Dem Coalition Goes Up with Ads Targeting Beauprez & Tancredo

As Eli Stokols of Fox 31 reports:

A newly-formed group called “Protect Colorado Values” is about to hit the airwaves with two different ads focused on the two Republican front-runners, Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez.

Both appear to be attack ads, but a single viewing of the two spots makes it clear what the group, a partnership between the independent expenditure committee of the Democratic Governors Association and other Colorado-based progressive donor organizations, is trying to do.

Simply put, the one-two punch is a thinly-veiled effort to help Tom Tancredo win the GOP gubernatorial nomination…

…A similar situation played out in 2010, when Democrats spent $500,000 near the end of a Republican primary to help finish off the scandal-tarnished Scott McInnis.

Republicans, left with Dan Maes as the party’s gubernatorial nominee, struggled to regroup and split further when Tancredo, running on a third party line, entered the race but failed to convince Maes to drop out.

As we wrote yesterday, the four Republican candidates for Governor are struggling to find the resources to promote their own campaigns, which makes this an ideal situation for other interested groups to get involved. By any estimation, Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo are the clear favorites for the Republican nomination for Governor, which makes them both the obvious targets in this case. It's not like the DGA and a coalition of local donors is going to spend a lot of money going after Scott Gessler or Mike Kopp.

This is not an unprecedented move; in fact, it is quite precedented. Stokols cites Democrats spending $500k in the 2010 Republican Primary, but the most well-known example in recent history is the decision by President Obama’s campaign in late 2011 to start running negative ads against Republican Mitt Romney – long before the Primary had been decided. With Republican candidates drawing attention to themselves as much as possible, Obama’s team reasoned that it was a good time to try to build the narrative they wanted around potential opponents such as Romney. Democrats appear to be doing the same thing in Colorado — taking advantage of a wide-open TV ad market to begin defining both Beauprez and Tancredo.

GOP Candidates for Governor: What’s Left in the Bank?

UPDATE: And…here comes our first 527 Committee, "Republicans Who Want to Win," which is supporting Beauprez.

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Ballots are beginning to criss-cross in the mail in advance of the June 24th Primary, so it's time for candidates to empty their campaign warchests into various forms of voter outreach. The most recent fundraising reports were made available on Monday, covering the last two weeks of May, and they offer an interesting look at what the four Republican gubernatorial candidates might be able to do to (or not do) as the Primary comes to an end.

Here's how each of the Republican candidates for Governor compare in terms of resources as of June 2, 2014 (Note: All expenditures listed are for the two-week period of 5/15-5/28)

Tom Tancredo
Tom Tancredo.

Expenditures: $73,700
Cash On Hand: $63,412
Bottom Line: If Tancredo can bring in enough money to air his motorcycle-riding TV ad, this race should be in the bag.
 

 

Bob Beauprez
BeauprezExpenditures: $69,900
Loans: $100,000
Cash On Hand: $115,995
Bottom Line: This is the moment of truth for Beauprez. If he can self-fund his campaign — and he thinks it will matter — now is the time to write that check (and $100k isn't enough).

Scott Gessler
Scott Gessler. Expenditures: $12,608
Cash On Hand: $69,142
Bottom Line: If Gessler has any hope at winning the June 24th Primary, it's going to come from outside PACs or 527 Committees. Gessler doesn't have the resources to win based on what he's got in his campaign account.

Mike Kopp
Former State Sen. Mike Kopp (R). Expenditures: $26,737
Cash On Hand: $30,034
Bottom Line: Do you know what kind of candidate goes on a week-long bicycle tour in June through some of the least-populated parts of the state? The kind that doesn't have any money and knows he won't can't win.
 

 

 

Citizens United: We are “The Media”

UPDATE: Victory! Thursday, June 5, 2014, Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert denied  Citizens United's petition to "be the media", i.e., to run political ads masquerading as documentaries, without disclosing donors.

From Brandon Rittiman's reporting on 9news:

The Colorado Secretary of State's office ruled that an upcoming documentary featuring state politicians "is an electioneering communication" and that it does not fall under any of the exemptions to state laws requiring political groups to disclose financial donors when running ads that mention candidates within 60 days of an election.

Practically, this means that Citizens United will have to disclose that it is a political organization in any TV ads running 60 days before the election. CU can still run a planned film documentary which "focuses on left-leaning groups and their influence on Colorado politicians and policies", according to David Bossie,  President of Citizens United.

Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch, which challenged the Citizens United petition, said that CU could sue Secretary of State Gessler in Federal Court and get an injunction. It's all speculation at this point, stated Toro. David Bossie signalled his intent to take the case back to the Supreme Court, which has ruled in favor of Citizens United.

CitiCartoon by Kip Lyall at http://kiplyall.blogspot.com/2011/12/cartoon-citizens-united.htmlzens United,  the conservative "non-profit" which won a landmark Supreme Court decision allowing for unlimited dark money in politics, wants to spend big on political attack ads in Colorado without disclosing any donors.  

 

 

 

As an end-run around campaign finance laws, Citizens United is claiming to be a media organization,  composed of independent journalists just like Michael Moore, according to CU President David Bossie, quoted in the  9News interview below. CU  petitioned the Secretary of State to determine that its proposed political films should not be considered "electioneering" or "political expenditures".

Colorado Ethics Watch  pushed back in a hearing  through the Secretary of State's Office, which is  no friend to Colorado Ethics Watch.  That makes this decision pleasantly surprising.

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Bob Beauprez Still Losing, According to Poll from Bob Beauprez

Republican Bob Beauprez

Hee, hee

There is a certain amount of buffoonery associated with Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez that almost makes us wish his name was always on the ballot. He's like a cartoon character that keeps standing on the big X on the sidewalk, even though he knows it will result in a piano falling on his head. He just can't help himself.

It happened again yesterday afternoon when new poll results were released at the behest of the Beauprez campaign. Only Bob Beauprez would go out of his way to remind you that he's not winning.

According to survey results released by Magellan Strategies — a Republican polling outfit commissioned by Beauprez's campaign — Tom Tancredo is still leading the GOP field for Governor. From Fox 31:

The survey of more than 900 likely Republican primary election voters, conducted May 28th and 29th, shows Tom Tancredo atop the field with 27 percent support. Beauprez, who didn’t enter the race until late February and has been spending a lot of his own money to try to consolidate the anti-Tancredo vote behind his campaign, is polling at 25 percent, within the poll’s three percent margin of error.

Here's the breakdown from the poll:

Tom Tancredo: 27%
Bob Beauprez: 25%
Scott Gessler: 13%
Mike Kopp: 10%
Undecided: 25%

Beauprez is obviously trying hard to consolidate support among likely Republican voters, a task made all the more difficult by his historically-awful 2006 campaign for Governor. Clearly Team Beauprez thinks it needs to convince GOP voters that Beauprez is not a complete disaster as a candidate — though it might be wise to listen to a different group of consultants at this point. Magellan Strategies is the same group that Beauprez paid in March to conduct a survey showing that Gov. John Hickenlooper would absolutely kick the shit out of him in November (results that ended up in the hands of Politico).

Who’s the Biggest Loser of them All?

Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Gessler launched an ad yesterday attacking his rival Tom Tancredo as a loser because Tanc lost his 2010 campaign for governor.

The conservative radio world isn't buying Gessler's attack.

In a conversation with Tancredo a couple weeks ago, here's what KNUS' Dan Caplis had to say on the topic:

CAPLIS: I like Scott, but I thought his shot on you was very unfair…And here’s why. I agree with you. I think it was the best race you ever ran—-that race for governor. I think you did something very noble in trying to bail out, you know, a terrible situation, created by the Scott McInnis / Dan Maes mess.

TANCREDO: Yeah. Yeah.

CAPLIS: And it’s so interesting. People forget. I mean, you ran a very good race, and, full disclosure, I think I contributed to your campaign. If I didn’t, I meant to. But I know that I publicly supported you.

TANCREDO: There’s going to be another chance. You’ve got another chance.

CAPLIS: [laughs] That’s good! I like that! But here’s my point. You jumped into this mess. And I remember, there were national political experts on Election Day predicting you were going to win that race! …And honestly, Tom, I think in that race, if it had been under normal circumstances, and you had just been the nominee of the GOP, and you’d have had the infrastructure in tact from day one, etc., I think there’s a real good chance you win that race.

TANCREDO: I do too.

In his 2010 gubernatorial run, Tancredo lost by 14 points in three-way race. If he’d gotten Maes’ 10 points, he’d have been within about 4 points of Hick. Still a loser, but still.

For a variety of reasons, I don't think Tancredo would have beaten Hick, even if Maes dropped out, but Caplis has his historical facts correct here, for a change.

And if you're going to get into a spitting match about who's the bigger loser, Tancredo or Beauprez, Beauprez wins for once. (The Gessler ad also calls Beauprez a loser.)

In 2006, Beauprez lost by 17 points in a head-to-head race against Bill Ritter, with no Dan-Maes distraction.

Don't get me wrong. Anybody who calls Obama a "radical," as Tancredo does in his own political ad below, is an intellectual loser in my book, so I personally agree with Gessler, who's a radical himself.

But Caplis had it mostly right in his analysis of Gessler's attack of Tanc, if you look at the numbers and the historical facts.

Here's more of the conversation on KNUS from May 16:

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Tom Tancredo Will be the GOP Nominee for Governor

Take a look below at what we assume to be the first TV ad for Republican Tom Tancredo in the race for Governor.

We don't know what kind of ad buy is behind this Tancredo spot, but so long as there is decent amount of money involved, Tancredo is going to win the Republican Primary. Tancredo has expertly played the four-way field in order to make his message come across even stronger — and this is a damn good television ad on its own. We've had our disagreements with Tancredo over the years, but we're not going to pretend that this isn't a perfect spot for him.

If Tancredo is still the frontrunner in the field, and we believe he is, then he doesn't need much from this ad in order to maintain that momentum. This ad should more than ensure that Tancredo wins on June 24.

Obama Proposes New Efforts Aimed at Cleaner Air & Water

Colorado 2013 flood

What’s the problem? Our driveway ALWAYS disintegrates.

UPDATE: ProgressNow Colorado issues statement pointing to Colorado Republican candidates who are Climate Change deniers:

“In a time when Republicans in Congress are determined to sit on their hands and do nothing for the rest of the year, President Obama’s leadership on this issue is critical,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Amy Runyon-Harms. “Conservatives in Colorado are not only unwilling to cooperate on addressing significant environmental concerns – they refuse to even acknowledge Climate Change as a serious problem.”

According to FOX 31 Denver, the EPA estimates that reducing emissions will help prevent as many as 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children. President Obama’s Executive Order gives states until June 30, 2016, to submit statewide carbon reduction plans. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the plan will actually reduce the average electric bill in the United States by 8 percent.

“Our two leading candidates for the Republican nomination for Governor—Tom Tancredo and Bob Beauprez—have been outspoken in their belief that Climate Change is not worth their attention,” said Runyon-Harms (Beauprez has called it a “hoax,”[1] and Tancredo has said the issue is ‘bull****’[2]). “Meanwhile, Coloradans continue to experience destructive wildfires, unprecedented flooding, and severe weather patterns that are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in our state.  It doesn’t take a scientist to see the changes in Colorado and worry about long-term climate problems.” 

—–

As CNN Reports:

An Environmental Protection Agency proposal announced Monday would cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30%.

"Nationwide, by 2030, this rule would achieve CO2 emission reductions from the power sector of approximately 30 percent from CO2 emission levels in 2005," the proposed regulation says. "This goal is achievable because innovations in the production, distribution and use of electricity are already making the power sector more efficient and sustainable while maintaining an affordable, reliable and diverse energy mix."

The EPA says the regulation will also "reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent." The agency projects the reductions will avoid 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

States will have a variety of options to meet the goal, including improving energy efficiency both inside and outside plants, changing how long the plants operate each day, and increasing the amount of power derived in other ways through clean energy.

"As president, and as a parent, I refuse to condemn our children to a planet that's beyond fixing," Obama said in his weekly address Saturday.

There's nothing radical about proposing more aggressive goals for reducing carbon emissions, though we don't expect critics among Republicans and the oil & gas industry to hold their respective tongues here. Congressman Cory Gardner, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has long carried water oil for the oil and gas industry and been an outspoken Climate Change denier.

In the race for Governor, all four Republican candidates have been consistently in denial about Climate Change in general. As Colorado Pols first reported in March, Bob Beauprez believes that Climate Change/Global Warming is “at best a grossly overhyped issue and at worst a complete hoax foisted on most of the world.” Fellow Gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo spoke for the entire Republican Party in 2009 when he said that the GOP position is that Climate Change is "bullshit."

 

Tancredo Endorsed by El Paso County Tea Party

Tom Tancredo

Not a breath of fresh air exactly, but it’s probably a nice break from getting calls telling you to go away.

It's no secret that a certain section of Colorado Republicans are doing everything they can to convince Tom Tancredo to exit the race for Governor, fearing that Tancredo will cripple the entire GOP ticket should he win his Party's nomination in June (a fear that may be misplaced, in our opinion). But the man Republicans hate to love continues to resist overtures to end his campaign, as well he should, since he's still the prohibitive favorite to emerge from the Primary. As we saw again yesterday, Tancredo is well in control of things — even when he's not.

From Lynn Bartels in the Denver Post:

Former Congressman , one of four Republicans running for governor, has been endorsed by the El Paso County .

“Our great state of Colorado yearns for a governor who will put the citizens’ rights above the power-protecting politicians and big business who want to control our state,” the Tea Party said in a news release.

Tancredo said the endorsement, which was announced Monday, “came out of the blue.”

As we've written before in this space, Tancredo knows what he's doing when it comes to a crowded Republican Primary. Endorsements like this make a much bigger difference when the votes are so diffused.

Live Blogging the GOP Gubernatorial Debate

We're at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood for Live Blog coverage of the GOP Gubernatorial Debate. We've got Bob Beauprez, Scott Gessler, and Mike Kopp battling it out once more. Tom Tancredo is not here, as expected. They're calling this "Women and Colorado's Future."

*All comments are paraphrased unless in direct quotes.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This was billed as a debate centered around "Women and Colorado's Future," and it was about as insulting to women as you could get. It would have been difficult to make this look less genuine, though it would have helped — a lot — to not play the theme song of "The Dating Game" after every break. It's hard to explain how uncomfortable it was in the room every time that song came up and the candidates tried to chuckle about it. What a disaster.

As for the candidates…they should have been on the phone raising money instead. With the exception of Beauprez's closing statement, every answer was cliche and meaningless; none of the candidates did anything to distinguish themselves.

The winner tonight is obvious: Tom Tancredo. Beauprez, Kopp, and Gessler all sounded the same, and there was very little fire or emotion here. It's hard to imagine an undecided Republican voter watching this debate and walking away with a strong impression of anyone on stage.

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Only Doug Lamborn is More Partisan than Cory Gardner

Cory Gardner and Doug LambornThere has been a lot of talk over the last week or so about Republican concerns that Tom Tancredo might poison the entire 2014 election should he emerge victorious from the June gubernatorial Primary. We won't deny that the GOP faces plenty of problems with a Tancredo candidacy, although the entire argument seems a bit silly in our opinion given the other candidates running in the Republican Primary; option #2 appears to be Bob Beauprez, whose 2006 campaign for Governor is viewed as the worst statewide campaign in Colorado history.

Former Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams has been among the loudest voices warning of a Tancredo candidacy, sounding false alarm bells dating back more than a year (we continue to be amused that anyone listens to Wadhams anymore, but that's a different story for a different day). Wadhams is a strong supporter of Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner, but as he told the Boulder Daily Camera in a story over the weekend, both Gardner and Rep. Mike Coffman are doomed if Tancredo is the GOP nominee for Governor:

"If Tancredo is the nominee, everyone from (U.S. Senate candidate Cory) Gardner and (U.S. Rep. Mike) Coffman and up and down the ticket go down in November," warned Wadhams, who is supporting Kopp. "There's much at stake here."

That seems a bit melodramatic to us, but how much truth is involved in this fear of Tancredo? If we've learned anything from Colorado politics in the last decade, it is that the more moderate candidate will always win a high-profile statewide race. From Ken Salazar in 2004, to Bill Ritter in 2006 and Mark Udall in 2008 (and John Hickenlooper in 2010, although a doorknob would have beaten Dan Maes), the more partisan you are perceived to be by voters, the less likely you are to win in November. With that in mind, we combed through the annual partisanship rankings of Congress provided each year by The National Journal, and we were a bit surprised at what we found:

The biggest threat to the Republican ticket in 2014 may actually be Cory Gardner.

Cory Gardner and Tom Tancredo

Perhaps Tom Tancredo should be concerned about Cory Gardner instead.

You may have seen references to the fact that Gardner was the 10th most-partisan Member of Congress in 2012 — more partisan, even, than conservative stalwarts such as Reps. Michele Bachmann and Steve King – but the numbers tell an even more incredible tale. As you can see from the chart above, only Rep. Doug Lamborn has a more partisan record in Congress among Colorado's delegation in the past decade, and he represents a heavily-Republican district in CD-5.

If you remove Lamborn and Rep. Diana DeGette from the list (since DeGette's CD-1 is a heavily-Democratic district), you find that Gardner stands alone as the most partisan Member of Colorado's Congressional delegation since at least 2002 (when redistricting awarded Colorado a 7th seat in Congress).

As of now, Republicans appear likely to have both Tancredo and Gardner at the top of the ticket in November. Tancredo is certainly problematic for Republicans, but it may well turn out that Gardner ends up being just as harmful (if not more) as voters continue to learn about his record.

If nothing else, Gardner's heavily-partisan record should allow Sen. Mark Udall ample space to occupy the center leading into November, which is an incredible advantage for Democrats…and, perhaps, a huge roadblock for someone like Tom Tancredo.

 

 

Gessler Fights Back, Slams Everybody Else

Scott Gessler.

Scott Gessler.

The Colorado Statesman's Ernest Luning follows up in the latest issue last week's big story of endorsements rolling in for Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Bob Beauprez. With Beauprez calling in his many chits, Tom Tancredo standing firm on his built-in base of single issue support, and Mike Kopp fading quickly into irrelevance, Secretary of State Scott Gessler is battling to keep this a three-way race:

Calling Beauprez “a good friend of mine,” Gessler noted that he’s worked for Beauprez’ past campaigns in his capacity as an election-law attorney. (Beauprez represented the 7th Congressional District for two terms before giving up his seat in Congress to run for governor in 2006, when he lost to Democrat Bill Ritter by a wide margin.)

“Bob lost his last bid for Governor by 16 points, even though we won other big races that year,” Gessler wrote in his fundraising email. “That means 16 percent of voters deliberately voted against Bob then voted for every other Republican. We can’t risk that happening again, and especially with the Senate seat up for grabs this cycle that’s not a risk we can afford to take.”

…On Thursday, Gessler widened his attack, calling out both Beauprez and Tancredo for losing in the last two gubernatorial elections.

“Should we go with Bob Beauprez — an establishment politician with a track record of losing big races?” Gessler wrote in an email to supporters. “While he was chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, the GOP lost control of the State Senate for the first time in four decades. Then, in 2006, Beauprez lost the governor’s race by nearly 17 points, one of the worse performances by a statewide GOP candidate in the history of the state!”

“That is until 2010…” Gessler continued. “In 2010, Tom Tancredo cost us the governorship and a U.S. Senate seat. He dropped the ‘R’ next to his name and ran as a third party candidate. After he lost, he re-registered as a Republican. How can we trust a guy like that to lead our state, let alone, our party?”

Gessler has his own very serious baggage, of course, from his fruitless years-long quest for "illegal voters" to last year's Independent Ethics Commission finding that Gessler "breached the public trust for private gain" by using taxpayer funds to offset partisan political travel expenses. The ad fodder Gessler has provided his political opponents since election in 2010 has been truly enormous, even career-ending all by itself–but is Gessler correct that Beauprez's and Tancredo's flaws are worse?

After the nonstop roller-coaster of controversy Gessler has put voters through in the last four years, it's tough to imagine him as the most electable of any field of candidates. But maybe it's time we started grading this race on the curve? A poll follows.

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Tom Tancredo Knows What He’s Doing

Dog and Tancredo

Mr. and Mrs. Dog have been Tancredo supporters for years.

As you have read here and elsewhere, a group of Republicans who really don't want to see Tom Tancredo as their Party's nominee for Governor are doing everything they can to try to convince him to exit the race. But the calls, warnings, and threats from Republicans aren't working on Tancredo, who has his own formula for winning a Republican Primary that may just make him the GOP nominee next month.

Tonight Tancredo's campaign is hosting a fundraiser with Dog the Bounty Hunter ("and Beth"), a colorful couple who are longtime supporters of Tancredo. It's easy to make jokes about Tancredo backers such as the "Dog family" and Ted Nugent, but in doing so, it's important to understand that Tancredo knows exactly what he is doing here.

Check out what Tancredo said earlier this week (on the Peter Boyles show) in response to the news that former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was endorsing Republican Bob Beauprez for Governor:

You know, and I told [Beauprez] at the time, ‘Look,’ – because he was saying, ‘You get out of the race. I’ll get in.’ And I said, ‘Bob, I have 7,000 contributors.’ You know what, Peter? It’s now over 10,000 individual contributors to my campaign. [Do] you know what the average is? Sixty-seven dollars. God love these people. I’ll take their endorsement any day over Mitt Romney’s. I’ll tell you that right now.

Tancredo has always had a very dedicated and loyal base behind him, and while it hasn't been enough to propel him to elected office outside of his former Congressional seat, it will surely be formidable in June.

The Tanc has talked before about how a four-way Primary for Governor is not too dissimilar from when he won a close five-way Primary in 1998 for the GOP nomination in CD-6. Forget about the General Election and whether Tancredo can win in November, because what matters first and foremost us getting the Republican nomination — and Tancredo understands that dynamic better than most politicians.

There were just about 410,000 votes cast in the 2010 Primary for U.S. Senate (Ken Buck vs. Jane Norton); Buck won that Primary with 212,000 votes, or about 51% of the GOP vote. But in a four-way Primary, Tancredo needs only a fraction of that total in order to secure the GOP nomination for Governor. That's why Tancredo isn't listening to Republican calls for him to exit the race — he knows the numbers and he knows he can get there. November might be a different story, but that's a different election at a different time for Tancredo.

For all his problems and controversies, Tom Tancredo knows how to win a crowded Republican Primary…and that's why he's still the frontrunner today.

 

What To Do When Your “Frontrunner” Is Poison? (But You Have No Antidote)

UPDATE: Via Jason Salzman, Tom Tancredo responds on talk radio today:

“You know, and I told [Beauprez] at the time, ‘Look,’ – because he was saying, ‘You get out of the race. I’ll get in.’ And I said, ‘Bob, I have 7,000 contributors.’ You know what, Peter? It’s now over 10,000 individual contributors to my campaign. [Do] you know what the average is? Sixty-seven dollars. God love these people. I’ll take their endorsement any day over Mitt Romney’s. I’ll tell you that right now.”

“And I said, ‘I’m not going to – you can’t expect me to get out of this race, because – just because — why? We had coffee? Just get in!’ I told him. ‘Get in! Run! You might be the guy that knocks us all off of the block and you make it, and God bless you, and if you can beat Hickenlooper, hey, I’m with you, buddy! But I don’t think you can. I don’t think any of these other guys can either. I’m closer to Hickenlooper in the polls than any of them.”

And that's that, folks.

—–

Tom Tancredo.

Tom Tancredo.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels reports on behalf of institutional Republicans growing nervous about Tom Tancredo's ongoing success in the GOP gubernatorial primary:

Some of the same people who want to recast the Grand Old Party as the Great Opportunity Party — in an effort to attract minorities and young voters — believe Tancredo spells disaster in a year that is supposed to be rough for Democrats. For weeks, behind-the-scene movers and shakers in the Republican Party have tried to talk Tancredo into dropping out of the June 24 gubernatorial primary.

They haven't gotten anywhere.

"If you want a traditional candidate and a traditional campaign you will get the traditional outcome: the Republican loses," Tancredo said. "I'm not a traditional candidate. I pride myself on that."

It's not hard to understand why Republican strategists desperately want Tom Tancredo out of the GOP gubernatorial primary, all the more so every time something happens that suggests he might actually win the nomination. Tancredo's plethora of extreme statements and policy positions from his long career in politics are a severe liability in a statewide election, far more so than Tancredo's built-in base of support can boost him. The problem is that Tancredo's support is much more heavily concentrated in a Republican primary, and Tancredo may well be able to win the primary using the very same issues that poison him, and potentially the entire GOP ticket, in the general election.

At stake: the governorship of Colorado, control of the state Senate where Democrats now have only a one-seat lead and a ferocious battle for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner.

Tancredo was incredulous that Republicans are holding him responsible for Gardner's fate.

"They're beating the living crap out of Cory right now," Tancredo said of attacks from the left. "I have nothing to do with that." [Pols emphasis]

To be perfectly frank, Tancredo is right that he's not responsible for the withering fire Cory Gardner is taking in the U.S. Senate race. And if the best Republicans hoping to stop Tancredo can field as alternatives are Bob Beauprez and Scott Gessler, who are seriously compromised by endless gaffes and ethical problems respectively…who the hell is there to tell Tancredo what he can and can't do?

Answer, like it or not: maybe no one.

“Multiple Choice Mitt” Endorses “Both Ways Bob”

Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney.

As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, it's a match made in heaven:

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is endorsing Colorado gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, FOX31 Denver is first to report.

Romney, who lost the 2012 presidential contest to President Barack Obama, will officially endorse Beauprez in an email that will be sent out later Tuesday morning.

“As a former governor, I can tell you that Bob Beauprez has exactly what Colorado needs to lead,” Romney’s email states. “Bob’s unique combination of passion, drive, conservative values and experience will make him an outstanding governor.”

As the guy who just lost the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney's cachet as an endorser isn't all that great. Romney was famously the GOP "frontrunner" nobody wanted that year, and silly-season contender Rick Santorum in fact won the Colorado caucuses. Romney's reputation as an unapologetic flip-flopper, most prominently as a Republican who reformed health care in Massachusetts in a way that strikingly resembles "Obamacare," left him distrusted by both sides–an effect we're seeing again in Colorado Republicans Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman as they try to sanitize their own records.

If "Both Ways Bob" Beauprez does win the GOP primary, seeing him try to walk back the civil war stuff–or the Shariah law stuff, or the climate change is a hoax stuff, or the "birther" stuff, you get the idea–is going to be most entertaining.

It's not surprising to see Mitt Romney endorse Bob Beauprez in the Colorado GOP gubernatorial primary, since Beauprez served as Romney's chief surrogate in Colorado during the 2012 presidential campaign. With that said, for all of his own prodigious liabilities as a candidate, Beauprez is definitely winning the endorsement race among the Republican establishment at this point–and making as big a splash with them as he can early, in hopes of claiming frontrunner status in the race against Scott Gessler and Tom Tancredo.

As for Democrats, we see little for them to do other than smile and pay out the rope as needed.

Brophy Joins Team “Anybody But Gessler”

Greg Brophy.

Greg Brophy.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

State Sen. Greg Brophy, a former gubernatorial hopeful who failed to make the primary ballot at last month’s state GOP assembly, threw his support behind Beauprez during a radio appearance Monday morning.

“I want Republicans to win this November and Bob is the best prepared to win and then govern Colorado back to greatness,” said Brophy, a farmer from Wray who just finished his final legislative session as a state lawmaker.

Brophy is following the lead of Steve House, another former gubernatorial hopeful who is also backing Beauprez.

Beauprez, a former congressman who was the Republican candidate for governor in 2006 when he lost by 17 points to Democrat Bill Ritter, entered this year’s contest at the very last minute in late February, saying that the other gubernatorial candidates weren’t demonstrating enough support to be competitive in the fall.

There seems to be a coordinated push at the moment to coalesce Republicans around failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, or failing that, any candidate other than Secretary of State Scott Gessler. At the GOP state assembly last month, it's widely rumored that both Tom Tancredo and Beauprez, both candidates using the alternative petition process to make the ballot, told their supporters in attendance to back former state Sen. Mike Kopp–with the express purpose of denying Gessler an assembly win. Now that Kopp has basically taken himself out of contention with dismal fundraising, the primary is narrowing down to Gessler, Beauprez, and Tancredo. And of those three, Republican insiders are increasingly signaling that only Beauprez has anything close to a shot at winning in the fall.

For reasons we've been documenting ever since Beauprez decided to run for governor again this year, we don't agree–Beauprez is a walking gaffe machine, who stands to do a great deal of harm to Republicans down the ticket this year if nominated. A poll last month from GOP-aligned Magellan Strategies shows Beauprez losing to Democratic incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper by fifteen points. The only way Beauprez might seem more electable than the other two Republican major candidates is when you consider just how unelectable Tancredo and Gessler honestly are–Tancredo as the world famous anti-immigrant lightning rod, and Gessler as the only candidate running for governor with a documented record of "breaching the public trust for private gain."

Even so, it's clear that the Republicans now falling in line behind Beauprez haven't read all the loony-tunes stuff we've been digging up from Beauprez's time between campaigns–claiming that Preisdent Barack Obama is "pushing" America "toward civil war," the "giant hoax" of climate change, how Sharia law is "creeping in" to Colorado, or how the Obama administration has been "infiltrated" by the Muslim Brotherhood. And let's not forget the "birther" thing.

To be honest, if Republicans are determined to ignore Beauprez's record of disqualifying talk-radio wackiness and nominate him anyway, Democrats should strongly consider letting them.