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Major Pain

Colorado Voters Oust Two Dem State Senators in Recall Vote

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By Keith Coffman

DENVER | Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:55am EDT

(Reuters) - Colorado voters ousted two Democratic lawmakers, including the state senate president, in a historic recall vote on Tuesday over their support for tougher gun control laws, handing a major victory to gun rights supporters.

 

The recall races, the first in Colorado history, are at the epicenter of the national fight over gun control in the aftermath of a series of mass shootings last year, and were seen as a test of the sway of lobbyists on both sides of the debate.

 

State Senate President John Morse, who helped lead efforts in the state legislature to ban ammunition magazines with more than 15 rounds and to require background checks for private gun sales and transfers, said he had "absolutely no regrets" about pushing the gun-control measures.

 

"I said at the time if it costs me my political career, so be it," Morse told Reuters shortly after conceding. "That's nothing compared to what the families of (gun violence) victims go through every single day. We did the right thing."

 

A Colorado Springs Democrat, Morse trailed 50.96 percent to 49.04 percent, according to unofficial results from the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

 

Also unseated was Democrat state Senator Angela Giron of Pueblo, who conceded defeat as 56.01 percent of voters backed her ouster compared with 43.99 percent who wanted her to stay in office, according to the office.

 

The issue came to a head in Colorado after gun-rights activists accused Democrats of ramming through the gun control legislation in the aftermath of a series of shootings which included the killing of 12 people in a suburban Denver movie theatre last year.

 

Angered by the gun control push, gun rights advocates had sought the recall to send a message to current and future legislators that the bills had gone too far with efforts to curb firearm access. Opponents viewed the recall effort as a bullying tactic and not the proper way to handle a policy dispute.

 

Morse's Republican opponent, former Colorado Springs Councilman Bernie Herpin, said it was Morse's own unresponsiveness to constituents that prompted the recall effort, a process in which voters petition to remove an elected official before his or her term has ended.

 

"When you (have) 10,000 valid signatures on a recall petition, that's a powerful message," Herpin said before the voting ended.

 

CONTRIBUTIONS BACKFIRE

 

The recall battle drew more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions. But the vast majority of the funds - nearly $3 million - came from opponents of the recall drive who support stricter gun control, figures from the secretary of state's office showed.

 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns, wrote a $350,000 personal check to the anti-recall campaigns. Los Angeles billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad kicked in another $250,000 to stave off the recalls.

 

After claiming victory late on Tuesday, Herpin said the push to derail the recall had "backfired" on the gun control lobby.

 

"In Colorado, we don't need some New York billionaire telling us what size soft drinks we can have, how much salt to put on our food, or the size of the ammunition magazines on our guns," he said.

 

Only about $500,000 came from the pro-gun lobby, mainly $368,000 donated by the National Rifle Association, the nation's biggest pro-gun lobby, which feted Morse's ouster late on Tuesday.

 

"The people of Colorado Springs sent a clear message to the Senate leader that his primary job was to defend their rights and freedoms and that he is ultimately accountable to them - his constituents, and not to the dollars or social engineering agendas of anti-gun billionaires," the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement.

 

A poll conducted last month showed Colorado residents in general opposed the recall efforts, with 60 percent saying that when voters disagree with a legislator they should wait for re-election rather than mount a recall.

 

Morse was seen as the more vulnerable of the pair, as a quarter of his district sits in Colorado Springs, long a Republican stronghold, although registration in the Senate district is split almost evenly among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

 

Republican Senate candidate and former Pueblo deputy police chief George Rivera, said Giron had been hurt by her support for other laws, including legislation to allow cities in the Denver area to draw water from the Arkansas River basin at the expense of local communities. But the primary issue remained gun control.

 

"That was the match that lit the fuse," he said.

 

(Writing by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Richard Chang and Patrick Graham)

 

U.S.POLITICS

 

YEE haw!

Major Pain

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The real reason that the recall worked is that the people of Southern Colorado, that these two sentors represented felt betrayed. Many times their constituants tried to get them to listen inboth open meetings, community meetings and behind closed session at the capital and many a time thye were resistant, often cancelleing public meetings or not showing up altogether and limiting testimony to a one sided debate whereby only the Anti- gunners could testify.

 

The people of Colorado Have Spoken. They have told state government officials that when the government does not serve the people, then it is our right as citizens to change that governemnt. I believe that many of us have forgotten that and we have become subjects rather that citizens.

 

I hope that this will set a trend in other state legislatures and perhaps at the national level and the people begin to make their representatives and senators accountable for what they do and how they vote...

 

As for you Mr. Bloomberg, please keep your money and keep it out of Colorado affairs. It seems to me that you will need that $$$ when the People of New York vote you and your ridiculous policies out of office. Just becuse your rich does not make you right!

 

You all take care and best of luck to you and remember, a governemnt exists because the people it governs allows it to exist.......

 

 

Respectfully,

CBA

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"You all take care and best of luck to you and remember, a governemnt exists because the people it governs allows it to exist......."

 

+1

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Congratulations to Colorado. Their elected officials need to listen to the Voters not Washington Bureaucrats that just want to pass "Feel Good" legislation that does nothing to solve problems. Irish Pat, sass 19486

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Interesting how biased that coverage is.

 

According to that coverage, the recall showed the "sway of the lobbyists on the opposite sides of the debate" not much more. Amazing twist. But he backs it up with facts. The anti-gunners poured 3M+ into their effort easily outstripping the gunners at only 500K. Wait.... how does that show that the battle was won by "lobbyist sway" since all that money obviously goes to lobbying efforts.

 

It really strikes me the outcome was anything but the result of who had the more powerful lobby and certainly wasn't an outcome the pro-gunners bought.

 

The article certainly got in a lot of anti-gun licks and did really good a covering why they lost.

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The fact that John Morse arrogantly said prior to the recall "I have been voted in twice and I look forward to be voted in a third time" is pie in his face ~ GOOD JOB COLORADO FOLKS!!

 

GG~ :FlagAm:

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In spite of the successful recall, the Dems still control the state senate...by one vote. And those onerous gun laws are still on the books...at least until we can get a majority in both houses and try to repeal at least some of them...especially that 15 round magazine limit.

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I beleive/ hope that this is just the start of a new way of thinking in the political arena and how the people should react to uinethical practices by politicos

 

 

Cba .

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In spite of the successful recall, the Dems still control the state senate...by one vote. And those onerous gun laws are still on the books...at least until we can get a majority in both houses and try to repeal at least some of them...especially that 15 round magazine limit.

Let's hope the remaining majority have paid attention

 

CR

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Har! Drinks are on me.

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UB!

 

I'll take a Sassparilla.

 

Pain

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When politicians are ousted by a recall for non representation of constituents they should never be allowed to hold any public office again - ever! imho

 

LBC

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Thats great! Congrats Colorado. I hope this happens all across the country in the mid term elections.

 

HS

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John Morse was a police officer and Sergeant at the Colorado Springs Police Department for 9 years. He was universally hated; in fact, I can't find a single person who liked or respected him. He is widely known for having written an internal memo informing his subordinates they would "incur [his] wrath" for violating a list of pet peeves. The memo went over like a fart in church, so badly the Chief himself (4 levels above a Sergeant) had to call him into his office and remind him the Sergeant stripes were probationary!

When the recall election was announced, the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association (not a union, per se, but very much like one) announced they were supporting Morse's opponent! So the "thin blue line" did NOT support their former colleague. That goes to show exactly how poorly he was viewed.

 

Good riddance!

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We were not sure how it was going to go at first. Morse was the police chief in a town south of Colorado Springs and was kicked out of there. We are very happy that our hard work paid off.

 

On Tuesday it looked like Giron was going to win then all of a sudden the votes started to come in and we go then both out.

 

Next they are looking at the governor. That will be harder but I believe we are going to try.

 

For now I for one am very happy. Will be interesting to be at the gunshow on Saturday to see what is being said. It is in Colorado Springs but not in morse's district.

 

Painted Filly

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Both these politicians are defiant, arrogant and unapologetic. This, after having been given their walking papers by their constituents. I would be humbled myself. I have long said that Colorado Democrats are a bit different than eastern democrats. Giron, who is in a heavily Democratic dominated district just found that out.

First recall election in the137 year history of this state. This should send a strong message to politicians everywhere.

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Looks like Hickengruber (or whatever his name is) has had a "come to Jesus" moment.

 

Dem.Colo. governor nervously attempts damage control after recalls

 

When he signed the bills into law in March, Hickenlooper said
large-capacity magazines “have the potential to turn killers into
killing machines.” After admitting that some gun owners may be
inconvenienced, he insisted, “the potential for damage seems to
outweigh, significantly, the inconvenience that people would have,”
according to Fox News.


Now Hickenlooper seems to have had a change of heart. Much like Alec
Guinness in “The Bridge On the River Kwai,” he apparently surveyed the
damage and asked, “What have I done?”


Shortly after the recall election, Hickenlooper claimed that he was
never as “fired up” about limiting capacities on ammunition magazines as
he was about background checks, according to The Washington Examiner.


“That was a tough one,” he said.

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