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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Colorado Gun Owners Fight Back… Deliver Twice as Many Signatures as Needed to Recall Senator

Colorado Gun Owners Fight Back…
Deliver Twice as Many Signatures as Needed to Recall Senator

In this photo taken May 24, 2013, Paradise Firearms owner Paul Paradis holds a flyer depicting Colorado's State Senate President, Democrat John Morse, together with a petition to recall him, right, at his gun shop in Colorado Springs. (AP | Ed Andrieski)
Yesterday 16,000 signatures were delivered to recall Colorado State Senator John Morse. Morse has been a huge backer of the sweeping and numerous gun control bills that were passed in Colorado earlier in the year and signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. 

Below is just a reminder of Mr. Morse’s thinking, or lack of thinking, as he spoke about massive gun control laws as though they would “stop bullets piercing children’s bodies.”

According to opponents of the Democrat Senate President, they turned in twice as many signatures as needed on Monday.

Bill Adaska, a retired engineer from Denver who volunteered to gather the signatures for Morse’s signature in his district, said “This shot will be heard around the world. This is the race, right here, that’s going to show Washington and Chicago that when you come after our guns, we’re going to take you out.”

The Washington Post reports on Morse and his response to the recall:

Morse backed the gun control measures, and sponsored an even stricter measure to gun owners liable in some cases for damage caused by their weapons. Morse scuttled that liability measure when it appeared it didn’t have enough support to clear the Senate.

A defiant Morse responded Monday to the recall petition by insisting he won’t resign and that national gun groups have targeted him in an effort to scare politicians nationwide away from addressing gun control.

“This turns into a national race,” Morse predicted.

Even if he loses his seat, Morse said, the gun measures were too important not to adopt after a bloody 2012. He insisted that he’s never aspired to another office and wouldn’t mind losing his political career over the gun bills.

“Keeping Coloradans safe from gun violence is very worth your political career,” Morse told reporters.

Perhaps Morse should be concerned with protecting Coloradans from politicians who don’t uphold their oath and are tyrannical while at the same time respond emotionally to an issue rather than intellectually.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) sent out political mailers in support of Morse’s recall, but the effort was a result of grassroots efforts, not the NRA.

Rob Harris, organizer of the recall effort, said “I ran this campaign. The NRA did not run this campaign. We the people are making a stand against the people who refused to represent their constituents."

No state lawmaker has ever faced a recall vote in Colorado history. Accordingly, voters would determine whether he should be recalled and who would replace him.

Any proposed candidate to take Morse’s place would only need 1,000 signatures.

There are more efforts to oust Democrat lawmakers. Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo has signatures for her recall due next week.

Two other Democrat lawmakers who were targeted for recall appear to be safe as the efforts to recall them seem to not have enough support to bring their recall to a vote.

The next step in the Morse case is that the Colorado Secretary of State has 15 business days to verify the signatures. Morse could challenge the signatures before a recall election is set. The latest date that for a recall vote of Morse would be early October.

Way to go Colorado! If lawmakers aren’t obeying the law, start kicking them out. That, my friends is a means to a peaceful revolution. 

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost and a regular contributor to The D.C. Clothesline. 
Gun control supporters facing recall bids in Colo. 
In Colorado, gun control votes followed by increasingly popular political tool: the recall
Associated Press -
In this photo taken May 24, 2013, a large sign posted at the entrance of Paradise Firearms in Colorado Springs, Colo., invites customers to sign a recall petition against Colorado Democratic State Senate President John Morse. In gun-friendly Colorado, gun-rights activists with support of the National Rifle Association are seeking Morse's ouster for his support of
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- A Democratic campaign office here usually would be quiet this time of year, a few weeks after the state's legislature wrapped up work and lawmakers headed off to summer vacations. 

But even though it's not an election year, the office is in full campaign mode, with volunteers working the phones and reviewing maps in anticipation of a new front of modern campaigning — the recall phase. 

A handful of Democratic state lawmakers in Colorado face recall petition efforts in what looks to be the first wave of fallout over legislative votes to limit gun rights. In an era in which recall efforts are booming, from governor's offices down to town councils and school boards, the Colorado efforts will serve as the first test of gun-rights groups' ability to punish elected officials who expanded gun control laws after last year's Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., shooting massacres. 

In Colorado, gun-rights activists wasted no time seeking recalls to oust state Senate President John Morse and three other Democratic lawmakers. The targeted lawmakers weren't necessarily the main advocates for ratcheting back gun rights, but all come from districts with enough Republicans to give opponents hope they can boot out the Democrats and replace them with lawmakers friendlier to guns. Colorado is the only state outside the East Coast to have adopted significant statewide gun controls this year. 

"Colorado seems to be the testing ground for some of the gun measures, so this has national implications," said Victor Head, a plumber from Pueblo who is organizing a recall attempt against a Democratic senator. 

Two of four recall efforts in Colorado already have evaporated from lack of support. But in Colorado Springs, Morse opponents are piling up signatures in gun shops and outside libraries and grocery stores. The National Rifle Association sent a political mailer saying it was coordinating the recall effort with local groups, though the local recall petitioners have denied that. The NRA did not return calls for comment on their involvement in the Colorado Springs effort. 

Morse has mounted a campaign to urge voters not to sign petitions. In an indication of the national stakes, that push is largely funded by a $20,000 contribution from a national progressive group called America Votes. The Morse campaign said the donation came through the group's local Colorado office. 

The recall group's main funding comes from a $14,000 contribution from a nonprofit run by a local conservative consultant, Laura Carno. She said that contribution was made possible by some out-of-state donors. 

"People in other states that are further down this road, like New York and Massachusetts, are calling up and saying 'What can we do to help?'" Carno said. "This isn't what Colorado stands for." 

In an interview, Morse seemed resigned to facing a recall vote after signatures are verified. He believes national gun-rights supporters are using his district to make a national statement about the political peril officials face if they take on gun control

"That's what's going on here. They want to take out the Senate president," Morse said. 

The organizer of the Morse recall effort, Anthony Garcia, didn't disagree. Garcia doesn't live in Morse's district but in the northern Colorado town of Brighton. Garcia said Morse was targeted not just because of his votes for gun control but because he is a prominent Democrat from a competitive district. 

"It's as much about saying Colorado is angry as it is about getting one guy out," Garcia said. 

"Legislators need to know when citizens are outraged that they can't ignore the people." 

Immediate accountability seems to be a common thread in recall attempts, said Joshua Spivak, who tracks recall elections nationwide at the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College in New York. Technology makes it easier to organize, Spivak said, and modern-day voters watching political activity in real time on Twitter and TV aren't content to wait until another election to show their displeasure when they feel ignored. 

Spivak said at least 169 officials at all levels of government faced recalls last year, up from 151 the year before. The number this year could go even higher, he said. 

Technology isn't the only explanation. 

"The other reason," Spivak said, "is that they succeed." 

Most recalls actually fail, as in the case last year of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican who survived a recall election after attacking collective bargaining rights for state employees. But compared with re-election campaigns, when incumbents face up to 75 percent likelihood of winning, Spivak said recall elections have a much lower rate of success for incumbents. 

In Colorado last year, seven recall efforts made it to ballots, all local races, Spivak said. Of those seven, two officials were ousted and two more resigned. 

Nationwide, 108 recalled officials last year lost or left office after a recall. That makes the recall a powerful tool — and one likely to be used more often, Spivak said. 

Back in Colorado Springs, a couple of Morse opponents defended the recall attempt as the best way for citizens to keep their representatives accountable. 

"I believe in gun rights. And he didn't listen. He's supposed to represent the people, and when he doesn't do that, what are supposed to do? Nothing?" asked Bianca McCarl, a 40-year-old merchandiser who is supporting Morse's recall.

Assuming the Morse recall goes to ballots, with an election to be held by late summer, the incumbent holds a slight party registration advantage in the district. He believes most voters liked his gun votes. 
Read More 
Pro-gun camp submits petitions to recall Colorado legislator 
Have more signatures than he got votes in 2010

DENVER — A recall campaign submitted stacks of petitions Monday to oust Colorado Senate President John Morse in what could become a national referendum on gun rights.

Organizers said they turned in more than 16,000 signatures, well in excess of the 7,178 valid signatures needed to force the recall and even more than the 13,866 votes received by Mr. Morse in the 2010 election.

“It just goes to show how interested people are in making sure Morse is recalled,” said recall organizer Rob Harris.

Mr. Morse, a Democrat from Colorado Springs, became a recall target for his role in pushing three gun-control measures signed by the governor in March. Another recall effort against Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo is scheduled to submit petitions June 10.

The Secretary of State’s office has 15 business days to verify the signatures. If the recall effort meets the threshold, Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper will be charged with calling a special election or placing the recall on the November ballot.

Any recall election is expected to draw national interest from groups on both sides of the firearms debate.

The Washington-based Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee fired off a statement Monday describing organizers as “extremists in Colorado who want to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.”

Additional articles:
Read more: Gun control supporters facing recall bids in Colorado - The Denver Post
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