News Updates


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

posted Feb 9, 2011, 11:39 AM by Ting Dai

A General Trapped In A Diplomat’s Job
Dominic Dezzutti
February 8, 2011
http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/02/08/a-general-trapped-in-a-diplomats-job/

Dick Wadhams surprised politicians and pundits alike on Monday when he announced that he would not run for a third term as chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

Wadhams had previously announced he would run, but he said that while he figured he had the votes to win, he had tired of dealing with people who “saw conspiracies around every corner.”

It seems that Wadhams’ decision simply came down to the frustration with a major wing of his party wanting “true” conservatives, yet still desiring to win a state that is still firmly purple and moderate.

Activist Republicans in the state want to have their cake and eat it too, and that simply isn’t possible against a very competitive Democratic Party. I can certainly understand Wadhams’ issue with party activists that want the most conservative candidates in the primary, but can’t understand why those same candidates are beaten in the general election.

That would be a frustrating attitude to deal with as a party chair. But, Wadhams’ stint as party chair didn’t start out with that much frustration. In fact, it started out with much more optimism.

When Wadhams came back to Colorado to head the Republican Party, I figured he was going to snap the party into shape and get the party back on track after losing the State House. Wadhams was extremely effective as a Campaign Manager here in Colorado in the late 1990’s and his national campaign with Sen. George Allen was derailed by the candidate, not his strategy.

Frankly, despite the Allen mishap, Wadhams was coming home with a strong and competitive reputation.

However, the big problem for Wadhams was that as a party chair, he didn’t have the kind of power to create change in the trenches of the campaign that he did as a Campaign Manager.

I like to think of it like this. Gen. George Patton was one of the most effective Generals to serve in the U.S. military. He demanded a high level of performance from his troops and did his best when he was right there in the battle with his soldiers.

But if you put Patton in, say, Eisenhower’s position in World War II, he would have floundered. Without direct authority over the instant movements in the war, Patton would have failed to have the same effectiveness. He wouldn’t have been any less brilliant, the environment would have hampered his style.

Wadhams is not unlike Patton, and as party chair, Wadhams was too far from the front lines and didn’t have the direct authority over the campaigns to make the instant changes that effective campaigns need to make.

In the end, I think we will see Wadhams back in Colorado politics fairly soon. 2012 might be too soon, only because there will not be a statewide race in Colorado.

However, in 2014, Sen. Mark Udall and Gov. John Hickenlooper will both be running for re-election. That sounds like the prime opportunity for Wadhams to take his rightful place as one of the GOP’s best field generals.

That also might be enough time for GOP party activists to decide if they want truly conservative candidates, or if they want to govern. We’ve already seen that doing both really isn’t an option.


Carroll: Don't blame Dick Wadhams
By Vincent Carroll
February 9, 2011
http://www.denverpost.com/carroll/ci_17332374?source=rss

Ted Harvey is seeking the post of state Republican Party chair because he wants to "return authentic conservative leadership to the party structure," he said in his announcement.

You've got to appreciate the audacity of the word "authentic." The current party chair, Dick Wadhams, who announced Monday that he will not seek re-election, has only spent his entire career working for the likes of Bill Armstrong, Conrad Burns, Bill Owens, Wayne Allard and George Allen — and no, I don't mean the coach — with nary a political moderate in the mix.

And when Wadhams wasn't picking up a regular paycheck from one of these free-market oriented, small government officeholders, he was engineering the election of Hank Brown to the U.S. Senate, the most fiscally conservative Coloradan to sit in that body in the past few decades, or trying, unsuccessfully, to elect a conservative like Bob Schaffer to that office as well.

Or he was coordinating the upset of Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota on behalf of now-Sen. John Thune.

On Tuesday, Harvey, the Highlands Ranch senator, told me his dig about "authentic conservative leadership" wasn't really directed at Wadhams, who had intended to run for another term until he got fed up with critics blaming him for the loss of the Senate and governor races last fall. "He got us through some of the most trying times in our party's history," Harvey says of Wadhams. "Having said that, many of us believe we need new leadership" that can heal party divisions and "unite our base."
If the base splintered last fall, however, it was only in the governor's race, where a host of "authentic" grassroots conservatives saw fit to nominate a huckster with the most threadbare credentials of any major party candidate for statewide office in decades. The alternative at the time, the plagiarist Scott McInnis, was hardly a hard-core conservative, but he was no favorite of Wadhams, either — except in that particular race.

Meanwhile, the Republican base remained loyal to Ken Buck in the Senate contest. Buck's problem was that too many independent voters refused to support him after Democrats spent months portraying him, thanks in part to his own missteps, as a modern-day Archie Bunker.

"It disgusted me after the election when all of these pundits said the Democratic ground game pulled Democrats like (U.S. Sen. Michael) Bennet across the line," Wadhams told me. "We had much higher Republican turnout than the Democrats — more than 100,000 more party voters even though our registration edge was only 8,000. We had a great story. How do you think Scott Gessler and Walker Stapleton defeated incumbents (for secretary of state and treasurer)?"

Wadhams has a point. Final figures from the state show 722,356 Republicans voted, as opposed to 615,119 Democrats. Gessler and Stapleton easily outpolled Buck, as did the at-large Republican regent, Steve Bosley. And the biggest vote-getter of the day was not the likeable Democrat John Hickenlooper, cruising to victory with hardly a dollar of national GOP money spent to sully his name, but Attorney General John Suthers, another Republican. No splintering among Republicans there.

Should Republicans have done better in the legislature, and especially in the state Senate? Undoubtedly, but it will be tough sledding in those races until conservatives match the independent expenditures of the left. Yet it's not a party chair's job to drum up so-called 527 spending, unless he's angling for a stint in prison.

Still, Harvey is probably right that Republicans need new leadership given the distrust by so many Tea Party types to what they consider the Old Guard. "We need to embrace the free-market, lower taxes, patriot conservatives who are newly coming to our party and encourage and direct them on how to be effective," Harvey said.

Fair enough. If Harvey wins, he could start by reminding the newcomers that Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes together failed to match Hickenlooper's vote total, and that Buck lost in part because he spent too much of the primary pandering to some of the more controversial views on the right, such as the "fair tax" and repeal of the 17th amendment.
So hurray for party unity and fresh faces. But candidates are still going to get trounced if they can't tack to the middle when it counts.
 

Editorial: Next GOP chair needs to put an end to purity tests
Dick Wadhams' replacement will have to convince Republican voters in Colorado to accept good but "imperfect" candidates.
By The Denver Post
February 9, 2011
http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_17332237

Dick Wadhams never has been one to mince words, so we shouldn't have been surprised to see him speak so frankly about the state of the Colorado Republican Party as he departs as its chairman.

"I have loved being chairman, but I'm tired of the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party's role is," he told The Post's Lynn Bartels in what you might think was a moment of candor. After all, it's not often a chair of a state party calls some of its members nuts.

But he continued on in his official press release:

". . . I have tired of those who are obsessed with seeing conspiracies around every corner and who have terribly misguided notions of what the role of the state party is while saying 'uniting conservatives' is all that is needed to win competitive races across the state," he said.

Even if Colorado Republicans could unite all conservatives, they still can't win. In Colorado, you need to win over a few of the moderate, unaffiliated voters and to do that you need candidates who appeal to a broader spectrum of voters.

Conservatives can win statewide. Bill Owens and Wayne Allard proved that. But you can't win over moderates if the far right wing of the party — the nuts, perhaps? — blackballs candidates simply because they once held elected office (surely they must be tainted!) or if they're perceived as being pragmatic in some way. Those voters helped sink former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton's Senate bid because she had the audacity to back Referendum C, which allowed the state to keep the revenues it already was collecting without a hike in the tax rate. Oh, the horrors!

Why does this matter to us? Because Coloradans deserve choices.

Republicans produced a gubernatorial candidate last year who may have been well-intentioned but had no business governing the state.

The next state GOP chair will have to convince party voters to drop the purity tests and accept candidates who may not be perfect but will vote their way on nearly every issue.

It won't be easy in this political environment.

Washington County Republican Candidates Forum

posted Mar 2, 2010, 12:12 PM by Ting Dai

The Washington County Republican Candidates Forum will be held at the Washington County Events Center on the Washington County Fair Grounds on the west side of Akron on March 8th, beginning at 6:30.  Your sure welcome to attend and invite anyone you would like to from your area to attend this.  It should be very interesting.

BENNET DOESN'T GET THE MESSAGE

posted Feb 18, 2010, 10:00 AM by Ting Dai

Memorandum
 Thursday, February 18, 2010
To:  Colorado Republican Leaders
From:  Dick Wadhams, State Chairman
Subject:  As President Obama wings his way to Denver to prop up Colorado's accidental senator, Michael Bennet, two very interesting articles appeared in today's Denver Post.
The editorial "BENNET DOESN'T GET THE MESSAGE" takes him to task for pandering to the Democratic Party's left wing on the failed health care reform bill.  Bennet has called for ramming Obama-Care through the Senate by use of the "reconciliation" process which requires only 51 votes as opposed to the traditional 60. 
Following several national reports over the past several months regarding the West's rejection of the Obama-Democratic agenda, the Denver Post writes in "WEST GETS ROCKY FOR DEMS" that things have changed a great deal since those heady days at Invesco Field in August of 2008.
We are hopeful that President Obama can work his same magic today for Michael Bennet and tomorrow for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada that he did for Democratic candidates for Virginia governor, New Jersey governor, and Massachusetts senator when he personally campaigned in those states:  Big losses.
Finally, Democratic supporters of Bennet's primary challenger, former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, are incensed that President Obama is coming to Colorado as reported by KCNC-TV Channel 4, "ROMANOFF SUPPORTERS MAD OBAMA IS COMING TO DENVER."
For more on this topic see:
Denver Post:  Editorial:  Bennet doesn't get the message
Denver Post: Intermountain West loosens its embrace of Democrats
CBS4 Denver:  Obama Denver Visit May Heat Up Democratic Primary
VIDEO:  CBS4 Denver:  Democrats Protest Obama's Early Support For Bennet

Colorado Republicans to President Obama and Michael Bennet:

posted Feb 18, 2010, 9:59 AM by Ting Dai

 Reveal How Much Taxpayers Are Paying For Political Fundraising Trip to Colorado

DENVER - Colorado Republicans tonight demanded that President Barack Obama and Senator Michael Bennet reveal how much taxpayers are paying for the President's "blatantly and solely political trip to Denver to raise money for Michael Bennet."
"Colorado taxpayers deserve to know how much it costs to fly Air Force One along with all other federal expenses so that President Obama can come to Denver to prop up Michael Bennet," said Colorado Republican State Chairman Dick Wadhams.  "Rather than raising money for the accidental senator, President Obama ought to meet with Colorado taxpayers and explain why he, John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet said their failed 'stimulus' bill would create 60,000 jobs one year ago."

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY:

posted Feb 17, 2010, 10:29 AM by Ting Dai

  "If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months." -Democratic U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, Feb. 16, 2010
DENVER - With great fanfare and extravagant claims, Mayor John Hickenlooper, Senator Michael Bennet and Governor Bill Ritter joined President Barack Obama to sign the 1,100 page, $787 billion "stimulus" bill into law one year ago today in Denver.
"President Obama asked Coloradans to 'hold us accountable' one year ago today and now it's time to do so," said Colorado Republican State Chairman Dick Wadhams.  "Mayor Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet and Governor Ritter are just as responsible as President Obama for this failed 'stimulus' bill that has done nothing but drive up unemployment and the federal debt."
"One year ago, President Obama, Mayor Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet and Governor Ritter claimed that the 'stimulus' bill would create 60,000 jobs in Colorado but the fact is Colorado has lost 76,000 jobs over the past year," Wadhams said.  "President Obama's own 'stimulus' website claimed 8,094 jobs were 'created or saved' in 2009 but at least 1,000 of these alleged jobs were proven to be phony."
"Here in Colorado, more than $247,000 in 'stimulus' funds were used for signs promoting Governor Bill Ritter at highway construction sites," Wadhams said.  "Those signs might have stimulated Bill Ritter's ego but they did nothing to add jobs."
"One year ago, President Obama, Mayor Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet and Governor Ritter said 3.5 million jobs would be created by the end of 2010," Wadhams said.  "But 2.8 million jobs have been lost since he made that promise."
"One year ago, President Obama, Mayor Hickenlooper, Senator Bennet and Governor Ritter said the unemployment rate would remain under 8 percent because of the 'stimulus' bill," Wadhams said.  "One year later the unemployment rate is 9.7 percent and at 16.7 percent when underemployed and discouraged workers are included."
Colorado Republicans paid for full page ads in the Denver Post and the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News one year ago warning that the 'stimulus' bill was a misguided Washington solution full of irresponsible federal spending that would fail. 
"Everything we warned about one year ago has proven to be true while the Obama-Hickenlooper-Bennet-Ritter 'stimulus' bill has been a miserable failure," Wadhams said.
For more on this topic see:
RNC:  STIMULUS FAILURE BY THE NUMBERS:  One Year After February 17 Signing Of Stimulus, 17 Numbers You Need To Know

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

posted Feb 17, 2010, 10:25 AM by Ting Dai


CRC CHAIRMAN'S BLOG: WHO AM I TALKING TO AND WHAT DO I BELIEVE IN TODAY?
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper trots off to the Copenhagen Climate Conference with President Obama to warn about the impending destruction of planet earth.  Gubernatorial candidate John Hickenritter appears before Colorado energy and restaurant leaders and says there is no consensus on the impact of climate change.
And he wonders how he has earned the name of "Hickenritter?"
For the past seven years, Denver Mayor John Hickenritter has been the class clown who was not held accountable for his words or his actions.  Just like Bill Ritter who campaigned for governor in 2006 as a moderate, pro-business Democrat but who has governed as anything but, Mayor Hickenritter tells whoever is in front of him what they want to hear.
Colorado voters were burned by the say-one-thing-to-get-elected-and-do-another-thing-once-elected Ritter and won't be fooled by the two faces of John Hickenlooper.
For more on this topic see:

 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

posted Feb 8, 2010, 6:14 PM by Ting Dai

CRC CHAIRMAN'S BLOG: "HICKENRITTER" REALLY DOES PREFER BEING THE CLASS CLOWN TO BEING A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR

Earlier today, Colorado Republicans called on Mayor John Hickenlooper to tell Colorado voters where he stands on the Ritter-Democratic tax increases passed last week by the State House and being debated this week in the State Senate.

Not surprisingly, His Honor the Mayor of Denver declined to reveal during two different radio interviews where he stands on these irresponsible, job killing tax increases.

The state budget shortfall is not only the hottest issue of the 2010 legislative session, it is a defining issue of the 2010 race for governor because it dramatizes the stark differences between the Ritter-Hickenlooper-Democratic approach from Republicans.  Also today, State Senate Republicans unveiled a bold plan to cut the state bureaucracy as opposed to the Ritter-Democratic tax increases.

We know that Mayor "Hickenritter" is a talented political entertainer who jumps out of planes and rides scooters plugging parking meters.  But Colorado voters deserve to know where "Hickenritter" stands on the issues and not just that he would be a great class clown.

For more on this topic see:

Denver Post:  The Spot:  Hickenlooper declines to take tax stance

Click here to view this posting on the CRC website

COLORADO REPUBLICANS: WHEN WILL "HICKENRITTER" END HIS SILENCE ON RITTER TAX INCREASE SCHEMES?

posted Feb 8, 2010, 6:12 PM by Ting Dai

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Contact: Dick Wadhams

February 4th, 2010                                                                          303-758-3333

"This is not an election for class clown, it is an election for Governor of Colorado"

GREENWOOD VILLAGE - As the Colorado General Assembly continues to debate a $130 million tax increase proposal by Governor Bill Ritter, Colorado Republicans again called on Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to declare his support or opposition.

"Mayor 'Hickenritter' is a formally announced candidate for governor but is nowhere to be found on the Ritter tax increase proposals being debated in the State Capitol this week," said Colorado Republican State Chairman Dick Wadhams.  "How can the presumed Democratic nominee for governor not take a position on Ritter's tax increase schemes?"

Hickenlooper earlier said that the Ritter plan to raise taxes on small businesses was not a tax increase even though they would be paying higher taxes.  Since then, there has been no public comment by the Mayor of Denver on the Ritter tax increases being debated in the state legislature.

"Mayor 'Hickenritter' will have to do more than jump out of airplanes and ride his scooter plugging parking meters in his campaign for governor," said Wadhams.  "This is not an election for class clown, it is an election for governor of Colorado and Mayor 'Hickenritter' ought to take this election seriously enough to tell Colorado voters where he really stands on the Ritter tax increases."

For more on this topic see:

Denver Post: Hickenlooper talks taxes, for and against

COLORADO REPUBLICANS OFFER TO HOST FAILED "STIMULUS" BILL REUNION WHEN OBAMA CAMPAIGNS FOR BENNET IN FEBRUARY

posted Feb 8, 2010, 6:11 PM by Ting Dai

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Contact: Dick Wadhams

January 28th, 2010                                                                          303-758-3333

DENVER - Colorado Republicans today welcomed news that President Obama will campaign for Senator Michael Bennet in February and offered to host a special reunion event.

"One year ago next month, President Obama signed the failed 'stimulus' bill into law right here in Denver surrounded by Governor Ritter, Mayor Hickenlooper and Senator Bennet," said Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams.  "Since then, unemployment has gone up to 10 percent and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs while the national debt has skyrocketed."

"Let's get the whole gang together again to properly recognize their 'stimulus' inspired 10 percent unemployment rate while the President is here campaigning for our accidental senator, Michael Bennet, and Mayor Hickenritter," Wadhams said.  "We'd be happy to host this special reunion."

COLORADO REPUBLICANS TO MAYOR "HICKENRITTER": END YOUR LAME JUSTIFICATION OF RITTER TAX INCREASE

posted Feb 8, 2010, 6:08 PM by Ting Dai

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Contact: Dick Wadhams

January 27th, 2010                                                                          303-758-3333

Colo_Banner

COLORADO REPUBLICANS TO MAYOR "HICKENRITTER":  END YOUR LAME JUSTIFICATION OF RITTER TAX INCREASE

DENVER - Colorado Republicans today challenged Mayor John Hickenlooper to renounce his support and justification of Governor Bill Ritter's $130 million tax increase on Colorado small businesses.

"Mayor 'Hickenritter' lamely tried to justify Governor Ritter's job-killing tax increases on small businesses by saying paying higher taxes is not a tax increase," said Colorado Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams.  "Only someone who consistently and dramatically raised taxes as Mayor of Denver could claim Ritter's tax increase scheme is not really raising taxes."

Mayor Hickenlooper's comments regarding Governor Ritter's approach to businesses were the subject of a recent Denver Post article:

"But the geologist turned brewmeister struck a different tone last week when asked about Gov. Bill Ritter's proposals to offset what will be at least a $1.3 billion shortfall for the budget year starting in July. Ritter, a Democrat, wants to eliminate or suspend 13 tax exemptions and credits that add up to nearly $132 million.

Asked then about Ritter's plan, Hickenlooper sounded receptive and said the governor was being fair to business.

"I think the governor has reached out to the business community and said, 'If we have to get rid of some of the tax credits, some deductions . . . which are the ones you can most live with?' " the mayor said.

He added: "Everyone's got to give a little. There's no argument about that." [...]

In an interview with The Denver Post on Monday, Hickenlooper attempted to clarify his position, saying there was a difference between raising taxes and eliminating a tax break.

"They have the same result on a business, but they're not the same thing," Hickenlooper said." (Tim Hoover, "Hickenlooper talks taxes, for and against," The Denver Post, 1/21/10)

1-10 of 16