Irony, Confusion, and Desperate Hopes

Have you stopped and thought about this irony?

The survival of the Republican primary campaign of gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman – steeped in the claim that he is the only credible candidate in strong opposition to illegal immigration – now appears to hinge on the same hopes that have removed the anti-illegal immigration initiative from the ballot: attorney Marc Grueskin and a new interpretation of the law from the activist Colorado Supreme Court.

Read that again. Let it sink in. You’d have to think it was a comic parody, but it’s sadly all too real.

This was the only bright spot for the underdog:

While that decision was a blow to Holtzman, Hyatt also rejected a challenge to the qualifications of many of the paid petition circulators who gathered signatures on behalf of Holtzman. That was part of an effort by attorneys representing Beauprez and his supporters to get many of Holtzman’s signatures tossed out.

But before Democrats start salivating over the thought of a harmful GOP primary get too excited, they will have to recall that this failed legal tactic by the Beauprez team was more for insurance than anything. As I understand it, the judge’s ruling on this point basically means that none of the signatures for Holtzman already accepted by the Secretary of State would be tossed out. The question remains where they expect the 743 valid signatures in the 1st and 7th Congressional Districts to come from.

The claims from Holtzman campaign staffers and lawyers in today’s Rocky Mountain News that there likely will be enough valid signatures found to reinstate the beleaguered candidate need to be eyed with the scrutiny of facts already presented in evidence.

Take, for instance, this quote in today’s Rocky:

While Holtzman plans to appeal Hyatt’s ruling, his supporters also insist he collected a little more than 1,500 valid signatures in the two congressional districts.

“My sense is that we’ll have enough signatures,” said Holtzman attorney John Head.

According to Head, there were more than 9,000 signatures disqualified by Dennis that should have been counted. He said many of those were rejected because it was hard to read their handwriting or their information wasn’t current on secretary of state databases.

But these claims need to be examined in the light of previous admissions. The Holtzman campaign’s foibles, as highlighted Tuesday, give his supporters little hope – remember the Denver Post story?:

An attorney for Marc Holtzman conceded Monday that the campaign has found only a few dozen signatures more than needed to be counted in the primary and that margin might be further eroded.

“It’s unrealistic to think all of those will stick,” said Denver attorney John Head, adding that the campaign plans to meet with the secretary of state this week to compare its findings.

It simply isn’t clear how yesterday’s decision had any impact to change Mr. Head’s assessment so drastically from the beginning of the week, except that the ruling didn’t totally crush all their hopes.

Speaking of hopes, Dan Haley pointed out who is rooting the most for new life to the Holtzman campaign:

“It doesn’t look like Marc Holtzman is giving up,” Democrat Bill Ritter said. “The Republican Party remains divided and without a clear general-election candidate for governor. While the Republicans keep fighting in court, I’ll be out campaigning all across the state, talking about my vision for Colorado in the 21st Century and the issues that matter most to Coloradans.”

The longer Holtzman is in the fight, the better for Ritter, obviously.


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