DAN MAES UNCOVERS THE NEFARIOUS BICYCLE/U.N. PLOT…. Last week, in one of the year’s more entertaining campaign attacks, Colorado gubernatorial hopeful Dan Maes (R) blasted Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s (D) efforts to boost bike riding. Yesterday, he dug deeper.

As Maes initially explained it, efforts to promote bicycling and related programs seem like “warm, fuzzy ideas,” but they’re really “very specific strategies that are dictated” by a United Nations program. Maes conceded that he used to think environmental initiatives like these were harmless, but he now realizes “that’s exactly the attitude they want you to have.” The truth, he said, is that promotion of bicycle riding “is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms.”

Maes, a Tea Party favorite, was completely serious.

Yesterday, he appeared on MSNBC, and chose not to use the hand-brake.

“The bike program in and of itself is fine,” Maes said. “What I’m concerned about is what’s behind it all.”

“We’re trying to differentiate myself from the Mayor,” he said. Maes argued that if he wins the primary, “people are going to say, ‘What’s the differences?’ because we’re both business people. When the mayor signs on to a program that’s sponsored by the United Nations, that should bring concern to people as to how that program may or may not be compatible with our state constitution.”

Lest anyone think there’s anything actually to this, the criticism is crazy. Before Hickenlooper, the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, even became mayor, Denver agreed to participate in “the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, an international association that promotes sustainable development and has attracted the membership of more than 1,200 communities, 600 of which are in the United States.”

As Brad Johnson explained, “Despite Maes’s dark fears, Denver’s participation in ICLEI carries no legal obligations and raises no constitutional issues, but does allow city planners to share information and ideas with other urban communities throughout the world.”

Even in a nutty year, with some off-the-wall GOP candidates, Maes’s line of attack is pretty far out there.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.