Recall Drives Rolling Against Morse, McLachlan

March 26, 2013
By

Senate President John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) is being targeted for recall by gun rights supporters.

DENVER — Less than a week after the governor signed into law three gun-control bills, petitions are already circulating in the drives to recall two Democrats, Colorado Senate President John Morse and State Rep. Mike McLachlan.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office approved petition language Monday for the Morse recall effort and Friday for the McLachlan recall.

Two more recall drives against state Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Lakewood) and state Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) are still in the planning stages.

“There are now 400+ petitions on the streets in Durango, Gunnison, Lake City, Pagosa Springs and Silverton!” said a Monday post on the Facebook page, Recall Mike McLachlan.

All the recall targets are Democrats, but so far the Colorado Republican Party has stayed out of the fray, leaving the organization to gun-rights and grassroots liberty groups.

“The grassroots support for this has been immense,” said Nick Andrasik, spokesman for the Basic Freedom Defense Fund in Grand Junction, which is coordinating the Morse and Hudak recalls.

The fund had also been helping organize the McLachlan recall along with the San Juan Freedom Defense Committee in Durango, but the groups announced Monday that they had split. Morse represents District 11 in Colorado Springs, while McLachlan’s District 59 is based in Durango.

Andrasik said Colorado is on the cutting edge of a political backlash against the state and national movement to enact tougher gun-control laws in the wake of two mass shootings in 2012.

“This isn’t just about Colorado–the momentum against these gun-control measures is nationwide,” said Andrasik. “Colorado is really the starting point for this. We’re the main stage in the national debate.”

Organizers say they need 7,178 validated signatures to put a Morse recall on the ballot, and 10,587 for a McLachlan recall. All the signatures must be from within the legislators’ districts, and petitions must be submitted within 60 days of receiving approval.

The governor is charged with selecting a date for a special election after the signatures have been validated, but may put off the vote until Nov. 5, the date of the next regularly scheduled election, if the petitions are approved within 90 days of the election.

Andrasik said his group is hoping to have signatures validated in time for a vote in August or September.

So far there has been little comment by Democrats targeted by the recall efforts. Morse told KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs that his support for the gun-control package was worth any political price he may pay.

“That’s why politicians around the country don’t want to stand up for this issue, but this is a political hill in my view that’s worth dying for so that we can make sure others don’t die literally at the point of a gun,” Morse said.

Political insiders watching the recall effort unfold had a piece of advice for organizers: Don’t overshoot.

Former Senate President John Andrews said the recall groups may want to “narrow the focus and try to take just two scalps,” preferably McLachlan and Hudak, whom he identified as the most vulnerable lawmakers.

“If Coloradans can recall at least one state senator and one state rep over their unrepresentative and arguably unconstitutional gun control votes, it will be the most important grassroots message since Californians recalled Gov. Gray Davis [in 2003],” said the Republican Andrews in an email.

Organizers should also bear in mind that recalls can be politically risky, said former Colorado Republican Party head Dick Wadhams.

“This is the problem with recalls: If they fail, they actually strengthen the incumbent politically,” said Wadhams. “This is pretty high-stakes stuff we’re talking about. Short of malfeasance or corruption in office, I think it’s smart to wait until the next election.”

He noted that in 2014, Morse would be term-limited and McLachlan is up for reelection. At the same time, Wadhams acknowledged that frustration and anger with the legislature over gun control may never be higher.

“I will say that the gun-control issue is very hot right, and these recalls should be able to take advantage of the political climate,” said Wadhams. “The intensity factor will work in favor of the recall groups.”

That’s why it’s important to act now, said Andrasik. “I think it’s more dangerous to wait until the next election,” he said.

This post was written by

Valerie Richardson – who has written posts on The Colorado Observer.

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10 Responses to Recall Drives Rolling Against Morse, McLachlan

  1. Bob Terry
    March 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I will support the recall of any democrat in this state. I am not a gun owner, but like with this legislation, along with all the feel good agendas we are not being represented. Our Liberty and Consitutional rights are slowly being taken away. Just like civil unions, we voted down gay marriage etc, so lets just change the laguage and semantics. We will pass it whether you like it or not or want it or not. Perople we have to wake up..Right now we have the Nannyist running the state and without any control

  2. March 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

    We will support the recall effort of any Democrat in the State of Colorado. The gun control legislation, civil unions and failure to pass Jessica’s law is more than enough to recall these yellow bellied leftist extremists. Far left Democrats are destroying this Nation, especially that illegal impostor in the White House.

  3. Winghunter
    March 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    CO Senate Majority Leader John Morse (D-C/S) believes owning a gun is a “sickness on our souls.”

    Morse said: “The reality is, these folks don’t have a Second Amendment right to buy these guns,” he said when introducing his ‘assault weapons’ liability bill.

    Yes, Morse said this also: “You should ignore them and do what [you] need to do,” he said when talking about listening to constituents to his fellow legislators.

    Help Recall Colorado Senator John Morse (Senate District 11)

    Web – coloradorecall.com

    FB – Recall Senator John Morse

    Twitter – @ReMorseCO

    • GetTheFacts
      July 2, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Senator Morse never said that owning a gun is a “sickness on our souls.” He was reading a quote from Robert F. Kennedy, which refers to VIOLENCE — not gun ownership. Here’s the actual quote:

      “Violence breeds violence, repression breeds retaliation and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls.”
      Robert F. Kennedy after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. americantotheend
    March 30, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    If being this stupid was a crime Terry Maketa could be out arresting all these idiots before they take away something else.

  5. vicki s. cook
    April 23, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    how can we help? where can we get petitions?

  6. DanDan
    April 25, 2013 at 8:53 am

    If you live in Colorado Springs Senate District 11 and are dissatisfied with your Senator John Morse, please visit http://gotremorse.com/home/ for information about the effort to recall him. This recall simply allows the question to go directly to the voters. Does John Morse accurately represents your views? Please get active, and let your voice be heard.

  7. BillieN
    May 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

    I appears that Sen Morse and his supporters are very nervous. With the robocalls and the ads on the radio accusing the signature gatherers of being convicted felons, that smacks of desperation. I have been involved in this process from day 1 and have not met ANY convicted felons. We are all law-abiding citizens and not all are gun-owners. This recall is NOT about the gun control issues! It IS about Senator Morse ignoring his constituents and telling other representatives that they should do the same! He was elected to REPRESENT his district, not RULE it! He is not a god or a king. He is an arrogant self-serving individual who has no business in a position of making decisions that effect the entire state!

  8. Coyotejoe
    May 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

    It’s typical of the liberal left to believe they know what’s best for the people and representing the will of the people is never of any concern. During public testimony these so-called representatives chatted, doodled, text messaged and did anything but pay respectful attention to the public comments. Colorado sheriffs who opposed these measures were allowed only two minutes to comment while Mark Kelly, who is not even a Colorado resident was treated like visiting royalty. The laws they have enacted are “feel good, do nothing” unenforceable disgraces to legitimate legislature.

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