COLORADO SPRINGS, Apri 30, 2013—Recall petition drives are well under way for four pro-gun control Democrats in the Colorado state legislature.
The four facing recall petitions are:
John Morse (Senate District 11; 7,178 valid signatures needed)
Angela Giron (Senate District 3; 11,285 valid signatures needed)
Evie Hudak (Senate District 19; 18,962 valid signatures needed)
Mike McLachlan (House District 59; 10,587 valid signatures needed)
In Colorado, the number of valid signatures needed is 25% of the total ballots cast in the election of the official being recalled. Petition gatherers usually get 25-40% more than necessary.
Sen. John Morse is the president of the senate and thus responsible for sheparding the gun bills through. He was famously shown on the Rachel Maddow TV show explaining how he told “his” senators to ignore the objections of their constituents and vote for the rights-restricting legislation.
The rallying slogan for the Morse recall is “Got ReMorse?” with a web page of the same name. The effort is run by a professional project manager and petitions are circulating daily.
Morse has said that he can’t be recalled.
Evie Hudak, the legislator who told rape victim Amanda Collins that even had she been allowed to carry her concealed firearm on the night of her attack, she would statistically have been dead anyway, is also being recalled as is the other senator besides Morse who was elected with a minority of the total vote.
When she went grocery shopping a week ago, Hudak encountered a woman with a big sign saying “Recall Hudak,’ so Hudak approached her.
Apparently Hudak made a big fuss, blowing up about the woman being able to petition outside the store and complaining to management—a store which Hudak referred to as “her store.”
The story did not make the press but Hudak did tell the Denver Post’s Lynn Bartels that she had a brief run in with a petitioner.
Because of the Denver Post story, the petitioner called in to the Michael Brown radio show and told the rest of the story. There are a very few cases about the right to collect petition signatures outside of places like grocery stores but they all come down on the side of the signature gatherer’s First Amendment rights.
The third Democrat facing recall, Mike McLachlan, doesn’t think much of the First Amendment either. On his recall website he is quoted as saying:
“…the right of the First Amendment is not absolute. It is like every right in that in the proper circumstances the government may infringe, take away, or completely reduce that right.”
To his constituents, that statement was like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded room.
What really has people in his district up in arms, however, was his stand on the Second Amendment: he said he supported Second Amendment rights when running for election but then voted for gun control.
Angela Giron, the fourth, is in a similar situation. She is in heavily Democratic Pueblo, but the response to the recall, according to one activist, is amazing. At a rally in a Kmart parking lot Saturday, many people said they did not own guns, but simply wanted to support Second Amendment rights.
People drove by honking and waving. There were very few negative responses.
When Giron held her town hall meeting in February before the gun votes, there were nearly a thousand people at the event, all demanding that she not vote for these laws. Now that people see that she does not care at all about her constituents’ opinions, they want her gone.
The effort in Pueblo was started by two plumbers and the trade unions are heavily behind it. All the gun shops have petitions. One dentist said he wanted petitions at his office, and if his clients didn’t like it, they could go elsewhere. There is little love for Giron in Pueblo.
For now all that is needed are signatures on petitions. And donations.
Giron’s people are planning on putting up lots of money to defend her, rumored at around $800,000. Morse won in 2010 with 527 organizations spending over $1 million.
The recalls are completely grassroots efforts, unlike the union-led recalls in Wisconsin.
Petitioners have 60-days from filing the petition to returning the required number of signatures. Roughly at the midpoint of the petition-gathering stage, all recalls seem to be on track to get the required number. Then, the signatures will need to be validated by the Secretary of State’s office, which has another 30 days to do so.
Social media are quite in evidence for these recalls. The Hudak recall team has set up a Facebook page. Morse and McLachlan have web pages. The El Paso Freedom Defense Committee recalling Morse also has a Twitter account (@ReMorseCO) with his own hashtag (#ReMorse).
They’ve even designed a recall t-shirt in bright green. A comment from a pro-Second Amendment website said: “In the south this guy would have about 100 t-shirts sent to him with a bullseye on the front and back.”
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