Monday, September 6, 2010

Dan Maes Loosing Tea Partiers

In Colorado some leading tea-party activists are beginning to have second thoughts about political rookies.

Their discomfort stems from a series of stumbles by Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes, a small business owner and first-time candidate who stunned the political establishment by winning the Aug. 10 primary with strong tea-party backing.

Maes has had trouble following campaign finance law to the letter – he was assessed a $17,500 fine, a state record, for violations – and some of his statements to the press have raised eyebrows. Last week, Maes lost the endorsements of party elders and many tea-party activists after he told the Denver Post he may have misrepresented his law-enforcement background on his online biography.

It was all enough to make tea-party activist Janet Rowland doubt the wisdom of putting political novices on a pedestal.

“This is eye-opening to those who believe that having no political history makes you squeaky clean – because it doesn’t,” said Rowland, who is herself an elected official, a county commissioner in western Colorado. “You get someone who hasn’t been vetted, doesn’t have a voting record and you don’t know much about him.”

Nikki Mata, another tea-party leader who withdrew her endorsement of Maes, said at the very least, political newcomers must surround themselves with veteran advisers – distasteful as that may be to some activists who long for a clean break with the political elite.

“The key is to know what you don’t know and to surround yourself with people who do know,” Mata said.    More -

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