Political ramifications of the Colorado recall elections and the willful blindness of the losers

One of the stories I was following closely (even as my laptop was in the repair shop and I couldn’t actually write about it) was the recall elections in Colorado. Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron were at the forefront of efforts to pass some of those ridiculously ineffective, knee-jerk response laws to enact “common sense” gun control. Among the more ridiculous was the magazine size limitation wherein selling of mags of greater than 15 rounds was outlawed. That law was quite hypocritical given the lawmakers’ advances to Colorado’s MagPul Industries, a well-known maker of the standard 30-round magazines for AR-15 class rifles. They wanted MagPul to stay and keep the jobs and tax revenue coming, but they just weren’t allowed to actually, you know, sell their product in the state. It’s far, far too dangerous to have such things being sold around their homes, but they were perfectly fine with the company selling them in other states. MagPul saw that hypocrisy for what it was and was one of the firearms-related companies that were seeking to move to states that actually support the whole US Constitution.

Support for those laws were clearly not as solid among their own constituents – you know, the people they’re supposed to be representing – as was believed, apparently, and a recall effort was launched. In spite of big names in the Democratic Party swinging by to offer their support to Morse and Giron and in spite of being outspent by the anti-recall forces by a factor of 7-to-1, the recall proposal got more than the needed number of signatures to go to a vote. That vote was held this past Tuesday and the results were both clear and rather stunning to the gun-banning crowd. Both Morse and Giron were recalled.

Colorado’s state senate president and another legislator have conceded in an unprecedented recall election triggered by their push for stricter gun control measures. The outcome is likely to be viewed as a referendum on the hot-button issue that has divided the country this year.

The senate leader, John Morse of Colorado Springs, and state Sen. Angela Giron of the Democratic-leaning city of Pueblo were targeted by a highly contentious recall effort that drew big-name donors on both sides of the debate. The legislative recall effort is the first in state history.

With about 80 percent of voted counted, the Denver Post and other local media outlets reported that Morse had conceded Tuesday night. The final counts showed Morse was voted out 50.9-49 percent. Giron was ousted 56 percent to 44 percent.

For the record, both of those senate districts voted for Obama in 2012 by margins of 12 and 20 percent. In the wake of that loss both Giron and the Democratic National Committee explained the losses as a matter of… voter suppression.

Giron appeared on CNN Thursday and said, "We know what really happened here. What this story is really about, it’s about voter suppression."

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz made a similar statement the day before: "The recall elections in Colorado were defined by the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people," she said. "This was voter suppression, pure and simple."

According to Colorado Recall Effort Consultant Kurt Bardella, Giron and Schultz "have been rewriting history. [This] is either a manifestation of a desperate attempt at damage control or a complete and fundamental lack of understanding of what happened Tuesday night and why."

Bardella both Wasserman Schultz and Giron are ignoring the only real suppression that took place—suppression of Coloradans who wanted to speak against gun control while it was being debated in the legislature but were not allowed to do so.

Precisely. No voters were suppressed in getting to vote, none were denied access to the polls. But they were absolutely denied the ability to speak out before the law was rammed through. Passing the law in the state’s legislature, however, is just 1 hurdle. The Governor has to sign the bill, and sign this one Gov. Hickenlooper of CO most certainly did. In speaking on the results, the Governor looked and sounded just a little nervous:

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado defended his record on gun control after two Democratic state senators were recalled by their constituents in an election on Tuesday.

Hickenlooper admitted that the special election results were likely the result of the new laws limiting high-capacity magazines and requiring universal background checks for firearms purchases, but suggested that it was an overreaction.

Wow, where to start with that one? First up, the elections weren’t “likely” the result of these 2 alleged representatives of the people pushing through a law their constituents didn’t want. They were emphatically and explicitly the result of those laws. To suggest that there might have been something else to this is simply a matter of plugging one’s political ears and loudly chanting “la la la la la – I can’t hear you!” And following that up with a dismissive comment about it being an “overreaction” is, frankly, something the Governor might live to regret. What really gets me, though, is a comment the Governor made to a question about what these elections might mean for his own political future. He replied, “Obviously, I have to do a better job of getting the facts out there.”

Implying that the people who voted for the recall only did so because they lacked the facts. Hubris, Governor. The facts were out there just fine. It’s just that the people disagree with what you’re concluding from them. Strongly. And two of your colleagues paid for that little bit of deliberate blindness. I would suggest you worry more about your jobs, your taxes, and your state’s operations and less about trying to make criminals out of free citizens who are quite capable of deciding for themselves whether and how to arm themselves. You might want to do so before another recall crops up… with your name on it.

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One comment

  1. […] I’d like to remind all involved, dealt with the voter ramifications of pushing those laws. Colorado saw 2 of their fairly “big deal” Democrats get recalled specifically over their…. Of course, that didn’t repeal those laws, so, MagPul was still left with the situation where […]

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