The outcome of today’s historic recall elections are about more than the jobs of embattled Democratic state Senators John Morse and Angela Giron. They will also speak volumes about the influence of unlimited amounts of special interest money on Colorado’s elections. Will those special interests succeed? Or will voters see the left wing smear machine for what it is – crass, dishonest, willing to say anything to preserve their power.
Recall opponents, floating on oceans of money funneled into the recall contests by billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, outspent recall backers by a whopping 7 to 1 margin.
The fact that turnout numbers suggest such a competitive race given the anti-recall side’s jaw-dropping financial advantage is frankly, astounding. And the fact that so much of the money comes from out of state – the Denver Post recently reported that Bloomberg and California philanthropist Eli Broad personally stroked six figure checks – suggests that liberal elites from thousands of miles away think they can buy Colorado’s elections.
Republicans and recallers are running a real ground war, but will it be enough to overcome Bloomberg’s media saturation? Tonight we’ll know.
And this isn’t a new phenomenon. For years we’ve heard Colorado pundits opine that Republicans benefit equally from rich out-of-state donors, and that Democrat success in the Centennial State are a result of superior strategy, brilliant political operatives and shrewd triangulation. We think The Blueprint was a fantastic read too, but those who cite it as Holy Grail tend to lend too much credence to the tactical brilliance of liberals and Democrats.
The real lesson of the Blueprint is that the Democratic Party and their wealthiest one percent funders are just really good at buying elections. Can anyone argue with a straight face that that isn’t their plan in Pueblo and Colorado Springs?
It’s about money, pure and simple.
For more than a decade, well-heeled Colorado donors like Tim Gill and Jared Polis have combined forces with out of state liberals like Michael Bloomberg to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into our state in an effort to purchase Colorado’s political system.
Progressive pockets are so deep and funding a stream of Democratic operatives flooding into the state so large, that there is literally nowhere to put them all.
Meanwhile, pro-recall forces have mounted a spirited campaign, defying the odds at each stage of the process to force the first legislative recall in state history — making up for their lack of resources with the kind of grassroots “people power” rarely seen in local politics.
We don’t favor far reaching new laws to prevent citizens from making their voices heard. Such laws do much to impact the freedom of citizens to participate in the political process, and little to “clean up” elections.
Instead, we hope that the lopsided influx of campaign spending on behalf of Democrats and liberal causes will encourage conservative leaders here to figure out how to match the effort going forward — so that groups like those donating their time and effort to the recall campaigns aren’t perpetually showing up with a knife to a political gun-fight.
Even so, the recall backers look to be doing surprisingly well with that knife … and may very well defy the odds one more time.