That duck-and-cover maneuver set off a sizzling commentary Saturday when Morse apparently again refused requests to appear on Jeff Crank’s KVOR talk radio show to answer callers’ questions even as Morse is airing his anti-recall ads on the radio station – ads Crank says are filled with “inaccuracies.”
As the verbal dustup occurred on the air, SD 11 Republican candidate Bernie Herpin was holding a weekend rally to gain more than the required 1,000 signatures to petition onto the ballot. His petitions will be delivered this week to the Secretary of State’s office.
Crank told listeners, “John Morse is running scared” and putting a lot of money into radio ads to convince listeners to vote against the recall. Reluctantly, Crank played snippets of the ads.
“A life spent fighting crime, Morse helped pass laws to crack down on child sex predators and put them in prison, protecting what matters most to our families,” says a woman’s voice in the radio ad.
Crank said that when Congressman Scott Tipton served in the House, he successfully sponsored a bill with Morse to test DNA in the criminal database. That, Crank said, was a good bill.
“What about the bill that would have taken sexual predators and thrown them into prison and gave them mandatory sentences?” asked Crank. “You voted against that, John Morse, be honest.”
On April 11, 2008, Morse voted against Senate Bill 195 that would have allowed the death penalty in an aggravated sexual assault on a child aged 5–12 years, and any sexual assault on a child under age 5. A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Morse with fellow Democrats killed the bill, 6–4.
“He voted not to give mandatory sentences. He had the opportunity but he didn’t do that… He chose not to do that,” said Crank.
Morse’s radio ads are similar to anti-recall flyers paid for by A Whole Lot of People for Morse that claim:
“This is what John Morse fights for every day. Creating local jobs, providing tax breaks for local families, protecting women and children from violent sex offenders, (and) making sure veterans and seniors get the benefits they deserve.”
Morse voted to increase funding for in-home care for senior citizens this year. But with seniors struggling through the great recession in 2010, Morse voted to suspend the homestead exemption for their property taxes. The tax exemption had been approved by voters in 2000 to provide financial relief for seniors.
The son of a retired Army colonel, Morse said he worked closely with former state Rep. Marsha Looper (R-Calhan) on legislation to help veterans. Looper produced numerous bills to help veterans, but only two measures were co-sponsored with Morse.
In 2010, Morse collaborated with Looper to pass Senate Bill 211 to give big game hunting licenses to wounded warriors and disabled veterans.
Morse’s radio ad echoes the flyer’s issues but also claims that “extremist groups from Denver” forced the recall election because he didn’t vote their way.
“Who are the extremists from Denver?” Crank asked. “All of the [recall] petitions [signatures] were gathered by grassroots individuals who were in our community, many of them living in Senate District 11 who said, ‘Enough is enough!’”
“They went out and worked their tails off to get these signatures,” added Crank.
Laura Carno of I Am Created Equal lives in El Paso County and raised thousands for the recall campaign, but she’s not an extremist from Denver said Crank.
In contrast, he said, A Whole Lot of People for Morse, are fueling their anti-recall campaign with more than $160,000 in contributions mostly from groups outside of Colorado Springs and through billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Crank invited Morse to come on the radio show to answer questions and talk about the recall, but he said the Democrat senator refused to respond to the invitations.
He accused Morse of not holding public townhall meetings because the senator prefers a teleconference events that allow his campaign operatives to screen calls and avoid questions about his voting record, particularly on gun-control.
“You’re just a liar. And you see, people are sick and tired of politicians who lie to them,” declared Crank . “And that’s exactly what John Morse is – he’s a liar.”
“He’s a chicken, he’s a liar. He won’t come on this show,” Crank told listeners. “He doesn’t want to answer your questions.”