You can read about the Winners of the 2006 election here, or click below the fold to see who qualifies as a Loser from the campaign season. John Marshall, Shari Williams, Cinamon Watson
These three Republican operatives have now been at the helm of two straight cycles of disastrous Republican defeats. Marshall directed Greg Walcher’s failed campaign for congress in CD-3 in 2004, and Williams and Watson were major players in Pete Coors’ 2004 U.S. Senate race. But as bad as that year was for these three, nothing compares to the magnitude of the Beauprez debacle in 2006. The Beauprez for Governor campaign will go down as one of the worst Colorado campaigns of the last 50 years, and rightfully so. In mid-2005, Beauprez was thought to be such a formidable candidate for governor that Democrats aside from Bill Ritter wouldn’t even throw their hat into the ring.
Republicans once expected Beauprez to win this race, but his campaign ended up being so terrible that he could have conceded to Ritter in late September and nobody would have been surprised. Beauprez supporters can blame Marc Holtzman all they want, but he couldn’t have beat Rollie Heath with that campaign operation.
The Trailhead Group was a complete disaster, and Philp was at the helm of this 527 political committee. Trailhead lost virtually every race they were involved with despite raising more money than all but a handful of 527 committees nationwide. Trailhead made poor decisions, received terrible press for its actions, and Philp was leading the way. Philp basically took the wheel of a multi-million dollar company and crashed it into a wall in less than a year. Trailhead couldn’t beat a single Democratic incumbent and couldn’t hold onto several relatively safe Republican seats. Rarely has a political organization spent so much money accomplishing so little.
The Big Republican Money Umbrella
Republican powerbrokers Bill Owens, Pete Coors and Bruce Benson formed the Trailhead Group as a way to fund Republican candidates around the state, but the idea of centralizing all fundraising proved to be a disaster. Candidates such as Mark Hillman (state treasurer), Lew Entz and Ed Jones (state senate) didn’t bother to raise money on their own until it was too late because they were counting on Trailhead and a handful of other big money political committees to do it for them. But when Trailhead started diverting its resources to other races, the likes of Hillman, Entz and Jones were left out in the rain with little time to raise enough money for themselves. Centralizing the money like Republicans did in 2006 didn’t make campaigns more efficient