Sept. 3, 2010: The Day the Colorado GOP Changed Forever

September 3, 2010.

Remember this day, folks, because in the coming years politicos, reporters, bloggers and everyone with an interest in Colorado politics will point back to this day to mark the moment when the Colorado Republican Party changed completely, and perhaps irrevocably. Whether or not this change will be remembered as something positive or negative may not be known until well after Election Day in November, and maybe not until Winter 2011, when Republicans across the state elect new local and statewide leadership. But make no mistake — nothing can ever be the same in the Colorado GOP after weeks of events that culminated on Friday.

Because on Friday, Sept. 3, 2010, the State Republican Party told every Republican voter that the caucus and the primary only matter so long as you choose the candidate they want you to choose. Otherwise, your vote means nothing. Incredibly, and inexplicably, the Colorado Republican Party officially declared that a small handful of people will make decisions for you, no matter what the election results say.

In fact, two major changes have occurred: 1) The Republican Party decided that a small committee of people can choose whether or not to support a candidate that Republican voters elected, and 2) Top Republicans have splintered their support in the governor’s race in three different directions. Party unity? There’s no going back from here.

The Colorado Statesman has an excellent story from Jody Strogoff and Ernest Luning about the events surrounding the Republican efforts to get Gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes off of their ballot. You really need to read the whole thing, but we’ll break down a couple of key sections to illustrate our point after the jump.


the Colorado Republican Party has officially abandoned its support of their nominee, with State Chairman Dick Wadhams saying he was “very disappointed in the decision by Dan Maes to continue his candidacy for governor. Revelations before and especially after the August 10th primary have raised serious questions about the veracity of how he has presented his professional background and career and have virtually destroyed any possibility of running a viable campaign.”…

…A story published earlier Friday by the Washington, D.C.-based Politico referenced an anonymous source who said Maes met Friday morning with members of the Colorado Republican Party’s executive committee. According to the political news site’s account, powerful Republicans confronted Maes with further “damaging evidence” about him that hadn’t yet been made public in a last ditch effort to force him from the race.

But GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams unequivocally denied that the meeting described in Politico had taken place.

“There was no meeting with Maes by me and/or the executive committee,” Wadhams told The Statesman on Friday afternoon. He also said the GOP did not have any “damaging evidence” against Maes, as was reported in the Politico story. Nate Strauch, spokesman for Maes’ campaign, also told The Statesman that the purported meeting did not occur.

However, a member of the state’s 24-member executive committee told The Statesman late in the day Friday that, while no official meeting of the executive committee had been convened, a member of the committee talked with Maes about the mounting negative information beginning to leak out about his personal and professional background. The top GOP official asked Maes to seriously consider withdrawing his name from the ballot before the 5 p.m. Friday deadline for ballot certification.

Maes’ decision to stay in the race was met with varied reaction from Republicans. Most stunning, perhaps, was an announcement issued by the Colorado GOP just minutes after Friday’s ballot certification deadline. The statement, signed by Wadhams, didn’t include Maes’ name on the list of Republican candidates that had the official support of the state party.

Because Dan Maes won the Republican nomination for governor, or more precisely, because of what Republicans did in response to that victory, the Colorado Republican Party has shattered in multiple directions. Colorado Republicans have been trying for weeks to force Maes out of the race with numerous private meetings and the leaking of damaging information about Maes in the last week (every top-level Democrat we’ve talked to last week insists that they had nothing to do with leaking information about Maes’ apparent fabrication that he was once an undercover police officer, and we believe them – Democrats have no interest in trying to force Maes out of the race for governor because he’s polling well behind Democrat John Hickenlooper). These efforts have been ongoing as the Colorado Republican Party has insisted that they were fully supportive of Maes.

But now, under the absurd guise that they are just now learning about what a bad candidate Maes will be (and let’s be honest here – anybody who read a newspaper or blog, or watched local TV in the last three months already knew that) – the State Freakin’ Party has officially decided not to support their own nominee for governor. And it’s transparently obvious why that decision was made: Because Maes wouldn’t withdraw from the race.

With the unprecedented move by the State GOP Party to abandon their own nominee for governor, there is nobody left to hold the ticket together – which is fundamentally the entire point of having a political party. Take a look at just how badly things have splintered:

  • The Colorado Republican Party: Officially Will NOT Support Maes for governor.
  • Steve Schuck, Prominent Republican and two-time candidate for governor in the 1980s: Publicly supporting Tom Tancredo, the American Constitution Party candidate for governor.
  • Mary Smith, Former Chair of the Denver County Republican Party: Publicly supporting Democrat John Hickenlooper for governor.
  • John Andrews, former Senate President and former GOP candidate for governor: Publicly withdrew his endorsement of Maes and said that he will write-in Jane Norton for governor (the same Jane Norton who, just weeks earlier, lost her own primary for U.S. Senate to Ken Buck).
  • Wayne Allard, former U.S. Senator: Staying with his previous endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Paul Tauer, Former Aurora Mayor: Staying with his previous endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Dave Schultheis, outspoken term-limited State Senator: Staying with his previous endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Larry Mizel and Greg Maffei, prominent Republican businessmen and fundraisers: Publicly supporting Democrat John Hickenlooper and raising money for his campaign for governor.
  • Ken Buck, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate: Publicly withdrew his endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Mike Coffman, Republican Congressman in CD-6: Publicly withdrew his endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Hank Brown, highly-regarded former U.S. Senator: Publicly withdrew his endorsement of Maes for governor.
  • Doug Lamborn, Republican Congressman in CD-5: Still supporting Maes after previous public endorsement.
  • As you can see, there is no spin or analysis needed here. This is an unequivocal and embarrassing mess for the Colorado Republican Party, and here’s why: 196,560 Republican voters selected Maes over Scott McInnis in the GOP primary. Many of those Maes votes were definitely a rejection of McInnis more than a selection of Maes, but that doesn’t change the fact that Maes fairly won the nomination, after winning top line at the state GOP convention. But the Colorado Republican Party just told those 196,560 voters that their vote doesn’t matter, because they decided, through their own little Executive Committee, that Dan Maes would not receive the support of the Colorado Republican Party.

    What makes this whole fiasco even more stunning is the incredible bald-faced hypocrisy of GOP Party Chair Dick Wadhams. Just last week (Aug. 25, to be exact), a quite unambiguous letter from State GOP Chair Dick Wadhams was sent to “Colorado Republican Leaders” in an effort to clear up any “unfortunate misperceptions” about Republican efforts to force Maes out of the race for governor. Here is that letter as reprinted in The Colorado Statesman (all bolding is Pols emphasis]:

    The Colorado Republican State Executive Committee unanimously adopted a resolution at our regularly scheduled bimonthly meeting in August stating clear support for Ken Buck for U.S. Senate and Dan Maes for Governor along with all other Republican candidates nominated for statewide, congressional, state legislative and county offices in the August 10 primary election. The resolution is attached. [Pols note: We left this last sentence unaltered, although the resolution is not attached here nor was it attached to the online story in the Statesman]

    Our Republican nomination process was open and fair from the beginning of this election cycle to any candidate who chose to compete and any Republican who wished to participate in our precinct caucuses, county and district assemblies, the state assembly and primary election.

    Unfortunately, the turmoil in the governor’s race has raised unfortunate misconceptions about the role of the Colorado Republican Party and, even more specifically, my role as state chairman.

    I have been inundated by emails and phone calls by those who have the misconception that Colorado Republicans do not support our nominee for governor, Dan Maes. At the same time, I have also received emails and phone calls from people who believe I can arbitrarily reverse the result of a primary election and find a new candidate for governor.

    First of all, the Colorado Republican Party and I, as state chairman, support Dan Maes for Governor. Period. Dan won our nomination fair and square. We are working directly with Dan and his campaign in our Victory voter identification and turnout operation.

    Second, neither the state chairman nor any committee within the Colorado Republican Party can arbitrarily remove a duly-elected nominee. And that’s the way it should be…

    …Finally, I have no regrets whatsoever how we conducted our nomination process. It was not my role or the state party’s to determine who could or would run or who would win. It was my responsibility to ensure a fair nomination process open to any candidate who wished to compete and to any Republican who wished to participate in it. And that is exactly what occurred in 2010. Every person who considered running and chose to do so or not to do so made their own decision, it was not made by me or the Colorado Republican Party.

    Just nine days after this letter was sent out to “Colorado Republican Leaders,” Wadhams took the unprecedented step of announcing that the Colorado Republican Party would NOT support Maes, its own nominee for Governor, thus completely crippling any chances Maes might have of winning in November.

    Just nine days after writing that Maes “won our nomination fair and square,” the Colorado Republican Party officially and formally slammed the door in the face of Maes.

    Just  nine days after writing that “It was not my role or the state party’s to determine who could or would run or who would win,” the Colorado Republican Party did, in fact, determine unilaterally that they would not support their candidate for Governor, a man whom Wadhams already said had won the nomination “fair and square.” Again, and this is worth repeating, we’re talking about a candidate who handily won top line at the Republican State Convention in May, and who won the August Primary with 196,560 very real votes. Maes did everything the Republican Party asked him to do in order to win their nomination, and he did it. And then they rejected him anyway.

    Look, Dan Maes is a terrible candidate with virtually no chance of winning in November. Anybody with even a cursory understanding of Colorado politics knows this, too. But that doesn’t mean that the Colorado Republican Party should be allowed to completely override the Primary election results. How can Republican voters ever again believe that their vote will ultimately mean anything after this? How can the Tea Party activists believe that the State Party will ever really embrace them after they have shown such callous disregard for Democracy?

    Maybe this fiasco will finally force State Republicans to fix their internal mess and straighten things out. Maybe this will show the Tea Party that it would be better to form their own political party than be at the mercy of the GOP elite. Or maybe this will stop any future unknown, upstart candidate from even thinking about trying to run without the blessing of the GOP “kingmakers” who make decisions that have nothing to do with election results.

    We can’t pretend to guess what will happen next, but for Colorado Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party supporters, nothing can ever be the same again.

    106 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

    1. VoyageurVoyageur says:

      It brings up the point I’ve tried to make to doomsayers and defeatists like David Thielen:

       The Colorado Republican Party is having a civil war between the Tea Party Radicals and the party establishment.  Add the fact that even Tea Party stalwarts like Ms. Hollywood and Ken Buck joined the trash Maes movement, which failed, and I see very little chance of the kind of unified party effort needed to regain control of the legislature.  

         I last saw such fratricide in Colorado GOP in 1964, when then Gov. John Love joined the Stop Barry Goldwater movement.  The result was a Republican debacle that year.

        I suspect that H-Man and the other blowhards who have been crowing all week about the massive victory they will win in November are smart to count their chickens before they hatch — because they will have little but sour beer to celebrate in November.  

      • H-man says:

        Your right Voy. What can I say.  When you are right, you are right.

        This is still 2008.

        Buck didn’t outdraw Bennet 5:1 in Boulder this week.

        The NY Times doesn’t give him a 77% chance of winning.

        Organizing for America is coming to the rescue.

        Everything is going to be just fine.

        Can I have a swig of that too?

        • Ralphie says:

          But then again, H-man, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

        • BlueCat says:

          Who do you think is going to be our next governor? And did you read the list of GOP heavy hitters who are divided three ways, including for Hick, above? Four counting Andrews for the Senate candidate the rank and file rejected.  And do you think that the results of this melt down will be restricted to just the governor’s race?

          When it comes to who knows more about Colorado politics, you or Voyageur, it’s  no contest. At least not here on this blog, not yet. Maybe you should take swig of whatever Voyageur is drinking.  It might do you some good.

          • H-man says:

            In the absence of other info, I will go with the polls.

            Voy is going with Bennet, who will lose. Who else does he have, Markey? She will lose.  Others I am less sure of.

            • faux_american says:

              I think it’s likely that Hickenlooper will be the next governor, but a lot can change between now and November. This is also true for the other races.

              I’ve been hearing conflicting things on Rep. Markey, some sources say she’ll probably win, while others say she’s in trouble. Most sources (I’m familiar with) seem to indicate that Rep. Salazar and Rep. Perlmutter are going to be fine. As far as Sen.  Bennet is concerned the predictions seem to shift back and forth by the day.  

      • I agree, don’t count chickens. look at AZ, I know Terry Goddard knows that feeling, his pass attempt.

        bad rumors can and will destroy you, when they are launched 2 weeks before the polls open and the damage recover is too slow to put the foot in the door that is slamming shut on a 5-10 point lead that insta-vaporizes in your face, as you “scream wait………….”

        So, I rather wait and see. I think the HL (scooter shower taking smile) better take a few more showers.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        I’ll be thrilled if we Dems take every seat. But wishing won’t make it so.

        I think we need to watch the polls closely and act appropriately. What would be really bad is to have Cary Kennedy, Ed Perlmutter, and John Salazar lose by a couple of hundred votes because we were putting our money & time into Bennet & Markey – and Bennet & Markey both still lose by a lot.

        • faux_american says:

          While I’m not familiar with Cary Kennedy, most of the predictions I’ve seen say that Perlmutter and Salazar are going to return to  the House of Representatives come November.

          Betsy Markey is the one in the most danger, so far. It is worth noting that predictions on Bennett constantly go back and forth.  

        • gertie97 says:

          You need to get out more. Try cruising the 4th and 3rd Districts. They are in Colorado, after all.

          Viewing the scene from Boulder, Denver, or for that matter, Grand Junction, will screw your thinking. And I meant screw. I live in GJ, so I recognize this.

          Salazar will be fine.

      • Let’s set the record straight.

        Very few Republicans voted in the Assembly or primary for Maes. They had a choice. Vote against McInnis or vote against Maes. More voted against McPlagiarist than against the man who throws his wife and daughter under the bus. After the primary, Maes sank to 24% in the polls. Great GOP support there. He had 55% or so support of Republicans v. 78% of Dems supporting Hick.

        The caucus, Assembly and primary were nullified as new, damaging info came out about first McInnis and then Maes. I called on both to quit on July 13. They obviously were unfit to serve and toast.

        This can happen to either party. We have McInnis and Maes. Illinois Dems have Blago, Connecticut dems have Blumenthal who has lied about his Vietnam war record.  

        Wadhams did as much as he could with two horrible candidates. He tried to hold the party in line, but a revolt began to develop a couple of weeks ago. And last Wed., a great reporting job by Karen Crummy on Maes’ latest lies became the tipping point.

        Just as Barry Goldwater finally decided to tell Nixon to bail, Wadhams, Andrews and Brown tried to tell Maes to go. But Maes is no Nixon. He’s worse as far as I’m concerned.

        So this year’s GOP leaders will be remembered for taking a  little too long to come to their senses, but by ditching Maes on Thursday and Friday, they’ve saved the Colorado GOP.

        Because very few people voted for Maes and most voted against McInnis, GOP primary voters will thank the GOP establishment for ditching Maes and sending out the word that conservatives must back the only straight talking, honest and competent man in the governor’s race—Tom Tancredo.

        If Maes had been a Dem instead of a Republican, Republicans would be gloating and shaming Dems just as Dems are gloating and shaming those partisan  Republicans who are so dense that they put party before principles, ethics and competence.

        Democrat leaders must be thanking their lucky stars that they aren’t having to play Wadhams’ role. And those who are honest with you will say that Wadhams has played his lousy hand pretty well.

        How well we’ll only know on Nov. 2.            

          • But there is plenty of evidence he is lying about his religious beliefs as about everything else.

            You can blindly take the man at his word that he’s a Christian, and many do.

            Or you can say, who knows? I don’t know and don’t expect that I ever will.

            Please don’t misquote me on this. Demonize me over our real disagreements.

            • Ralphie says:

              I’ll quote you.


              But there is plenty of evidence he is lying about his religious beliefs as about everything else.

              You made the assertion, now provide the evidence that you say there’s “plenty of.”

              1. Evidence of lying about his religious beliefs.

              2. Evidence of lying about “everything else.”

              Show your work.  Good luck.  Your credibility expires in 24 hours.

              • VanDammerVanDammer says:

                lil’ don johnson doesn’t like facts if they don’t fit his preconceptions, so it’s much  easier to just ignore or deny the facts.  There’s nothing Obama could ever do to make the johnson think he’s a Christian or an American by birth.  The johnson has his reality and lo those that speak heresy against it.  

                To his request, let us not demonize him but we may forgive his ignorance for we know where it’s born.      

                • Ralphie says:

                  So I quoted him accurately and asked him to back up his quote.  I don’t expect him to.

                  I don’t care what Johnson thinks, to be perfectly honest.  I’m just giving him a chance before I call him out as a liar.

                  • I’m not going to reiterate all of the evidence. Search Google.

                    Just because there is plenty of evidence that Obama lies about too many things and may be lying about his religion doesn’t mean that I know what his religion is. I don’t, and I don’t think anybody but he knows. The world’s Muslims believe that he is Muslim, but that doesn’t mean that he is.

                    As for the lies, if you haven’t been paying attention or are in deep denial, that’s your problem.  

                    • ardy39 says:

                      After putting this comment from DJohnson through the full reverse U.N. tableau translation (Babelfish), here’s the result:

                      I don’t have access to any evidence that supports any of my claims. I am unable to think rationally for myself, therefore I am making shit up, or repeating the shit made up by others. I can’t tell the difference.

                      Quit challenging me. It hurts my brain.

                      Donald Johnson @ Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 12:17:23 PM MDT

                      [translation services provided by ardy39]

                    • Ralphie says:

                      I asked you to provide the evidence to which you refer.

                      It’s not my job to dig up facts that you claim exist.

                      Provide the evidence or admit that you’re MSU.

                    • VanDammerVanDammer says:

                      lil’ johnson wants us to find his facts of Obama’s supposed lies.  Classic response by closeted bigoted racist too cowardly to say what he really means.  Rumors & weasely insinuations enough for his great mind.  

                      Let’s remember Constitution’s Article VI:

                      “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

                      So why does it matter lil’ johnson … or are you against the Constitution?

                       

            • raymond1 says:

              See how this works? I successfully insinuated that you might be a pedophile, even though I have zero evidence you are (just as you have zero evidence Obama is Muslim) while preserving my ability to say “I never said Donald Johnson is a pedophile”…

              • raymond1 says:

                You said this:

                Obama has a lot of people convinced that he’s a Muslim. And I think the number will grow rather than shrink as more people think about it

                http://www.coloradopols.com/sh

                If you’re gonna indicate you think Obama is a Muslim, you know what? Man up and say it, rather than issue cowardly “uhh, lots of folks believe it, Obama has people convinced of it, and I think more and more people will think it…” Your man Tancredo at least has balls; you’re a coward.

              • VanDammerVanDammer says:

                I’ve heard there’s evidence out there that lil’ johnson raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.  Why won’t he deny these allegations?

        • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

          And Donald Johnson is an idiot.

          Maes is a nincompoop, Nixon was a misanthropic paranoid anti-semitic serial criminal.

          Bot do go ahead and tell me why Maes is worse, I’d love to hear it.

    2. The Bob Hatter says:

      Is it legally possible to recall Wadhams? If not who are the people who vote for Wadhams in the 2011 election, and how does one become one of those people

    3. Sir RobinSir Robin says:

      Nice analysis and a very enjoyable read.

      Ralphie and BlueCats comments….priceless.

      • The Bob Hatter says:

        I believe Maes did really well against McInnis in El Paso County. and Lamborn has been playing nice with the Teaparty “leadership.”

        Ugh why do I keep having to say “leadership” with quotations around it :(

    4. Barron X says:

      .

      Republicans can’t pull off a conspiracy.  They make Michael Scott in “The Office” look competent by comparison.

      .

      • caroman says:

        Interesting how some of the best political analogies have come from the opposition.  For example, another thanks to Wade Norris who coined “Romanoff 2.0″ to explain his flip-flop on accepting PAC money.  

        Now, Barron makes the perfect analogy about GOP incompetence:  ”They make Michael Scott in ‘The Office’ look competent by comparison.”  

        Political Genius!  Thanks, Barron!

      • PERA hopeful says:

        And believer in sundry other conspiracy theories involving malevolent Republicans doing things to harm other sentient beings.  In fact, his conspiracy-theory bent is strong enough that he strongly believes that FDR was involved in Pearl Harbor because he wanted an excuse to get into WWII, doubtless at the urging of the Republican captains of industry.

        As he was expounding his theories re Bush and 9-11, I would remind him that, as a state employee for 20+ years, I had plenty of exposure to politicians and bureaucrats, and one thing I learned from that experience is that nobody in government can get away with a conspiracy.  None of them is smart or efficient enough to pull it off, and there’s always somebody in the know who would be willing to spill the beans for a buck or 15 minutes on the tube.

        Barron, I agree with you but think you don’t go far enough!

    5. JO says:

      ..and still you say this is the day the Republican party changed? Disintegrated, maybe, but when the Democrats have two de facto Republicans at the top of their ticket, I’d say it was the Democrats who changed.

      • Libertad says:

        Granted he has to cut spending, its a function of Democrat policies on the economy – less to spend.

        Don’t sweat it, you haven’t heard him say NO to any tax increase. In fact he has a history of passing tax hikes. He also has a history of strategic fiscal support for these far left wing groups. I’m sure you support all if not many of these.

        - The Harm Reduction Action Center, which empowers the health injection-drug users and affected partners.

        - Transform Columbus Day Alliance, formed to support the Colorado American Indian Movement “in its efforts to transform the racist ‘celebration’ of Columbus.” Its outcomes have been to step all over the Italian community.

        - Somos America, an illegal alien-rights group that has called on Latinos to boycott Budweiser products because its distributor, Hensley Beverage Co., contributed to state lawmakers who voted for the Arizona immigration law.

        - Colorado Transgender Rights Legal Defense & Education Project (CTRLDEP), defends and extends the civil rights of the transgender and the gender-variant.

        - Save Our Section 8 (SOS 8), a group of Section 8 tenants pressing for the creation of new low-income housing initiatives.

        - Rights for All People, an illegal alien-radical rights group that opposes the federal “Secure Communities” program.

        • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

          Since when does the Mayor of Denver pass tax hikes?

          City Council recommends tax hikes and puts them on the ballot for the VOTERS to approve/reject.

          Has King John supported tax hikes? Yes. But, he has not passed any.

          P.S. I do like the moniker of LoopdeLoop. Very funny.

          • Libertad says:

            Denver has a Homeless program and many other social safety nets through the mayor’s leadership, including its tax policy.

            Equally important are Hick’s core self and values. Many have ask the mayor to discuss his contributions to these organizations:

            - The Harm Reduction Action Center, which empowers the health injection-drug users and affected partners.

            - Transform Columbus Day Alliance, formed to support the Colorado American Indian Movement “in its efforts to transform the racist ‘celebration’ of Columbus.” Its outcomes have been to step all over the Italian community.

            - Somos America, an illegal alien-rights group that has called on Latinos to boycott Budweiser products because its distributor, Hensley Beverage Co., contributed to state lawmakers who voted for the Arizona immigration law.

            - Colorado Transgender Rights Legal Defense & Education Project (CTRLDEP), defends and extends the civil rights of the transgender and the gender-variant.

            - Save Our Section 8 (SOS 8), a group of Section 8 tenants pressing for the creation of new low-income housing initiatives.

            - Rights for All People, an illegal alien-radical rights group that opposes the federal “Secure Communities” program.

            Why won’t he discuss them? Unlike the Denver Post, I’m not asking him to reveal his personal charitable giving that funds Hamas, Illegal Aliens, or those against Italian’s and their Columbus Day.

            • Gray in Mountains says:

              I could certainly support all of the above, save Hamas.

              Somos America is not a group that hates Italians. I’m sure you know that. Any opposition to Columbus Day (our next holiday) is because the dude was an evil savage and really shouldn’t be celebrated.

              I heard over the w/e that the Santa Maria may have been found.

    6. 20th Maine says:

      Can’t wait to see what tortured reasoning Pols uses on Nov 3 to explain how this supposedly fractured party, riven by civil war!… kicked the shit out of the Dems at the ballot box.

      There are 3 scenarios here:

          1.  The GOP is amidst a civil war that is tearing the party apart, creating chaos the kind of chaos             that is turning its brand the way of BP, or

          2.  The GOP is amidst a civil war that is tearing the party apart, but most of the party members             missed the memo and it’s actually meaningless to the end result of all but one election in Colorado, or

          3.  The GOP is amidst a revival in 2010 and is unified with most unaffiliateds to make stunning gains across the board, except for Gov, where everyone but Dan Maes and a few friends are pissed about him being our nominee but disagree about how to handle it.

      What’s stunning is that Pols & Voyegeur & Co. are going with option #1.  Again, you guys are doing a perfect impression of the Iraqi Information Minister circa April 2003.

      I’m going with #3.  Despite cries that the sky is falling and desperately trying to convince Colorado Republicans that it is so, you ask anybody mentioned in the story, named or anonymous who they’re voting for US Senate, and everyone to a person will say “Ken Buck.”  You will get a unified response all the way down the ballot.

      As for your shock & dismay that

      the Colorado Republican Party officially declared that a small handful of people will make decisions for [Republican voters}…

      You will discover at the working end of a shitstorm on Nov 2 that those voters are the Colorado Republican Party.

      This is a good opportunity for you all to revisit Ockham’s Razor.  Once you do, you could shorten your ridiculously long and alarmist post to:

      Republican voters didn’t know anything about Maes (because he didn’t matter until a couple weeks before ballots were mailed) but didn’t like what they knew about McInnis.  

      Therefore, Maes – who got the vote of 1500 people at the state assembly (where winners in both parties don’t always go on to win the primary), before much of the damaging info to Maes had become known – became our nominee.

      Sucks for those Republicans who hoped to take back the governor’s mansion.

      And until the majority of posters here have a vote at the central cmte meeting, Dick Wadhams will be fine. Anyone who blames him for what is rightly the sole responsibility of McInnis & Maes, must then give him credit for the sweeping gains made by the Colorado Republicans too.  His views match those of 95% of the 400k who voted in the primary.

    7. 20th Maine says:

      DEMOCRATS PLAN POLITICAL TRIAGE TO RETAIN HOUSE

      With the midterm campaign entering its final two months, Democrats acknowledged that several races could quickly move out of their reach, including re-election bids by Reps. Betsy Markey of Colorado…

      http://www.insidebayarea.com/c

      (But maybe this is just more conspiracy by the conservative media).

    8. ModerateGal says:

      It’s Jody not Jodi.

    9. Ali's Sister says:

      Nicely done. You are completely right, and I think this sets a dangerous precedent for the future. Now that republicans have gone to the dark side, what’s a girl supposed to do?  

      • If you think Dems are less patriotic than Republicans, become a Democrat and see how it feels to vote for higher taxes, more regulations and the nationalization of health care.

        You’re a physician. Being a Medicare slave must be fun. Only physicians are treated like slaves, forced to work for Medicaid and Medicare at rates set by Nancy Pelosi. And only physicians are the Democrats’ slaves. Under a law passed and defended by Democrats, physicians who take money for treating seniors instead of or along with Medicare payments lose their Medicare contracts. This is because Democrats want to force all seniors into Medicare, physicians’ economic rights be damned. What other industry or profession is treated this way by the Democrats and the Feds? None that I know of.

        It’s not just Republicans who disagree with your family about the mosque. Most Americans, including Democrats outside of NY and DC, disagree with Democrat leaders who pander to the anti-American Left.

        I also disagree with Republicans on social and religious issues, but I agree with them on national security and economic issues. So I’m a Republican who favors gay marriage, women’s choice and the right to die without having Tom DeLay or Newt Gingrich at my death bedside. And I believe in small government on social and economic issues and a strong military and America First.

        You’re very smart. You’ll figure it out. And we’ll respect whatever decision you make.

        • raymond1 says:

          Yeah, (a) the institution of slavery, which led to a civil war and generations of efforts to redress its racist effects in America, is EXACTLY like (b) doctors getting a lower reimbursement rate from public than private insurance.

          Donald Johnson’s logic is getting more and more like GoldenEye’s: if I don’t like something, it must be analogous to the great evils of human history (slavery, Nazis, etc.).

          The alternative view is that the choice of policy X versus policy Y inevitably has distributive effects resulting in some group getting less money. But it sure is more exciting to think everything you dislike is a Great Ominous Historic Oppression!

    10. abraham says:

      I do not disagree that the purpose of a candidate nomination process is to cloak the successful candidate with the mantle of the Party – whatever party it may be.  But candidates are still people and there is an implied contract offered by the candidate that he or she will represent not only the Party activists but also those registered with the Party who may never go to a caucus.  The candidate holds himself or herself to be at least minimally qualified for the office being sought.

      I think that there is a pretty good case to be made that in the case of Maes, he has not fulfilled his obligations under that moral contract and he has shown himself to be unworthy to lead the State through its coming trials.

      He has shown himself to be less than honest, and if not a con-man at least to be a self-indulgent opportunist.

      Rather than decry the actions of the Party in disavowing Maes, the public should be commending them for acting responsibility to say that they picked a man who should not be making appointments to the Colorado Supreme Court or leading the state government.

      The Republican Party is probably dead – at least as it is currently formulated.  But the Dan Maes debacle did not kill it.  Its demise began years ago when it got captured by strong willed and well-heeled individuals who gutted the infrastructure in order to advance their own egos.

      Perhaps the Party should have stood up then and rejected some of those individuals.

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        It may go dormant a while, but it will be back.  Parties wax and wane but the two-party system has been amazingly durable in American life, a Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis process.  The Rs were pronounced dead after the 64 (Goldwater) and 74 (Watergate) debacles, but revived — and don’t forget that many of the activists that came in with Goldwater in 64 went on to rule the country, and the nation, for decades.  Likewise, the Ds.  The current civil war in the Republican party is brutal, and the Tea Party insurgency is mocking the values of the pro-business Republicans that dominated the party since McKinley.  But there is nothing like an occasional wipe-out, like the Maes disaster, to restore a sense of pragmatism.    

        • reubenesp says:

          the pro-business Republicans…,” then why does Ken Buck want to turn Social Security over to Wall Street?

        • I worry that my Party is on a path to extinction

          You look at polls of 18-29 voters-

          They support the Mosque

          They have a majority fav opinion of Muslims

          They are against 1070

          They are for gay marriage (by a huge margin)

          They are against ObamaCare

          The rising voters are huge social liberals, with fiscal conservative leanings

          Between the Mosque, 1070, 14th Amendment, and Prop8, I think the Republicans might have lost an entire generation of voters, no matter how much our fiscal conservative pandering can remain somewhat attractive?

          I think there’s going to be a fiscal conservative Independent uprising (ala Charlie Crist) before the Republican Party can renovate

          A Republican leader who is moderate on social issues and very fiscal conservative (like Scott Brown or Chris Christie) – if one of these leaders runs for President and wins the nomination, then that’s the quickest way the Party will see a change but my breath is not held

          I don’t know if the young voters of tomorrow will ever forgive my Party for this past year  

          • LemonLyman says:

            Because you tell it like it is.  The only issue I have with your statement (and I belong to the aforementioned age group, right smack in the middle) is that (unlike me) many many many of my friends are so disengaged with electoral politics (read: fucking sick of it) that they are willfully uninformed, and actually refuse to vote this cycle.  

            Two of my closest friends won’t even vote for the Democrats, despite having volunteered a bunch of hours for Obama last cycle; claiming “i don’t know anything about the candidates!” to which I reply “you get your ballot in the mail, you have 2 weeks to google everything, come on, you can do it!” – they still refuse, claiming apathy.

            I agree with your point about the R brand.  It’s damaged, most young people who aren’t brought up in a strong R household will be Democrats for a while, or at least left-leaning U’s.  

            However, I take issue with your point that young people are necessarily “fiscally conservative”.  I don’t like the way that Congress spends my money, but it is the great joy of my life to pay taxes in Colorado because I see where that money goes, and I know how badly our bridges, roads, and schools need the cash.  On a federal level, you could be right, but the R noise machine has been pandering to too many bigots and too much ignorance to appeal to the younger mostly college-educated 18-29 year old demo you speak of.

            Just my two cents, from the bottom of the well.

            • My main point is that, unlike patterns of the past, that showed young voters to be fiscal liberals, this is the first time that were seeing signs of fiscal conservatism in young people

              Young voters are often dismissed for being “liberal” with the idea that they’ll become Conservatives in time

              Yet today – young people already lean fiscal conservative and maintain strong liberalness on social issues – and unlike past generations of young voters, the young voters of today are already reconciling fiscal conservatism with social liberalism, meaning that they are unlikely to change and/or become social conservatives

              For the GOP to ignore this pattern will ultimately be its indoing – it could be the undoing of the entire 2 party system  

              • H-man says:

                Buck gets five times as many people showing up to hear him speak at CU than Bennet.  Are social issues the real driver in this election cycle?  No.  Have the Dems killed their brand by their anti-business anti-individual policies?  Yes, to the same extent the Republicans have killed theirs.

                To me, the Republicans are not in touch on social issues, the Dems are not in touch on fiscal issues and the economy and have scared the shit out of 70% of the electorate in just 20 months. Both brands suck for different reasons.  

                When you think about it, the parties being out of touch is becoming less of a big deal.  With the recent Supreme Court decision that has created a more decentralized way of funding elections, the importance of party is diminished and the significance of individual candidates is enhanced.  

                • denverco says:

                  and that is what the activist conservative judges on the supreme court did. The only way repugs get fundung is with massive corporate donations – repugs could care less about individuals. If it weren’t for 527′s buck would have no campaign. Bennet on the other hand had the largest individual grassroots donations in Colorado history.

                  The pepugs are way out of touch on social issues and way out of touch on fiscal issues. Starting 2 wars – without providing the funding for them and then massive tax cuts at the same time created the mess we are now in.

                  The repugs have no answer for today’s economic mess. What we hear from you and the rest of your out of touch party and politicians is keep the bush ttax cuts.

                  Those tax cuts haven’t created any jobs and didn’t help anyone during this current recession. What the did do according to the CBO is add a trillion dollars to the national debt.

                  Even in a bad political year for Dems, only 24% of the people say they are repugs and still 71% blame bush are his party of right wing wack jobs for the recession. The tea party may help the gop win some elections this year, but in the end they will do more damage to the gop because the will not listen to repug leadership in congress if elected. Those intra party fights will provide excellent entertainment for many of us.

                  • H-man says:

                    Personally, that is not how I see it.

                    • denverco says:

                      created the economic mess we are in today? Or that they added a trillion dollars to the national debt according to the CBO? Yet you are willing to continue these ecomomic wreaking policies?

                      This recession officially started in Dec 2007. Why didn’t those great tax cuts prevent the recession and create jobs  during bush’s last year as president?

                    • Froward69 says:

                      earlier you alluded to more people showing up to hear Buck than for Bennet…

                      From what I am hearing (on the ground from “micacca” operatives) is that; it is the same faces at every Buck event.

              • 20th Maine says:

                Republicans are not going to lose a generation of younger voters.

                Interestingly, you note that they are more fiscally conservative these days.  -That’s not going to make them less Republican.

                Younger voters:

                * are the least politically attuned demographic

                * that are attuned typically skew more liberal

                * have shorter memories

                Most younger voters won’t translate the issues affecting their daily lives into political terms.  As you mention, most are going to tend to lean liberal anyway.  Utlitmately, most aren’t paying attention the way we do.

                And right or wrong, most younger voters are going to associate Obama with this economic crisis more than Bush.  Obama has presided over a larger portion of it and is the face of government these days.

                As for the policy issues you mention:

                * Gay marriage – I actually think the party is slowly but surely

                  moving toward support for gay marriage.

                * Obamacare – I’m not sure this is top of mind for younger voters.  

                  This is the largest demographic of those who have access to

                  healthcare but choose not to have it.  Many younger people are

                  either covered by parents or place the benefit of their budget

                  ahead of that of their health.

                * Immigration – This is one of those issues where younger people

                  typically start on the left and as they grow older many skew to the

                  right.  And these economic conditions are only going to

                  exacerbate that behavior.

                * The mosque – this is more of a relatively short lived news story

                  than an overarching policy issue.  (Though I would expect that the small percentage of younger people who are even familiar with the

                  news story would be in favor of building it).

                If you want to raise the issue of racism or race relations – nothing has changed so much as to affect the traditional arc people follow as they grow older.

                Today’s issues will have some long-term effects on voter attitudes, but Republicans losing a generation of voters is not one of them.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  Gay marriage – I actually think the party is slowly but surely

                   moving toward support for gay marriage.

                   by the year 2525, the Republican party may just be ambivalent about gay rights instead of hating them to the core of its being, as it does today.

                  • 20th Maine says:

                    Some big names in the party, like Ted Olson and Ken Mehlman leading the legal charge in favor of gay rights, and the fact that many Republicans are focusing excusively on economic issues – the issue is being seen more and more through a libertarian prism than ever before.

                    You are one bitter old man, Voyageur…

                    • Ralphie says:

                      What a joke.  If you’re going to assert that, you should provide some citations of Mehlman’s record.

                      If you think that what you posted is true, you’re a fucking idiot.  Of course, if you don’t think that what you posted is true, you’re a fucking liar.

                      • 20th Maine says:

                        http://www.politico.com/blogs/

                        Not sure why Mehlman’s fundraising deep into Republican circles doesn’t constitute being at the forefront of turning minds and the law.

                        Maybe you wouldn’t consider it “leading the charge.”  Whatever.  I think his involvement will ultimately prove to be a huge step toward equal rights for gays.

                      • Ralphie says:

                        Then talk to me again.

                        By the way, I’m nobody’s life coach.

                        I just know bullshit when I read it.

                        Oh, and when you put “leading the charge” in quotes in response to something I wrote, make sure I actually wrote it.

                        I didn’t.  You did.

                • ajb says:

                  I’ll bet you a dinner that no bill repealing health care reform passes in the House of Representatives by November 2012.

                  How ’bout it? LB won’t take the bet, but you might.

                  • 20th Maine says:

                    First, we’d have to regain leadership in the house.  Second, we’d probably have to get it with comfortable margins.  

                    Though it will be much easier to do, politically, next cycle before most of it is implemented.  Once that happens, all you can do is manage it.

                    Sorry, I can’t take it either.

                      • 20th Maine says:

                        Tommy-tough-nutz?  You and V. starting an AARP gang?  Either that or you’re a CU professor.  

                        It’s fun and easy to be a tough guy on a blog huh?  You and your friends taking shots every time you drop an ‘f’ bomb?

                        Hey, whatever helps get past Step 1.  I’m just offering a different point of view.  Once you move out of your daughter and son-in-laws’ basement, you’ll find that not everyone thinks exactly like you.

                      • Ralphie says:

                        Someone as smart as you fancy yourself to be should have been able to figure that out on your own.

        • Good posts by abraham and Voy. Having voted and worked the precincts for Goldwater and voted against Nixon in ’72, I believe the candidate is more important than the party when the candidate is unfit to serve.

          The GOP may lose to Hickenlooper (There’s a 4% chance he’ll lose, according to Nate Silver.), but Republicans have good chances of regaining control of the Colorado legislature and winning statewide races other than the governor’s  contest. Nationally, even if the GOP doesn’t take back the House, it will dramatically reduce the powers of Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

          As Voy says, politicians of both parties seem to be insane. They make the same mistake whenever they have the opportunity-they abuse their power when they have too much control. Then the voters who made the same old mistake of giving one party too much power take it away when it’s abused and give too much power to the other party. Insanity prevails.

      • The realistThe realist says:

        You mention the “strong willed and well-heeled individuals who gutted the infrastructure in order to advance their own egos.”  Politics and elective office are all about egos, not about who would do the best job.  You describe Dan Maes as a “self-indulgent opportunist” – there’s nothing in that phrase to distinguish Maes from many other people who run for office.

        Outsized egos and excessive self-indulgence leads rather ordinary people of limited skill and/or intelligence to believe they are the best person for the job and god’s gift to the electorate.  When a political party does a really good job of vetting candidates early on, some of the worst candidates can be blocked from running (and sometimes the worst candidates appear qualified but will not devote their life to a campaign as they should).  But it’s a far-from-perfect system.  I still believe that local and state parties have a huge responsibility to recruit, vet, train and support candidates – some do that better than others.

    11. pistol says:

      The GOP has done an amazing job. Very few quality candidates, certainly those capable of withstanding oppositional tatics, have been vetted/trained to run and legislate/govern. Since Owens governed, no succession paradigm has existed. This falls upon GOP leadership and certainly Wadhams.  John Ransom cited Wadhams recently in a national article re: this election, and was pretty forthcoming as to some of his failures. Wadhams constitutes a target rich environment,of course, but some pretty good points.

      Yes, Ryan is the Denver GOP chair.  

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