Last-Ditch Attempt to Force Maes Out Underway?

THURSDAY UPDATE #6: The Wall Street Journal puts Dan Maes’ name in lights again, accorded the no-small honor of Quote of the Day:

Enjoy the ride, Mr. Maes. Whatever happens tomorrow, he’s writing his poetry and the newspapers are printing it.

THURSDAY UPDATE #5: FOX 31′s Eli Stokols Tweets from today’s debate:

THURSDAY UPDATE #4: This is all becoming really very silly. Former Senate President, and Republican right-wing standard bearer, John Andrews issued this statement this morning:

This morning I called Dan Maes to withdraw my endorsement and urge him to end his candidacy, for the public good.  As a conscientious Republican who earlier voted for Dan, I cannot support a manifestly unfit nominee.  He has flunked his job interview with the people of Colorado in the weeks since Scott McInnis faded.  The party should cut Maes loose if he does not resign the nomination.  I intend to write in a vote for Jane Norton for Governor. [Pols emphasis]

Jane Norton? This makes perfect sense. Try to kick out someone who won the Republican primary in order to replace him with someone who lost a primary election of her own. We’ve absolutely reached the point where this is causing more harm than good for Republicans, whether or not they can convince Maes to withdraw.

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THURSDAY UPDATE #3: There is a Gubernatorial debate scheduled to be taped today at Noon as a joint production between Colorado Public Television (CPT12) and CBS 4. The debate is scheduled to air at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow, which could be a bit odd if Maes did withdraw from the race.

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THURSDAY UPDATE #2: Moments ago, Dan Maes posted this defiant-sounding update to his Facebook page. Does this read like a man about to pull out of this race?

THURSDAY UPDATE: The Colorado Statesman’s Jody Strogoff confirms much of this story in a detailed must-read report this morning: renewed pressure to withdraw, a few days of expressed leeway by the Secretary of State’s office should a vacancy committee be necessary, and a twist you may not have expected: Bob Beauprez waiting in the wings?


According to sources in the Colorado Republican Party and elsewhere interviewed Wednesday by The Colorado Statesman, major escalating problems and daunting revelations about Maes’ gubernatorial candidacy – with still more possible bombshells to drop – could unravel any hopes Maes has to stay on as the GOP standard bearer by Friday, prompting the state party to convene a special vacancy committee to select a new nominee after the required five-day advance notice. If that happened, the meeting could be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, and a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office said that even though the general election ballot is set to be certified this Friday, Sept. 3, there is probably enough wiggle room for county clerks to update ballots next week if necessary…

Although Wadhams would not discuss possible scenarios for replacing his party’s nominee, he confirmed Wednesday night that the required five-day advance notice under state election law would allow a vacancy committee to meet as early as next Tuesday, if it became necessary. Colorado secretary of state spokesman Richard Coolidge confirmed that county clerks have some leeway to order ballots printed, and agreed that changes could still be made…

“I’m flattered,” Beauprez said when asked whether he might step in. “What I have told them is that, if a vacancy were ever to occur, I’d entertain the phone call to think about it seriously. I like to think I have plenty of gas in the tank and plenty to give. But it’s a bit idle (to talk about) now. First things first,” Beauprez cautioned.

That being said, Beauprez acknowledged that he would be “a better candidate than I was in 2006,” and emphasized that he has learned from that experience.

“I believe that was a job that had my experience and credentials and passion written all over it,” he said about the governor’s race four years ago. “That hasn’t changed. I still have another rodeo in me. If that vacancy were to occur, I would take the candidacy discussion very seriously,” he said.

Original post follows–major developments likely today.

A series of events in the last 24 hours leaves us more or less convinced that GOP leadership has commenced one final concerted attempt to force gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes out of the race. This morning, the Denver newspaper published long-rumored information about Maes’ brief record as a police officer in Kansas, showing where Maes has possibly embellished his record and subsequently removed said embellishments from his campaign website.

It’s not a new story–inferences about Maes’ time as a cop in Liberal, Kansas 25 years ago, a job from which he was fired, have been widely circulated. We’re not downplaying the story, because it’s obviously the last thing Maes needs, but the story certainly doesn’t seem any worse than, for example, Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois–who despite revelations of much bigger exaggerations about his military service record remains the GOP’s nominee for U.S. Senate in that state.

But it seems to be the pretext that Colorado GOP kingpins were looking for.

We’ve reported in this space about at least two not-so-secret attempts by GOP chairman Dick Wadhams and other powerbrokers to force Maes out since his narrow primary win over Scott McInnis at the beginning of the month. Today, allegedly on the strength of this report about Maes’ history as a police officer, Karen Crummy reports at the Denver newspaper’s blog that former Sen. Hank Brown is withdrawing his endorsement of Maes, and Bob Beauprez is calling on Maes to pull out, while Allison Sherry writes that leading “9/12″ groups in the state are demanding a meeting with Maes before the end of the week. Maes himself was summoned to DC on a red-eye flight this morning according to FOX 31′s Eli Stokols–either for recommitment from the Republican Governor’s Association like his spokesman hopes, but more likely something else.

First of all, we don’t buy that the “9/12″ groups–who, mind you, are not the ‘Tea Party’ and subject to their own influences–are spontaneously rising up against Maes, any more than we think Hank Brown didn’t know all about Maes when he endorsed him. After everything Republican leadership have themselves done to force Maes out since his victory over the tainted McInnis, there’s very little question who is orchestrating this avalanche of bad press for Maes, slamming home just as the last day his name can be replaced on ballots approaches.

Look, folks, we’ve been clear about our estimation of Maes’ chance at winning the governor’s race, and we understand on a bare strategic level why Wadhams and the other Republican kingmakers want him out. But what you are seeing play out here, far too publicly, is seriously jeopardizing prospects for GOP success in Colorado–up and down the ticket. What they’re basically asking is for the voters to get behind a fourth gubernatorial candidate: after forcing Josh Penry out of the race, watching McInnis self-immolate, and now with the Republican brass trying one last time to veto the choice made by almost 200,000 Republican rank-and-file voters.

And for all the angst about Maes among GOP leadership, why don’t the voters share it?

Tom Tancredo is substantially underperforming expectations in polls. Obviously, with a Congressional resume, long history, and very high name recognition, Tancredo has assets in his favor that should make him competitive with Maes–especially as Maes stumbles–but his numbers have steadily declined from their peak. As Tancredo’s numbers have unexpectedly weakened, and as Maes has weathered repeated attempts to force him out, many Republicans we’ve talked to have been more interested in stabilizing the situation so they can proceed where they have an advantage–not another day of uncertainty in the governor’s race. They said so a couple of weeks ago when Wadhams acted as Tancredo’s emissary in that attempt to force Maes out of the race.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the negative reports on Maes in the last few days that either was not known or warrants on merit another attempt to force Maes out. And yet here we are.

With all the stops pulled out in a last-ditch effort to have their way, hoping Friday’s important-yet-obscure deadline can be beat without inspiring rebellion, there’s just not a lot of pretense left to hide behind. And you can’t tell us, no matter how optimistic Republicans are for success across the nation, that this weakness and disorganization at the top of Colorado’s Republican ticket doesn’t imperil much more than this race.

As for Maes? What possible incentive could you offer him to not ride this coaster all the way? Maes is the only man on either side with absolutely, positively nothing to lose here.

111 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. allyncooper says:

    but his 15 minutes of fame, and he won’t be denied that.

    But who does the GOP have that could credibly step in? Nobody.

    John Nance Gardner used to say the Vice Presidency wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. And this year the GOP nomination for governor is worth less than that.  

  2. dmindgo says:

    Either here or in DC.  I’ll bet something can be lined up that will have a six-figure income.  It’s not ethical, but is it illegal?

    Or maybe he could be chancellor at a university.  That seems like a popular career choice for politicos.

  3. Libertad says:

    The GOP needs to remove him from the ticket … for cause.

    As Mr. Tancredo has said, this guy is unfit for office.

  4. bjwilson83 says:

    First of all, it’s clear you don’t understand anything about what is going on in the governor’s race, but I’ll save that for later. What I find hysterical is your blatantly transparent attempt to prevent Maes from leaving the race.

    “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the negative reports on Maes in the last few days that either was not known or warrants on merit another attempt to force Maes out.”

    …except for this article, which despite being billed as “long-rumored information” was posted only this morning.

    “Today we get a threefer, etc.”

  5. Meiner49erMeiner49er says:

    “Election” by vacancy committees has worked so well for Republicans up here in Larimer County that maybe it’s becoming the new statewide brand.

    “Voters, we don’t need no stinkin’ voters.”

    Sadly for all the Maes supporters up here who honestly believe Dan can win because he’s the “people’s choice,” it seems this trend is about to bite them.

    If I were Wadhams, I think I’d start worrying about “second amendment remedies” in some of his northern precincts.  

  6. MADCO says:

    ” Beauprez acknowledged that he would be “a better candidate than I was in 2006,…”

    Sure – no primary, far less time for those who don’t know him to get to know him, no time for the usual fundraising, and a “well, at least he’s better than Maes” sigh of relief.

  7. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    On the otherhand, if Maes is still on the ticket Friday, the next Bennet ad should highlight Ken Buck’s “absolute support” for Maes, while other Republicans run the other way.

    Just another indication of Buck’s poor judgement, Buck-flips and frequent poor choice of words that litter his campaign to date.

  8. dwyer says:

    boyles has Hank Brown on at 8 am on radio station KHOW 630am.

  9. dwyer says:

    I find this fascinating.  I am rooting for Maes.  He will have quite a story to tell.  If he doesn’t win the governorship, he can sell his story for millions.  I’d buy it.

    • MADCO says:

      Born in small town Wisconsin, the northern part of the heartland, I worked hard, grew up poor in material and money but not desire.

      I learned to sell stuff. I went to college. And moved to Kansas to be a cop. Met the wrong girl,  had a baby, got married, got fired from copping, moved to Colorado and still learned to sell stuff.

      I got divorced, I met a new girl, saved my church, grew a small company, started my own buisiness and grew it too. Built a house, had some kids, sold the business, and had a vision. Ran for governor, won the caucus, won the primary,  weathered the storm and got beat by my own party in the general.

      It’s ok. I still know how to sell stuff.

  10. Diogenesdemar says:

    it says so right on his resume!

  11. SSG_Dan says:

    By doing this, it delays the printing of absentee ballots by gawd knows how many days.

    Colorado already was barely going to make the 45-day window for mailing them to troops in combat zones, now this is going to guarantee they disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of SM in Iraq and AFPAK.

    Oh, they might vote for the guy who makes beer….

    • dwyer says:

      The Secretary of State is democratic so he is going to go ahead and send the ballots out to the counties tomorrow so that the repubs are screwed.  It is another example of how the democrats are responsible for this mess…

      the above is per caplis, boyles,

      • Ralphie says:

        Don’t need no steenkin’ statutes.

      • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

        Oh, wait. Nevermind. Everybody knew.

        • dwyer says:

          hence the poll on the only diary I ever attempted…I anticipated that the push come to shove would occur by August 24th.

          This is a fascinating look at how bad the republican party is.

          What contempt for the voters.  What conceit.  I am betting that they do win the governorship.  Because as bad as the republican party is, at least there is something still loosely called a party.  And they own the airwaves, 24/7 the attack on the dems, both local and national, continues successfully.

          There is no democratic party, there is just OFA and the blue print gang.

          I am glad I am old.  But, I do enjoy listening to the radio to find out what my government will sound like come January.

  12. ClubTwitty says:

    The use of the double negative means we ought to be deceived.  Still, I think he hangs in there.  One cannot argue with THE PEOPLE.  

  13. SSG_Dan says:

    ….all of you registered supporters should just have state convention and agree to turn over your voting rights to one guy (DickWad) and get it over with.

    The Elite of the State GOP really don’t give a shit about what you think, your issues, or (especially) you’re right to vote.  

  14. Froward69 says:

     a flock of headless chickens… As flock of headless chickens running about have more purpose and a better chance… To oust and replace Maes than Dick Wad, Bob Go-pray and Tan-bigot combined.  

    this is so fun to watch the arrogance of republicans crumble into desperation.

    The gop should sell tickets to this drama.

  15. Arvadonian says:

    that John Andrews has now withdrawn his support of Maes (after reasserting support yesterday) and will now write in Jane Norton if Maes is still on the ballot in November.  

  16. Ellie says:

    was funny but this…Not!  And no thanks to those Republican’s that went out of their way to get rid of the only candidate that knew Colorado state government inside and out.  Happy now?

  17. bjwilson83 says:

    There’s going to be backlash of support for Maes among the base.

  18. Pam Bennett says:

    It’s like they skipped the tea and went straight for the whiskey.

  19. …my debate with Bill O’Reilly last night on The Factor –

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    Thank you to Fox News and Bill O’Reilly for having me on – enjoy friends!

  20. marilou says:

    I would be totally supportive of Bob Beauprez.  Bob is a decent, honest man and has lots of name recognition.  He would run a good campaign and this is the year of the Republican (sorry you libs).  He has spoken to some liberty groups about “principle over party,” and he would be able to raise money quickly.  I will not support any recent candidates/managers who have run dirty and dishonest campaigns.

  21. 20th Maine says:

    when he says “people”?  All the people who don’t live under his roof want him to go.

    I’d be interested in a poll of GOP primary voters only – on the Gov’s race.  I’d bet his negatives at this point are as high as cancer’s among that crowd.

    Everywhere he turns “people” are trying to talk him off the ledge.  Every ordinary meeting is now turning into an attempt by the “powerbrokers” to take over the party.

    I guess the “powerbrokers” outnumber the “people” by about 1000 – 1 by now.

    • ajb says:

      Seriously, he has won every election he’s been in, right? Everything has been in the public record, available for examination (except for maybe a few dumb comments, but everybody makes those).

      Nothing objective has changed since the primary vote. So what happened to all the folks that voted for him?  

      • RedGreenRedGreen says:

        They didn’t know Bob Beauprez was available.  

      • 20th Maine says:

        seems to represent many here, in various forms…

        Before McInnis blew up, no one cared about Maes’ background so no one did the expensive and/or lengthy due diligence that is typically done on a party nominee.

        And after McInnis blew up, no one cared b/c it’s it’s been a foregone conclusion that he’s going to get killed.

        (As opposed to some in my party, I don’t think the Maes/Hick match up numbers are representative.  The only thing they show is that Hick is going to have to work to break 50 – but otherwise Maes has not been known to almost everyone until now.  And it’s all been negative.  If Hick ever feels like he needs to unload on Maes, he can and will.  Maes has little ammo and no gun to retaliate).

        The recent news only confirms the gut feeling the “people” have had about Dan.  ”People” started to give him the benefit of the doubt but didn’t have to be convinced to jump off the bandwagon.

        Same thing that happened to McInnis is happening to Maes.  But he has the benefit of the calendar on his side.

        • Ralphie says:

          They deserve what they vote for.

          You don’t step in and invalidate the will of the people because you don’t like their choice of who they wanted to represent them.

          • 20th Maine says:

            There is no ‘You’ and ‘People.’  They are one and the same.

            And how much did you know about George Knapp or Larry Walsh when they ran for Mayor of Denver in 1991?  Probably not a lot – because it didn’t matter, they weren’t going to win.

            In addition to winning an upset through hard work, good strategy, etc – upsets can happen Alvin Greene style or Dan Maes style.  In either case, no one knew much about either because the odds were ridiculously against them.

            Republicans primary voters didn’t choose to nominate a guy who lied about his experience and job history.  They voted, in a whirlwind, for the non-plagiarist (as far as we know).

        • ajb says:

          IIRC, that was before the McInnis implosion.

          Lots of conservatives voted for Maes because they thought he was the “true conservative.”

          All the negative stuff about Maes could have been dug up by the McInnis campaign if they had just bothered to do so. It was really just a matter of making a few phone calls – most employers make more effort to verify a job applicant’s resume.

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            McInnis won at the caucuses, which is why it was such a surprise Maes top-lined at the state assembly.

            But you’re right, Maes has had a solid following based on his man-of-the-people straight talk, probably supplemented some by RINO suspicions about McInnis — Maes support wasn’t just a reaction to McInnis plagiarism charges.

            Has anyone yet accused the McInnis campaign of knowing what the hell was going on, or suggested they ever lacked for arrogance? Some of these revelations about Maes have been known for a while, but the McInnis people didn’t think they needed to care.

  22. dksiii says:

    Jane Norton did not timely file an Affidavit of Intent with the Secretary of State stating that she desires the office of Governor and is qualified to assume its duties if elected.  CRS 1-4-1101(1).  As a result, no write-in votes for her shall be counted.  CRS 1-4-1101(2).  By casting a write-in vote that cannot lawfully be counted, John Andrews and all other Republicans who follow his lead will entirely undervote the Governor’s race. John Hickenlooper must be dleighted with Andrews’ announcement.  I do not ever recall a major political party so completely melting down in this way.  Remarkable.

  23. GOPwarrior says:

    And so will the people of Colorado. This is a distraction to what will otherwise be an incredible year for conservatives and America’s future!

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