Tancredo 2008: Oh, What the Hell?

And the Golden Globe for best actor in a race for President goes to…

Tom Tancredo is running for President. No, really.

After flirting with a Presidential run for more than a year, the Colorado congressman announced this morning that he is forming an exploratory campaign committee. As M.E. Sprengelmeyer of the Rocky Mountain News reports:

“I’m going to do so because I believe there is a void in the present panoply of people seeking that office,” Tancredo said during a morning appearance on the FoxNews program “Fox and Friends.”

Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa first confirmed the exploratory bid late Monday to the Rocky Mountain News.

Tancredo, R-Littleton, made the decision after wrapping up his latest barnstorming trip this weekend to Iowa, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.

Love him or hate him, you’ve got to give Tancredo credit for his excellent use of alliteration. “Present panoply of people” is a pretty fantastic description of the field. Even if we don’t know what it means.

If you’re interested in joining the cause, you can check out www.teamtancredo.org, where you can see basically the only picture of Tancredo that has ever been used publicly by his campaign. Is it really too much to ask to take a new picture if you’re going to run for President?
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Meanwhile, Colorado Pols reports that Republican candidates are already preparing to run for congress in CD-6, obviously expecting that Tancredo will make a full-time run at the Presidency and not double back to run for re-election.


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The Rocky Mountain News takes a look today at potential Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat that came open when incumbent Sen. Wayne Allard announced yesterday that he would not run for re-election in 2008:

Former Congressman Scott McInnis, now a lobbyist for Hogan & Hartson in Denver, has been making countless calls in recent days, trying to line up supporters. He has more than $900,000 left in a congressional campaign committee account he could tap.

On Monday, two men who were once considered possible contenders for Allard’s seat, former Gov. Bill Owens and Rep. Tom Tancredo, of Littleton, both said McInnis was at the top of their list of would-be candidates. McInnis did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Other Republicans who said they will consider running for Allard’s seat include former congressmen Bob Beauprez and Bob Schaffer, who now serves on the state board of education; Attorney General John Suthers; and radio talk show host and lawyer Dan Caplis.

Wait…what? Dan Caplis? That’s nice that he may “consider” running for the Senate. We at Political Gravy may “consider” playing professional football.

On the Democratic side of the ticket, Sen. Ken Salazar said his brother, John, probably would not be a candidate in 2008. “I think one Salazar in the U.S. Senate is enough,” said Ken.


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As for Allard, Mike Littwin of the News managed to sum up his Senatorial career in just a few paragraphs:

When it’s all said and done, Wayne Allard will be remembered as the senator no one quite remembers.

In fact, I’m having trouble picturing him even now, just a few hours after his announcement at the state Capitol that he wouldn’t be running for a third term in 2008.

The most damning thing you can say about Allard – the affable country veterinarian who has never given a speech in which he didn’t mention he was an affable country veterinarian – is not that Time magazine last year labeled him among the nation’s five worst senators.

No, the most damning thing you can say about Allard is how few people were bothered enough by the Time article to even argue the point.

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Colorado Confidential hosted a live Q&A with Rep. Morgan Carroll last night on the topic of her new legislation to create more transparency with so-called “527” political committees. Here’s a quick excerpt:

The bill does two things.
One, it pulls 527s into year-round state reporting requirements for all donations and all expenditures by adding it to our state definition of a political committee.

Why?  Because current disclosures do not adequately capture the truth of 527 activity.  527s spent over $400 million dollars in 2006 nationally and about $25 million statewide (not counting the national 527s who spent in CO, totalling about $85 million.  source:  opensecrets.org.  This is a lot of money to have poor accountability or traceability.  Further, I believe the relative anonymity emboldens the toxicity of negative attack ads, the ability to lie, distort or mislead with impunity or at least little consequences.

Two, it closes another loophole in the electioneering communications section by requiring (all) who engage in electioneering communicatins to report within 48 hours of obligating funds.

Why?  Under current law there is a reporting game based on when an invoice is paid.  There are currently several attack mailings that have gone out that are clearly “electioneering communications” that were never reported before the election, and not reported still.  If I am invoiced and paid in Dec, Jan, Feb the voters will never really know.

Overall, I think having large sums of ambiguous or anonymous money distorts the entire political process and without disclosure there can be no truth or accountability.

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Governor Bill Ritter will make his first appearance before the Joint Budget Committee today at 1:30. If you really have nothing better to do, or if you just get really excited about budget meetings, you can see it yourself at the Legislative Services Building at 14th & Sherman in Denver.


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Cuban leader Fidel Castro may be nearing the end of his beard, according to The Associated Press:

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro has had at least three failed operations and complications from an intestinal infection and faces “a very grave prognosis,” a Spanish newspaper reported today.

A Cuban diplomat in Madrid said the reports were lies and declined to comment.

“It’s another lie and we are not going to talk about it. If anyone has to talk about Castro’s illness it’s Havana,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of official policy.

Fidel Castro is still alive? Who knew?

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Jason Bane

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