Hickenlooper must be joking regarding groups staying out of Colorado election
Colorado comedian and governor, John Hickenlooper, was on fire this week when he told the USA Today newspaper that gun-control groups from out-of-state should stay away from being involved in further recall elections in Colorado.
What a hoot. And it was probably the last thing that poor Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak of Westminster wants to see happen, since she is now under recall threat. It probably took every penny in her campaign fund in 2012 for her to collapse across the finish line with a 332-vote victory out of 73,209 votes cast.
The third-party candidate garnered 4,823 votes, which makes it entirely safe to say that without that candidacy, Hudak would’ve been reduced to an unemployed figure in the rearview mirror of Colorado politics.
Hudak is now targeted for recall by some of the same working-class forces that removed John Morse and Angela Giron from the state Senate. The recall of Morse and Giron, and now possibly Hudak, from the Colorado Legislature was predicated on a series of bills they championed in 2012.
Many Coloradans rightly felt the legislation did a fox trot on the Second Amendment and showed the politicos were about as out of touch with Colorado’s voters on the relationship among firearms, crime and self-protection as you can get and still live here.
Who can forget Giron, an incumbent Democrat in Democratic-leaning Pueblo who was recalled by a 15-point margin, trying to complain to a CNN anchor that her loss was the result of voter suppression? Even CNN was too embarrassed to take a ride on that idea and challenged her assertion that mail-in ballots were somehow the problem with her campaign.
Although Hickenlooper usually brings the kind of instincts to other people’s political campaigns that Fredo Corleone brought to the olive oil business, he’s probably right in this situation. But that’s not going to keep out-of-state groups from the state.That’s because a number of interests are at play in this recall that make it far too important to be left alone by outside groups.
The first problem is that Hudak’s less-than 1/2 of 1 percent margin of victory in her most recent election means that if enough signatures are gathered for the recall, she’s already barely hanging on by her fingernails.
If she were to be removed and replaced like the last two senators, it would change the balance of power in the state Senate from liberal Democrats to mostly less-liberal Republicans.
This would mean that a number of bills to repeal many of the controversial new gun laws and likely the onerous requirement for expensive “green” energy production on rural electrical producers might see the light of day.
Right now, it’s bad enough for Democrats that Republicans only have to get one Democrat to switch on an issue to get these things out of committee.
If they controlled the Senate, Republicans could not only force a vote on these items but also pass them on to the state House and compel Democrats to go on the record in an election year — a year following a series of unprecedented political recalls.
The last thing a lot of these Democratic legislators want to do is be in such a position in 2014. For example, take poor Mike McLachlan, freshman state representative from Durango, who ran as a Second Amendment-supporting Democrat but instantly changed his point of view after a call from Vice President Joe Biden.
Things haven’t gone so well for McLachlan, who’s taken quite a pounding in his district since then. Rumor has it he’s metaphorically slumped on a stool in his corner of the political ring, with little cartoon birds circling his head.It remains uncertain whether or not he will answer the bell for re-election (he won by eight tenths of 1 percent).
The point being, outside interests cannot afford to stay out of Colorado politics and let it slide back to the red column, risking the mental health of MSNBC commentators.
Besides, who does Hickenlooper think he’s kidding? One of the biggest beneficiaries of a split Legislature is a governor who doesn’t want to be forced to sign any controversial legislation in his own election-year.
Rick Wagner writes more on politics at his blog, The War on Wrong.