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Joe G, the Stealth Candidate

May 25, 2010

There is apparently a new candidate in the Republican race for governor: Joe Gschwentner. I speak German so I don’t have any problem with his name but apparently others do, so he goes by Joe G for short.

You may have heard his radio ads extolling his virtues. If you were a state delegate, you might have gotten a robo-call last week. My wife actually got the calls: one from “some guy” ( her words) and the other from Rachel, a hip-sounding sort of valley girl. For the record Joe, Rachel was more memorable.

The message–just days before the assembly–was the same. Dan Maes can’t possibly win and I’ll tell you why: he doesn’t have any money and he’s politically inexperienced. Joe G has $1 million dollars at his disposal and oh, yeah: he’s a great guy.

It turns out Joe G is a millionaire businessman from Douglas County. He has decided to run less than a month ago. Where he got the list of delegates is a mystery: the state GOP denies giving it to him. The calls are coming from the same area code in Indiana that Scott McInnis’ come from. Coincidence? Could be. Maybe in this recession there is only one call center in the US.

Just outside The Ranch property on Saturday were about 15-20 Joe G supporters all dressed in matching t-shirts and waving signs. The funny thing was, aside from the clean t-shirts it looked as though he’d picked up a group of homeless people. One woman–and I do not exaggerate–smiled and waved showing her only tooth.

Jane Norton supporters were there, too. There was a sign reading “Honk if you support Jane.” Nobody honked but I digress.  I was mostly gawking at the homeless people.

Does Joe G really exist? Yes: I literally almost bumped into him in the parking lot. Someone told me there were some of his signs posted outside the Event Center, again pointing out that he had $1 million to spend.

All of this raises a lot of tantalizing questions:

  • If he’s serious about running, why didn’t he have someone nominate him from the floor?
  • Did he make some kind of back-room deal with McInnis to get the lists and attempt to split the conservative vote?
  • Will he try to petition on to the ballot (which seems awfully popular this year)?
  • If he has money and wants to do good, why doesn’t he donate to one or more established campaigns?

But the biggest question of all: does he think his $1 million can buy the party nomination and the election?

If he does, then he’s not in touch with the electorate, which knows how four infamous Democrat millionaires turned this state blue and are in no mood to stand  for it again from either party. After the delegates Saturday rejected two well-funded campaigns in favor of grass-roots candidates that should be even more clear.

If he didn’t take that lesson, at least he has plenty of money to hire homeless people to wear his t-shirts and collect his petition signatures.

  1. Mc-Isn't and GI Joes the same? permalink
    May 25, 2010 3:03 pm

    What you didn’t mention is that with in an hour of Dan Maes spanking Mc-Isn’t, G I Joe, let go his staff that was collecting petitions. Bob is looking for a JOB JOB JOB, maybe Mc-Isn’t can click his heals and hire Bob.

    Put up or shut up Joe and turn over the petitions and let us see how many you collected. Lets see how serious you were about this. Mc’Isn’t just let you go JOE.

  2. May 25, 2010 5:21 pm

    I’m laughing so hard I need a bathroom break. Will be back for more insightful commentary.

  3. May 25, 2010 9:29 pm

    Ok, I’m back. Who’s Bob?

    I saw the video Ben did with him, and I do like the fact that his background is as a workout specialist. Maybe he could be Deputy Treasurer for JJ. He seemed reasonably, bright, but I couldn’t watch the whole thing because of the background noise. He doesn’t exactly seem to be Mr. Personality on the campaign trail.

    The whole thing is just weird. Why so late into the game?

    My pal Mark Hurlbert who you may recall as getting only 29 percent of vote at SD 16 last Friday, launched a semi-secret petition campaign yesterday. He used the excuse (invented just this evening for the DP’s benefit) that he’s taking a stab at petitioning because those mean people at the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Ass’n distorted is 2nd Am. record. Huh?

    These losers will be gone soon. Just not soon enough. It’s hard to keep track, especially with lack of sleep, but doesn’t that just now leave Norton, Joe G, and Hurlritter as the only GOPs trying to petition? And would that not also leave Norton as the only real contender petitioning?

  4. Mc-Isn't and GI Joes the same? permalink
    May 25, 2010 10:26 pm

    Bob was hired by GI Joe to get his petitions to get on the ballot. Bob needs a job and the next one to go will be Fisk, GI Joe communications manager. The SOS needs to investigate this. I think that Joe was a diversion for Mc-Isn’t lack of writings and payment for services never delivered. Politics are a dirty game and not sure why anyone would ever want to subject them self to this, jail seem so much easier, well most politicians end up in jail. Impeachment talks are already starting up about Barry O

    Norton has her numbers and more no problem,

  5. May 25, 2010 10:32 pm

    Interesting. I was just chatting with the SOS elections department this PM.

  6. May 25, 2010 10:44 pm

    I understand Thursday is the deadline to file petitions–is that right? Seems awfully soon after the assemblies but maybe it’s that way on purpose.

    So what die Bernie “Voter Fraud Bill” Buescher’s SOS department have to say?

    Don’t forget that Stapleton was also supposedly petitioning on. I probably should have reserved the Stealth Candidate label for him: He had stand-ins at the Constitutionalist candidates’ debate, the El Paso County Assembly, and didn’t show at the assembly either. At least I did see Joe G–or someone wearing a Joe G nametag–in the parking lot.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  7. May 25, 2010 11:11 pm

    I knew in my tired state I was forgetting someone else. He’s pretty stealth, all right.

    I think the deadline is intentionally tight. Guess they don’t want to encourage a wait and see attitude, or the person needs to be collecting sigs in advance.

    As to SOS, I’m afraid I may face ex-communication from GOP, but before I even knew who BB was, I was dealing with them a lot with various questions in various departments. From a customer service standpoint, they are probably the best department I’ve dealt with in the state. Even their hold message has my favorite theme, “we work for you.” I like their Tracer site for campaign finance digging too. The attorney with whom I spoke today was very nice, very responsive. Called me back like four times as my Skype was sketchy and calls were dropping.

    So I only really heard of Bernie when they tried to push through that same-day voter thing. I was really surprised to learn lib Dem ran SOS!


  1. Joe Gschwendtner Submits almost 17,000 Petition Signatures in Late Bid for GOP Governor’s Race: Joe G Would Face Maes and McInnis in Primary « Ex-Pat Ex-Lawyer

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