Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 16, 20174min6170

Well, here’s a new idea courtesy of Colorado gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell: If you’re elected official and you’re running for higher office, get off the government payroll.

“You have to show up to your job to get paid, shouldn’t your elected officials have to do the same before asking for a promotion?” asks the 55-second ad called “Resign to Run”

Let’s see who the entrepreneur from Castle Rock might be talking about in the governor’s race: state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, possibly Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter, and the ex gubernatorial candidate turned attorney general hopeful George Brauchler … but not Cary Kennedy; she stepped down from her job as Denver’s chief financial officer last year, presumably to ready for the race. Mike Johnston was term-limited out of the state Senate last year, so he caught a break, and Greg Lopez hasn’t been the mayor of Parker since the early 1990s.

Of course, the flaw in this, unless Victor gets in other changes, would be that the governor, usually a Democrat, would be able to appoint the replacement attorney general and treasurer, offices usually won by Republicans in Colorado. That’s how Democrat Bernie Buescher became secretary of state in 2009, when Republican Mike Coffman was elected to Congress; Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter appointed him.

The bill is a work in progress, Mitchell’s campaign indicated Thursday.

“We are exploring details, but (as with term limits) we don’t think congressional candidates or federal officeholders could be under this, legally. But we’re exploring,” said David Hill, an adviser to Mitchell’s campaign who is a former Texas A&M professor who was director of the Public Policy Resources Laboratory and founding director of The Texas Poll.

“… There are a lot of moving parts here and we are exploring judiciously. But we believe the policy is sound. Several other states already have this, so the policy is not without precedent.”

He added, “This is how good policy is made. We advance a broad outline of a proposal and then get feedback, both from legal and political sources. Then we move to finalizing the proposal, based on the input received. That is how Victor Mitchell operates.”

Mitchell served one term in the state House before leaving to focus on the business for a few years.

He’s proposing a law to force those who have been elected to full-time state or local offices to resign before seeking a higher office.

“Taxpayers should not be forced to continue to pay the salaries of officeholders who are seeking promotion to a higher office,” Mitchell said in a statement. “Campaigning is almost a full-time job these days and we can’t expect an officeholder to run for a different office without neglecting their current office responsibilities.

“This law would not prevent anyone from seeking any office they choose. It would merely prevent neglect of duty and taxpayer subsidies of campaigners. I don’t like corporate welfare, and I don’t like welfare for politicians, either.”

Mitchell linked his proposal to term Limits, which he said cuts down career politicians, and the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights “promoted financial accountability.

“Resign-To-Run will help keep the political insiders accountable to the people that elect them,” contends Mitchell. “Don’t expect the establishment to embrace this new idea, but I am already seeing that the people of Colorado believe it’s a welcome check on political ambition.”


Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 9, 20174min11060

Are you ready for this?

“I see this race as Tom Tancredo and everyone else.”

That’s what Colorado Republican sage Dick Wadhams said on “The Dan Caplis Show” on 710KNUS Wednesday afternoon about next year’s governor’s race. And nobody knows races like Wadhams, a national-caliber campaign guru who ran the race for the last Republican governor, Bill Owens, in 1998.

Tancredo is the alt-right icon who is hard to imagine in the front of the pack, but if the crowded Republican field has four or five candidates in the race, then Tancredo has the edge.

He has a dedicated group of Trump-type supporters who back his tough views on immigration and other bedrock conservative values, which Wadhams estimated at about 23 percent of primary voters.

“No one else comes close to that,” he told Caplis.

Other Republicans tell Colorado Politics that Tancredo’s ceiling is also at about 23 percent, because moderate voters won’t support his strident views. That means sending him into the general election makes it easy on the Democrat — another big field of capable hopefuls that include Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, Congressman Jared Polis, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy and former state Sen. Mike Johnston.

But Wadhams said he expects presumed GOP frontrunner Walker Stapleton, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, entrepreneur Victor Mitchell and retired investment banker Doug Robinson to make it to the primary by either petition by a nomination at the state Republican convention.

“That’s quite a few on the ballot to try to take down one guy,” Wadhams said on the radio.

Coffman got in the race Wednesday, and she, Tancredo and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler were expected to divide up the far-right vote, leaving Stapleton with an easy route to the nomination. But word broke Wednesday that Brauchler is eyeing a jump to the attorney general’s race, now that Coffman is running for governor.

“That probably strengthened Tom Tancredo’s hand in the primary,” Wadhams said.

He saw Brauchler’s failure to launch in the governor’s race as three-fold: Brauchler had dismal fund-raising in the third quarter that raised doubts about his viability. He let go of his campaign manager and said he wouldn’t fill the job until next year, which Wadhams thought was a terrible tactical decision, and then Tancredo’s entry into the race.

If Brauchler runs for attorney general he could face state Rep. Cole Wist in the GOP primary. Wist, the assistant House minority leader and a powerhouse attorney, is considering getting in.

“I don’t know that George can win the nomination without a primary, but, yeah, on balance I do think this is a good move for George,” Wadhams said.

Caplis, a staunch Republican, said the GOP field in the governor’s race — eight or nine candidates depending on what Brauchler does — doesn’t have any “knuckleheads.”

“We have to avoid the circular firing squad, (but) how do we make sure of that when we have a stable of ambitious … very talented people who have fought their way to the top,” Caplis said. “These are fighters.”


Ernest LuningErnest LuningNovember 3, 20176min444

Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, a Democrat running for governor in next year's election, pledged Friday to run a clean campaign like the ones waged by Gov. John Hickenlooper — who famously took a shower with his clothes on in a TV ad pledging to reject negative campaigning — and challenged the other candidates in the race to join her.