Who’s Backing Maes?

We’ve gotten a couple of emails on this subject, so we thought we’d put a list together and see if the Pols community could help us fill it out. Which top-ticket Republican candidates (all statewide and congressional seats) have endorsed GOP Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, and who has yet to offer their public support?


  • U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck

  • Rep. Doug Lamborn (CD-5)

  • Rep. Mike Coffman (CD-6)

  • Treasurer candidate Walker Stapleton

  • Attorney General John Suthers

  • Secretary of State candidate Scott Gessler

  • CD-4 candidate Cory Gardner

  • CD-7 candidate Ryan Frazier
  • Help us out, Polsters! Maes’ website doesn’t seem to have an updated list of endorsements, so if you’ve seen one of the candidates in the second list make an endorsement, let us know.

    Tea Party Geniuses: Maybe We Should Raise Money?

    As Politico reports:

    Colorado gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes has already overcome a significant cash dearth to win once this election cycle, but now Republican leaders are warning that without a fast injection of cash, his campaign might be doomed.

    In a recent e-mail to grassroots Republicans forwarded to POLITICO, the president of Denver’s Coalition for a Conservative Majority said Maes’s campaign was teetering on the brink due to anemic cash flow.

    “Dick Wadhams informed us that the Maes campaign is on the verge of collapse due to lack of campaign funding. If you are a Dan Maes supporter, be aware that his campaign desperately needs donations even more than it needs volunteers to work,” wrote coalition president Jack Ott, referencing comments made by state party chair Dick Wadhams at recent meeting.

    In a separate e-mail to a conservative listserv, Colorado 9-12 Project leader Lu Busse wrote that Maes “in particular needs money,” and suggested that a big cash infusion from grassroots members could help spur rank-and-file establishment Republicans and “big money” players to get off the sidelines.

    Busse went on to say that statewide Republican candidates like Maes would likely need a million votes to win, more than double the number of Republicans who turned out to vote in the primary. “Persuading 2.5 times that many to vote for the candidates will not be possible in the next 10 weeks without money for direct mail and other advertising . . . This is not being negative, this is accepting reality and changing our tactics/actions based upon the situation,” Busse wrote. [Pols emphasis]

    We love that last quote from 9-12 Project Leader Lu Busse that they might want to “change their tactics” to include more fundraising. Whatever gave you that idea? Who gave up the secret that you can’t win elections with just “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and message boards?

    Through the July 28 cutoff period for the last fundraising reports, GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes had less than $24,000 in the bank. We’ve always said that this is one of the main problems with Republicans kowtowing to the Tea Party and 9-12 groups of the world; sure, they’re loud and they show up at events, but taken as a whole, they are more of a hindrance than a help. Republicans like Senate nominee Ken Buck have had to move as far to the right as possible in order to win their support in a Primary, but once the General Election comes, they become a humongous albatross. They insist that Buck and Maes take positions that won’t help them much with swing voters, but they don’t do squat to help them raise money to appeal to anyone other than the Tea Party. You can see this muddled line of thinking in the quote above, as though it just now became clear that raising money might be helpful.

    Of course, even if the Tea Party folks could help raise money, there’s no guarantee that Maes would know what to do with it, as a former staffer tells Politico:

    “There were just red flags all over the place. It was real clear to me he didn’t have any personal money. His wife was running the campaign money,” said Ross, who left the campaign in March. “He doesn’t know how to manage $5. He won’t be able to raise money. He can’t raise money because people are finding out what a joke he is.”

    Ken Buck Actually More to the Right Than Dan Maes

    We’ve taken our share of jabs at Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes for his colorful positions on random issues like the nefarious plot of the U.N. to take over Denver through a bicycle sharing program. But while Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck hasn’t been nearly as entertaining as Maes (until recently, anyway), we wondered: Just how different are the two candidates at the top of the GOP ticket?

    The answer, frankly, surprised us. Based on some of the core issues highlighted by each campaign over the past year, you could very well make the argument that it is Buck — not Maes — who is the more extreme of the two candidates. Handy chart after the jump:

    Issue Agree/Disagree Dan Maes Ken Buck
    Personhood Amendment/Abortion AGREE Supports Personhood Amendment Supports Personhood Amendment and opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest
    Illegal Immigration AGREE Opposes amnesty, supports E-Verify as well as guest worker programs Opposes Amnesty and supports guest worker programs
    Energy AGREE Supports more oil drilling and nuclear energy Supports more oil drilling and nuclear energy
    Federal Health Care Legislation AGREE Opposes legislation passed by Congress in 2010 Wants to “repeal and replace” federal Health Care legislation
    Federal Stimulus AGREE Would refuse most federal stimulus money Opposes Federal Stimulus Package
    Taxes AGREE Signed pledge to oppose all tax increases Signed pledge to oppose all tax increases
    Social Security DISAGREE Has often said that Social Security saved his family Says Social Security is a “horrible policy” that will “bankrupt the nation”
    Federal Student Loans DISAGREE Supports federal funding for college education Says the government should not subsidize student loans
    Separation of Church and State DISAGREE Says that church and state should be kept separate Says separation of church and state is too strict already

    We’re not going to say that Buck is as loony as Maes. But it is striking to compare their opinions on high-profile issues and see Buck tacking even further right than Maes — much more to the right than we assumed before we started looking.

    Some Top Republicans Furious With Tambor Williams Pick

    It seems as though Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is causing quite a bit of consternation from some top Republican politicos and elected officials over his selection of Tambor Williams as his Lt. Governor and running mate.

    Many Republicans are apparently upset because Williams was an open supporter of Referendum C&D and was not particularly strong (from a conservative’s point of view) on the issue of abortion.

    As an email from one such Republican posted by Republican blogger Rossputin points out:

    This is a disaster for the GOP. Not only was Tambor the State’s top regulator after voting to allow Waren Hern to continue partial birth abortions (HB97-1136), she helped pass the largest tax hike in Colorado history (Ref C) and tried to cripple us with billions more in debt (Ref D).

    Tambor Williams is the poster child for everything that caused voters to distrust the CO GOP in the first place.

    So why on earth would Dan’s very first decision as our nominee be such an obviously ridiculous choice?

    If like me you feared Dan Maes’s campaign was like the Titanic going down, he just pulled aboard the biggest anchor he could find making it sink faster.

    Now the base will flee to Tancredo in droves.

    And the Dems haven’t even layed a glove on Dan yet.

    An amaesingly bad day for the CO GOP.

    We were forwarded another email chain, which included some local GOP elected officials on it, which you can read after the jump (all names in the “TO” and “CC” headings have been redacted on the email chain, except for the response from Maes himself). As you can see, the Republican Kumbaya moment probably isn’t happening any time soon…

    DAN’s RESPONSE IS TOTAL NONSENSE AND THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF THE WAY HE SHOULD be responding to erase our more than legitimate concerns.

    I just spoke to former State Rep. Barry Arrington and he is more than happy to talk to anyone who calls him about the truth of Tambor’s pro-abortion recpord.  It is documented public record that his vote was to PASS the bill and prevent the horrific practice of partial birth abortion.  Tambor voted NO. Dan’s arguement is exactly what the GOP pro-abort’s tried to get away with.  It didn’t work then and won’t work now.

    Please call Barry if you like:

    Cell: 303-XXX-XXXX

    O: 303-XXX-XXXX

    Rather than continued dismissal of very legitimate concerns, Mr. Maes needs to humble himself, become completely honest with voters, and

    pray the Dems don’t completely ruin his name and the credibility of the conservative movement in the process.

    The first place to start is drop Tambor on this issue and her tax and debt hikes.  Note she sign ed the CUT pledge then turned around and voted to hike taxes and debt by billions.  so not only is she a big spender / taxer, she deceived the voters and lacks any credibility on any conservative issue..

    This continued stubbornness in thinking he can just dismiss away everyone’s concerns would prove to me that Dan is only interested in his own personal shot at glory rather than the well being of the conservative movement that was here long before Dan Maes came around and will be around long after.

    You may forward this private email to anyone you think Dan may listen to.


    —–Original Message—–

    From: Daniel Maes


    Sent: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 11:42 am

    Subject: Once Again, you are misinterpreting info


    Tambor is pro-life and against partial birth abortion.  Newcomers to the political realm, and there are many currently, do not understand

    why votes happen all the time.  She absolutely abhors PPA and did then.  She voted the way she did because she did not like the way the

    bill was worded and had constitutional issues with equal application of the law.

    This is the type of partner I want as she put it through a constitutional filter and rejected it as written.  Too many people look only at the surface facts (what the media tells you) and make

    impulsive decisions.  Any negative reaction to this is exactly that.

    She and I did discuss the issue during the vetting process.  She was very upfront about it and I respected that.

    She was not part of my campaign at any time.  She had become a friend over many months and did not support me officially until the weekend of the assembly.  Her husband had been a supporter for a while.

    A Lt. Gov. does not drive policy.  They support the policy of the Gov. I will not consider changing my ticket.

    I hope having all the facts will assist you and your fellow voters in making an informed decision rather than an impulsive one.

    God Bless,

    Dan Maes

    The Peoples Candidate

    Re-energizing Colorado’s Economy

    Maes Picks Tambor Williams for Lt. Gov.

    Just Tweeted by 9NEWS’ Adam Schrager.

    By way of introduction, Tambor Williams is the former director of the state Department of Regulatory Agencies under Bill Owens, and a former Speaker Pro Tempore in the state legislature. Williams served as a state representative from 1997-2004 according to the Denver Business Journal’s 2004 report on her appointment to head DORA.

    Meaning that, unlike the GOP candidate for Governor himself, she is actually somewhat qualified.

    And by the end of the day, more people will have heard of Tambor Williams than at any point in her lifetime–given the likelihood of success as the second half of Dan Maes’ star-crossed ticket, that’s probably the mission accomplished point.

    It’s also important to remember here that this wasn’t a one-way decision. As we discussed yesterday, Maes could only select someone who also wanted the job. This isn’t like a typical Gubernatorial campaign where getting tapped to be the Lt. Governor is a big prize; Maes’s options were limited because a strong GOP politician looking at future office wouldn’t want to be attached to a guy who is going to get creamed in November and will likely make more of a fool of himself along the way.

    So Who’s It Gonna Be, Dan?

    Tomorrow evening (we believe it’s 5:00 p.m., if you were wondering about the specific time) is the deadline for Gubernatorial candidates to choose their Lieutenant Governor running mate. As CBS4 reported over the weekend, Republican Gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes (it still feels weird to write that) was holed up in the Maes Cave over the weekend pondering the decision.

    So who’s it going to be? Who would be willing to take on the role, knowing full-well that a Maes victory is about as likely as the Tea Party building a mosque? We’d be surprised to see an up-and-coming Republican agree to the role, because it wouldn’t be great for their career to sit on a ticket with a guy prone to bizarre insights like the U.N. bicycle conspiracy.

    Apparently Maes told a Greeley radio station that he’s looking at a Weld County resident with “legislative experience,” which could mean someone like State Sen. Kevin Lundberg or Sen. Scott Renfroe. Lundberg would make sense, since he doesn’t believe in Global Warming or, curiously telecommuting, and Maes is scared of bicycles because of the United Nations, or something. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in a policy discussion between Lundberg and Maes…

    Big-Name Republicans Backing Hickenlooper

    As Jody Strogoff of The Colorado Statesman reports, major Republican donors Larry Mizel, Greg Maffei and Fred Hamilton are co-sponsoring a big fundraising lunch on Sept. 22 for Democrat John Hickenlooper’s campaign for Governor:

    With Mizel, Maffei and Hamilton out of the closet, so to speak, others will likely follow.

    Mizel, chairman and chief executive officer of M.D.C. Holdings, Inc., is also one of Colorado’s major political players, although most of his activities are behind the scenes. Between 1989 and 2006, Mizel and his wife are reported to have contributed about one million dollars to federal candidates, PACs, and political parties; 94 percent went to Republican candidates and party committees. His large donations, which have continued over the last few years, have placed Mizel among the nation’s top 100 political contributors.

    Mizel wasn’t supporting McInnis for governor, and clearly won’t be lending his name to Maes. But rather than having his endorsement of Hickenlooper construed as anti-Republican, Mizel views it simply as a smart business decision. He says Hickenlooper provides bipartisan leadership that is good for the city, good for the state, and good for business in general.

    Hickenlooper, Mizel says, has shown his brilliance in terms of economic development leadership and will do well in reestablishing Colorado as a state that welcomes growth and development, business and a good quality of life…

    …Greg Maffei also has a strong personal relationship with Hickenlooper. According to a profile in the Denver Post a few months ago, the Liberty Media Corp. chief executive was one of the first people Hickenlooper turned to when he was considering whether to run for governor. Maffei told Hickenlooper he thought the job was a good fit and urged him to run.

    Maffei has strong Republican Party ties, here in Colorado as finance director for the state Republican Party, and as a major figure in Sen. John McCain’s political activities over the years.

    As the Statesman story points out, expect to see more major Republican donors migrating to Hickenlooper. After all, these guys didn’t make their money by betting big on long shots.  

    BREAKING: Republicans Meeting with Maes Today on Pulling Out

    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.

    You Couldn’t Make This Up If You Tried

    You’ve really, really just got to read the entire Politico story to fully appreciate the strange saga that is Ben Quayle, son of the former Vice President, who is now running for Congress in Arizona:

    Republican congressional candidate Ben Quayle’s glossy campaign photos and polished talking points paint for voters a portrait of a longtime Arizonan, accomplished attorney and family man who will bring a “new generation” to Washington.

    The claims reflect the small biographical exaggerations that often accompany a political newcomer’s first campaign. The reality is that Quayle has held three jobs in four years, posed for pictures in campaign literature with children who were not his and grew up in Washington with a famous father, former Vice President Dan Quayle, whose influential friends have given generously to the younger Quayle’s campaign.

    But Quayle, 33, has had to confront a much bigger credibility issue this week after a blogger revealed that he had once been a contributing writer for Dirty Scottsdale, a raunchy, sex-themed website that covered the club scene in his adopted hometown before morphing into the national gossip site TheDirty.com.

    At first, Quayle denied the claim, telling POLITICO on Tuesday that he “was not involved in the site.” But hours later, after blogs, news websites and other media picked up the story, Quayle told several Phoenix TV stations that he had posted on the site “to try to drive some traffic.”

    He continued to maintain, however, that he did not post under the pseudonym “Brock Landers,” the name of a porn star in the 1997 flick “Boogie Nights.” [Pols emphasis]

    Well played, Mr. Quayle, well played.

    Your move, Mr. Maes. We have faith that you can out-crazy Quayle.

    Dan Maes Solves Illegal Immigration Problem

    Let’s get this out of the way first before the shills start accusing us of trying to “attack” or “undermine” the campaign of Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes: He can’t win. You know it. We know it. Everybody knows it. Maes cannot win the race for Governor, and he won’t.

    Neither Maes nor Scott McInnis was going to beat Democrat John Hickenlooper in November, particularly with Tom Tancredo in the race on the American Constitution Party ticket. But we’re definitely glad to see Maes pull out the nomination over McInnis, because he’s…well…he’s hilarious. And not on purpose.

    Maes was already spreading the knowledge in his victory speech last night, which included his brilliant plan to tackle illegal immigration. Just how will he solve this problem? Easy! Maes says that if he is elected Governor, he will “enroll the state in a program that deports illegal alien criminals.”

    Enroll Colorado in a program to deport illegal alien criminals? Brilliant! Why didn’t anyone else ever think of that? You mean there is a program available to deport illegal immigrants, and Colorado just never bothered to “enroll”?

    This should be a fun couple of months. Thank you, Republican voters.

    Republicans Dont Want Maes OR McInnis

    UPDATE: Dan Maes is claiming victory, Tweets the state’s newspaper of record.

    This one (hee hee) might end up (snicker) having to go to a (guffaw) recount before it’s over. You can’t make this stuff up — a potential recount to confirm the candidate that Republicans don’t want anyway. If Republicans could vote on whether they even care who wins, we’d wager ‘NO’ would get more votes than either Maes or McInnis.

    Kind of puts a dent in the old vacancy committee scheduling, eh?

    Prediction Time!

    Make your predictions below on who you think will win the big statewide Primary races. Get them in before 7:00 tonight to make sure you get full bragging rights for a correct answer, and we’ll think up some sort of prize for the person who makes the most correct predictions.


  • U.S. Senate (Democrats)

  • U.S. Senate (Republicans)

  • Governor (Republicans)

  • Treasurer (Republicans)
  • Tiebraker: The total number of votes cast in the Republican Primary for Treasurer.

    Make sure to put your predictions in a numerical, percentages format. For example: Walker Stapleton over J.J. Ament, 54-46

    Ballot Returns Updated for Today

    POLS NOTE: In order to make comments easier to read and understand, we decided to create a new post for these returns, rather than just updating the original post.

    Below are the turnout numbers reported a little after 3:00 p.m. today by the SOS. Remember that there is some lag time in the reporting process (in other words, there are more ballots returned than what is listed below, but what is listed below is what the various County Clerks reported to the SOS today):

    *Party/ Ballots Returned Thus Far/ Total Active Voters/ Percent Returned

    Democrats: 279,462/ 817,458/ 34%

    Republicans: 314,264/ 855,667/ 37%

    Richard Coolidge of the Secretary of State’s office also included this note in today’s ballot update:

    Colorado County clerks may begin processing (not tabulating) ballots 15 days before the election. All 64 counties should have a good sample of mail ballots tabulated after 7:00pm tomorrow evening. Remember, 46 counties are voting exclusively by mail, so ballots received Tuesday may not be included in that original release of results. The remaining 18 counties will still have mail results, but will also need to factor in votes cast at precinct polling places (like El Paso, Pitkin, Las Animas, etc) or at vote centers (like Weld, Park, Archuleta, etc).

    Our read on these numbers? The Michael Bennet campaign is going to be sweating it out tomorrow, hoping to see turnout reach levels cross well into the 300,000 level (the higher the turnout above 300,000, the better the odds that Bennet wins).

    As for the GOP turnout, we’re curious to see how big the undervote might be. Turnout is pretty high already considering the amount of grumbling from Republicans over their (lack of) great choices for Governor, and to a lesser extent, U.S. Senate, but if most of the returned ballots are casting a vote in the race for Governor and Senate, this benefits Scott McInnis and Jane Norton in their respective races.

    New Polling Shows Bennet, Norton Ahead, GOP Gov. Tossup

    New polling out this morning from Public Policy Polling has some interesting numbers across the board in the three top-ticket Primaries in Colorado:

    U.S. Senate (Democrats)

    Michael Bennet: 49%

    Andrew Romanoff: 43%

    Undecided: 9%

    U.S. Senate (Republicans)

    Jane Norton: 45%

    Ken Buck: 43%

    Undecided: 12%

    Governor (Republicans)

    Scott McInnis: 41%

    Dan Maes: 40%

    Undecided: 19%

    It looks like all of these races are going to come down to the turnout numbers, with higher turnout favoring Bennet, Norton and McInnis (because these three have the highest name ID in their respective races). The Secretary of State’s office will release the latest turnout figures after 3:00 p.m. today, so check back here for that update.

    Poll: Who Will Win the Republican Gubernatorial Primary?

    As with all of today’s polls, we are not looking for you to indicate your personal preference. We want to know who you realistically believe will win the election tomorrow — or as we’ve said before, if you had to bet the deed to your house, who would you choose?

    So, who’s it going to be? Scott McInnis or Dan Maes? And to add a little zest to the poll, what do you think will happen after the Primary? Will the winner stay in the race or withdraw?

    Who Will Win the GOP Gubernatorial Primary...And Then What?

    View Results

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    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

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    Dan Maes Will Not Rest Until…He Figures Out What He’s Talking About

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes got a lot of attention yesterday for his concern over a U.N. plot to force people to ride bicycles and take showers and…something.

    We really couldn’t even explain the Maes conspiracy theory enough to make fun of it, but as it turns out, neither can Maes. From The Steamboat Pilot:

    “What I’m going on is based on limited information,” Maes told the Steamboat Pilot & Today on Wednesday. “On the surface, the program looks great. But this is a U.N. program the mayor has signed on to.”

    Maes said Wednesday that his remarks had been made in the context of a question asking him what strategy he would use to defeat Hickenlooper in the general election.

    “I met a woman at a campaign event who handed me a very well-documented portfolio” about the International Council for Environmental Initiatives, Maes said. “I have not had time to study all of the portfolio. I have to learn more about it. We’ve just scratched the surface.” [all bolding is Pols’ emphasis]

    Uh, yeah. So in other words, Maes is basing his entire conspiracy theory on a bunch of documents that some woman he doesn’t know handed him at a campaign event.

    At this point, we kind of hope that Maes does get elected Governor. It would be great fun to see him get on a soapbox about something every time a person handed him an unmarked envelope full of nonsense information.

    It has come to my attention recently that certain members of the state legislature are actually aliens from the planet Zog. Rest assured, my fellow Coloradans, that this will be investigated thoroughly…as soon as I finish reading this packet of information someone handed me.

    Dan Maes and the U.N. Plot to Bicycilize the World!

    Oh, Dan Maes! We don’t know where you came from, and we’re still amazed at how you got here, but we can’t deny that you are one amusing fellow. Even if you don’t mean to be. From TPM, via that Denver newspaper:

    Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes knows you might think  bicycles and bicycle riding are harmless, but beware: “That’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.”

    The Denver Post reports that Maes, a Tea Party friendly candidate facing former Rep. Scott McInnis in the August 10 Republican primary, has come out against a public bicycle program run by the city of Denver. Denver’s mayor, John Hickenlooper, is the presumptive Democratic nominee, and a cycling supporter.

    “This is all very well-disguised, but it will be exposed,” Maes said at a small campaign rally last week, according to the Post. “These aren’t just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to.”

    We can’t even attempt to dissect this one, folks. Encouraging people to ride their bicycles is a sinister U.N. plot to…make businesses install showers…and…really, we need a pie chart or graph or something to follow along.

    The Most Important Number Until the Primary: Turnout

    FRIDAY UPDATE: Here are the turnout numbers as of 2:45 p.m. today. It looks like a lot of voters are still holding onto their ballots:

    *Party/ Ballots Returned Thus Far/ Total Active Voters/ Percent Returned

    Democrats: 245,477/ 817,458/ 30%

    Republicans: 269,646/ 855,667/ 32%


    Previous updates and original post after the jump


    WEDNESDAY UPDATE: The Secretary of State’s office has updated the ballot return numbers. Here they are as of about 4:00 p.m. today:

    *Party/ Ballots Returned Thus Far/ Total Active Voters/ Percent Returned

    Democrats: 210,201/ 817,458/ 26%

    Republicans: 222,938/ 855,667/ 26%

    Democrats have already voted in significantly higher numbers than in 2008 (see after the jump for more), while Republicans are almost there. There’s still a lot of ballots to go for either Party to surpass the 335,431 votes cast the last time Colorado had a competitive top-ballot Primary (Pete Coors/Bob Schaffer in 2004).


    In the last couple of weeks, polls for both the Democratic and Republican Senate races, as well as the Republican Governor’s race, have showed results that are all over the map. Those changing numbers lead us to believe that all three races are going to be relatively close.

    With that in mind, the most important number for the next 8 days is going to be turnout. The general rule of thumb is that a higher turnout benefits the candidates with the best name ID — Sen. Michael Bennet on the Democratic side, and Jane Norton (Senate) and Scott McInnis (Governor) on the Republican ticket — because a larger number of voters usually means a larger number of uninformed voters, for whom name ID is really the most important issue.

    As of this afternoon, here are the turnout results from the Secretary of State’s office. We’ll update these numbers on Wednesday afternoon and again on Friday afternoon (special thanks to the SOS Communications Staff for the timely updates):

    *Party/ Ballots Returned Thus Far/ Total Active Voters/ Percent Returned

    Democrats: 164,878/ 817,458/ 20%

    Republicans: 171,236/ 855,667/ 20%

    In 2006, overall primary turnout was 23%, while in 2008, overall primary turnout was 21.95%. It would appear as though we are well on our way to higher than normal turnout, which makes sense since we haven’t seen a contested statewide primary in Colorado (at the top of the ticket) since the 2004 Republican Senate race between Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer.

    To give those numbers some perspective, here are the numbers for ballots cast for the top ticket race in 2008, 2006 and 2004. Pay particular attention to the 2004 Republican Senate race, which as we said above was the last competitive top-ticket Primary in Colorado:


    2008: 194,227 votes cast (Mark Udall, Senate)

    2006: 142,586 votes cast (Bill Ritter, Governor)

    2004: 237,140 votes cast (Ken Salazar/Mike Miles, U.S. Senate)


    2008: 239,212 votes case (Bob Schaffer, Senate)

    2006: 193,804 votes cast (Bob Beauprez, Governor)

    2004: 335,431 votes cast (Pete Coors/Bob Schaffer, U.S. Senate)

    McInnis, Norton Leading Respective Primaries?

    Today “The Fix” provides its list of the 10 most interesting primary fights in the country, and Colorado’s Republicans made it into two of the top three!

    Most interesting, however, is that “The Fix” notes that Scott McInnis leads Dan Maes by 15 points in the race for the Gubernatorial nomination, while Jane Norton may now be leading Ken Buck 45-40 in the Senate Primary:

    3. Colorado governor (R, Aug. 10): What happens if you hold a primary and the party regulars don’t want either candidate to win? That’s what’s happening in Colorado at the moment with scandal-plagued Scott McInnis (plagiarism) and Dan Maes (campaign finance violations) battling it out. A survey shown to the Fix and conducted by a Republican pollster in the last few days put McInnis ahead by 15. If he manages to win the nomination, there will be a major push by establishment Republicans to push him out. But will McInnis go? (Previous ranking: N/A)…

    1. Colorado Senate (R, Aug. 10): Just when Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck looked like he was going to pull off an upset against former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, he made a series of impolitic comments — the most potentially damaging of which was calling elements of the Tea Party “dumbasses”. A poll conducted by a major Republican firm looking in at the governor’s race in the last few days showed Norton ahead 45 percent to 40 percent, which suggests that Buck has incurred considerable political damage. (Previous ranking: 3)

    GOP Governor Disaster Could Topple Ticket

    We’ve talked before about the negative effects that could affect the entire Republican ticket given their meltdown in the Governor’s race. Today MSNBC takes a look at the carnage and offers a sobering historical lesson for Republicans:

    There’s at least one previous case of GOP intra-party turmoil in one race spilling over into down-ballot races.

    “The clearest recent example of a gubernatorial downdraft is Ohio 2006,” said Claremont McKenna College political scientist John Pitney. “The incumbent GOP governor (Bob Taft) had been ensnared in scandal and his party’s candidate to replace him (Ken Blackwell) was unpopular. Together with bad national trends, trouble at the top of the ticket helped bring down incumbent senator Mike DeWine and cost the GOP a couple of House seats.”

    Now, obviously those national trends that benefited Democrats in 2006 are not there in 2010. But a race like CD-4 could come down to the wire, and the Republican troubles at the top of the ticket could mean the difference for Rep. Betsy Markey.

    UPDATE: To wit, Politico’s Kasie Hunt, who we’re pretty sure had never once written about–or even heard of–the American Constitution Party before Tom Tancredo made it famous:

    Former Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo’s rogue bid for governor, already imperiling the GOP’s shot at the state’s top office, could also dim Republican prospects for knocking off first-term Democratic Rep. Betsy Markey in the 4th Congressional District.

    That’s because Tancredo’s running on the ticket of the conservative American Constitution Party- a minor third-party ballot line that happens to include a candidate, Doug Aden, running in Markey’s district. A statewide campaign that draws attention to Aden’s party might give him the kind of lift that would make him a spoiler for Republican state Rep. Cory Gardner’s campaign…

    This is turning into a pretty big deal for this formerly-insignificant minor party–Tancredo’s high profile and strong support on the hard right are certain to give the ACP the broadest exposure in its history. And given that “Tea Party” and related groups are already nonplussed by GOP nominee Gardner after his run-in with Steve King a few weeks ago, the danger of Aden peeling off votes from Gardner is bigger than first impressions might suggest.

    BREAKING: Tancredo Wants Governor, Calls for High Noon Showdown

    UPDATE: Republican State Party Chair Dick Wadhams is none too happy about Tancredo’s ultimatum:

    I am terribly disappointed in Tom Tancredo’s announcement that he has made a backroom deal with a minor political party to run for governor.

    Tom Tancredo used the Colorado Republican Party to get elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in the 1970’s, to work as a political appointee in the Reagan administration in the 1980’s, and to get elected to Congress from 1998 to 2008.  But now it appears he wants to destroy Republican chances to win a governor’s race after four failed years of Bill Ritter…

    …Let there be no mistake about it:  Regardless of who our nominee is for governor after the primary, if Tom Tancredo carries through on his threat to run as a third party candidate, he will be responsible for the election of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor and for other races that will be imperiled as well.

    Yup. This should end well.


    We reported last week that Republicans in Colorado were scrambling to figure out how to replace both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes as candidates for Governor, while at the same time looking for someone who could prop up the ticket enough to benefit the GOP Senate candidate and every other candidate down the ballot. It looks like former Rep. Tom Tancredo is going to do everything he can to elbow his way in.  

    Click after the jump for the full statement from Tancredo, which was just released. He gives McInnis and Maes until Noon on Monday, July 26 (no seriously, that’s exactly what he wrote) to publicly promise to withdraw from the race after the August 10 primary results are announced…or else Tancredo will run for Governor under the American Constitution Party platform.

    If both McInnis and Maes do withdraw, presumably Tancredo would then be the Republican candidate for Governor.

    This all seems a bit melodramatic and silly, but both words pretty well sum up Tancredo’s career in general. We’d be surprised to see this from anyone but Tancredo, frankly, though we’re still not sure how this helps Republicans.

    Demanding a withdrawal by an arbitrary deadline only serves to humiliate McInnis and Maes more than they’ve already humiliated themselves. McInnis has always been too proud to admit his own errors; we just don’t see him bowing out of the race to kiss the feet of one of the Colorado GOP’s foremost lunatics.

    Tancredo’s threat is also pretty meaningless. Neither McInnis nor Maes can possibly win the general election for Governor anyway — not after their various collection of scandals and misstatements. If McInnis and Maes don’t withdraw, and Tancredo runs under the American Constitution Party banner…so what? Tancredo pulls enough votes from the GOP candidate to ensure that they won’t win a race they weren’t going to win anyway?

    We really didn’t think there was anyway things could actually get worse for Republicans, but we underestimated Tancredo. Hell, he’s already caused significant damage in the GOP Senate Primary. He might as well just keep screwing up the rest of the ticket.



    Events of the past two weeks have developed in such a way as to create an unprecedented situation in the race for Governor of Colorado. The two candidates vying for the Republican nomination have, in my opinion, lost any hope of carrying out a successful campaign.

    This situation is unacceptable to me, and I am sure, to thousands of other Colorado Republicans, Independents and other Colorado voters whose hopes for a change to a smaller and fiscally responsible government in Colorado in November now seem dashed.

    To achieve this goal the winner of the August Republican primary must step down and allow the Party to appoint a viable replacement candidate to face John Hickenlooper and the Obama-Pelosi smear machine. It is up to the Party to pick that replacement except that it is imperative he or she be a solid conservative with a chance to win the general election in November.

    There are, because of time and party registration constraints imposed by state election laws and party rules, very few other options open to those Coloradans who seek a solution to this dilemma.

    I, for one, will do what is necessary within those limitations to avoid the electoral disaster looming on the horizon. That disaster would not be limited to the loss of the Governor’s race, but of many “down ticket” races. The grass roots electorate would lack any incentive to get to the polls.

    Therefore, today I am asking for a public commitment from both Scott McInnis and Dan Maes that they will do what is right for the state of Colorado. Regardless of the outcome of the Primary election on August 10, on August 11 the winner must agree to remove himself from consideration if polling on that date shows that he is losing the race for Governor. If either or both choose to ignore this request, and do not make a public commitment to this end no later than noon on Monday, July 26, I will announce on that day that I will seek the nomination of the American Constitution Party for Governor of Colorado. [Pols emphasis]

    If I run, I will do so to the best of my ability and will do so through the November election.

    A great deal needs to be done for any candidate to put together a competitive campaign. Of course that includes raising the money necessary for such a race. Every hour of delay makes that a more difficult task.

    This decision is completely in the hands of Dan Maes and Scott McInnis.

    Dan Maes, Successful Businessman (Except for the “Successful” Part)

    Republican Dan Maes, the unknown candidate who may very well be the GOP nominee for governor, has a campaign message centered around his “business experience.” We always assumed that meant he had experience running strong businesses that employ lots of people. What he apparently meant all along was that, like many small business owners, he isn’t all that good at it.

    His tax returns, released on some website called The Constitutionalist Today, show that Maes isn’t exactly sleeping on a bed made of gold:

    For the years 2000-2004 the Maes’ averaged $89,000 per year in income. Maes donated an average of 4.75% of his income per year to the First Baptist Church of Evergreen, Evergreen Christian Outreach, and Goodwill.

    In 2005, Maes  left his job with Advantage Credit Reporting and started his own small business. Like most small business owners, the first year of income was low, and tax returns reflect that. Listed as a credit services business, the Maes  filed personal income at $19,202 for 2005, $20,340 for 2006, and $51,678 for 2007; business gross income at $39,130 for 2005, $182,230 for 2006, and $309,815 for 2007. In 2008 the mortgage industry imploded, and with 97% of Amaesing Credit Solutions clients being mortgage brokers, the business took a big hit. There is a  steep decline in 2008 to $11,000, which is to be expected.

    Dan Maes earned $11,000 in 2008, which is about $34,000 less than he has paid himself out of his campaign cash just for gas money. It looks like Maes may make more money as an unsuccessful candidate for governor than as an unsuccessful small business owner.

    BREAKING: RGA Pulling Out of Colorado, GOP Discussing Options

    UPDATE #2: Well of course they deny it, as Fox 31’s Stokols updates:

    Sources tell FOX31 News that the Republican Governor’s Association is essentially abandoning McInnis, and pulling funds out of the Colorado governor’s race – a claim the RGA firmly denies.

    “We remain as committed today as we were a week ago, a month ago or two months ago,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of political communications for the RGA, noting that McInnis has yet to secure the Republican Party’s nomination…

    Seriously, what do you expect the RGA to say on the record? When the national campaign apparatus pulls the plug, as we saw when the Republican Senate committee pulled out of Bob Schaffer’s race in 2008 (also first reported by Colorado Pols), it’s a very sensitive thing, and subject to a great deal of spin on the way down. We stand by our sources and our story, but you can read the full statement from the RGA after the jump.

    UPDATE: Fox 31’s Eli Stokols confirming:

    FOX31 News has learned that the Republican Governor’s Association has withdrawn its money from the McInnis campaign and is already cancelling fundraisers that were previously scheduled for him.

    Sources close to the campaign say McInnis has been receiving more pressure from Republicans to drop out after his Facebook posting appeared. Sean Duffy, McInnis’ spokesman, told FOX31 News Thursday morning that the campaign was proceeding with scheduled events for the day. However, the candidate did not appear–as scheduled–at a forum in Weld County.

    Here’s the latest news on the Scott McInnis scandal and the continuing fallout:

    As first reported by Colorado Pols, The Republican Governor’s Association (RGA) has made the decision to pull out of Colorado, according to anonymous sources. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the Chair of the RGA, is still attending an RGA meeting in Aspen this weekend, but fundraisers with Barbour have been cancelled. Fundraising events with Barbour scheduled yesterday and today in both Denver and Aspen were called off, and the decision has been made that the Colorado governor’s race is essentially a lost cause.This is a major development, because there were rumors of as much as $9 million being spent by the RGA in Colorado — money that would have helped every Republican down the ticket.

    Meanwhile, we hear that McInnis donors have already started asking for their contributions to be returned, and fundraising events for the former GOP frontrunner have also been called off.

    National Republican leaders have been trying to get in touch with McInnis, who has been largely ignoring calls and bunkering down. The consensus among many top GOP leaders in Colorado is that McInnis will have to drop out of the race at some point (late next week, at the earliest), but for now he is trying to weather the storm and in denial about the fact that his campaign is over. There is a belief among many Republicans that McInnis will not exit the race until he sees polling numbers that he can no longer salvage his campaign, hence the belief that he won’t pull out until at least late next week.

    Republicans are furiously working on a fallback plan, with the idea that a candidate needs to be found to help prop up the entire ticket in whatever manner is still possible — but with no illusions that they could ultimately defeat Democrat John Hickenlooper in November. Some Republicans believe that there are interpretations of state law that would allow them to submit their nominee for Governor should McInnis withdraw (how they would deal with the public relations disaster of bypassing state convention winner Dan Maes is another question).

    UPDATE: Secretary of State Bernie Buescher says his office won’t issue an opinion on “a hypothetical question.”

    Here’s the full statement from the Republican Governor’s Association’s Tim Murtaugh:

    Republican Governors Association spokesman Tim Murtaugh today issued the following statement in response to erroneous press reports involving the Colorado governor’s race:

    “We are as committed today to our efforts in Colorado as we were a week, a month or two months ago.

    “Our goal has been, and remains today, to ensure that Coloradans do not have to suffer through four more years of Bill Ritter’s failed policies of raising taxes and killing jobs – and that means defeating John Hickenlooper.  We will not waver from that goal.

    “It is unfortunate, however, that the news media has chosen to whip itself into a frenzy and run with unsubstantiated rumors that are patently false.”