Dems Explain ‘Sheriffs4Criminals’ Tweet, Identify Man in Crowd with Arrest Record

June 3, 2013
By
It is still unknown whether Senate President John Morse wrote or authorized the message

It is still unknown whether Senate President John Morse wrote or authorized the message

DENVER–Senate Democrats say they posted a Twitter message accusing Colorado sheriffs of siding with criminals because one onlooker at the sheriffs’ gun-lawsuit press conference has an arrest record.

The Senate Majority Office issued a statement last week along with a photo of a man identified as Clint Webster, who can be seen standing in the crowd as Independence Institute research director David Kopel speaks from the podium at the packed May 17 press conference.

According to Senate Democrats, Webster has been convicted of felony menacing and assault.

The photo, originally posted on the ColoradoPols website, shows that the sheriffs “are quite literally standing with a criminal, and not just any criminal, a domestic violence offender who fired two shots from a Colt semi-automatic handgun at his wife,” said the Senate Majority Office press release.

The May 29 statement comes as the Senate Majority Office’s first public explanation of the much-discussed Twitter post, which came under heavy criticism after it appeared online within a few hours of the press conference.

The message said, “2day CO sheriffs stood in opposition of CO’s new gun laws, but not w/law-abiding citizens, but with criminals. #coleg #Sheriffs4Criminals.”

The post-tweet statement answers some questions while raising others. Still unknown is whether Senate President John Morse wrote or authorized the message.

More than 100 reporters, photographers and observers attended the jammed press event in the foyer of the Independence Institute’s Denver office. The Senate Majority Office referred to the sheriffs standing with “criminals,” indicating that there was more than one criminal at the event, but did not specify which of the other attendees had been convicted of a crime.

The tweet also says that the sheriffs stood “not w/law-abiding citizens.” Several of those who attended the event later said they have never been arrested and consider themselves law-abiding citizens.

Independence Institute president Jon Caldara said that the event was open to the public and that he has never met Webster.

“I have no idea who he [Webster] is,” said Caldara. “The room was packed. We knew the people who were speaking, but it was a press conference. Anyone can attend.”

Added Kopel, “Some guy shows up and stands there at a large event–you can’t really help that.” He suggested that those filing the lawsuit may have been “victimized by a photo-bomber.”

The lawsuit, filed May 17 in federal court, challenges the constitutionality of two of three gun-control bills approved by the state legislature and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper in March. The measures limit ammunition-magazine capacity to no more than 15 rounds and require background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, including temporary transfers.

The plaintiffs include 55 of the 62 Colorado county sheriffs, along with the Colorado Farm Bureau, several gun-rights groups, and advocates for the disabled.

In its May 29 press release, the Senate Majority Office defended the newly signed gun laws, which are scheduled to take effect July 1.

“These laws are meant to prevent criminals–domestic violence offenders and convicted murderers from getting a gun,” says the statement.

“Why would the sheriffs oppose that? And why would they hold a press conference with a man convicted of shooting at his wife?  In 2011, the background check system caught 38 murderers from having guns. 38 murderers. Why would anyone not want to prevent even more criminals from getting guns, much less sheriffs?  The answer, they are elected politicians.”

The original tweet has spawned several Twitter parodies at #Sheriffs4Criminals, such as, “2day CO Senate Dems stood in opposition to U.S. Constitution, not w/law-abiding citizens, but with traitors.”

Another reads, “2day Co sheriffs opposed CO’s new gun laws protecting law abiding citizens from government criminals.”

The original Dem tweet said, "2day CO sheriffs stood in opposition of CO's new gun laws, but not w/law-abiding citizens, but with criminals. #coleg #Sheriffs4Criminals." (Senate Democrats press release image)

The original Dem tweet said, “2day CO sheriffs stood in opposition of CO’s new gun laws, but not w/law-abiding citizens, but with criminals. #coleg #Sheriffs4Criminals.” (Senate Democrats press release image)

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14 Responses to Dems Explain ‘Sheriffs4Criminals’ Tweet, Identify Man in Crowd with Arrest Record

  1. Mike
    June 3, 2013 at 9:23 am

    It is funny that the CO Dems bring this up, at the same time they dismiss the felon/criminal Fields who wrote the legislation. Who is the bigger criminal.

    • Matt
      July 5, 2013 at 5:46 am

      100% right Mike.

  2. June 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Funny, several Dems have arrest records as well. The most famous, Rhonda Fields, one of the primary House sponsors of the gun control bills.

    It’s bitterly ironic.

    • Kevin Harrelson
      June 3, 2013 at 11:45 am

      Funny, the article never even mentioned Rhonda Fields. The fact that a felon is a Republican does not surprise me. In prison, nobody has guns but the government, and the government gives you free food and a place to stay — exactly what all liberals want. My guess is that this guy had enough liberalism to last him a lifetime.

  3. Greg
    June 3, 2013 at 10:21 am

    They need to look in their own camp…Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Guns is riddled with criminals-drugs, sex offenders, etc.

  4. wrongheifer
    June 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

    The guys above have said it ALL… Thanks for coming and don’t forget to turn out the lights Morse!

  5. Trip
    June 3, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Rhonda Fields…. CRIMINAL…. Couldn’t have written the legislation. Couldn’t discuss it intelligently in interviews. Didn’t have a clue what was in it when asked about it in interviews. Why would Democrats stand lock step rank and file behind the legislation when they obviously didn’t have a clue about what was in it or the consiquences it would bring. Speculation was it was a Biden or Bloomberg submission. Therefore the complete and utter ineptness by Fields in the interviews. Morse deserves and other Democrats deserve to get booted to the curb. This legislation has cost Colorado economy dearly. Thousands of jobs. Millions in revenue. Hickenlooper touts his new BRANDING of Colorado initiative this week but the truth is, major TV and CABLE companies have pulled out and cancelled their Colorado Specials. Tourism has taken hit after hit with millions lost in hunting, camping and tournament cancellations. You gotta love Progressive Liberals. They tell you one thing and then lie their BACKSIDES off after the fact…. Sounds like the last month with the current Administration. Send a MESSAGE COLORADO… RECALL SENATORS MORSE and others. Let them know that this kind of Political Ineptness and a California Political Cloning Process of Dishonesty and Scandal is wrong for Colorado…..

  6. Trevor
    June 3, 2013 at 11:34 am

    If the Sheriffs side with criminals, then why did a Dem (Chickenpooper) pardon Dunlap? Sounds to me like the Dems are siding with the criminals. If someone is convicted and sentenced by there peers (the law) why would anyone overturn that?

  7. Milehisnk
    June 3, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Hmmm, not only did they know this persons name, they knew his arrest record and what the exact circumstances of his crime were…can you say PLANT? He was obviously sent there specificially for this photo-op. The other side of that, is if he ISN’T a plant, that they are doing this much surveilance on citizens just for exercising and supporting the defense of constitutitonally guaranteed rights. That means they used facial recognition software to profile everyone in the pictures to try to dig up dirt. That shows how underhanded these people are, they have no defense of their legislation, so they just dig up dirt on John Q. Public.

  8. David Ott
    June 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Clearly a ruse set up by Democrats that are gun control activists! How did they get guys name, and why are they performing background checks in citizens without legal reason to do so? Creepy that these gun control maniacs will step to any level to push an agenda. And they are willing to spark a civil war to get control of people.

  9. Tom
    June 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Weak explanation for unacceptable behavior. As the left likes to say, #shameonyou

  10. JT
    June 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Colorado citizens are losing sight of the real criminals…all Elected officials who voted for this garbage gun control are the criminals.. They took and OATH To Uphold the Constitution of the United States..and now they have done exactly the opposite..they need to be fired..prosecuted and Jailed…where they all belong..They should have listened to the Colorado citizens and not BIDEN OR Obama…who has nothing to do with our state..PERIOD

  11. BurningBrule
    June 4, 2013 at 8:43 am

    I smell a plant. Notice how quickly the Dems were able to identify this guy. Now how in the world would they know his identity unless they prearranged his appearance? This sounds like the type of dirty tricks that Michael Huttner use to engage in.

  12. SWMerker
    June 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

    If he was not a plant, the dims and the newspapers may have violated his privacy by publishing his name and police record.

    Let’s see if he sues. If not, it’s more evidence he was planted.

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