Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dan Maes and the loss of the Tea-party

Tea-party activists in Colorado are largely united around the GOP Senate candidate, Ken Buck. The race for the open governor's seat is a different matter.

Two months ago, many of the roughly 70 Colorado groups affiliated with the tea party celebrated when political rookie Dan Maes, a businessman, won the Republican nomination for governor.

But in the following weeks, the local media raised questions about Mr. Maes's professional background and several tea-party leaders broke with him, endorsing instead former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo, who is running on a third-party ticket.

"This is eye opening to those who believe having no political history means you're squeaky clean. Because it doesn't," said Janet Rowland, a tea-party activist who cut ties with Mr. Maes. Polls show Mr. Maes hovering around 10% support. Mr. Tancredo is far ahead of him, but behind Democrat John Hickenlooper.

Tea-party members who stuck with Mr. Maes express bewilderment and anger at the defections. "We said we wanted someone to fight, to stand up to the party and the government, and here's a man who, my goodness, he and his family have taken so many punches and yet they keep going, keep fighting—isn't that what we wanted?" said Nancy Rumfelt, who is the chief financial officer of a small business.

Rancor between Maes and Tancredo supporters has flared on blogs, in tea-party meetings and on the campaign trail. The split has been tough on the movement, said Lu Ann Busse, chairwoman of a coalition representing about 6,000 tea-party members. "On both sides, some people feel betrayed," she said. "I don't see that there's going to be an easy resolution."    - More -

No comments:

Post a Comment