• CO Recall: There are some new recall efforts underway that you may not yet know about, but you’ll want to. Last fall, Democrats succeeded in winning the Colorado state House back from Republicans, giving them full control of the legislature and the governorship. That’s allowed Democrats to pass a number of progressive pieces of legislation, including same-day voter registration, a state-level DREAM Act, civil unions, and, most notably, a trio of new gun safety measures, among them expanded background checks and magazine size limits.
It’s those laws in particular that have gun activists in a predictable furor, and they’re fighting back by attempting to recall several Democratic legislators, chief among them state Senate President John Morse. While the effort is nominally being spearheaded by a pop-up local group called the “Basic Freedom Defense Fund,” the NRA itself is now spending money to push the recall forward. (Their crappy mailer (PDF) claims that more than 15 rounds now constitutes “standard capacity.”)
Morse is term-limited next year and could resign to avoid the recall, but he doesn’t want to hand the NRA an easy victory and is taking this very seriously. Organizers only need 7,178 valid signatures to force a recall, which would be held under forgiving California-style rules, where a “recall: yes/no” question is paired with a “so who do you want to replace Morse” question. Though Morse’s 11th District is actually pretty blue, despite being nestled in the conservative city of Colorado Springs, he only narrowly survived in 2010 and his supporters have already begun advertising on his behalf. And importantly, a Republican doesn’t have to beat him for the recall to succeed—Morse’s opponents just need to get enough people to vote “yes” on the recall itself.
The good news is that progressives are already mobilizing in Morse’s defense—and a separate recall campaign, against state Rep. Mike McLachlan, failed before it could even start, for lack of signatures. Recall proponents are also trying to put state Sens. Evie Hudak and Angela Giron on the ballot, though in both cases, they face much higher signature requirements than with Morse. Petitions for Morse, by the way, are due June 3, while Hudak and Giron’s must be submitted a week later. We’ll definitely be following all these affairs closely.