There's rarely much interesting on the right-wing "news" site Colorado Observer, but this tidbit from Valerie Richardson caught our attention:
The grass- roots army behind the Recall Hudak Two campaign has thrown its formidable petition-circulating skills behind Republican candidates Owen Hill and Tom Tancredo.
Recall organizer Mike McAlpine said Thursday that volunteers would gather signatures on behalf of the Republicans, who are petitioning to gain slots on the June 24 primary ballot instead of going through the state assembly.
Hill, a state senator from Colorado Springs, is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate, while former congressman Tancredo is making a bid for the GOP nod for governor.
“The same grassroots, conservative energy that led to the victories in the historic 2013 recall elections is the very same enthusiasm that will propel Tom Tancredo and Owen Hill into office,” said McAlpine in a statement. “People are excited about their genuine leadership for personal liberty, limited government, and especially their dedication to serve the people, not our corrupted government system.”
This is the first word we've seen that U.S. Senate candidate Owen Hill intends to bypass the state Colorado Republican Party caucus process, and go directly to the primary ballot by collecting petition signatures. We had heard the possibility that Tom Tancredo might bypass the caucuses with a petition drive, and this announcement would appear to confirm that rumor as well. The story infers that the petition gatherers in question, fresh off the petition campaign to recall Evie Hudak, aren't being paid, but we haven't confirmed that.
With one of Hill's U.S. Senate primary opponents, Amy Stephens, also ditching the caucuses to petition directly to the ballot, the GOP's formerly important assembly selection process appears less meaningful than ever in 2014. This illustrates a difference between former GOP chairman Dick Wadhams, who zealously defended the caucuses and penalized candidates who didn't participate, and current GOP chairman Ryan Call, who sheepishy says both means of getting on the ballot are "legitimate." The truth is, Call would probably be closer to Wadhams' position if he had the power to enforce it. But Call isn't Wadhams, and today's GOP isn't what it was even four years ago.
As for the legitimacy of Hill and Tancredo personally…that really doesn't matter right now.