Dan Maes says he's staying in race despite bankruptcy revelation, alleged bribe to quit
Another week, another series of disasters for the Dan Maes campaign. First came photos of Maes collecting cash in a burlap bag, in apparent violation of campaign rules (but beyond the statute of limitations). Next? News that he'd filed for personal bankruptcy in 1989 -- the sort of info that should have been shared long ago. And now comes a report that two GOP county chairmen shared an offer from a "wealthy donor" to buy Maes out of the governor's race.
This last bombshell comes courtesy of the Denver Post's Lynn Bartels, who points out that such a payoff would be illegal under Colorado law. Bartels also shares information from a Facebook post by Maes supporter Joe Harrington, who first revealed news about the proposal -- and asserted that it had come from backers of gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo. The item includes an e-mail comment from Maes presumably directed at Tancredo. It reads:
Here is my offer to them:
Tell that hypocritical, draft dodging, TARP voting, pot endorsing, thug to get out of the race and let the people's choice win this thing for real conservatives!
Tancredo operations manager Cliff Dodge denied any knowledge of the proposition to the Post, and Tancredo said likewise during an appearance on KHOW with fill-in host George Brauchler this morning. During his time on the air, the American Constitution Party hopeful stressed that Maes brought all of his current troubles on himself, speculating that thanks to his own weaknesses, he'd have the same dismal poll numbers he does now even if Tancredo hadn't become a candidate. Regarding Maes's description of him, Tancredo characterized it as bitterness rooted in assessing blame to others instead of to himself.
Additionally, Tancredo noted that in a new Fox News poll, Tancredo is just five points behind Hickenlooper, who racks up 45 percent compared to Tancredo's 40, with Maes registering just 10 percent. If these numbers are accurate, Maes is in real danger of earning only single digit support in the election two weeks from today -- a performance that would cause the Colorado Republican Party to lose major party status, thereby causing a range of problems around the petition process and more. As such, there are probably some Republicans who hope Maes stands tough and somehow earns 10 percent of the vote, presumably from GOP diehards who'll vote for anyone with an "R" after their name. But Colorado GOP boss Dick Wadhams seems resigned to the idea that Tancredo will get the lion's share of Republican support.
What's the Maes braintrust got to say about that? Beginning yesterday, multiple phone and e-mail messages were left for spokesman Nate Strauch, who's been extremely receptive throughout the campaign. Thus far, they haven't been returned. When and if Strauch responds, we'll share his thoughts in this space. Meanwhile, Maes sent out a defiant e-mail to supporters Monday afternoon, brushing off his difficulties one by one and declaring that victory is still within his grasp.
Page down to read the message: