7th Congressional District Republican hopeful Lang Sias, who is going up against Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier for the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent liberal Democrat Ed Perlmutter sent out a press release that John McCain will be visiting Sias' campaing office on Sunday evening:
7th Congressional candidate Lang Sias will host Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday evening at Sias' Arvada headquarters. McCain will visit with weekend phone bank volunteers and rally with supporters.
Senator McCain is expected to arrive at Sias headquarters at 6:30pm. Campaign headquarters is at 5790 Yukon St.
Sias worked on McCain's 2008 campaign and I presume the men are friends, just as Jane Norton and McCain are friends.
What strikes me as interesting is that although I have not paid extremely close attention to the 7th CD GOP debate, I haven't heard Sias criticized for supporting McCain, or at least not as much as Frazier criticizes Sias for not voting in an election in the past decade. (Something Sias also acknowledges was an error on his part as both he and Frazier make specific claims to "not be perfect"...as if we thought otherwise. And I say that as someone who thinks both men are solid candidates and solid people.)
Presumably, this means (correctly) that having supported McCain in the last election doesn't automatically make someone a RINO or a "squish"; certainly nobody would suggest that Lang Sias, a Lt. Colonel in the Air National Guard and former Top Gun instructor, is anybody's liberal.
(This is of course not to say that nobody who supported McCain was a RINO or that conservatives or libertarians didn't have good reason to refuse to support McCain, which was the conclusion I reached.)
Yet Ken Buck and his supporters are simply glued to the guilt-by-association tactic, slamming Norton for knowing McCain and for having him campaing for her.
That said, since we all know that that's one of the biggest criticisms made of Jane, whether it's reasonable or not (and it's not), it still strikes me as a risky move, or at least a move designed to appeal to people other than the usual GOP base, to ask McCain to come stump for a campaign. That goes for Sias as well as Norton. It's a sign that neither is currently confident that he or she is in the lead.
With five Republicans voting for her and one Democrat voting against her, the horrifically ignorant-of-the-intent-of-the-Constitution Elena Kagan was confirmed to the US Supreme Court this afternoon.
I have argued repeatedly in the past that elections have consequences and that Supreme Court nominees should be approved even by the opposition party if their only real gripe is a modest or even somewhat immodest difference in overall political leaning. But regardless of the party of the president who nominates someone, a person who is either unqualified (Harriet Miers), irredeemably biased (Sonia Sotomayor), or shows an utter disregard for the plain language of the Constitution (Elena Kagan), should be blocked from taking a seat on any federal bench, much less the most important court in the world.
At least she can't be too much worse than the man she's replacing.
Still, Kagan is the best argument yet as far as nominations go (though Donald Berwick is a pretty close second) against Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. Too bad she'll be around long after The One has departed.
I've said before and will say again that I'd rather vote for Dan Maes for elective office than for Scott McInnis. But neither man should be -- or will be -- elected Governor of Colorado.
Now prepare for a brief accounting lesson from a non-accountant...
In recent radio interviews, Mr. Maes has defended his business history and personal income in a couple of ways. First, he said that the media has focused on his low income numbers in recent years while ignoring the "six-figure" incomes he had at some point during the 1990s. However, as the Denver Post pointed out rather aggressively, nobody talked about Maes' 1990's earnings because he didn't disclose them.
This sort of rhetoric by Maes is causing people to e-mail me privately with statements like "the fundamental fraud of his campaign is just starting to come out." This is not only bad news for Maes' gubernatorial aspirations but also for any future possibility of his winning elective office.
And I can't say that my coming comments are likely to help either, but things are what they are.
First, and this is something that I've mentioned before in a comment thread to a prior note, but never in a blog posting itself, Maes supporters suggested when Maes' low earnings during the past decade were disclosed that many small businessmen pay themselves a small salary and leave the company's profits in the company for growth or to minimize tax liability. Then, in at least one radio interview, Maes made what sounded to me like the same claim.
[If any reader of these pages has a strong grasp of accounting and wants to either support or criticize my coming conclusion, please do!]
However, that leave-it-in-the-firm strategy only works with C-corporations or with LLCs that opt to be taxed like C-corporations which very few do.
LLCs (and S-corporation) are pass-through entities taxed like partnerships, meaning that all the income or loss from the company is passed directly through to the members (technical name for owners of an LLC). In other words, if I'm a 50% owner/member of an LLC which makes $10,000 in a year, then $5,000 of profit goes directly (via tax forms K-1 and 1065) to my income on my personal return. There is no such thing as leaving profits in the company for tax purposes even if you do leave the company's revenue in a company bank account.
C-corporations, the most common type of organization for large companies and for small companies which want to issue actual shares of stock, are taxed at the corporate level. It's only payments to others which are taxable to the recipient, whether compensation like salary or investment return like interest or dividends.
Maes' company, Amaesing Credit Solutions was indeed an LLC, as you can see in these Articles of Organization.
I would bet money that Maes' LLC did not elect to be taxed as a C-corp because (1) most people don't even know you can and (2) it's usually a stupid decision, and is particularly so for someone who has no other income than from the company.
Corporate tax rates are higher than personal tax rates except for between $373,650 and $10,000,000 in income (if I aggregated those tables correctly), and in that window the difference is only 1%, whereas the advantage of personal income over corporate income is much greater at lower income levels. Therefore, it would be stupid for a small businessman to elect to have his LLC taxed as a C-corp unless that businessman's other income were in 7 figures, and even then it probably wouldn't make sense because of the bigger tax rate gap at lower levels. (In other words, while the person could save 1% in tax on the earnings from, say, $1 million in income to $3 million in income, he'd be paying so much more in tax on the first few hundred thousand dollars in income that it would probably be a wash. I don't care enough to create a spreadsheet to figure out the break-even point, if there is one, between opting for partnership-type taxation or corporate-type taxation but you get the idea.)
Furthermore, if you have other income and are running a loss in your LLC (as Maes did and said he expected to do in his business' first year), you'd likely want to be taxed as an LLC because then your LLC loss offsets your other income and you have no tax liability. And you can carry the loss forward if necessary just as a company could do.
That was all a long way of saying that Maes' LLC was almost certainly taxed in the default way that LLCs are taxed.
When I asked Mr. Maes how his LLC was taxed, he said he didn't remember.
The ramifications of default LLC taxation as a partnership is that Maes' statement that his income was low because he left the money in the company cannot be true. Specifically, it cannot be true that Maes' reported income was low because he left profits in the company's bank account rather thank transferring them to his own account.
Now, it could be true that he used company profits to invest in capital infrastructure for the company, but given the nature of the credit reporting business, it's unlikely he needed anything more than a couple of computers and possibly an additional employee or two. Instead, it's likely that, like many businesses, his was a fairly low margin business with relatively low profit per transaction in which you try to make money by processing lots of transactions. You still have overhead to cover, however, so it takes a fair bit of revenue to leave enough gross profit just to cover rent and salary, and only after that base "nut" is made is there true net profit from the margin on additional revenue.
Maes' business certainly seemed to have good revenue growth until the financial collapse in 2008, and it's possible that it could have turned a decent profit if the the economic world hadn't fallen apart. But it's very unlikely in my opinion that those low/middle-six-figure revenues in the company's last decent year actually turned into substantial profit. That's not a criticism of Maes. It's the normal path of many small businesses in their first years and it's the path of many large businesses as well. Look at Amazon.com or eBay or even most banks...lots and lots of small-margin transactions. Nothing wrong with the model if you can get big enough.
But it is a criticism of Mr. Maes when I say that I simply don't buy his assertion that his reported personal income was low even though his company was substantially profitable. That explanation strikes me as misleading at best. The company's revenue growth was strong, but that's not the same as remarkable profit growth. Again, that's not a shot at Maes, but I simply disbelieve his explanation that his cash management choices were the cause of low reported personal income.
Second, and getting back to the issue of trusting that Mr. Maes has the fundamental competence to be the CEO of a state, is Maes' record of keeping up with his required LLC filings of Annual Reports. I'm not the first person to mention this, but since I just got around to going to the Secretary of State's web site myself I'm remarking on it now.
Dan and Karen Maes' company, Amaesing Credit Solutions, was officially created (as far as the State of Colorado is concerned) in 2005, according to the Secretary of State's business database. There is only one requirement by the state to maintain the "good standing" status for an LLC and that's an Annual Report filing (which takes about 1 minute online) with its accompanying fee.
In 2007 and 2008, the Maeses (I use the plural because it looks as if his wife did most of the filings) were delinquent in those filings, with 2007 only being a week late and 2008 being six months late.
On the one hand, I don't want to make too much of this; I've been late on an LLC filing as well. However, I usually have between two and four LLCs operating at a time, as well as doing business in my own name. I, like Maes, don't have a decent excuse since the state sends out a post card reminder of the report due date well in advance of that date. It seems clear that Maes' company was their only source of measurable income during this period and one would have thought that it would be important not to be delinquent in their filings, not least because they were struggling financially and the cost of curing a delinquency is $100 versus the $10 fee for filing electronically and on time (or $20 for filing electronically but slightly late.)
(While no Annual Report has been filed for 2009 or 2010 for Maes' company, that is not uncommon for companies which are no longer operating and don't want to pay the fee to the state for officially reporting the company as closed. Indeed, two of my no-longer operating entities are in that same situation. I'm just not sure it's worth spending $25 each to tell the state they're closed since there no tax or other implications from just leaving them delinquent. So I give Maes a pass on not filing Annual Reports for the last couple of years. In fact, I wish he hadn't said that not filing the 2009 and 2010 reports were "clerical errors" because that makes me question his competence even more. I have two inactive LLCs which are delinquent, and it is not a clerical error. It's just a waste of money to officially close them at the state level.)
It may seem like a small thing, but for someone running for governor, I'd expect keeping up with the most basic state-required paperwork, especially when it can truly be handled in less than 5 minutes, would be par for the course. It's just another small clue for me that Mr. Maes isn't ready for the highest elected office in the State of Colorado. Just another piece of the puzzle being dropped in, making the picture clearer.
[Update: It was pointed out to me after I wrote this note that the Denver Post is asking similar questions HERE, and adding questions of Maes being late on a range of other fees and filings. Again, the picture gets clearer...Dan Maes has absolutely not demonstrated that he is capable of holding a job as massive as that of Governor of Colorado. All evidence points to his simply not being ready for this challenge. It's extremely hard to say knowing that the Democrat is John Hickenlooper, but I think I can say I'd rather have a competent Dem than an incompetent Republican, especially if we can take back the state legislature. I'd also repeat what I said before: Maes should NOT be telling the Denver Post that he will "update the filings" for the inactive company. It implies that he was in error, adding to the view of incompetence, when in reality lots of people just don't bother spending the time and money to file an essentially unnecessary form with the state. He should have said "I did that intentionally" and turned it into a suggestion for the Secretary of State, showing an ear for clever regulatory improvements. Instead, I'm going to make a suggestion to the Secretary of State even though I'm not running for anything.]
One other item of small interest: I noticed that the Maeses created another company, Amaesing Education Resources, LLC, in June, 2008. It appears never to have gotten off the ground, and is now also delinquent with its state filings. (Again, that's no big deal if the company is dead.) When I asked Dan Maes what the company is, his response was simply "It's an in active business." (sic) The Colorado Statesman has reported that Maes said it was a video production company that never got off the ground. Again, not a big deal on its own but sorta fits the ever-clearer picture of a man who needs a little better focus and whom I just can't trust to gain that focus as CEO of our state.
I've mentioned a few times on these pages, including in my note yesterday about John McCain coming to campaign for Jane Norton, that I think Ken Buck's position on Afghanistan (at least as I understand it) is closer to correct than Jane's.
While Jane supports a red-meat fist-pounding "double down in Afghanistan" strategy, Ken seems to argue for setting limited goals and getting out of there, though without setting a date certain for withdrawal of troops.
My former editor at Human Events magazine, Jed Babbin, who also served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush, is a serious guy and a serious thinker about politics and national security. Particularly given his background in the Air Force and the Department of Defense, it can't be easy for him to think what he's thinking and write what he's writing. (I feel similarly, on a much smaller scale, as the son of two military officers.)
In a pair of articles for the American Spectator, Jed argues that we are not winning and, most importantly, cannot win in Afghanistan, and that nation-building in the Middle East is a poorly-conceived strategy representing a road to disaster for the United States.
It takes someone like Jed to write this because nobody can call him a "surrender monkey." Jed is a hard-core American political warrior with a deep understanding of the power -- and limitations -- of the military and a deep love for his nation.
I can only hope that people in the halls of power in Washington are reading these articles which I offer to you with my strongest recommendation:
To be clear, I believe that Jed (and I) still represent a minority of Republican voters in holding this view. But I think that will change -- and perhaps more quickly than many believe (and more quickly than neo-cons will like.) Perhaps that's just arrogance of thinking that I know better -- or at least that Jed does -- but to me the parallels to Vietnam are pretty obvious, and the public's turn against that war was fairly ferocious (even though, like now, it was a Democrat president who really ramped up troop commitment)...though maybe not as much among conservatives as I would have liked.
Conservatives and/or Republicans need to learn that actually kicking ass and breaking things is not necessarily a more powerful strategy or more powerful message than a more restrained posture ala Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly and carry a big stick." They need to learn that war is extraordinarily expensive, costing us not just dollars but the lives of our children, parents, and siblings. They need to learn that very few things, and certainly not Afghanistan, are worth "paying any price." They need to learn that "doubling down" might be a bad bet when the original bet was already at least as much as you could actually afford to lose.
In any case, Jed has made the point far better than I can, so again I urge you to read those articles (twice) and to pass them along to your friends, whether they're in the "double down" camp, the "get out now" camp, or somewhere in between.
This is not a video game we're playing where when you lose your men you just throw in another quarter. Our flailing and failing efforts in Afghanistan pose a serious risk to our nation, not just from the direct impact of eventual outright failure but from the distraction away from taking on even more important enemies, by which Jed and I mean people and ideologies. Today, we're cutting out cancer cells as they are found growing without attacking the source from which the cells are metastasizing. In the end, that means the cancer wins.
Jed Babbin deserves our thanks for having the courage to say what needs to be said. I just hope people are paying attention in Washington, D.C.
Note: I sent Jane Norton the links to the articles and she said she'd read them. She referred me to a Time magazine cover article, some of which you can read here:
What can you say to something as horrific, as heart-rending, as that? How can one not want to do something to stop savagery like that? It seems heartless to argue that it may not be our responsibility to stop such barbarity, yet I do end up concluding that.
Remember, Jed's argument (which I share) is absolutely not to abandon the world to the cult-of-cruelty that is Islam. It is instead to fight against Islam more effectively by not plowing all our resources into an unwinnable strategy and instead focusing more on the source of the disease than on the most visible symptom. Those of us who argue against continued expenditure of American blood and treasure in the Hindu Kush or along the Euphrates must avoid being portrayed as surrendering or not giving a damn. Instead, we believe that we're currently somewhere between fighting the wrong war and fighting the right war the wrong way, neither of which will end up helping anybody but the bad guys in the long run.
Note: For another author's take (and I think this guy is no conservative) as to the folly of war in Afghanistan, see THIS article from the UK Telegraph.
If Republicans make any progress in starting a serious discussion about birthright citizenship, a subset of which is often called "anchor babies", the media will repeatedly mischaracterize and demonize that discussion.
Yesterday's article in the UK Telegraph was a perfect example, and surely the first of dozens or hundreds to come in left-leaning media around the world.
The Telegraph headline gave it away: "Republicans wage war on immigrants in constitution citizenship challenge"
Following is the letter to the editor which I sent to the newspaper. It's one of the only newspapers, probably the only one, to which I have sent multiple letters but never had one published. That's sort of interesting to me considering that the Telegraph isn't even the most left-leaning major paper in England. (That's probably the Guardian...) Anyway, here's my response to the newspaper:
There is nothing in the discussion about "birthright citizenship" which constitutes a "war on immigrants." Remember that the primary issue is children of people who enter the US illegally and are therefore not immigrants. They are, at most, migrants. And while you say that a discussion of whether to stop automatically considering the US-born children of these illegal migrants, or children born to women "on vacation" in the US, as American citizens tramples on a "sacrosanct" Constitution, you neglect to note that the text of the 14th Amendment says that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." (emphasis mine) But illegal migrants' very presence without a visa indicates that they are not subject to the jurisdiction of the state or nation in which they reside; a similar argument can be made regarding tourists. Therefore, the question of birthright citizenship for children of short-term visitors or illegally-present people is a matter for serious debate, Constitutional interpretation, and an examination of the intent of the amendment's authors. It is not a xenophobic attack on the Constitution or immigrants.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge in San Francisco overturned Proposition 8, the voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage, saying it does not and will not stand constitutional scrutiny, namely the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
My take is the same as the last time: I have judges overturning voters, but I can't be totally against anything that might move the government to get out of the marriage business.
More here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/us/05prop.html
I mentioned on my radio show the other day that the BP oil spill has all but disappeared from the news. It's not because the well is plugged, though that's obviously a big deal -- the news had died down a fair bit before it was plugged.
No, the main reason you've heard almost nothing about the spill in the last few weeks is that the oil is disappearing. If oil were washing up on shore anywhere, the liberal media, eager to bash oil companies, hurt Republicans (even though Democrats in the Gulf area mostly support drilling as well), and especially to show images of oil-soaked animals, would be barking from every hilltop about the devastation caused by the disaster.
I'm not saying they'd be wrong to report on such news, even if they would make it sound worse than it is. But one would think that the interest of real "fair and balanced" reporting, they would make some mention of the fact that the oil seems to be disappearing at a rate nobody could have predicted and few seem able to explain well.
My conspiracy theory for today involves the media -- in this case the "new media" -- continuing to try to downplay the fact that the BP oil spill will likely be much less damaging than anybody expected.
Here's the story: The top headline in Yahoo's financial news this morning was this story from Reuters: "Nearly 3/4 of BP Spill Oil Gone from the Gulf".
However, clicking on the link -- a link to a story which doesn't help Barack Obama -- takes you to this story instead: "Service sector grows more quickly in July", a story which is helpful, or at least not harmful, to him.
While Yahoo is keeping you from reading the story, I'll give you a link that actually works:
Interestingly, while human action has been responsible for eliminating some of the oil, the majority of the oil disappearance has been due to natural causes. In a way, the earth's self-corrective response reminds me of one of the biggest errors that global warming alarmists make, namely assuming that neither natural systems nor human civilization can adapt to changes.
p.s. I don't really believe that Yahoo is conspiring to keep you from reading the story, especially since the error makes them look incompetent. But it's still fun to write/think about...and the (lack of) oil story is an important one.
While listening to an NPR news broadcast yesterday, the announcer talked about the latest failure of the Senate to pass legislation, this time legislation relating to oil and gas drilling, by saying that it failed due to "lack of bipartisan support."
As someone who thinks about words carefully (and even if I don't always do a great job), something about that sentence just didn't sit right with me, and I finally figured it out.
The sentence implies that the bill was completely supported by Democrats and that the opposition -- to a bill which the news writer apparently supports -- is all the Republicans' fault.
A much better way to describe the situation was a "bipartisan lack of support", with at least two Democrats opposing the measure which includes a retroactive raising of the liability cap on oil companies for spills -- even though there's no indication that the cost of the BP disaster won't be voluntarily covered by BP. (As they should, of course.)
I admit that having a few Dems and all Republicans (at least for now) oppose the measure as it stands is not a balanced level of opposition. But the media's consistent portrayal of the Republicans as the only reason that the Senate doesn't pass everything that comes before it is getting tiresome. In fact, however, that portrayal is not necessarily to the Republicans' disadvantage. Harry Reid is extremely unpopular, as is much of the Democrat agenda. To the extent that the GOP is portrayed as the "Party of no", it probably helps them in November.
Republicans should never forget during campaign season, however, to show how even with 59 or 60 Senate seats, plus a huge majority in the House, plus a willing anti-capitalist in the White House, the Democrats are still incapable of governing. And thank goodness for that.
The reader of these pages and listener to the Backbone Radio show who accused me of harmful negative comments (see THIS blog entry in response if you haven't read it already) sent me a follow-up, a response to my response, to which I have offered -- you guessed it -- a response.
Here is the reader's/listener's note to me:
You are an insider guy. You and Rosen both like the old polished worthless politicians we have had here in CO. Penry went to help the Norton campaign which has made one major mistake after another. Penry worked with the Dems to fix PERA which is still a mess. You and Tancredo have abandon the state to the Dems by criticizing both Republican candidates. The more time you, Tancredo and Rosen spend criticizing Maes, the harder it will be for him to run. We've all seen the polls, Maes vs. Tancredo vs. Hickenlooper is 24%, 24%, 46%. Hickenlooper wins. Tancredo is the Johnny-come-lately. He will be responsible for Hickenlooper's win.
You and Rosen are telling the voters that Maes cannot win, therefore, the voters will comply and not vote for him. Thanks a lot. My husband and I have phoned nearly 1,000 voters already on behalf of two Republican candidates. You know what we're hearing? The voters don't know who to vote for because the talk show hosts don't like them. Again, thanks a lot.
Any candidate that gets out because Tancredo wants him to is a weak candidate. I wouldn't expect any candidate to cave to Tancredo's blustering.
Yeah, I like Maes. Since you don't I guess that means you're right and I'm wrong. Well, you and Tancredo will be responsible for Hickenlooper. I hope you like him.
And my response to the commenter is as follows, apologies in advance to Mike Rosen if I misrepresented anything he has said or would say:
I understand that you need to call me an "insider" to make yourself feel more confident in your views which differ from mine. But my history and actions are simply not one of an insider. Just because I might agree with an insider sometimes does not make me one.
Rosen is one of the smartest/wisest guys around, but he and I do disagree at the margins. Indeed, he has a tendency to think that I'm an overly idealistic libertarian, but not as impractical as many libertarians, or more precisely capital-L Libertarians (i.e. members of the Libertarian party.) That said, if you're going to try to insult me by comparing me to Mike Rosen, I guess I'll just play Br'er Rabbit and plead with you not to throw me into the briar patch of the most successful political commentator in Colorado.
Yes, I prefer Jane Norton (slightly) but I've been much harder on McInnis than on Maes. Penry has, on balance, been a great asset to the state, the GOP, and conservatives, even if you don't like his involvement with Norton and even if he might have voted a way you don't like once or twice. I'm sure you know that I haven't voted for a Republican for president since 1992. (Voted Libertarian every time although I really wanted to vote Republican in '08 until we got McCain.) So just what about that proves that I'm an insider? The fact that I endorsed Norton? And nothing else matters? Seriously?
Re: Penry...Is working to try to fix PERA a sin just because you have to work with Dems to get it done?
I and Tancredo and Rosen are not responsible for giving the governorship to the Dems. McInnis is, mostly. Then the people who support Maes as if he's their Golden Calf. Sure, I wish Tancredo had done something different...but then I can't say I know what else there was to do. Hick wins with or without Tancredo in the race if either Maes or McInnis is the GOP nominee. It's not out of the question for Tancredo's involvement to cause some sort of as-yet unimagined or at least as-yet low probability change which could yet pull the bacon out of the fire. But I wouldn't bet much on that possibility and I'd want long odds. Tancredo is far from my first choice in a candidate, as I am not an immigration hawk nor am I a social issues conservative. (That said, Tom did come out for marijuana legalization, which impressed me.) But he's ahead of Maes or McInnis (obviously for very different reasons.)
The idea that voters "comply" with Rosen is silly. And the idea that they "comply" with me is downright ridiculous. Rosen and I say Maes can't win for only one reason: because Maes can't win. There is no ulterior motive. Indeed, Rosen is very aggressive in saying that he wants a Republican to win, first and foremost. I don't say that. I am a Rosen rebel, doing my damnedest to think about person over party even though it annoys Rosen slightly from time to time and even though he may think I'm making a mistake. The beauty of conservative/libertarian politics most of the time is that we don't take a disagreement as a personal affront, unlike liberals.
I won't speak for Rosen. He's obviously more than capable of speaking for himself. As for me, regarding your sarcastic "thanks a lot", your implication is that if listeners to Mike's show or mine or readers of my blog had only availed themselves of other sources of information, they'd know who to vote for. But please, tell me just what you've seen in other media which would inform Republican voters of the sort of insights or data they'd want to make the most well-informed decision. Is your suggestion that my view or Rosen's view is less valuable or even destructive simply because it does not comport with yours? Better bring back the Fairness Doctrine, Eloise style, eh?
No candidate is going to get out because "Tancredo wants him to", nor because "Rosen wants him to" and obviously not because of anything Kaminsky says. I wouldn't expect any candidate to "cave to Tancredo's blustering either." But caving to in-your-face poll results is something entirely different. This is about reality. I'm scared to death of Governor Hickenlooper. But, I cannot in good conscience vote for either of the current Republican candidates for reasons I've made clear previously.
Dan is unqualified and Scott is disqualified.
I DID NOT SAY I DON'T LIKE MAES. I said (1) he can't win, and (2) his lack of any sort of relevant experience and even lack of more than a few months of thinking about policy means he probably shouldn't win. Dan is fairly likeable, which is more than I can say for Scott. Scott is more qualified, but as I say he's also disqualified. I don't want someone who clearly ripped off a foundation running the state. Could you imagine our governor being on a payment play to reimburse the Hasan family for basically stealing $300K from them?
This is not about "right and wrong". I never said you were "wrong" about Maes, though you have said that about me. My analysis is different from yours. As a financial market trader, I know better than most that there is almost never such thing as right and wrong when you're talking about relatively subjective analysis.
At the end of the day, I will accept absolutely zero responsibility for us having Governor Hickenlooper. That said, if Colorado Republicans have to learn a hard lesson, so be it. My son's middle name is not "Rand" for nothin'. Sometimes a lesson needs to be pretty tough for people to learn it. Maybe the Tea Party will learn not to support a candidate whose primary virtue is a complete lack of relevant experience. And maybe the "establishment" money people in the party will learn not to support some guy just because it's "his turn."
In the meantime, you and I (and Rosen) probably agree on a lot more than we disagree on and I would encourage you to keep that in mind as we fight for good government in the future.
I was interested and somewhat surprised to receive a blast e-mail from the Jane Norton campaign with this headline:
Norton, McCain to Press Case for Political Courage in Afghanistan War
Norton and Arizona Senator to Campaign in Colorado Sunday
I sent the following comment to the Norton campaign:
Very interesting strategery to highlight Jane's ties to John McCain since that tie is one of the things most used against her by the GOP base (or at least Buck supporters.) I presume Buck and friends will say "See, I told you so" and Jane will have to respond by saying "This is only about the war on terror...McCain and I agree to disagree on quite a few other issues."
I received the following response/explanation from Josh Penry:
So here's the strategy.
1 - John McCain's approval rating in Colorado is metoric. 69 percent favorable, 22 percent unfavorable, among GOP primary voters.
2 - The 22 percent who dislike John McCain almost universally agree with McCain and Norton on the war - and thus disagree with the Surrender Monkey wing of the Ron Paul movement that Buck has shown sympathies to.
3 - There are about 500,000 live ballots out there right now, many of them have never voted in a primary, but 90 percent of them voted for John McCain. The numbers are conclusive: if you want to enlarge the universe, and we do, McCain can help do it to a greater extent than anyone else.
So when Team Buck attacks McCain all week, it'll feel good. But 69 percent of GOP primary voters will disagree, and lots of voters who don't usually vote in primaries will have one more reason to pay attention - and vote Jane.+
It seems audacious, but the numbers say it's really not and we're on offense until the end.
To me, it does seem audacious, but then major political campaigns do a lot more research than I do. If they believe that being seen with John McCain is a net positive for them, it's hard for me to say that I'm certain they're wrong. But I tend to go with my gut instinct on things and my gut is that they'd better be pretty certain they're going to attract moderate Republicans with this move because they'll certainly turn off the usual core of GOP primary voters.
For the record, I have said that I lean somewhat toward the Buck statements on Afghanistan rather than towards Jane's "double down" approach. I didn't see Buck's statements as being particularly close to Ron Paul's views. In any case, a lot more people will be seeing Norton and McCain talk about Afghanistan than will read (or care about) my view on the subject, and the political impact of McCain coming to Norton's side should be quite an interesting thing to watch.
If McCain seems to help Norton -- which will require Norton to fend off questions about McCain's positions -- or at least prior positions -- on amnesty, cap-and-trade, campaign finance restrictions, etc. -- that will imply some combination of (1) voters believing in McCain 2.0 rather than the RINO we all knew him to be just 18 months ago, and (2) voters believing that Jane Norton is not a female John McCain when it comes to unpopular policy positions among the GOP base. (I have steadfastly maintained from my first meeting with Jane that she is far more solidly conservative than McCain and unhesitatingly distanced herself from him on at least those three issues mentioned above.) McCain seems to be selling McCain 2.0 well enough in Arizona that he leads his primary challenger, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, by 20 points in the most recent Rasmussen poll. (Hayworth is not a particularly appealing candidate for many reasons, however, and even though I dislike(d) McCain enough to argue against him during the 2008 presidential election, I still like him better than Hayworth.) McCain also leads his Democratic opponent by 19% in a poll released yesterday -- a poll which shows that the Democrat leads Hayworth.
Finally, given the relatively daring nature of this move by the Norton campaign, it reinforces my view that this is probably an extremely close race, notwithstanding (or perhaps made even more clear by) the alternating poll results, one showing Jane ahead, then one showing Ken Buck ahead.
Indeed, I'm thinking that all three major primaries (GOP Senate and Gov, and Dem Senate) will be decided by less than 5 percentage points and guessing the results at this point is little better than flipping a coin. I am rooting for Jane, though I don't think Buck is a bad guy or a bad candidate. I'm rooting for McInnis and Maes both to lose, though I suppose if I had to want one of them to win the primary it would be McInnis because I think there's a very slightly higher chance that he'll then agree to get out. And I'd rather run against Bennet than Romanoff just because if Romanoff knocks off an incumbent, he'll have some additional momentum.
A friend of mine commented on the McCain visit "If he can talk Sarah into coming, I might actually show up." Norton would indeed be very fortunate if Sarah Palin would give a full-throated endorsement such as she implied with her "Pink Elephants" comments a few months back, though I sorta think she would have endorsed already if she were going to. If she proves me wrong, that could be a game-changer in the race...much more than McCain could ever be.