COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., October 13, 2013 — If Colorado State Sen. Evie Hudak though she was out of the woods when activists suspended their campaign to recall her in August, she was mistaken. In fact, “suspended” — not “cancelled,” “stopped,” or “failed” — is the right word to describe what the committee decided to do.
Late last week, they announced that the effort is restarting.
Spokesman Mike McAlpine said that the Recall Hudak committee decided to suspend their campaign in order to support the Morse and Giron recall efforts.
On Monday October 7, the issue committee “Recall Hudak Too” was registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. The original “Recall Evie Hudak” committee was formed on April 7 and is still active. As of September 19, that committee had raised about $6,600 in cash and a little over $7,000 in non-monetary contributions.
Since reopening the effort last week, McAlpine says their biggest problem has been dealing with the large number of volunteers. The committee has learned from the other recall campaigns and is confident of getting the required number of signatures to force a recall election. The petitions are due January 4th, just the legislature’s 2014 session begins.
Evie Hudak is infamous for her callous treatment of rape victim Amanda Collins during testimony around a proposed gun ban on college campuses. Hudak told her that even had she been allowed to have her concealed carry pistol with her on the night she was attacked, statistics were not on her side. The bill, strongly opposed by students, was eventually withdrawn.
“A small group is seeking to undo the will of voters, who reelected me to the Senate last November. Unable to defeat me then, they are now attempting a political power grab using a low voter turnout, no mail ballot recall election strategy,” Hudak said in a statement to the Denver Post.
It’s a telling statement, drawing on the narrative from the previous two recalls. The “low voter turnout” charge is a red herring as turnout in both counties last month was the same as turnout in equivalent off-cycle elections. Among the bills Democrats passed this year is a massive tax increase called Amendment 66. They hope to pass it in this year’s low voter turnout election.
Hudak, like Morse, was elected by a plurality but not a majority of voters. She also mentions a “no mail ballot recall election strategy.” This is highly misleading because according to the Colorado Constitution, all recall elections are to be in-person elections. At the very end of the session in May, Democrats passed wholesale election restructuring that mandates all mail-in elections, which favor Democrats.
If the recall is to go forward, organizers will have to collect more than 20,000 signatures — hardly a small group.
The Democrats have not yet opened up a defensive committee for Hudak as they did for the other two senators. The majority of money raised for Hudak’s candidate committee came from unions. While recalls have benefitted the Republican Party, they were not started or supported by the GOP.
In a reprise of his earlier stand on recalls, State GOP Chairman Ryan Call came out against the recall effort, saying it could hurt other Republican efforts in 2014. Call had especially discouraged the Giron recall, telling activists on the final election day that they were going to lose and that they should be preparing their concession speeches.
Instead, they continued to work hard and won handily.
Call is by now unpopular with grassroots activists. His actions have earned him at least one “Recall Call” Facebook post. He’s not doing so well with the party’s central committee, either. When party Vice-Chair Don Ytterberg resigned last month, Call’s hand-picked replacement was passed over in favor of Douglas County’s Mark Baisley. Baisley had run against Call for the chairmanship.
Newly-elected Senators George Rivera and Bernie Herpin were sworn in to office on October 3. Both men are personally humble and down-to-earth. Rivera is a former deputy police chief and Herpin a former Colorado Springs city council member. Neither was picked by the party. Herpin won an informal vote by precinct leaders in the district. Rivera was encouraged to run by his wife, a registered Democrat. He was unopposed.
One can’t help but think that the people of these two districts are better served by their new senators. A similar result would be good for the people of Westminster.
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