COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 18, 2013 — Desperate to remain in power, Colorado Democratic Senators Morse and Giron are resorting to tactics from the standard left-wing playbook as recalls in Colorado Springs and Pueblo near the finish line.
Their campaigns are being underwritten from Denver, Chicago and Washington and are remarkably similar both to each other and to other Democrat campaigns throughout the country. Meanwhile, the recall campaigns and the campaigns of the people running to replace them are fighting back.
In Colorado Springs, John Morse began his defense in June touting his legislative achievements. One radio ad positioned him with Gov. Hickenlooper in supporting solar initiatives. What that has meant in practice is rising electric rates as the percentage of electricity derived from wind and solar sources has been mandated to increase. In a cynical move this session, Morse exempted Colorado Springs from the latest bill, Senate Bill 252.
It didn’t resonate. Coloradans are seeing their energy costs rise. The Sierra Club threatened to sue the city to get Colorado Springs to close its coal gasification plant. Morse is on the wrong side of energy issues. His constituents are not clamoring to pay more for electricity. They are clamoring for him to listen to them.
John Morse, who has a mailing address at the aging Satellite Hotel but actually lives in Denver, is not popular in his district. The Fraternal Order of Police has come out against the former policeman, as they did in 2010.
So the campaign has switched its attack to Bernie Herpin, the former city councilman who is on the ballot to replace Morse should he be recalled. In Colorado recall ballots, those are two separate questions. Should Morse be recalled, Herpin may be joined on the ballot by a Libertarian candidate if one gets enough signatures by August 26.
The latest television ads are being paid for by the front group “We Can Do Better” and claim that Herpin supported the Personhood Amendment. The amendment was on the 2012 ballot as Amendment 62 and did not pass.
The measure would have defined the term “person” in the state constitution as the start of biological development, effectively characterizing abortion as murder. Abortion is a hot button issue for Democrats.
The only problem with the ad is that it is an outright lie: Herpin did not support Amendment 62.
Laura Carno, founder of the women’s rights group “I am Created Equal,” and Jeff Crank, host of a KVOR radio show, have called for the television commercials to be removed.
“I’ve fought untruthful ads run by candidates from both political parties for many years now but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such an absolute lie in a political ad. People have little faith in politicians because of untrue, dishonest ads like this one. The law is fairly clear that you cannot ‘knowingly’ broadcast a lie,” said Jeff Crank.
Laura Carno said, “This is about integrity in the public square. Politicians on both sides of the aisle, who lie in order to win, should reconsider their careers. Voters want elected officials who tell the truth, and that includes telling the truth during their campaigns.”
In Pueblo, the story is similar.
Angela Giron has been saying in flyers and ads that the campaign to recall her was started and funded by outside billionaires and special interests. She has positioned herself as a victim for advancing left-wing causes — including gun control and her flawed rewriting of Colorado’s election law this session.
Again, the charge is an outright lie.
Pueblo Freedom and Rights, organizers of the recall, have repeatedly complained about the unfair characterization to no avail. So with local resources, they have produced a video that refutes the claim.
The recalls are the first of their kind in Colorado history and have thrown both parties into confusion. Politicians aren’t used to and don’t want to be held accountable by their constituents. The Colorado Republican Party did not assist either recall committee and even reportedly advised against the attempts.
Now that the signature-gathering efforts have been successful and momentum is building for the recalls, Republicans and others have found the courage to support them. Both the Recall Morse and Pueblo Freedom and Rights committees opened storefront offices Tuesday.
The recalls were started without any specific replacement candidate in mind. Volunteers and supporters felt that anyone would be better than Senators Morse and Giron. Morse won his seat with a plurality of the vote in a three-way race in 2010. Giron was appointed by the party in 2010 to fill a vacancy; she had no prior political experience.
The recall efforts have truly been a David versus Goliath battle. As the final weeks of the short campaign play out, the whole country is watching to see whether the people can win back their government from entrenched political parties.
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