Just a few days ago one state senator facing recall in Colorado expressed smug confidence that she would be returned to her seat. The election, a first in the state's history, is the result of efforts by many Colorado residents to hold accountable Sens. John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) for their support of draconian gun control laws in the wake of the Newtown, CT, tragedy last December.
Before the election, Sen. Giron told NBC, "[Voters] want their Senator to address all the things they care about, not just a single issue. That's what I've done and that's what I'll continue to do after I win this election."
Oh, pride do commeth before a fall!
"I've talked to thousands of voters in their homes and at their doors," Giron assured reporters. "They think this forced recall has been an abuse of the law and an outrageous expense."
Apparently former Senator Giron was talking to the wrong voters, because she lost the recall by a resounding 56% to 44% -- and this in a district where only 23% of voters are registered Republicans!
Sen. Morse was much more cautious, saying "no doubt this election is going to be close." He did, however, express much disdain for the recall process -- a highly valuable tool of the electorate that was happily used (unsuccessfully) by Democrats against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker just a year ago -- and it may have been that seeming contempt for voters that pushed his opponent over the line to victory: Morse lost 51% to 49%.
The best thing about this recall election is that it focused voters minds on a very specific issue; neither losers nor winners can claim that voters "didn't know what they were voting for". Nor can anti-gun activists complain that it was "all about money": According to NBC, "Contributions to Morse and Giron totaled roughly $3 million, eclipsing the sum raised by gun-rights activists." [Emphasis mine] Anti-gun NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly donated $300,000 of his own money, well over half of the entire $500,000 spent by the NRA.
Former Senator Giron dismissed the possibility that her anti-gun agenda could cost her. She has learned the hard way that in the United States of America support for gun-rights is an issue that runs the full breadth of the political spectrum. Other law-makers, in Colorado and elsewhere, are no doubt paying attention.
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