Delusion and disillusion: ‘Maes changed; he’s already like a politician’

God-and-country conservative grassroots organizer Gary Hostetter, a one-time Dan Maes supporter, told the Colorado Independent that roughly two weeks ago Jordan Maes, the candidate’s daughter and campaign aide, said she would rather see Democrat John Hickenlooper installed in the governor’s office than right-wing candidate Tom Tancredo.

“When I heard that, at the end of a 45-minute phone conversation, I knew they had lost their way,” Hostetter told the Colorado Independent. “I knew that principles had taken a back seat.”

Messages left for Jordan Maes requesting comment were not returned.

On the phone, above the din of campaign people talking and calling out, Tancredo Communications Director Tara Arterburn told the Colorado Independent she would keep her comment responding to Jordan Maes’s alleged assertion very brief.

“That’s unfortunate because that means Jordan Maes is going to be very disappointed come Tuesday,” she said.

Hostetter is a licensed title examiner and owns a title business in Gunnison. He’s also, according to his business website, an eagle scout and a member of the North Conejos school board.

He said he begins planning his “patriotic rallies” by sending out questionnaires that test whether the candidates “believe in the Constitution.” He organized the Restoring America Rally in Alamosa October 16, for example, which was attended by roughly 200 people, including Tea Party blogger Randall Smith. Smith offers a peek at how Hostetter’s questionnaire process works:

“The first question on the questionnaire was “Where do rights come from? A) The voice of the people B) Government C) God D) Other”. Those that answered that question correctly (the answer is C) were invited to speak.”

Maes apparently circled the C. He spoke in Alamosa, which is right about the time Hostetter gave up on him.

“I was for Maes for a long time. I was ticked off at Tancredo for getting into the race. But then the polls made it clear we needed to change our vote,” Hostetter said. “Tancredo was pulling within points of Hickenlooper and Maes was down 30 points. Dan was in denial at the rally. Just going on as before.

“I called Jordan and I said ‘We have to let the other conservative candidate win.’ She was in denial too. She kept saying the polls were just messed up.”

Hostetter is a deliberate speaker who pauses to think about the words he’s using. He said Maes had gone “off the rails” and that in a pique of bitterness at Tancredo, Maes was forsaking commitment to the ideals that fueled the Tea Party. Hostetter thinks Maes is suffering from the kind of personal ambition and deluded visions of grandeur that “afflict so many of those that go to Washington.”

“We’re all switching our votes,” said Hostetter of the people he knows whose support for political novice Maes in August made him Colorado’s Republican nominee for governor.

“We’re frustrated that a man who ran on Tea Party platform, which is all about principles not about candidates, has changed. He’s already like a politician now. He has transformed. He left his values. He’s become bitter. They all hate Tancredo. What kind of conservatism is that?”

Hostetter said he heard from upset Maes campaign workers that Jordan Maes was busy last week booking “victory party” hotel rooms.

“Spending money on that. Can you imagine?”

He said he has called the Maes campaign a few times this week but that no one answers the phone.

“No one answering the phones days before the election? They’re done.”

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