Just as we predicted when Colorado Democrat Party Chairman Rick Palacio was elected, he's turned out to be a small ball political hack who just can't hack it. Most observers saw Palacio's call last week for the removal of GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler as an amateur mistake.
Calling for removal from office usually comes after numerous examples of law breaking or ethics investigations, or at least a huge groundswell of grassroots anger, not because a political party chairman is in a foul mood and hasn't thought through the consequences of his threats.
As conservatives, we're happy to see Colorado Democrats led by a bush league political hack, but we imagine liberals in Colorado don't share our glee.
Liberals were probably even less enthused to see the liberal Denver Post editorial board call Palacio out for his half-witted political strategy.
The Post ed board called Palacio and state Democrats' call to remove Gessler from office "an overreach that threatens to erode their credibility."
Ha! As if Palacio had any credibility to begin with.
Let's take a quick gander at his track record since being elected a year ago.
- Candidate Recruitment: As we've pointed out on these pages, Democrats have struggled to recruit top flight candidates for office. Their DA recruit in Summit County was just arrested for domestic violence. Their top recruit in HD59 was forced out of the race by state party on a legal technicality. Palacio's old boss, Congressman Steny Hoyer, even blew the announcement of Democrats' Congressional recruits in Colorado. And who can forget Palacio's awkward attempt to bribe Brian Carroll out of a primary with Rep. Andy Kerr?
- CD6: Palacio utterly failed to find a single decent Democrat to run in the newly-gerrymandered CD6. After the Dems' legal eagle, Mark Grueskin, convinced a judge to drastically redraw Mike Coffman's 6th Congressional district, Palacio bollixed the recruitment effort. What should have been a competitive race is now all but over, thanks to the failure of Rick Palacio.
- Fundraising/Spending: Palacio is spending money faster than it comes in. In January, it was reported that the state Dem Party had raised $106k but had less than $25k on hand. By comparison the state GOP raised $116k, but had almost $160k on hand. He'll surely have enough cash, as Obama's $1 billion campaign can transfer unlimited amounts, but Palacio's early spending track record is nothing to be proud of.
- Messaging: Rick Palacio is no Dick Wadhams, that's for sure. When can you remember Palacio saying anything of note, ever? He's not been known for his pithy observations or sharp assaults, as former GOP Chairman Wadhams was. What's worse is his biggest messaging effort to date — calling for Gessler's ouster — is blowing up in his face. But, as a reader pointed out to us, if Palacio wants to spend 2012 trying to oust Gessler, he's more than welcome to. Conservatives would love to see Democrats take time and money away from defending Barack Obama.
It seems to us like this list of failures reads just like a state party chairman's job responsibilities. Fundraising, recruitment, and messaging are the three areas where party chairs are expected to focus. And in each, Palacio has failed, time and again.
Maybe Colorado Democrats should be focusing their time and effort removing Palacio from office instead.
Actually, come to think of it, on behalf of conservatives everywhere, please keep him in the job indefinitely.