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Yep. 96 HOUR needs to stop hording that information. Who sill has it all? Colin??

Real Deal

Give up valuable information to some of these monkeys? If they matter, then they know (correct use RedHawk) the information, or will obtain it when the time is right. To give them this stuff now is stupid, what are they going to do but loose it and get it into the other sides hands. 96 hour did fail, but the info is still in a safe place, especially if Rove has anything to do with it.

No Deal

So you get to choose who gets the info? No Way. I elected my rep., and he deserves to know where his district stands when it comes to tabor, education, or any other issue they are dealing with. That’s called Representative Democracy, Deal.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Another good post, Red Hawk. Why can't the papers write this kind of story? While people will disagree with you, I think it's great that you put these issues out for discussion. It's not as if you're giving away secrets, but you are writing some stuff that people will have to consider, imho.

The hardest thing about politics is that you're constantly herding kittens.

Anyway, a good effort. Keep them coming.


I never considered about shuttling Pam, et al, around to talk to everyone else. Learn from the lesson. That may just be a first.



It would be helpful if the State Party actually hired people with real world experience in winning campaigns. In fairness, things have improved with the office manager finally learning that returning phone calls is a good for morale. Most the staff is not married, has ever had a job that has paid for performance. Does the phrase, “You get what you pay for sound familiar?”

1. If it is going to be rainy on race day and the track muddy, why do we keep hiring twenty something Thoroughbreds to prance in panic instead of angry and battle tested Mustangs who will buck and snort all the way to the finish line?

Who in the new GOP professional lineup who has earned any real money, owns a house or has a family and over 26 years old. The last article posted on the web site was from January 2005 and the press releases are from October 2004 or earlier.

2. All I can say is “No Refund for you”! I liked Bob Beauprez remark about Chainsaw’s and brain surgery. It fits the situation.

3. Truth is stranger than fiction. When will two sisters be able to marry each other? What can you say? I guess the priority agenda items memo was lost in the mail.

4. This was a coward’s play on everybody’s part – you’re blaming the victims. At least the Young Republicans had some courage to fight back. Bad things happen to GOOD people who do stupid things, even if they work for the White House or my Congressman or Secret Service. GOP volunteers BEWARE; you could be sued by a group of liberal progressive thugs staging a messy coat check incident at the next White House hosted event at the Adams Mark Hotel. Tipping is NOT Optional.

5. You are right on the mark here - we lost three seats due to the lack of a comprehensive game plan to leverage and include the outer stakes of the Party. Some of the failures are with the candidates themselves not willing to re-focus their message to a changing demographic in their constituents. Some candidates were just shown the door by the Conservative Kingmakers despite affiliation. United We Stand – Divided we are the minority and we didn’t see it coming?

6. Take a look at the Party web site(s). BLOGS? Yeah, right. E-mail List? Databases?

The Party electorate and GOP Kingmakers demand fund raisers as Chairman, not election General’s or Admirals who have hands on experience in electioneering.

7. Maybe we can keep contracting the 96 Hour Program out again to Graze-line and Company. They have done a bang up job so far – maybe the new joint-venture with a Sneakily-Erect can shaft the donors and volunteers some more by not releasing funds to new 527 Leadership or paying underpaid staff URGENT “last minute” travel, cell phone purchases, direct mail, signage and small businesses what is owed to them.

But our NEW fancy web application will help coordinate data – we’ll own it after your volunteers provide all the work. But it is cheaper than Aristotle – right? It’s a steal – really.

What? Use my proprietary election data for strengthening post-election political messages and establishing priorities with constituents in mind? Shore up support in gerrymandered districts? Focus on efficiencies in areas of strength? What do you think this is – a free market corporation? How do I get paid?

Is it me or is the State Party is merely a fund raising conduit for spending money on Federal Campaigns and keeping the major message items in lockstep with the Federal Leadership. Has the State Republican Party grown increasingly irrelevant in achieving significant election goals within state races. I think most winning career candidates would secretly agree. With Commandment 27, only the very rich or the wives and friends of the very rich can afford to run.

Nathan Hale

Why can't we all just git' along?


Let Freedom Ring - you've worked a couple campaigns now, havent't you? Right On.



Nope not in many, many years. If you do this for a living beyond age 23 your not mentally right, need to seriously update your resume' or get married.

It is just easier for me to sit on the side-lines and be an ARMCHAIR GENERAL and point out faults of those who sacrifice their youth to the cause. Besides, surfing the Internet all day and watching the stock market is what gets me FIRED up.

Flash Gordon

Let me make a few factual statements in regard to some of the above comments. Facts that anyone in GOP circles already knows.

First, the State Party. Some of the above criticism is correct, but you are talking about the '04 party. The current staff includes:

1. an E.D. who was Victory Director for Bush in Iowa - 1 of 2 states where Bush won last year after losing in '00.
2. An advisor who was the 96-Hour Director in '02 (when it dominated the Dems) and Beauprez's campaign manager in a year where he was the lone shining star for Republicans.
3. A Communications Director who worked for Bush (Mr. & Mrs).
4. A Fundraiser who raised $ for the NRSC in '02.
5. Political Dir. is only holdover from '04.

That's a far cry from the '04 line-up, which includes the chairman. Indeed, Martinez isn't a top-flight fundraiser as Benson is. But he's better than Halaby and he knows it (whereas Halaby didn't). Benson et. al. have agreed to help Martinez raise $. Martinez is a big improvement.

As for Communications specifically, remember, the new team didn't start until mid-March. Apparently the new website will be ready in the next month or so. In the meantime, Rachel has done such a good job that the press actually did an article on the job she's been doing in painting the Dems as anti-business (in coordination with leadership).

And RedHawk, it would have been a disaster to have Cairns & Johnson go on the road to talk to anyone about anything. Great examples of candidates who lost because they ran terrible campaigns/were poor candidates. I'll give you Rhodes though.

As for 96-Hours, hopefully Stansbery's presence can bring back the '02 performance. Last year, Colin tried to fix what wasn't broke. It also didn't help having the Bush folks feel so uneasy about the 96-Hour leadership last year that they came in and took everything over, to the detriment of many of the other down-ballot races.

To address the info sharing debate, most of the info was indeed available to candidates last year. And it should be noted that most (not all) non-federal races last hardly contributed to the voter ID work done to add to the database. Furthermore, most couldn't/wouldn't have much use for that info now anyway. They can get voter reg/history info now from the Sec. of State.

Finally, State Party's role. It's true that Am. 27 made it much more difficult for the party to play a central role. 527's will play a much bigger role now. But state party will still have an inherent place in the campaign. You all just need to give the new team a chance.

Sorry for the long post, but I felt like someone needed to state the obvious for some of you.


Red Hawk you hit the nail of the head. The state party needs to do more to keep the masses informed. Coming from California with all it's left leaning tendecies and GOP failures over the last couple of years at least I could go the the CA GOP site and be informed. Check here: http://www.cagop.org/

I will also agree about the 96 hour program. Yes we probably increased turnout for our Pres. but did we help our legislator's who were in trouble. The answer was a resounding no. The program in that respect was a monumental failure. Having worked for 96 hour on election day I will say some changes need to be made. Calling people 2 or 3 times a day for a week tends to get on people's nerves. I heard from more than a few people who were registered Rep. that getting all the calls was way overboard, especially in a city like Highlands Ranch were the voter registration is in our favor and the people would have come out anyway. Maybe we should have sent volunteers else where. Those sent to run the 96 hour program decided that we should focus on Highlands Ranch and forget about Denver proper. Maybe on paper this looked like a great idea for getting turnout for the Pres. but it did nothing to help those legislators in tough races.


And Douglas county had a 92% turnout. So it worked there. As for Denver proper, what were those tight races that got neglected? GOP lost for a number of reasons, but turnout in Douglas Co. to the detriment of Denver turnout wasn't one of them.

More like, getting outsmarted on the 527 front ($) and poor performance of the Coors campaign/good performance of Salazar at top of ticket.


But did we really need that kind of turnout in douglas county? Yes we helped the Pres. but what local leg. was in trouble in Highlands Ranch? I used Denver as example. There were races were more volunteers could have made the difference. I am not saying that we should abandon rep. strongholds all together but if you would have been in the highlands ranch 96 hour office you would have seen that it was a little overkill. Those volunteers could have been sent to help other races and we still would have had a pretty high turnout in douglas co.


Reality - Douglas County gave up on 96 Hours in September when they witnessed first hand the ineptitude of the office. DougCo did what is has always done - RAN IT'S OWN GOTV, DID IT'S OWN TECH/VOTER FILTER, AND TARGETED THEIR OWN PRECINCTS.

Shame on 96 Hours - and state party - for takin credit. We worked our as**** off down here, walked precincts. KNOCKED. TALKED. CALLED.



We're proud down here of the work our Party does. We're proud of our Leadership. We're proud of OUR volunteers.


I think it would be more accurate to say that what we did in Highlands Ranch should have been replicated elsewhere.

I agree with you that those volunteers should have been sent out to targeted house/senate races.


Flash -
that's news to a lot of elected officials. If the informaiton (targeted U's and such) is really available, then you should get the word out. Becuase I can guarantee you not everyone has it, and they need it now more then ever.


Easy there DougCo. I never mentioned anyone taking credit for anything in Douglas Co. I merely said that what happened there was a good thing - and shouldn't have been reduced to help out Denver.

I'm on your side here. Douglas Co. GOP are good peeps.


Chris Holbert, Douglas County GOTV VOLUNTEER Coordinator, did more work down here than any paid staff person at 96 Hours.


I wasn't knocking douglas county either. With the efficiency of the local organization for gotv, I think douglas co. would have had the same kind of turnout with less volunteers. Maybe some volunteers could have been sent to help out other races. As republicans we all have a duty to help each other out and there are counties in this state that just couldn't get the kind of volunteer mobilization that we saw in douglas county.



Great points - but Iowa? BB's inside man as advisor and former GOP staffer shilling for him from the inside? HOLD YOUR BETS RACE FANS. THE RACE IS FIXED!

Post 9-11 reality retooled the geography and the rules of engagement. All bets are closed and the 2006 gate is open and the horses are already off and running.

The "Facts that anyone in GOP circles already knows..." that circle better encompass more than Colorado Blvd and Mexico Ave and a couple dozen "insiders" and paid staff. That circle needs to be expanded now, today and it needs to be STATE-WIDE!

This team has been on the payroll for six weeks and achieved what? A website not updated? A couple e-mail post? A growing out of state debt? A fluff piece from the Denver Post?

"What have you done for me lately"?

Flash Gordon

Get the voterfile from the Sec. of State. Then you will own it. As for other lists, many major county parties have them. Any mail vendor will have lists.

But you will notice, no officials have the money to do anything with a list anyway. And parties can't coordinate with 527's.



No. You don't get it, Flash.

Shared. As in little magic fingers walking the information accross the hallway.

As in make it easy. As in - it was the work of the volunteers. As in - it should be FREE. As in - not proprietary information for Mike C. and Grazeline. As in - every elected official for the next 6 years GET'S IT, by mere fact they earned it when they were elected.


This article from the Canyon Courier is a good analysis of what happened in Jeffco:

Republicans ponder strategy after losses
by Jonathan Ellis

Some have memorialized it as a meeting in which Republicans rearranged the deckchairs on the Titanic.

About 30 of the county's top Republicans gathered at Republican Party headquarters Nov. 18 to figure out what had gone so disastrously wrong in the general election. They included party activists, losing candidates and elected officials.

It wasn't a pleasant meeting.

"We knew that they were unhappy, and we were going to get an earful," said Renee Nelson, the vice chairwoman of the local GOP and a participant at the meeting. "But that's what we needed. We can't go forward without hearing what went wrong."


[I]n statewide races, the local GOP took a thumping. Two incumbent state representatives lost to Democrats. Republicans eked out victories in two other house districts they've traditionally dominated. In two state senate races, Republicans came up short - way short - of unhorsing incumbent Democrats.

Nor did local Republicans deliver the county to U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors. The beer baron and native son lost the popular vote in Jefferson County by more than 10,000 votes.

"The Republican Party that died," was how state Sen. Norma Anderson recently summed up her party's performance in 2004.

None of this would be surprising in Boulder or Denver counties. But this was Jefferson County, a land of milk and honey for the state's GOP. Some at the Nov. 18 meeting wondered if the Jefferson County breadbasket was going empty.

The meeting was supposed to be an analysis of what worked and what didn't - part come-to-Jesus, part head-scratching session. Social conservatives argued Republican candidates would win by pounding away on issues - abortion, vouchers, gay marriage. Others said the party needed to find more moderate candidates who appeal to swing voters.

Nothing was settled, according to several people who attended the meeting. They went home after two and a half hours more frustrated than when they arrived.

The hand-wringing among Republicans hasn't stopped with the new year. The election of 2006 already is under way in political circles. Statewide, Republicans are desperate to reclaim the state house and senate, two chambers they lost in 2004 and two chambers that Democrats haven't controlled together since 1960.

Jefferson County will be the scene of key races in 2006. Local Republicans are hoping to rebound from 2004. They know the county's voters will play an important role in determining the state's next governor in 2006.

But just how to rebound has become an intense point of debate in local circles. Some are calling for new leadership at the state and local levels. Others argue that the party should build a broader base by muzzling fire-and-brimstone conservatives.

Some are debating what role the local party should take in helping state candidates. In 2004, the Jefferson County Republican Party provided almost no money to house and senate candidates.

Most Republicans agree they need better fund-raising efforts in 2006. Put simply, the GOP was out-classed, out-maneuvered and out-muscled when it came to raising money in 2004.

At the local level, the Republican Party raised a paltry $20,567 during the 2004 election cycle from July through the election, according to an analysis of campaign finance reports. The party entered the cycle with $45,526 in its bank account.

In 2002's election the party raised $98,726.

In 2004, Democrats raised $49,002, and entered the cycle with $55,283. The local party raised $103,466 in the 2002 cycle.

Campaign finance reports filed by both parties tell the story of where the money went in 2004. The Jefferson County Democratic Party gave state and local candidates $35,500. The GOP donated just $4,000 to two state candidates and one local candidate. The party spent more money - in excess of $10,000 - on its fall social, which was held about 10 days before the election.

For some Republicans, that fall social is a symbol of the party's blundering in 2004. Attendance was sparse, and the event reportedly lost money - a "disaster" as one Republican official called it.

Matt Knoedler, a Lakewood Republican who won a tight house race, didn't attend the social after party leaders asked him to participate in a skit and pay $130 for he and his wife to eat dinner. He called the social's timing "inappropriate" because it was held so near the election.

"I specifically did not go to that. It was a fund-raiser for the party, not for the candidates," he said. "I was spending every waking moment campaigning. I didn't have time to think up a skit, even if I had the $130."

Angie D'Aurio, a Republican operative who manages local campaigns, agreed that the fall social was a mistake. Few people attended because they were already burned out by the campaign season. She criticized the party for milking money from candidates when they needed those funds for their campaigns.

"I think that the timing was absolutely wrong," D'Aurio said.

While local Republicans started planning their social in May, a group of four wealthy Democrats - Tim Gill, Jared Polis, Pat Stryker and Rutt Bridges - prepared to unleash a financial blizzard on statewide races. Their money buried Republicans.

Much of their money - which went to independent 527 groups - ended up in Jefferson County. Independent 527s are tax-exempt organizations that can collect unlimited amounts of soft money donations. Those donations can be used to attack a candidate's record.

Local Republicans considered forming 527 committees, but party leaders were afraid of running afoul of campaign finance laws. One official who asked not to be identified labeled it "paralysis by analysis."

Democrats were anything but paralyzed. Former Rep. Ramey Johnson, one of the two Republicans to lose a house seat in Jefferson County, watched in disbelief as fancy campaign mailings blanketed her district. The mailings, paid for by independent committees, were nasty, Johnson said. One depicted her as a pig.

"The pieces were large. They were expensive. They were full of color," Johnson said. "You can't fight that, particularly when the literature that was sent out was so vulgar. It was over the top. Politics in our state will never be the same."

Johnson said she did what she could to fight back. But she didn't have the money, and both the state and local parties didn't help.

"It was my understanding that the party didn't have any money," she said.

While independent committees bashed Republicans from one side, small donor and political action committees gave large sums of money directly to Democrat candidates.

Under Amendment 27, passed by voters in 2002, individuals can donate only $400 per election cycle to house and senate candidates. Small donor committees can donate $4,000.

Republicans grumble that Amendment 27 and campaign finance reform gave Democrats an unfair advantage, particularly with small donor committees. Those committees give unions a convenient way to tap members' dues and then flood election cycles with money.

"It's a loophole that has got to be changed," Knoedler said. "As Republicans, we don't have the institutional structure to extract money from our donors."

The Jefferson County Education Association's small donor committee, for example, donated thousands of dollars to Democrats in Jefferson County and across the state. The committee also gave $40,000 to Forward Colorado, one of the 527 committees financed by wealthy Democrats. In turn, Forward Colorado went after Republican candidates.

While Democrats in Jefferson County enjoyed support from their party and from committees, Republican candidates say they were left to fend for themselves.

"Our party didn't raise money," Anderson said. "And they started late. The Democrats started early. They were hungry, and I congratulate them on their success."

Connie Harn, a Republican activist in Conifer, wants new leadership for the party - leaders who can raise money and recruit the right candidates for the right districts. She criticized the current leaders for not doing more to help house and senate candidates.

"They didn't do anything to help the candidates," Harn said. "They're always taking money instead of giving,"

However Lynn Watwood, the GOP's chairman, said the party shouldn't and can't be a source of funds for candidates. Rather, the party should help candidates run their campaigns.

"Our focus in on volunteers, helping to get out the vote, strategizing about how to get out the vote," he said.

Watwood said candidates were responsible for raising their own money.

"We didn't try to be a primary source of funding for the candidates," he said.

Nelson, the party's vice chair, plans to seek the chairmanship when local Republicans pick new leaders in February. She says the local party needs better communication with the state party. That communication was largely absent in 2004.

Nelson echoes what most Republicans say: The party needs to duplicate what Democrats did in 2004. The state and local parties need to fund candidates at all levels, and party leaders need to convince wealthy Republicans to finance their own 527 committees.

The fund-raising effort, say some Republicans, begins at the grass roots level. For starters, leaders need to convince rank-and-file Republicans to donate to small donor committees.

Rob Witwer, a former attorney for the state party and columnist for Evergreen Newspapers, said small donor committees, which are limited to collecting $50 a year from individuals, offer Republicans the chance to raise plenty of money by involving the rank and file.

"If you could raise $50 from 100,000 Republicans, do the math. That's $5 million. Go directly to the grass roots," Witwer said.

D'Aurio, the Republican consultant, said local candidates aren't waiting around for party leaders to get things in place for 2006. They already plan to start small donor committees.

"We have to be like the Democrats," D'Aurio said. "We have to start our own committees, and get people to put the money where their mouths are."

Republicans will also turn to wealthy donors who have the money to finance 527 committees. Democrats showed in 2004 that a small, motivated group of wealthy donors can change the political landscape by targeting competitive races.

Businessman Greg Stevinson, a regular donor to Republicans and sometimes to Democrats, said Republicans have approached him about donating money for a 527. Stevinson was ambivalent about what role his money would play in 2006.

On one hand, he said current laws prohibit candidates and parties from raising the money they need, making independent committees a necessary evil.

But Stevinson also said he doesn't want his money used for the sort of savage attack ads seen in 2004, which is what 527s have become known for because candidates don't have to endorse them. He cited the attack mailings aimed at Johnson as an example of something he wouldn't participate in.

"You read some of these pieces and you wouldn't want to live next door to these (candidates)," he said. "You'd think they belong in prison."

Stevinson sounds a cautionary note about Republicans who blame their losses solely on inadequate fund-raising. He believes the party has too many cliques, too many egos who lash out at other Republicans when they don't get their way.

"They can raise all the money they want, but until they get their act together philosophically, they're just throwing good money after bad," Stevinson said.

Flash Gordon

You need to hit the methadone, Freedom. Your last post was non-sensical and...bitter. Is that you Ted?

So now we should disband state party HQ and have a vote of every registered Republican to decide everything that the party does?

You act like Dick Wadhams should run the party. Perhaps, but you forgot that the party is a non-profit that attempts to spend as little as possible on overhead (e.g. salary). That precludes it from hiring Wadhams types. Meanwhile, I stand by my original comments that the EXPERIENCE now at the Party is far superior to what they had last year (and since you care, I believe most of the staff are married). Freak.



It sucks to be the new guy in town, doesn't it. We don't have the luxury of a learning curve.

Newbies use the SoS list and candidates who depend on their County Voter files end up being losers.

The "inside" swingers had the real lists -- and 96 Hour Leaders hijacked it, but I know where the are copies stashed.

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