Maes raises only $14K in 2 weeks for Colo gov race | SummitDaily.com

Maes raises only $14K in 2 weeks for Colo gov race

STEVEN K. PAULSON
Associated Press Writer

DENVER (AP) – Colorado GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes reported raising only $14,000 in the past two weeks, leaving political observers wondering how he can continue to the November election.

American Constitution Party candidate Tom Tancredo reported raising $120,000 and Democrat John Hickenlooper raised $218,000, according to reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office.

A Maes campaign spokesman had no immediate response.

Political consultant Floyd Ciruli said Maes has been abandoned by the Republican Party and tea party supporters and he questioned whether Maes could continue campaigning with only $24,000 left in the bank.

“He can’t run a campaign on that. All he can do is go through the motions and attend debates,” Ciruli said.

Tancredo also outpaced Maes in August fundraising, collecting $200,485 compared with Maes’ $50,201. At the time, Maes reported nearly $18,000 cash on hand, compared with more than $141,000 for Tancredo.

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On Tuesday, Hickenlooper said he had $229,000 in the bank, compared with $81,000 for Tancredo and $24,000 for Maes.

Last week, Maes predicted record fundraising.

“Let me just say that this is the day we are going to raise $500,000 thru small and medium donations to show the establishment and the Colorado voter that we have the support needed to win,” he said Friday. The message was still on his page Tuesday, the day after Maes filed his latest report.

Tancredo’s spokesman, Cliff Dodge, said the lack of financial support will hurt Maes.

“I don’t think he’s going to be viable. I don’t think this is going to excite anybody,” Dodge said.

Tea party supporters, through their newspaper The Constitionalist Today, said they continue to support Maes, and they predicted he will win, even though Tancredo and Hickenlooper have outspent him.

Tea party movement spokeswoman Lu Busse did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Maes has attacted a lot of attention, much of it negative, after he paid a $17,500 fine for campaign finance violations. He vowed to fire 2,000 state workers “just like that” if elected, even though it may be illegal. He drew international ridicule when he suggested a Denver bike-sharing program is part of a United Nations conspiracy to control American cities.

Maes also claimed he was fired by the police department in Liberal, Kan., because police and politicians were corrupt. He said he worked undercover for state investigators, but the Kansas Bureau of Investigation denied Maes ever worked for them, and Liberal’s police department won’t talk about Maes.

Maes said he was providing information to police on a gambling ring at the request of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. He said he was then fired for associating with “bad characters.”

Prominent Republicans, including former Sen. Hank Brown and Senate candidate Ken Buck, have abandoned Maes, as have several prominent tea party leaders. All cited character issues with Maes.