Tom Tancredo is once again a Republican, but he's not a party guy

Tom Tancredo
Tom Tancredo is busy these days. He just wrote the April Fools' edition of Ask a Mexican. He has a real new job, as a marketing exec with a local investment company, so that others won't lose their nest eggs to a Bernie Madoff character, as he did. He's repairing the damage done by an e-mail hacker (who had Tancredo and his wife held hostage in Wales). But even if Tancredo weren't so busy, he wouldn't have gone to the State Republican Party Convention this past weekend.

Yes, the five-term congressman is again a Republican, after his quixotic run for governor of Colorado on the American Constitution Party ticket -- a run that wound up with Tancredo getting 36 percent of the vote, and Republican nominee Dan Maes barely squeaking past the major-party requirement of 10 percent.

And even until early September, Tancredo had been willing to drop out of the race so the Republicans could nominate a potential winner -- but Maes refused to do the same -- as outgoing party chair Dick Wadhams revealed in a recent interview with Jon Caldara.

But that doesn't mean Tancredo is enough of a team player to sit through the convention (although Maes was there). "I keep thinking about how irrelevant the party is," he says. "That's one reason I didn't go. I can't get excited about it... because of the status quo results of this election, they still have people like Bill Owens, those folks, pulling the strings."

He did support one of the five people running to replace Wadhams -- state senator Ted Harvey (who neglected to list Tancredo on his roster of supporters). But Ryan Call, the legal counsel for the party, won the spot on the first round of voting. If he'd known it would be that easy for a party insider to get the seat, Tancredo wonders, would Wadhams would have gone for another term? Wadhams had complained about the nuts in the party, but there have always been nuts, Tancredo says -- and he should know.

"They pretend like it's the Tea Party: Baloney," he notes. "This division has been there since I can remember."

Then again, he acknowledges that he's had a "spotty, rocky" relationship with the party even back in the mid-'70s, when he first decided to run for the state legislature. "From the day I got into politics, this battle has been going on," he says. "Nothing has changed." At one point in 1976, Tancredo and the other so-called "House Crazies' decided to try to oust the House speaker, an old-school party member. "This is my first party fight, and we thought we had it... we thought we had it by one vote," he remembers. "The night of the election, we're waiting and waiting, and no one would call it to order." Then a couple of party hacks carried in a dead-drunk legislator -- "they had to raise his hand" -- and the rebellion was quashed

Thirty-five years later, Tancredo isn't relying on the party to make the difference in this country. "From the standpoint of all the things I'd like to see accomplished, I see that as coming from individuals," he says. "They become political stars based on their own abilities, own personalities... The party becomes less and less relevant from a personal standpoint."

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "James Mejia is at home in the Denver mayor's race -- maybe your home."

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Terry Wilcox
Terry Wilcox

The Republican Party in Colorado and nationally is what it is: a tool for Fortune 5000 corporations at the expensive of small business and citizens in the middle class and poor. And they have the perfect voice in Mike Rosen, who pontificates and blathers daily on their behalf. The Golf Course Republicans as represented by Rosen and his ilk control the pursestrings and agenda, while the Tea Party ilk raise stink and are the rabble rousers. What we see and what is reality is truly disheartening, as necessary progress and positive policy thrust to save the nation is impossible with the Golf Course Republicans really in power. We are doomed ....

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Terry. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Melissa
Melissa

Its a toss-up now on who is the most hated person in Colorado: Mike Rosen or Dick Wadhams. Peter Boyles and a vast number of politicians are also in the running. But Rosen has been near or at the top of that list for the last decades at least. He is also probably the angriest man in Colorado as well. One can even detect boiling rage in him when he is doing the movie review segment in his last hour on Friday. I cannot imagine what his BP is, even when he is asleep. Imagine spending a tropical vacation in Mexico studying federal government fiscal charts and statistics instead of going to the beach, nightclubs, strip bars, and other sights: that was Rosen recently !!

johninlongmont
johninlongmont

it's a sad situation with the GOP, locally and nationally...but where ya gonna go????

I hate the Republicans, but I really hate the democrats

;-)

Pick
Pick

See, Tom isn't the wingnut you thought he was. He actually has it correctly pegged. The Republican Party belongs to the Owensanschutzarmstrongbensoncoorscaplisnorton group, and they keep putting up the same tired oldliners (i.e.- themselves). ( Let's not talk about Maes, ok? That was an "I'll teach you, Tancrerdo" thing) So, Tom, I'm with you. Give me the right person and I'll vote for them even if they belong to the UFO Party.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Owensanschutzarmstrongbensoncoorscaplisnorton group: That's a mouthful! Thanks for commenting, Pick.

Bruce Baker
Bruce Baker

After the two top GOP party candidates for governor proved problematic and then the GOP did not come out for Tom in force, I was done with them.

If the GOP candidates and office holders were to suddenly start ACTING like they should (true conservatives) then they might win me back, but barring a top-to-bottom remake of the party, I don't see that happening. In the future I'll hold my nose and support GOP candidates when (as usual) they're not as bad as the alternative (a Democratic-Socialist), but why should voting ALWAYS be a choice between the lesser of two evils, and why don't more people realize that until we get some really good choices the state and country are headed "to Hell in a handbasket"?

L.B.
L.B.

I agree with Tancredo; the party is irrelevant. He's spot on with "I keep thinking about how irrelevant the party is," he says. "That's one reason I didn't go. I can't get excited about it... because of the status quo results of this election, they still have people like Bill Owens, those folks, pulling the strings."

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