Maes, Tancredo Fallout Could Handcuff Future GOP Fundraising

We’ve discussed before in this space the many various repercussions that could come from the Gubernatorial candidacies of American Constitution Party (ACP) candidate Tom Tancredo and Republican Party nominee Dan Maes, but apparently the downside is even worse than we thought for the GOP.

As we’ve written before, Colorado law designates “major party” status on any political party whose candidate receives more than 10% of the vote in a general election for Governor. Republicans who support Tancredo over Maes — their own Party’s nominee — may be crippling future Republican candidates for years to come. Check out our previous post on the perils of opening the door for more ACP candidates, but there’s a much bigger problem if Maes fails to generate 10% of the vote in November (which is very possible).

If Maes doesn’t get 10% of the vote in November, then the Republican Party will become a “minor party” for the next four years. As the big Denver newspaper reports, this could cut in half the amount of money every Republican candidate could raise. “Major party” candidates are automatically on the ballot in both the Primary and General Election races, whether they have opponents or not. The benefit of this is that “major party” candidates can raise money for both a Primary and a General election campaign.

But “minor party” candidates are NOT automatically placed on the Primary ballot — they only appear on the Primary ballot if they have an opponent. So if Maes gets less than 10% of the vote (which would be in part because so many Republicans supported Tancredo for Governor instead of Maes), then for the next four years Republican candidates could only raise half as much money as Democrats or ACP candidates.

For example, an unopposed Republican candidate for State Senate in 2012 could receive a maximum contribution of $200 from each donor, while a Democrat or ACP candidate in the same race could get a $400 check from the same donor. D’Oh!

“(The Republicans) would really be behind the eight ball on that. Maybe for governor or some statewide offices they’ll be opposed,” attorney Bill Zimsky told The Denver Post. “But there will be plenty of Senate and House seats that will be unopposed, and they’ll be totally whipsawed by this.”

And if that happens, Republicans will have nobody to blame but themselves.

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29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Go Raiders* says:

    But does that count only for state candidates or does it encompass Federal Candidates as well?

  2. BlueCat says:

    future GOP difficulties, I doubt Maes will drop below 10%.  Bet he’s pretty bottomed out and will stay in the neighborhood of 15% where he is now. I bet that’s what the prominent GOPers supporting Tanc are thinking too. In fact, when it’s clear that no miracle is on the horizon to sink Hick  they will be less vocal in their support for Tanc and will privately be voting for Maes to be on the safe side with major party status.

    It will be interesting to see how they react if I’m wrong and later polls do show Maes below 10%. Of course that would be my popcorn popping preference!  

  3. Arvadonian says:

    drops below 10% (which I doubt will happen) look for the legislature and Governor Hickenlooper to change the law before the next election.  Not to do so would be playing hardball and if we democrats have proven one thing over the last couple of years it is that we are not good at hardball.

  4. AristotleAristotle says:

    Hey beej, how are you liking Tommy the Tank now?

  5. parsingreality says:

    Really!

    We need automatic runoff voting like in Australia, if I understand correctly.  

  6. …I know most here hate the Big Bad 3, but it’s pretty pathetic that, as Republicans, we advertise ourselves as the ‘fiscal conservative’ Party, yet we run around campaigning against the Big Bad 3, while at the same time, our Legislators are running to Arizona to draft a 1070 redux

    Ultimately, what it shows is that our top priority, more than cutting spending, more than limiting government, more than cutting taxes, is…. harassing ‘brown’ people

    This is more than just Maes/Tancredo – the only conviction that the Colorado GOP seems to strongly carry is bigotry, and since Colorado is NOT a racist State, I don’t see how any Party can survive with such goals

    My 2 cents, as a minority Republican that is a fiscal conservative…. and terribly frustrated with the State Party….

    • MADCO says:

      60, 61, 101 (vote no) are not about fiscal conservatism.  they are about fiscal destruction.  Why not just freeze the revenue at current levels?  that would seem conservative.

      60, 61, 101, reduce revenue way below current levels. How is that conservative as opposed to regressive?

  7. marklane1351 says:

    Additional consequences are that all major parties are permitted to have members on unappointed committees.  There are committees for everything and they exert some limited power.  These committees are also important because the are like the farm teams for the state legislature.

  8. JLD says:

    Speaking as a person that will have a hand in a State Senate and State House race for the Republicans in 2012, I can assure you that there will be a primary in both races to ensure that fundraising will not be limited to the eventual candidates.  Even if I have to be the sacrificial lamb myself in one of the races, there will be a primary and thus fundraising will not be a problem.  I think we can ensure that will be the case in every race it’s needed.  We can put up a candidate for the primary for virtually no cost so that won’t be a problem.

    The other consequences related or of significantly higher concern than the fundraising part to me.

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