November 24, 2009

GOB United; GOP Undecided

By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

Honorable Friends:

I learned from yesterday’s front page headline of The Denver Post that my party now stands united behind former Rep. Scott McInnis in the Colorado gubernatorial race. Odd that. I used to think we had primary elections for this sort of thing, but it seems they have fallen out of fashion in Colorado. It is, after all, far more efficient for the Party’s leaders to simply anoint a candidate. I am certain that Mr. Dan Maes would be overjoyed to know that he need not bother with a primary. Afflicted with the woeful ignorance of fashion so typical of Republicans these days, however, he still seems to be campaigning. I am sure someone will point out the faux pas, though.

I also learned that we have a new platform, again courtesy of Atty. McInnis and the GOP leadership, saving the rest of us a great deal of time and consideration. The Post even published a nice ten point summary of it on the front page. In fact, many of my Independent and Democrat friends called to chat about these bullets before I even finished reading the article. Although they are each greatly dissatisfied with Gov. Bill Ritter, and despite the fact that they agree with most of those ten points listed in the article, my honorable friends told me they were going to abstain from voting entirely, or else reluctantly support Mr. Ritter again, due to the fact that two of those bullet points were dedicated, yet again, to social issues. They had hoped the GOP would focus entirely on economic and liberty issues.

Hoping to restore the confidence of my honorable friends in the GOP’s potential, I visited Atty. McInnis’s web page to examine the full text of this new platform. Interestingly, what I found was substantially different from what the Post article reported. The Post reports that this new, “Contract for Colorado” includes promises to appoint conservative judges to state courts, to establish a school voucher program, to restore Former Gov. Owens’s ban on state funding for Planned Parenthood, and to establish a general statement defending the sanctity of human life.

In contrast, the “Platform for Prosperity,” on Atty. McInnis’s web page makes no mention of judges or the judicial system whatsoever. It speaks of school vouchers not at all. While it does indeed promise to revive the Owens era ban on state funding for abortion providers, a general statement defending the sanctity of human life is nowhere to be found.

I do not know whether these discrepancies are the result of poor reporting on the part of the Post, or whether Atty. McInnis and the GOP leadership who authored this plan simply provided the Post with faulty information. However, with such noticeable inconsistencies in the commitments of Atty. McInnis and the Party leadership, I can hardly blame my honorable friends for being distrustful. Indeed, many Republicans remain wary as well. Whatever they may think of any particular issue, they have had few reasons to trust the Party leadership and its mothballed candidates who so often seem far more interested in the politics of pull than in principled policy.

While it may be true that the Good Old Boys (GOB) of the Party leadership have united behind Atty. McInnis, the Grand Old Party (GOP) remains undecided and skeptical. Moreover, as the GOP has never been known for its fashion sense, it may well ignore the new trend against primary elections and continue to consider the candidacy of Mr. Maes. If Atty. McInnis truly wishes to unify the GOP and Independents in support of his candidacy, he should strive to show firm and consistent commitment to principle. That has never been his strong point, but I have always believed people are capable of positive change.

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