ANALYSIS: Dems Feared Collateral Damage from Hudak Recall

November 29, 2013
Democrats likely realized the Hudak recall would keep the gun-control issue and the state legislature’s liberal overreach, in the news as the party enters the 2014 election season

Dems likely realized the Hudak recall would keep the gun-control issue in the news as the party enters the 2014 election season (DonkeyHotey Image)

DENVER—In the end, Democrats needed state Sen. Evie Hudak to resign to save more than just their control of the state Senate.

Analysts say Colorado Democrats pulled the plug on Hudak’s political career in order to avoid the collateral damage to the state legislature and Democratic candidates, including Gov. John Hickenlooper, from the threat of a recall fight dragging into January and beyond.

“This is like a tourniquet. You’ve managed to stop the bleeding for the moment because otherwise, this was going to be an issue they [Democrats] would be dealing with during the session,” said Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli.

“They would have been debating gun control. They don’t even want to talk about it,” Ciruli added.

Hudak turned in her resignation effective immediately Wednesday in the face of a recall effort spurred in part by her March votes in favor of gun-control bills. A Democratic vacancy committee will now choose her successor, thus ensuring the party retains its 18-17 Senate majority.

The timing came as something of a surprise because the recall wasn’t a sure thing. The recall committee, Recall Hudak Too, had six more days to turn in petitions before the Dec. 3 deadline, and organizers had admitted that they were struggling to meet their signature goal.

The official Democratic Party line is that Hudak sacrificed herself in order to spare her Jefferson County district the trouble and expense of a special election.

“I think what happened here is Sen. Hudak came to the realization that she didn’t want to put her constituents, the people of Arvada and Westminster, through a very divisive and costly recall,” said Colorado Democratic Party chair Rick Palacio in a video interview with the Denver Post.

In her resignation letter, Hudak said she wanted to save Jefferson County taxpayers an estimated $200,000 in special-election costs, prompting KOA-AM talk-show host Mike Rosen to note that Hudak also supported Amendment 66, the $1 billion tax increase defeated by voters on the Nov. 5 ballot.

“Yes, what a wonderful sacrifice she’s making. Of course, these same Jefferson County taxpayers, if Democrats continue to control the legislature, will wind up paying much more in higher taxes,” said Rosen.

A more likely scenario is that Democrats realized the Hudak recall would keep the gun-control issue and its companion, the state legislature’s liberal overreach, in the news as the party enters the 2014 election season.

“They assessed the risk and they were unwilling to take it,” said Ciruli. “Number one, they thought they could potentially lose the seat . . . She was not a strong candidate, it was a difficult district, and very importantly, they would have been battling this next January and February. Hence, they would have gone into the year defending issues they don’t even want to talk about at this point.”

Democrats, already wrestling with the fallout from the glitch-filled launch of the Affordable Care Act, didn’t need the recallers reminding voters about Hudak’s gaffes, such as telling a rape victim during a hearing that she probably wouldn’t have been able to defend herself with a gun.

“It’s not just the gun issue,” said Compass Colorado executive director Kelly Maher on KOA-AM. “It was a host of things: Evie never saw a tax increase that she didn’t like. She was offensive and condescending to people as they were testifying.”

The prospect of a recall also coincided with polls showing falling approval ratings for the Democrat Hickenlooper as he gears up for a tough reelection race.

“The governor, he’s at risk–his numbers are not good, and he’s worried to some extent that he’s being hurt by the legislature,” said Ciruli. “So I don’t think she [Hudak] was given much choice. She was encouraged.”

Recall Hudak Too posted a victory message Wednesday on its Facebook page: “Colorado Hat Trick,” referring to Hudak’s resignation as well as the earlier recall defeats of Democratic state Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron.

Democrats point out that they didn’t lose Hudak’s seat. Still, not losing isn’t exactly the same as winning.

“There’s only one way to describe losing three senators, and that’s that the issues you legislated on last year are still causing you tremendous backlash,” said Ciruli. “It’s hard to put a positive spin on that.”

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14 Responses to ANALYSIS: Dems Feared Collateral Damage from Hudak Recall

  1. Pokey
    November 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

    If you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. The Democrat Party decided to get in bed with the Communist Party and now they are itching a lot. Be careful what you wish for folks, you just might get it.

    • Jill
      November 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      The Democrts sold our freedoms to Billionaire Bloomberg. Bloomberg told the Democrats to start taking the citizens of Colorado guns. They did want he said and now they have to pay the price.

    • Tim
      December 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Communist Party? Really?

      You do realize that today is the anniversary of Joe McCarthy being censured by the Senate?

  2. dave
    November 29, 2013 at 10:51 am

    bye bye Evil The Hut

  3. November 29, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Bye bye, Evil Evie! You’ve given us something to be thankful for…

  4. SPQR
    November 29, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Gun owners in Colorado intend to make the Democrats pay the price in November 2014 as well.

  5. Shredder
    November 30, 2013 at 9:44 am

    No such thing as a moral victory. We all knew the nasty Hudak would resign and the democrats learned their lesson from the Morse non-resignation. Simply follow the money here. Why would the firefighters union pony up $10,000 for this Hudak? I guess holding a boot out on the street is not enough boys. I bet that $10,000 will bring back a lot more in bacon and eggs for the firehouse.
    The real question is what the will the electorate do in 2014. I am not convinced that all these “Coloradans” will vote for liberty.

  6. Daizy duke
    November 30, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    2014 elections will change majority rule in the colorado senate. A republican governor will sign new legislation repealing the communist anti gun laws

    • Tim
      December 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Again with the communist? These anti-gunners are just ignorant and mis-informed, not Commies.

  7. Jill
    November 30, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Google the video “Gun Confiscation in Australia and England” and see what Billionaire Bloomberg and the Democrats want to do in the U.S. Pass the video around to all citizens so they can see what “reasonable” gun control the Demcorats really want! Bloomberg owns the Democrats.

  8. Dave Jiles
    December 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

    How anyone can justify taking money from the Billionaire Mayor of New York City and doing his bidding when they are supposed to be representing their constituents, I will never understand. From the games that were played during the hearings to make sure they did not hear from the majority of Colorado Sheriffs, to the arrogance demonstrated repeatedly by Democrat members of the Legislature, they deserve what is coming their way.
    I am angry about the stupid “feel good” laws, but more so that they did absolutely nothing to harden our schools against the evil people that will come to harm our children. Whether they be mentally ill loaners, or Islamic terrorist,they will laugh at your laws as they pass your “Gun Free Zone” signs, and the bloodshed that results will be on the hands of those who failed to take their jobs seriously.

    • Tim
      December 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Here, here! Very well said. Just think what could have been accomplished if we had passed mental health laws and requirements that mental health professionals report the dangerously ill so that they couldn’t get through the existing screening instead of stupidly limiting magazines and sales to non-family members.

  9. John Clancy
    December 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    2014 will be the year of repeal and retreat or they will not keep office. The Hick will not win reelection, signed every hard left bill, so much compassion for the Chucky Cheese Killer Nathan Dunlap.

  10. December 2, 2013 at 5:53 am

    None of the state legislators voting for jamming their liberal, new york agenda down our throats will be forgotten. Either way, through a recall election or a routine election, those legislators are going to feel the wrath of the Colorado voters. And that most certainly includes chickenpooper!


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