Saturday, July 24, 2010

The party scrambles

Via Colorado Pols, this story, if true (the sourcing is spotty), is quite interesting. For those of you not following Colorado's gubernatorial race, Scott McInnis, the likely GOP nominee, has been damaged by a scandal. Basically, it turns out he got paid $300K to write a bunch of water policy articles a few years ago, had some water policy expert write them for him, and then passed off the work as his own. When caught, he tried to blame the policy expert, who wouldn't play ball. Anyway, even thought this hasn't hurt him in the polls much yet, state Republicans are concerned this will really hurt him in the general election, which is already looking like a tight race.

However, they're not asking McInnis to bow out yet, because they want him to beat Dan Maes in the August 10th primary, since Maes is a Tea Partier type who would almost definitely lose in the general. So they're basically waiting for McInnis to beat Maes and then they're going to try to talk McInnis into dropping out. I'm not sure whom they'd replace him with. Possibly State Sen. Josh Penry, who was pushed out of the race last winter.

Anyway, it's an interesting case of party insiders thwarting primary voters, making estimations of future public opinion, etc.

6 comments:

Jonathan Bernstein said...

Is it possible for the Tea Party groups to run a last-minute 3rd party candidate if that happens? If I were the CO GOP, I'd be worried about that -- unless the laws are set up to prevent it.

Seth said...

That's sort of what Tom Tancredo has threatened to do. I'm not totally sure on the rules, but I don't think it would be possible for a new party (there is no official CO Tea Party) to form in August and field a candidate on the November ballot. But possibly within one of the existing parties...

Robert said...

Tancredo would potentially run under the banner of the American Constitution Party, which has rules that would allow him to join the party tomorrow and run as its candidate the day after that (or something to that effect).

One nit to pick on the description of McInnis's troubles. That is, at least as problematic as the fact that he had someone write the articles for him is that the articles plagiarize the work of a sitting Colorado Supreme Court justice.

Seth said...

Good point about the Supreme Court justice, Robert. That's bad, too! But my impression is that McInnis trying to throw a nice old water policy expert under a bus is the real damaging part of this.

marc said...

I stopped reading at "got paid $300K to write a bunch of water pilicy articles." Who's his agent?

Seth said...

Not sure, but it's not yours or mine.