Colorado Recalls: Review and Reflection

Sep 12, 2013

Credit Matthew Staver / New York Times

Colorado Democrats, Senator Angela Giron and Senator John Morse were voted out of office this week.  The special recall election is a test of swing state voters, and their acceptance of gun restrictions according to the New York Times

Morse, Senate President, of Colorado Springs, and Giron, of Pueblo, championed gun control legislation earlier this year.  Colorado Public Radio reports they are now the first state lawmakers in Colorado history to be recalled. 

Giron was recalled with 56% voting against her.  The Morse contest was closer, with just over 50% voting to remove him from office. 

The recall does not repeal the gun control legislation, nor does it change partisan control of the General Assembly.

The election attracted national attention.  The New York Times said ‘the races became a symbol of the nation’s bitter fight over gun control.’

Money poured into Colorado from both sides of the gun control issue.    Philanthropists, liberal political groups, unions and activists raised a total of $3 million to defend the senators.  New York Mayor Michael R Bloomberg personally gave $350,000, and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad gave $250,000.  Supporters of the recall raised about $540,000.  Much of that came from the National Rifle Association.  The NRA gave $360,000.  October final reports are expected to reveal that amount is more reported the Denver Post.

What does this mean?  Colorado Public Radio explores how the recall emphasizes Colorado is a purple state:  Political scientists use the color purple to describe a place that isn’t safely in the hand of the Democrats or Republicans.  

What’s next?  An editorial by the Denver Post says it was a colossal waste of taxpayer money, and they hope recalling officials is not a method either side considers as a way to undermine regular, democratic elections.  They said it’s time to respect the voters’ will and move on.