From the Boston Herald (September 1st):
LIBERAL, Kansas – Colorado gubernatorial hopeful Dan Maes’ murky past in law enforcement in neighboring Kansas has become the latest distraction in his gaffe-ridden campaign.
Maes has claimed he was fired by the police department in Liberal in the 1980s because police and politicians were corrupt, and he told supporters that he worked undercover for state investigators gathering information on a local bookmaking ring.
But the Kansas Bureau of Investigation denies Maes ever worked for them, and Liberal’s police department won’t talk about Maes.
Liberal, Kansas! The irony deities are in fine form!
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His shadowy law enforcement resume is the latest distraction in a race in which Maes was fined for campaign finance violations and drew criticism over remarks that he would fire thousands of state workers.
Maes, who defeated former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis for the GOP nomination, had previously said he was fired from the police department in Liberal — a community of 21,000 that is home to the Wizard of Oz museum — because he got too close to higher-ups. In a letter to supporters in August he went further, saying he was placed undercover by the KBI to gather information inside a bookmaking ring that was allegedly selling drugs.
Maes later acknowledged he was involved — but not employed — by the KBI.
Bob Blecha, director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, said there is no record of Maes working for the bureau or as an undercover agent. He said there was an investigation of bookmaking in Liberal at the time but “it was unsuccessful.”
Sheena Lynch, Liberal’s city personnel director, confirmed that Maes worked for the police department from Sept. 21, 1983, to July 12, 1985, but refused to discuss the circumstances of his departure. Liberal Police Chief Alan Sill, who worked for the KBI until 1996, also refused to discuss Maes’ performance as an officer, calling it a personnel matter.
Retired Liberal Police Chief Rick Kistner, who now lives in Florida, said he doesn’t remember Maes or any bookmaking investigation. And Maes’ former boss, Sonny Ralston, who was chief of detectives at the time, did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment.
In a story Wednesday, The Denver Post asked Maes about his claims of working undercover in Kansas — to which Maes responded that “those comments might have been incorrect comments.” He didn’t elaborate, but his spokesman, Nate Strauch, said Wednesday that Maes isn’t backing off his account.
Maes, a businessman from the Denver suburb of Evergreen, rode tea party support to defeat McInnis in the Colorado GOP Aug. 10 primary. He faces Democrat John Hickenlooper, who is Denver’s mayor, and former Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo in the general election.
Before the primary, Maes paid a $17,500 fine for improperly paying himself $40,000 from campaign funds for mileage reimbursements.
Maes also raised eyebrows by telling a forum of energy leaders that he would fire 2,000 state workers “just like that” if elected. And he said a Denver bike-sharing program could threaten residents’ “personal freedoms” because it is part of an attempt to control U.S. cities. Maes said that an international environmental group that promotes Denver’s B-Cycle program is part of a “greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”
Top Colorado Republicans are attempting to convince gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes to drop his bid for governor by the end of Friday, a well-placed Republican in the state tells POLITICO.
In a meeting Friday morning, party chairman Dick Wadhams and other members of the state GOP executive committee met with Maes to present what one called “damaging evidence” that hasn’t yet been made public but would further erode his standing as a candidate, according to the source.
A Maes spokesman indicated that the candidate was meeting with those who want him out of the race.
“Dan is listening to the concerns of those who believe he should stay in the race, as well as those who believe he should step aside. He has no plans to exit the race at this time,” said Maes spokesman Nate Strauch.
He lost the endorsements of former Sen. Hank Brown and former state Senate president John Andrews.
Early Friday afternoon, GOP Senate nominee Ken Buck also withdrew his support for Maes, the latest signal that his time as a candidate may be limited to days, if not hours.
Further complicating the GOP’s fortunes is former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who said he would only end his third-party bid if Maes stepped aside as well. Polls have consistently shown Democratic nominee John Hickenlooper holding a double-digit advantage over both Maes and Tancredo.
The Republican source said the timing of Maes’s potential exit is key in order to halt the printing of ballots while the party convenes a replacement committee to select another candidate.
“If the secretary of state learns about a change in candidacy today, they would delay ballot printing. This is the Hail Mary pass,” said the source.
[Republican consultant John] Ransom said Wadhams and the GOP establishment should be blamed for what’s become a “fiasco.”
“Dick used party resources to chase every decent candidate for governor out of the race; he kept the McInnis scandal alive by chatting on background in the press about how McInnis ‘had to’ drop out; and finally all Wadhams can offer the party now is recycled candidates like Jane Norton, who just lost an election and Josh Penry, who didn’t even have to fortitude to make it through three months of campaigning for governor last year. It’s time to dump Dick Wadhams too,” said Ransom.
Guess what, kids! Danny Boy ain’t goin’ anywhere! From THE DAILY SENTINEL:
Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes will march ahead in what his party chairman says is a virtually impossible task for the candidate: trying to recapture the governor’s mansion.
Maes, in a news release issued about 90 minutes before the Secretary of State’s Office was to certify the Nov. 2 general-election ballot, said he decided to remain on the ballot “after several days of deliberation.”
A defiant Maes said in his own statement that he “listened equally to those who wanted me in this race and those who did not, and after internalizing that advice, I’m proud to say I’m in it to win it.”