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Articles by Donald E. L. Johnson

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Dan Maes is not a good salesman

The Denver Post profiles Dan Maes and calls him a "salesman." Chuck Plunkett explains why folks don't trust Maes in his piece, Dan Maes blames his supporters for believing in him. In the reply that I posted on the Post's web site and have reposted after the jump, I questioned that Maes runs on sales savvy, by Jessica Fender.


I'm really tired of writing about Dan Maes. His is such a tragic story. I've written about him 281 times on my blog alone since I first blogged about him on Oct. 28, 2009. But here goes again.

Sales people rule the world. Good ones do, that is. They do so because they're smart. They listen. People trust them. They come up with creative solutions that serve both them and their customers. And they know how to close a sale. 

Maes is not a good salesman. 

During the primary season, he traveled all over the state talking to voters. But he never closed the sale. He never got people to contribute money to his campaign. People vote with their money. They kept their money in their wallets instead of contributing to Maes' campaign. 

Why? He didn't impress them as a problem solver. When he appeared with other candidates, he always was the "me too" guy, not the creative thinker. He didn't seem to understand government or much care to. 

When he talked about his business career, he didn't name his employers or companies. 

He talked generalities. 

He didn't refer to long-time associates. No one came forward to vouch for his successes. 

And he seemed pretty inept when it came time to close the sale by asking for volunteers and contributions. 

Few people get to hear a candidate more than once or twice. I heard the candidates in several settings. 

After awhile, I got the feeling that Maes was not a guy I could trust. It was the little things, nothing major for a long time.

Eventually, Maes released his income numbers to a supporter who published a summary of them. 

Then it all came together. Maes was telling tall tales. He was embellishing his resume.

That was it for me and most of Maes' supporters. People realized that they couldn't trust Maes. When you lose the trust of your customers and voters, you're toast.

Jessica's profile of Maes includes only two positive testimonials from former associates or employers who aren't related to him. That is a signal that people don't want to say anything if they can't say anything nice. I don't know how many people who worked with Maes that the reporter tried to talk to or how many references Maes gave her. 

Maes talks about being a volunteer in his church, but none of the people he knows in his church are quoted in the story. Why?

I had never been a Maes supporter. I didn't vote in the GOP gubernatorial primary because I didn't like either candidate and I had decided to support Tom Tancredo.

It got worse when others began to question Maes' career claims, especially his claims that he had been an undercover cop in Kansas. But by the time all the bad news came out, it was too late for anyone else to run against him and Scott McInnis in the primary. McInnis had higher name recognition, and his plagiarism scandal was hotter than Maes' problems. More voters voted against McInnis than against Maes by less than a percentage point. Few voted for Maes or McInnis. It was that kind of primary.

Now, Maes has all but endorsed the Obama Democrat John Hickenlooper's economic plan for the state. He says he admires Hick's business experience and career. And he's calling for the firing of the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. 

People are seeing what kind of Republican and conservative Maes is. He's neither.

Maes is mad. I think that he is staying in the race because he wants to hurt the Republican Party. I don't think that he's ever cared much about Colorado, and he still doesn't.

As a result, I expect that Maes will get less than 10% of the votes in the Nov. 2 election. It's hard to predict, but historically, candidates like Maes lose most of their remaining support in the final weeks of a campaign, and that's probably what will happen to him. At least I hope so.
Posted by Donald E. L. Johnson on 10/12/2010 at 07:55 AM


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