Morse Blames Friends, Enemies For Recall Defeat

October 24, 2013
Former Senator Morse partially laid the blame for his loss on supporters for not showing up to vote.

Former Senator Morse partially laid the blame for his loss on supporters for not showing up to vote.

DENVER — Recalled Senate President John Morse lashed out Thursday at the recall committees that targeted him for defeat, but also assigned blame for his ouster to supporters who failed to show up at the polls.

The Colorado Springs Democrat, who lost his legislative seat in the Sept. 10 recall election, said in an interview on KOA-AM that his backers didn’t understand the gravity of his situation.

“That’s the frustrating part,” said Morse. “Even at the doors myself, people were like, ‘Ah you’ll be fine, everyone knows you and likes you and respects what you do, you don’t have anything to worry about.’”

About 21 percent of registered voters in Senate District 11 cast ballots in the special election, which Morse lost by a margin of 51 to 49 percentage points.

“Some of those people I was able to persuade—‘Oh, no, no, no, I need every vote I can get’ — and some I wasn’t able to persuade,” said Morse. “Nearly 80 percent of the people didn’t show up to vote. About 11 percent of the people managed to wag the whole dog, and now I no longer have a seat.”

Turnout in the Morse recall was lower than that in the same-day recall election of state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), where about 36 percent of registered voters cast ballots. Giron was defeated by a margin of 56 to 44 percentage points.

Morse’s defeat came even though organizers at national groups like Organizing for America sent hundreds of volunteers to the district in an effort to get Democratic voters to the polls.

“If they really liked him, they would have come out to support him,” said Lauro Carno, who heads I Am Created Equal Action in Colorado Springs, which supported the Morse recall drive. “In the marketplace of ideas, even though we were significantly outspent, our ideas won.”

The Colorado Springs and Pueblo recallers were outspent by about $3 million to $500,000. Even so, Morse blamed the paid signature-gatherers who circulated the petitions to force a recall election as the key reason for his ouster.

“They bought the signatures. They would have never recalled me if they hadn’t been able to buy the signatures. $3 a signature,” said Morse. “They actually bought the signature. They couldn’t get them just going door to door with volunteers.”

Carno, whose group paid $56,798 to hire a petition-circulating firm for the recall effort, pointed out that paid signature-gatherers are nothing new in Colorado politics.

“Both sides of the aisle have historically used paid signature gatherers,” said Carno in an email. “Amendment 66, which appears on ballots now, was placed there as a result of paid signature gatherers.”

Pueblo Freedom and Rights broke the mold by using volunteer circulators to collect signatures in the Giron recall, but in the end, the outcome was the same in both campaigns.

“The recall proponents did a better job than the opponents getting their supporters out to vote,” said Carno. “The voters have spoken and their message that Sen. Morse went too far, and didn’t listen to his constituents, was heard. Sen. Morse should hear that message today.”

The recalls were launched in response to the Democratic state legislature’s passage of sweeping gun-control bills, but Morse critics say they were equally upset with what they saw as his dismissal of his constituents’ concerns.

Morse told KOA-AM that he would do it all again the same way. “Absolutely, in a New York second,” he said.

“What we did was the right thing. We made Colorado safer from gun violence,” said Morse. “The price I paid with my political career, which was going to end in a year anyway—so, so, so small in comparison. I wouldn’t change a thing.”

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9 Responses to Morse Blames Friends, Enemies For Recall Defeat

  1. Tillman Turley
    October 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Morse…. I had to laugh at your Bloomberg inspired comment…. You OBVIOUSLY STILL DONT GET IT…. Asked if you would do it again the exact same way you responded, “yes, in a NEW YORK minute”…. We aren’t in New York John. We don’t want wackadoo dillweeds like Bloomberg here. Take your Progressive Communism some place else. I hear California, Illinios and New York are really nice this time of year……

  2. October 24, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Even now Morse shows either a complete lack of comprehension or a total lack of respect for the constituents who elected him to this office in the first place. His last statement says it all. The arrogance in that statement alone tells me everything I need to know about Mr. Morse. Good riddance to bad politicians, you and Giron got exactly what you deserved. On and by the way, your “supporters” did not show up because there were none. Man up and accept that you skewed up and YOU paid the price. You are right about one thing however, your political career was at it’s end any way and thank god for that.

  3. Richard Shirley
    October 24, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Yep, not a single thing he did led to his ouster. I’m sure he’s deluded enough to truly believe it. He never really cared about his Senate District or the people who live there. He proved that when he moved up to his real home, Denver, less than two weeks after he was shown the door. SD 12, and Colorado, is better off without him.

  4. dw
    October 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    You are an idiot Morse

  5. Rick Jason
    October 25, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Morse contends that the 79% of his district that were no-shows would have voted for him in numbers great enough to have pulled his butt out of the sling. It’s delusional thinking like this that makes him believe that his gun control measures will have any real impact on gun violence. The notion that this pathetic, disingenuous man would have power over us is frightening.

  6. Matt
    October 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Morse’s comment of “Absolutely, in a New York second,” sums up just why Morse was ousted in the first place – answering to NYC special interests rather than his Colorado constituents.
    Good riddance to bad rubbish…

  7. Joe Jackson
    October 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Morse is still stuck in his own little world where he thinks only his word matters. He still doesn’t understand that he is his own worst enemy.

    I guess flipping burgers doesn’t agree with him.

  8. Tim
    October 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Actually, 100% of Morse’s supporters DID show up to vote. He just lacks support.


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