Tancredo Candidacy Opening Door to Future ACP Candidates

A Colorado Pols diarist first noted last week the potential for Republicans to lose their “major party” status if gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes fails to get 10% of the vote in November. But whether or not Maes drops below that 10% threshold, it appears as though American Constitution Party (ACP) candidate Tom Tancredo will receive more than 10% of the vote in November — which means that the ACP could become a “major political party” for the next four years.

The effect of Tancredo’s candidacy on Republicans will be felt in 2010, but the GOP could face serious problems for years because of Tanc’s run for governor. If the ACP becomes a “major political party,” then they gain the ability to nominate candidates for every office in Colorado. As a “minor” party, ACP currently can only get candidates onto the ballot in downballot races by holding a convention for that seat or by gathering petition signatures — but if Tancredo gets more than 10% of the vote in November, the ACP will essentially be able to pick candidates to run in any partisan race in Colorado. That’s bad news for Republicans, because an ACP candidate is always going to be more likely to siphon votes away from a Republican than a Democrat.  

The other significant change that could come from “major party” status is that it would give the ACP a seat at the table in many committees that are filled by the governor. The governor is allowed to appoint committee and board members to all sorts of different commissions and boards throughout the state. Many of these commissions must contain a certain number of “major party” members (check this link for an example). Adding ACP members to Colorado boards and commissions certainly would help the resumes of potential future ACP candidates.

Republicans who support Tancredo aren’t just making a difference in the 2010 elections — they may be crippling future Republican candidates for years to come.

31 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    they will not have ballot accesss for the sore losers like they did this time around.  Instead, they’ll have the long form affiliate/disaffiliate rule like the R’s and D’s do now.

    Since according to TT’s testimoney yesterday that was their only value to TT this cycle, it means they become worthless in the future.

    • Another skeptic says:

      If Dan Maes and Scott McInnis had agreed to drop out of the GOP contest before the Aug. 10 primary as requested by Tom Tancredo, the GOP wouldn’t be in this mess.

      Dan Maes is getting his revenge on the GOP. He’s known for a long time that real Republicans couldn’t support him. And he knows he has no chance to win.

      But he insists on running against all odds.

      Tancredo doesn’t suffer incompetent, lying fools. So he’s jumped in to give voters an honest alternative to Hick. The problem is that the GOP has as many gulible groupies as the Democrats do. There are just too many straight ticket Republicans, and they will elect Hick by voting for Maes instead of for Tancredo.

      In short, the GOP voters are failing a very public test of their judgment and desire for honest government. After complaining for years about corrupt politics, they’re supporting the ethically-challenged Maes. Too many Republicans are blindly following the party leaders who don’t care about integrity.

      Obama Democrats did the same thing in 2008.

      • cologeek says:

        If Tancredo had problems with McInnis and Maes, maybe he should have run in the primary.  But he lacked the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the Republican Party hierarchy, and instead chose to sneak in through a back door and be appointed rather than elected to his position as candidate.  And he seems determined to take what is a bad situation for the party that he used to gain prominence, and turn it into a disaster.

        Dan Maes is a perfect example of an “Accidental Candidate”.  No one really bothered to scare him off from running because he wasn’t considered a threat to McInnis, even after his win at the state assembly.  But then the party appointed one started suffering from his self-inflicted wounds, and Maes outsider status counted for more than expected.  Unlike Tancredo, Maes actually stuck it out, and won the nomination.  

        If Tancred had any guts, and integrity, maybe he would have been the one to win it instead.  In short, he is part of the problem that Republicans are facing, not the solution.  

  2. bjwilson83 says:

    “Republicans who support Tancredo aren’t just making a difference in the 2010 elections — they may be crippling future Republican candidates for years to come.”

    Obviously, you’re just trying to play both sides of the fence, Pols. You’re going against whoever is up in the polls. So which is it Pols, should Republicans support Maes or Tancredo?

  3. Craig says:

    In cases like the Judicial Nominating Commissions, it wouldn’t really have an effect.  Governors would just do what they have been doing for years.  That is getting like-minded unaffiliates or like-minded members of their own parties to change to uanffiliated and then appointing them.  Does anyone remember when Rick Enstrom (a strong Republican and former county commissioner from Mesa County who now runs his family’s candy business here in Denver) changed to unaffiliate and Owens appointed him to some Board.  Remember when Mary Mularkey appointed Gene Nichols, who was then registered and an uanffiliate to the redistricting commission so that there would be an even number of Democrats and Republicans and one unaffiliate?  And then two years later he runs for the Democratic nomination to the US Sentat.  This is the kind of stuff used to get around these laws.  Really, practically, it won’t have that much effect.

  4. Craig says:

    They have to be legislators first.  Does anyone think there is going to be any ACP members of the state legislature?  I don’t.

  5. Half Glass Full says:

    Now I can’t decide who I want to come in second place most: Tancredo or Maes.

    Tom Tancredo proves once again that he is an irresponsible firebrand, ruining progress in the causes (term limits, immigration reform, and now the conservative movement) that he professes to support.

    I am beginning to think that Tom Tancredo is a Democratic political operative in disguise.

  6. Half Glass Full says:

    There are certain states that have an, if not thriving, at least somewhat visible, third party presence. That presence tends to hurt the political party on whose wing the third party resides.

    Let’s assume – a fairly safe bet – that Tancredo gets more than 10% of the gubernatorial vote. Because of the weird Colorado law that ties major and minor party status solely to a party’s percentage vote in the previous gubernatorial race, at least for 2012 the American Constitution Party will have “major party” status in Colorado. Now, they may fall below that 10% threshold in 2012 and go back to being a minor party candidate. Then again, Tancredo may decide that he’s going to be the Harold Stassen of Colorado politics for years to come, or some other person who’s endorsed the ACP this cycle may run under that party’s banner in 2012. Perhaps the ACP will become a permanent “second chance” for Republicans who fail to win their party’s primary. Could happen.

    At a minimum, Tancredo’s little ego trip is going to really screw up Colorado GOP “branding” efforts for the next several years. And if Tancredo is really successful in trashing Maes, to the point where Maes gets less than 10%, the GOP will REALLY be screwed for at least a couple of years.

    Because a lot of voters are dumb. They will see the Democrats and the ACP on the top two lines, and the conservatives will vote against the Democrats and for “the other guy” at the top of the ballot – ignoring the GOP way down at the bottom of the ballot.

    At least that’s the reasoning behind people who take ridiculous ballot-ready names like “Dayhorse” Campbell and “Constitution” Jones.

    So to answer bjwilson’s question: Democrats really should be supporting Tancredo at this point, to a point. We want him to get more than 10% of the vote, and if he drags Maes below 10%, so much the better. Thanks, Tom!  

  7. Aaron says:

    Would losing Major Party Status affect the 2012 Presidential ballot?

    Would Candidate Palin or Romney be shuffled in among the unwashed third party masses?

    I know keeping Maes under 10% is highly unlikely, but imagining the implications are making me giddy with hope.

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