Outspent six-to-one and against great odds, conservative grassroots voters in Colorado managed to recall two state senators who ignored constituents’ wishes and voted for stiff new gun control measures in a state where gun ownership is pretty common. The legislative recall election was the first of its kind in state history.
Voters in Colorado Springs recalled the State Senate president, John Morse, who had derisively referred to the man who started the recall as “an unemployed plumber” in a recent national television interview. In Pueblo, by a much larger margin and with higher turnout, voters recalled state Sen. Angela Giron.
Both victories seemed unlikely, not only because of the gap in campaign resources, but also because President Obama had won both state Senate districts by more than 15 points in 2012.
The liberals had the resource advantage in both races. Although the National Rifle Association pitched in a $350,000 donation for the pro-recall side, that was most of their cash and it proved to be rather modest. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many other liberal donors pitched in about $3 million to defend the two seats from recall — Daily Kos users alone kicked in more than the NRA.
Charles Cooke writes on how the recall drive was started at National Review — it’s a must read. The short story is that Giron refused to hear constituents out on the issue when the gun control bills came up, and closed the door in the face of Victor Head. Big mistake.
The result doesn’t change control of the state legislature, but Democrats will now enjoy only an 18-17 majority until the end of 2014. The vote complicates life for Gov. John Hickenlooper, D, who stands for re-election next year and was polling in the low 40s this summer. It also might make legislators in other states think twice before proposing new gun control laws.