Website goes after state GOP chairman

Dick Wadhams

An unknown group has started a petition to get the Colorado Republican Party to oust Dick Wadhams as its chairman.

The group, which had not identified itself as of Thursday, is blaming Wadhams for taking “Colorado from a likely Republican win in 2010 to a likely loss that threatens the future of the GOP,” the group says on a new website,

“Since his last successful political endeavor in 2004, Dick has done nothing but destroy campaigns, ruin lives and practice the politics of hate and deceit,” the website says. “In 2006, he cost the GOP the U.S. Senate by artfully guiding George Allen’s re-election campaign to defeat.”

That year, Allen was a U.S. senator from Virginia seeking re-election when he was recorded on video calling a Democratic tracker following him a “macaca.” Though Allen apologized for the remark, which is considered a racial slur against African immigrants, it continued to dog him throughout the rest of the campaign. Eventually, he lost the race to now U.S. Sen. James Webb, D-Va.

Wadhams called whoever is behind the website “cowards” for not revealing themselves.

“Our bylaws require the officers (of the party) to be neutral,” he said. “The moment we got into this election cycle, I said my role as state chairman is to provide the most open and fair and honest process we could ... and that’s what we’ve done.”

The website includes a section to allow readers to sign a petition calling for his ouster.

The website was established Thursday through a Chesterbrook, Pa., Internet company called 1&1 Internet Inc. E-mails sent to its owners through that company were not returned Thursday.

Prior to Allen’s downfall, Wadhams was known as a promising GOP political strategist whose star was on the rise. Before he lost that race, Allen was expected to be a major GOP candidate for president in 2008, giving Wadhams his first chance to run a national campaign.

Until the Allen race, Wadhams had a string of major successes in Colorado and nationwide, including managing the campaign for U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who pulled out an upset win over then Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, a Democrat. He also pulled U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., from the brink of a failing campaign, getting him elected in 1994, and re-elected six years later.

Wadhams also managed campaigns for former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and Colorado U.S. Sens. Wayne Allard and Hank Brown.

Wadhams was elected GOP chairman in March 2007 and re-elected in 2009. He’s up for re-election again in March.

Since returning to Colorado, however, he has seen Republicans lose races across the state. While still working as party chairman, he managed former GOP congressman Bob Schaffer’s failed bid for U.S. Senate against Mark Udall. He also saw another congressional seat in the state turn blue when U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave lost the 4th Congressional District to Democrat Betsy Markey.

The website said the final straw for Wadhams came a few days ago when he appeared on a Denver talk radio program with former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo, who has since switched to the American Constitution Party and launched his own bid for governor.

On that program, Wadhams and Tancredo traded barbs over that issue and the scandals plaguing the two Republicans in the governor’s race: Scott McInnis’ admission of plagiarism and Dan Maes’ hefty fine for campaign-finance violations.

Click HERE to listen to the recent KHOW program featuring Wadhams and Tancredo.


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