efforts to disown themselves from Maes, the poor guy is in danger of disappearing entirely. There’s a hefty chunk of the electorate that agrees with Maes and thinks all the bad news is just a Denver Post vendetta against the upstart. By keeping Maes on the same stage as Hickenlooper, the mayor’s campaign makes sure Republicans (and conservative-leaning unaffiliateds) have a real choice.

              Did you watch the KBDI debate Friday? Maes was kind of befuddled, but he didn’t say anything that “guarantees that all but the die-hardest lunatic fringe bolts somewhere.” The more all three are on stage together, the more Hickenlooper’s opponents divide the vote.

    • GalapagoLarry says:

      He’s saying, See? Tancredo doesn’t count.

      It also will help mark the Republican territory with the Maes scent. Not good for Republicans down the ballot.

      I think it’s a good move.

    • sxp151 says:

      If all the right-wing crazies start supporting the Tank, Hickenlooper has to actually campaign (though he’ll still win).

      Pushing Maes up a bit helps keep that vote split more evenly so Hickenlooper can sail through. At least that’s what I’d be thinking if I were involved in the campaign.

  3. bjwilson83 says:

    Tancredo gets marginalized, and the contrast will be great for Dan! This race is looking less and less like an automatic Dem win.

    • Jack Burden says:

      Will you marry me?  

    • Ralphie says:

      I just spat coffee all over this one.

      • bjwilson83 says:

        It would tend to have that effect on you. Your one hope (the Looper) is quickly fading.

        • Froward69 says:

           taken too many meds today… I know you feel ok but you really should not drive or post in this condition. (are you seeing sounds as colors yet?)

          Lie down, everything will be ok (for Democrats that is)  

        • Voyageur says:

          when only a few days ago you were singing “et tu Brute” and stabbing him in the back in hopes he would withdraw.

            You’re stuck with him and back to making the best of it, I see.  

          • bjwilson83 says:

            Now that chance is over and Maes is the best out of the three. Tancredo is unelectable. Plus, Maes is picking up steam again, and as it turns out Tancredo may not even be eligible to be on the ballot.

            • Barron X says:


              As soon as the Court opens tomorrow morning, Tanc will be thrown off the ballot.  That’s a safe bet.  Almost guaranteed.  

              Unless, of course, the case is heard by a sentient Judge.  An Article III Judge who can stay awake for arguments.  Somebody who reads ColoradoPols, where that argument got its proper due last week.  In that case, the outcome may not be so favorable to Danny uh-Maes-ing.

              I have to admit, Danny is really building up a head of momentum steam.  He’s on a roll.  He was threatened by Tom’s 9% in last week’s polling, but now that Tanc has dropped to 15%, Danny can breathe easier.  


              “There was a chance for one candidate.

              Now that chance is over …”

              The “preview” button gives you a chance to fix statements before they become immortal posts.  

              There was a chance for one of the two, Maes or Tancredo, to carry forth the conservative banner.  Maes forfeited his shot by showing himself to be a poseur.  His campaign was mortally wounded, and he fell on the field of battle, where his lifeless corpse remains.  We can go back and bury his remains later.  Meanwhile, Tanc has picked up the Guidon and is continuing to advance.  


  4. davebarnes says:

    to accuse LoopdeLoop of siphoning off all our water and giving it to the UN.

  5. dmindgo says:

    It would be nice to have one somewhere other than Grand Junction.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    which color of bicycle I’m going to ride onto the stage.

  7. Half Glass Full says:

    Maybe, just maybe, it’s for the reason he gave in his press release:

    “Dan and I have had healthy disagreements on various issues throughout the campaign so far, but I respect the way he has campaigned with class and respect,” Hickenlooper said. “I’m confident our joint commitment to discuss the issues facing our state will mean the rest of the country takes note of Colorado as a place that does things the right way.”

    Could that possibly, just possibly, be the reason? That Hickenlooper believes there’s intrinsic merit in the candidates actually discussing the issues facing our state in a responsible, mature manner?

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