Colorado GOP out in the cold — but also out of the red

So it didn’t turn out to be as exciting a year for Republicans as Colorado GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams had hoped — and even predicted — last year. But hey, at least there’s a little money in the bank. That’s more than a mite better than being a half million in the hole and on the losing side of the election ticker.

In a recent e-mail sent to “Dear Colorado Republican Committee Members,” Wadhams, who appears unchallenged in his bid to secure a second term heading up the state GOP, noted, “There is no doubt that Republicans had a disappointing and frustrating election night in both Colorado and across the nation.”

“The combined headwinds of a Republican president with high disapproval numbers, a charismatic Democratic presidential nominee who ran a masterful campaign, and a struggling economy defined by the crash of Wall Street resulted in a national Democratic win that directly affected the outcome here in Colorado,” Wadhams wrote.

“Despite these disappointments,” he continued, “I am very proud of what Colorado Republicans accomplished this cycle.”

Specifically, Wadhams says he’s canceled a $580,000 debt that he’d inherited from the 2004 and 2006 elections. “Colorado Republicans are now debt free for the first time in years.”

So where’d the money come from? Don’t even mention California. Though the Golden State Grand Old Party reportedly sent $2 million to the critical battleground of Colorado late in the election cycle, Wadhams claimed, at least to the Colorado Statesman, that cash went into a GOP “victory” fund, and not to the Colorado party.

“I raised the money in one-on-ones with major contributors,” Wadhams told the Colorado Statesman. He also reportedly solicited financial help through a large direct-mail campaign to the GOP faithful, as well as cutting the party’s operating budget, including moving its offices from a $4,000-a-month rental in south Denver to a $1,200-a-month office in the Denver Tech Center.

Or, as the Statesman reported: “When reminded of recent reports on an online political site saying the party’s debt had been paid by the California Republican Party, Wadhams declared, ‘That’s absolute bullshit!’”

Spoken like a true, uh, Dick Wadhams.

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Cara Degette

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