Monday, 26 July 2010

Tom Tancredo to Run for Governor of Colorado

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Monday morning, former Congressman Tom Tancredo announced that he would soon be announcing whether he would be running for Governor of Colorado as the candidate of the American Constitution Party (ACP). High noon was the time set by Tancredo for making his final declaration.

On July 22, the Denver Post published a statement written by Tancredo wherein he challenged the two Republican gubernatorial candidates, Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, to throw in the towel if polls taken after the August 10 primary indicated that the leading Democrat in the race, John Hickenlooper, was leading the pack.

To the surprise of no one, neither Republican candidate accepted Tancredo’s challenge. In fact, the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, Dick Wadhams, told The Fix that Tancredo's decision to throw his own hat into the ring will only muddy the partisan waters and would splinter the GOP base and more or less guarantee a Democratic victory. "Tom Tancredo's arrogant decision to go ahead and get in the election today ensures that enough votes will be siphoned off the Republican candidate that Hickenlooper will win," Wadhams said.

Wadhams isn’t alone in his opposition to Tancredo’s candidacy. According to the Denver Post, representatives of 21 state Tea Party groups proclaimed that they have been betrayed by Tom Tancredo and in an open letter appealed to the firebrand and former Congressman not to sabotage the GOP’s electoral chances by running for Governor as a third-party candidate. Relevant text of the letter reads: “Together our groups strongly urge you to reconsider, withdraw your ultimatum, stay in the Republican Party, let the process play out for the governor's race. In other words, to trust and respect the newly awakened, energized and informed voters of Colorado.”

The letter goes on to argue that Tancredo’s candidacy means an "impending disaster, assuring victory for Mayor Hickenlooper and the liberal agenda in Colorado for at least four more years."

Curiously, despite his impressive name recognition and assumption of the American Constitution Party’s nomination for Colorado governor, Tancredo is not that party’s current candidate. That distinction belongs to Benjamin Goss. Benjamin “Big Ben” Goss is still listed on the American Constitution Party’s website as their candidate for Governor of Colorado.

As of the time of publication of this article, Goss has not relinquished his position to the more popular former member of Congress. A press release issued by Goss and published on the ACP’s website, while effectively calling out the hypocrisy of the GOP establishment, makes the question of who will be the party’s gubernatorial candidate no clearer.

Over the course of the past few days there has been a great deal of speculation regarding my candidacy, Congressman Tancredo, and the American Constitution Party. One would think that after the 2008 Presidential Campaign that the Republican Party would understand the importance of presenting consistent conservatives for executive leadership positions. The current primary GOP candidates, Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, demonstrate that the Colorado Republican Party has completely failed this reality test.

Rather than worrying about the internal policies and procedures of a so-called “minor” party, Chairman Wadhams ought to be more concerned with the GOP’s inability to field a genuine conservative candidate with a verifiable ability to stand up to an over-reaching, socialist-leaning Federal Government under Barak Obama.

In this era of runaway government it is of paramount importance that the people of Colorado be offered the strongest candidate possible. Unfortunately, the GOP selection and primary process has only produced a flim-flam flip-flopper in Dan Maes, and a political machine favorite with disclosure problems in Scott McInnis. In short, upon gaining office, there would be little discernable difference between these candidates and Mayor John Hickenlooper. The conservative assertions of both candidates belie the record for both to date.

While these minor candidates stand on their separate stumps claiming to be consistent conservatives and thump their chests loudly in self-interest, the American Constitution Party stands in stark contrast by proceeding with measured concern regarding the future of both our State and our Nation. Neither of the GOP candidates as presented are electable. Should they continue in their blindly vapid pursuit of the office of Governor, neither independents nor sound-minded Republicans will find themselves able to cast a vote for their election.

I call on Chairman Wadhams to stop worrying about the American Eagle flying outside his fence and to be more concerned with the coyotes squabbling in his own hen house.  The Chairman’s statements echo more distress than substance.  His shrill cries of dismay can only be heard as a cry of “Wolf.”

When the GOP finally learns that the hard-working, over-burdened families of Colorado are more concerned about their children’s future, than they are about the future viability of the GOP, then perhaps the GOP will return to its true roots:  Strict Constitutionalism and Responsible Governance.

According to a statement issued by Tancredo to, however, Tancredo claims, “I’ve met him [Goss] and we’ve talked briefly. He sounds like he’s willing to let this process go forward, but I don’t want to put words in his mouth. There’s a process here. The candidate has to pull out, then they have to vote me in.”

Tancredo’s candidacy may seem like a localized non-issue, but it's not, given the former Congressman’s zealous opposition to the invasion of the United States by millions of illegal aliens. In fact, recently (as reported earlier in The New American) Tom Tancredo’s conservative bona fides have multiplied in Colorado for his support of the “Platform for Prosperity.”

Several planks of the Platform are cut from the same old wood as the more mainstream Republican agenda — smaller government, lower taxes, etc. However, among the predictable pabulum, there are a few points in the list that do stand out as particularly constitutionally minded and worthwhile. For example, there is the promise to shore up the erosion of states' rights. The Platform states: “We commit to using our voices, votes and veto pen to push back on a federal government that is too big, too intrusive, and all-too-eager to seize power from the states. We believe in protecting states' rights under the Tenth Amendment. We oppose future 'stimulus' bills or other federal spending bills that serve no valid economic purpose and only add to the federal deficit.” If adhered to by candidates for office in Colorado, perhaps the zeal would spread throughout the governors’ offices nationwide and serve as a powerful stick with which the encroaching leviathan of the federal government might be beaten back and restrained as our Founders intended.

Particularly timely in light of the battle brewing in advance of the imminent enforcement of Arizona’s S.B. 1070, an encouraging element of the agenda is the commitment to stem the tide of illegal aliens and to punish those businesses employing undocumented workers. “We commit to using our voices, votes, and veto pen to support a mandatory workplace verification mechanism that will assist employers in ensuring that their employees are in the United States legally,” the platform reads.

As it stands today, Tancredo is saying the right things and he has the necessary conservative credentials to back up his statement: he served five terms in the House of Representatives where he was an outspoken foe of amnesty proposals and he ran for President in 2008 on the strength of a promise to repel the invasion of illegal immigrants.

Regardless, it is the people of Colorado who will have the final say. If the national and state leadership of the ACP can convince “Big Ben” to step aside, then the bell might be tolling for the conservative hegemony of the establishment GOP in Colorado.

Photo of Tom Tancredo: AP Images

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