Dan Maes, The Republican Candidate For Governor Of Colorado, Should Drop Out Of The Race

Despite the fact that I have long been a fan of Tom Tancredo, when he announced that he was going to put in a third party bid for the governorship of Colorado, I harshly criticized him:

Despite the fact that he has a disturbing tendency to go over-the-top and say dumb things on occasion, I have a great deal of respect for Tom Tancredo. Had Tanc not picked up the banner and led the charge on illegals early in the game, it’s entirely possible that comprehensive immigration reform would be the law of the land today. Yes, his early leadership on the issue was that important and, yes, he is unapologetically conservative.

However, what Tom Tancredo is doing in Colorado right now is serving his own ego, not the conservative cause…

Are Scott McInnis and Dan Maes great candidates? No, they’re not. Are either of them capable of winning? Yes, they are. The latest polling shows that the race is very tight.

So, if Tancredo gets in, what happens? The Republican vote is going to be split and a winnable race, along with Tom Tancredo’s reputation, go in the toilet.

Look at what Tancredo has already been reduced to in Colorado,

Leaders of 21 state Tea Party groups, representing about 10,000 people, said Sunday they have been betrayed by Tom Tancredo and in an open letter beseeched the former congressman not to run for governor as a third-party candidate.

…Tancredo said Sunday he received the letter and more than 100 separate e-mails. He called Tea Partyers new members of “the establishment.”

Asked about the letter he wrote to the grassroots’ groups in 2009, encouraging them to work together, he said, “it’s interesting that many of them chastised me at the time for encouraging party unity.

If Tom Tancredo wanted to be governor of Colorado, then he should have run in the Republican primary. It’s entirely possible he would have won had he done so, which makes his decision to run now as a third party candidate even more bizarre. Running now will do nothing but help the Left and destroy his reputation. Tanc should know better and I genuinely hope he reconsiders.

As predicted, Tanc split the vote, hurt his reputation nationally, and the Democratic candidate has been winning in a walk. Moreover, even looking back on it with hindsight, I don’t think any of the criticism I leveled at Tanc was unfair.

Now, all that being said, there have been some developments in the Colorado Governor’s race that have changed the equation.

Dan Maes has now been caught in a lie so big that it is quite deservedly destroying his candidacy:

Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes on Tuesday backed away from a claim that, as a police officer 25 years ago, he worked “undercover” with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Maes previously said he was fired as a police officer in Liberal, Kan., after working undercover with the KBI in a gambling and drug probe.

A statement he wrote on his campaign website that was later removed said: “At one point in my 2 years there I was place (sic) undercover by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (sic) to gather information inside a bookmaking ring that was also allegedly selling drugs. I got too close to some significant people in the community who were involved in these activities and abruptly was dismissed from my position. I was blindsided and stunned to say the least.”

Maes was asked about the statement that he was placed undercover after law enforcement sources in Kansas disputed the claim in interviews with The Denver Post.

“Some people are probably taking that a little too literally,” he said. “I was a city police officer providing information to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.”

Maes said that he could not offer records to back that up.

“This was 25 years ago,” he said, adding: “It’s just not worth covering that much. It’s a nonissue.” So was he really working “undercover”?

“Those comments might have been incorrect comments,” Maes said.

Who wrote them on the website?

“Whoever typed it, typed it. That’s all I’ve got to say,” Maes said, before referring questions to his campaign spokesman.

Later, his spokesman, Nate Strauch, confirmed that Maes had written the comments.

Strauch said Maes’ statement that he was working undercover was being misinterpreted.

“It’s not like he was jumping off of rooftops and taking small-arms fire,” Strauch said. “This was a small-time gambling operation he had inside information on. He was asked by KBI to look into the case further to provide them with information on an ongoing basis regarding the individuals involved in the alleged gambling ring.”

But the director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation said it has no record of Maes working with the agency during his stint as a police officer from 1983 to 1985.

“We’ve checked our records. We’ve talked to people working in that area (southwest Kansas) at the time,” said Bob Blecha, director of the law enforcement agency. “He (Maes) refers to a gambling case and possible drugs. They (agents) don’t recall him working with them on any case like that.”

Blecha said some of the agents, most of whom are now retired, do remember Maes as a police officer. It’s possible Maes at some point cooperated with agents on small matters as other officers might, Blecha said.

But he stressed, “He (Maes) did not work for us or with us on an investigation.”

If you tell people that you worked undercover with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation on a case that ended your career and that turns out to be a lie, that’s a political death blow you’re not coming back from. So whatever happens, Dan Maes is not going to be the next Governor of Colorado and he doesn’t deserve the job either.

In most cases, that would just mean that the seat was lost. However, in this case, there is another real option. If Maes were to drop out, Tancredo would be a viable candidate. Would he win? I don’t know. There’s still a lot of bad blood between Tanc, the GOP, and the Colorado Tea Party because of his late entry into the race.

But, what I do know is that Dan Maes is dead in the water and that Tom Tancredo would be a much better governor than the Democrat who’s running, John Hickenlooper. So, if Dan Maes cares about conservatism and doing what’s best for the people of Colorado, he should resign and encourage Republicans to unite behind Tom Tancredo.

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