COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, July 10, 2013—On July 3, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office resolved complaints by Sen. John Morse’s attorney, and yesterday it did so for the Giron camp. According to Colorado law, one month after petition signatures are verified, any protests over the validity of the signatures accepted by the Secretary of State’s office must be resolved. Yesterday’s ruling completed that process.
True to form, Democrats continue legal challenges to forestall the recall elections demanded by the people. Morse’s attorney’s filed in district court yesterday for an injunction to stop the recall.
Gun-rights supporters in both Pueblo and El Paso counties have targeted the two lawmakers for recall because they organized and supported new gun-control laws this year—in total disregard of the wishes of their constituents. According to speculation in the Pueblo Chieftain, a decision in the Morse case is likely to apply to the Giron recall as well because of the similarity of the wording of the petitions.
The reason the two petitions are worded similarly is that they both follow the template provided by the Secretary of State’s office. Organizer Rob Harris says that if they had not used that wording, their petitions would not have been approved.
Democrat attorney Mark Grueskin—the radical Democrat’s go-to lawyer in Denver who is employed on behalf of Morse—is thus going after the process itself. The law is clear and Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert, who reviewed both complaints and released the rulings, said that she dismissed Grueskin’s complaint because the process is in full compliance with the law.
The essence of Grueskin’s complaint is that the petitions do not include wording to say the recalled official must be replaced—as if common sense didn’t indicate that the position would need to be filled. In both complaints a local Democrat activist was used as complainant: Catherine Kleinsmith in Colorado Springs and S. Douglas McMillan in Pueblo. Ms. Kleinsmith, who contributed to Morse’s issue committee and lists her occupation as a retired attorney, didn’t bother to show at last week’s hearing in Denver.
The legal challenges are only part of the scorched-earth delaying tactics the Democrats are using to keep their two senators from being recalled.
In the weeks before the sufficiency rulings, Democrat canvassers were seen on the streets with photocopies of the recall signatures, going house-to-house in an effort to pressure people into recanting their signatures. For the Morse petition, they convinced 125 people to change their minds. People reported also being contacted via phone from out of state; one person said she’d been called nine times.
These voter intimidation techniques are troubling but ultimately did not affect the outcome. They may well have a chilling effect on future petitions.
The people who signed the petitions were registered 48% Republican, 38% Unaffiliated, and 20% Democrat. The district overall voter registration is roughly one-third each.
Meanwhile, Tuesday night a Republican vacancy committee selected former city councilman Bernie Herpin run for the office in the recall election.
Under Colorado law, the recall ballot is structured as two questions. The first is, “Shall Sen. John Morse be recalled?” The second is a selection of people seeking to replace him.
It is unclear whether Democrats will put anyone on the recall ballot. The most widely speculated name is former state representative Mike Merrifield, who had already announced his intention to run for the seat in 2014. He now says he won’t be put on this ballot, preferring instead to focus on keeping Morse in office.
Morse has five working days from July3 to decide whether to resign. If he does, a Democrat party vacancy committee led, incidentally, by the man leading the “A Whole Lotta People for John Morse” issue committee, will recommend a replacement. That replacement is expected to be Mike Merrifield. Governor Hickenlooper would then make the formal approval.
If events transpire in this fashion, it would be a big stick in the eye of district voters. Mike Merrifield ran Mayor Bloomberg’s Colorado gun control operation.
Although Morse is likely under some pressure to resign, Democrat strategists may decide to go for broke. Using their national fundraising apparatus, they are nationalizing this contest and both outraising and outspending the Basic Freedom Defense Fund, which is funding the recall effort. So far, no national gun rights or other organization has stepped in to help.
In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is fighting tooth and nail to stay in power, regardless of the will of the people who have gathered in their millions to “recall” them. In Colorado, radical Democrats are likewise fighting to avoid the people’s judgment on their performance.
So far in Colorado, no one standing up for their rights has been killed or seriously injured.
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