No excuses: What was really behind the Colorado recalls

It's not about gun control or the NRA Photo: Ammoland.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., September 15, 2013 — A whole troop of left-wing Democrats from DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schulz to the recalled Colorado senators themselves have spent the past week putting out a litany of excuses as to why they lost. The excuses fit their memes, but they don’t reflect reality. They can’t seem to grasp that they lost in the court of public opinion.

According to the conventional wisdom of the political class, Republicans and Democrats alike, it takes money to win elections. By that measure, the Democrats should have won. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, $3 million was raised to withstand recalls. The recall committees estimate they were outspent six or seven to one.

Money was not the issue. Establishment politicians have the money game rigged in their favor and they lost anyway.

The second-most popular notion in politics is that the side that is best organized wins. This, like the money aspect, is not without merit. The side with the most votes wins, and if you can turn out your side to vote, you win. By this measure as well, the Democrats should have won. Busloads of union-paid volunteers came down to Pueblo to canvass for Giron. Early on they hired a Chicago-based community organizer to run Giron’s defense. Both defending committees were run centrally from Denver and Washington, D.C. Victor Head and Rob Harris literally ran their campaigns out of the back of their vehicles. Donors rented them office space only in the last few weeks of the election.

No, organization was not the issue either. The union-controlled Democrat Party machinery is highly organized and they lost anyway.

The big excuse offered by both Giron and Morse—one wonders whether this, too, is being centrally managed—is that the election process itself was unfair. That pill is ultimately impossible to swallow.

Giron did all she could to tilt the elections process in her favor. During the January to May session she had been preparing a complete re-write of Colorado election law: same-day voter registration, mandatory all mail-in ballots, virtually no residency requirements and no photo voter ID. Abolish the precinct polling place and reduce the role of citizen election judges.

After it was apparent that there was a recall effort against her, she struck the provision in the law that said recall elections must be conducted in person, at polling locations. Like every other election, they were to be all mail-in.

To understand the significance of this, it should be noted that mail-in ballots are the tool of choice for election fraud, according to author John Fund’s newest book on election integrity, Who’s counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.

Giron’s bill was written behind closed doors. It was introduced at the last opportunity, no debate, no amendments—just like Morse’s gun bills and a host of other legislation this session. What she forgot—or perhaps didn’t know—was that the Colorado Constitution guarantees candidates the right to petition on to the ballot up to fifteen days before an election.

Her law conflicted with the constitution. The Libertarian party sued, the judge agreed and candidates were allowed to petition on to the ballot until 26 August. This made mail-in ballots impossible and the recall elections went ahead the way they always have in Colorado.

Her attempt to tilt the playing field in her favor failed. Did this make the election unfair? Everyone played by the same rules, closely watched by officials from the Secretary of State’s election division.

Other excuses abound, equally wrong.

It was not the NRA who brought these two would-be rulers down. The NRA only committed after the grassroots teams had proved they were serious by turning in their petitions. The NRA has given full credit to the grassroots.

It was not the Republican Party that brought them down. State Chairman Ryan Call repeatedly discouraged the recall efforts, especially in Pueblo. On the very eve of the final election day he told organizers that they were going to lose and that they should just give up and write their concession speeches.

Call issued a statement after the judge’s ruling in favor of the constitution, calling it “disappointing.” Secretary Gessler wanted to institute email voting. Their records in supporting the constitution and free and fair elections can be described as mixed at best.

It was not Republican voters who brought them down. Republicans are in the minority in both districts. They did not turn out in numbers that, by themselves, could have turned the tide.

Why did the recalls succeed? Recall elections usually do not. Only two of the four committees formed to recall state officials this spring got enough signatures to force an election in the first place.

The real answer strikes fear into the hearts of establishment politicians of both parties. They know the real reason, even though they mostly won’t admit it. The AP reports former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter saying the recall movement tapped into public unease with a broad Democratic agenda “that may have drifted too far to the left…” May have, governor?

Yet it was more than the policies themselves: it was the way they were rammed home. Sweeping bills drafted by special interests in secret, then rushed through the legislature in minimum time with virtually no debate and no amendments allowed. Not only were the people  shut out of the process, so were sheriffs, Republican legislators and anyone, subject matter expert or not, who opposed John Morse’s radical left-wing agenda.

It was their own hubris that brought them down. It was the belief—apparently still held by John Morse—that once elected they have license to do whatever they want.

The people have spoken. We are not going to wait until the next election cycle to punish legislators who are working in their own interest and against ours. We have found our voice. Let would-be tyrants tremble.

READ MORE from Al Maurer at Red Pill, Blue Pill


At The Voice of Liberty, we seek to advance the principles of liberty, because tyranny never sleeps.


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Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.

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