ANALYSIS: Morse Recall Effort a “David vs. Goliath” Affair

May 6, 2013
By

Morse is one of several lawmakers who have been targeted for recall after backing controversial gun control proposals

DENVER – Rob Harris will be the first one to admit that recalling Senate President John Morse (D-Colo. Springs) won’t be easy.  But Harris is confident that his grassroots campaign has what it takes to end the second-term lawmaker’s career at the State Capitol.

“We are volunteers, people who have never been involved in politics,” says Harris of his group, the Basic Freedom Defense Fund.  “It’s a David vs. Goliath thing, but we’re still going to be successful.”

Morse is one of several Democratic lawmakers who have been targeted for recall after backing controversial gun control proposals approved by the legislature earlier this year.

Morse has gained particular notoriety, however, for authoring a bill that sought to hold gun manufacturers, retailers and even individual owners legally liable for damage caused by certain firearms – even if the gun in question was lost or sold.  That bill was not among those Hickenlooper signed into law, but the measure earned him plenty of critics – including from some Democrats.

“That’s crazy. That’s absolutely nuts,” said State Rep. Ed Vigil (D-Fort Garland) of Morse’s liability proposal.

But Harris – a constituent of Morse – says for him at least, the recall effort is about a lot more than guns.

“We are working to recall Morse for many reasons.  Legislation he has pushed has caused the state to lose hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue,” said Harris.  “And yes, his stance on defining an assault weapon as any semi-automatic or lever-action rifle is ludicrous,” Harris says.

But some on the far left have characterized the recall as a shadowy out-of-state conspiracy, with at least one pro-Morse group going so far as to produce a “public awareness alert” – designed to sound like an official public safety announcement – warning voters that recall petition circulators are dangerous sexual predators or identity thieves.

Harris bristles at the suggestion that recall backers are part of an out-of-state plot.

“I started this recall effort because I am a constituent of John Morse and he refuses to listen to my emails, he changes senate rules so that I cannot testify on important legislation,” Harris told The Observer.  “He is supposed to represent the interest of his constituents, not the desires of his financial backers like [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg who lives in New York.”

As for the robocall suggesting that recall supporters are criminals, Harris says he isn’t surprised.

“This just shows the level of desperation on the part of Morse,” Harris says.  “He’s scared.  He knows he’s in trouble.  Why else would you insinuate something like that?  It’s typical politics.”

Laura Carno, an El Paso County resident and head of the non-partisan women’s group I Am Created Equal, also dismissed the attacks.

“It’s funny to hear [the ‘out-of-state’ attack] from the side funded by the billionaire Mayor of New York [Michael Bloomberg],” Carno told The Observer.

Like Harris, Carno admits that unseating the most powerful Senator in the State Legislature will be an uphill battle, but says she backs the locally-driven effort.

“Recalls are tough, but there have been successes,” said Carno.  “We need to send a message to politicians that you can’t get away with doing this to the citizens.”

Senator Morse’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Comments made by visitors are not representative of The Colorado Observer staff.

11 Responses to ANALYSIS: Morse Recall Effort a “David vs. Goliath” Affair

  1. wrongheifer
    May 6, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Voters Remorse… Voted them in for JOBS…
    Got: Gays to marry, guns restricted, businesses leaving the state, higher utility bills, increased taxes, and illegals get to vote along with instate tuition…

    Voters have extensive Remorse.

  2. SPQR
    May 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Morse’s only response to the recall is to use outside money to fund robocalls slandering the real local grassroots people.

    This is how Democrats intend to continue to destroy Colorado.

    • Tom S
      May 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      It is his continued and blatant unethical behavior that SHOULD get him recalled. Rhonda Fisher is NOT in Colorado Springs attempting to get signatures on the petitions so he is flat out lying when he says ex-cons are part of the effort to unseat him.

      • SPQR
        May 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        Fields

  3. Rob
    May 10, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Morse thinks he is in Bloomberg’s New York instead of Colorado. He refuses to accept that we democrats have to attract and keep independent voters to win. Thanks to Morse’s support of gun control bills, half the independents who previously approved of Hickenlooper now disapprove and we will likely lose control of the legislature in the next election. Clinton is right; pushing gun control is a bad strategy. We democrats need to recall Morse before he tars all Colorado democrats with the Bloomberg brush.

  4. Ron
    May 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Sign the petition to recall Senator Morse and call friends and family in his district and tell them to do the same!

  5. May 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I would like to help circulate petitions, I am out of his district so I cannot do so, but I certainly could pair up with a resident and solicit signers for the qualified resident to follow up on after I have pre-qualified signers. Morse has to go and send a message that even last-termers have to be responsible.

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