Archives for June 2013

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Colo. senator who pushed for gun control may lose job

June 18, 2013

By Barry Petersen

CBS News

(CBS News) DENVER — After the massacre last summer in a Colorado movie theater, the leader of the state Senate pushed through a gun-control bill. Among other things, it outlawed the 100-round ammunition magazines used in the murder of 12 people and the wounding of 58.

But Senate President John Morse has been in the sights of gun rights advocates. On Tuesday, Colorado certified there are enough signatures on a petition to force a recall election.  The gun control laws passed in March limited magazines to 15 rounds and mandated background checks, even for private and online gun sales. Morse, a Democrat gun-control advocate, is a former police chief.   “I’ve watched people die, and I’ve helped people not die,” Morse says of gun violence he’s witnessed.  A gun owner himself, he is now the target of a recall, despite seven years as a popular legislative leader.

Conservative activist Laura Carno is leading the recall. The former banker, who bought her first gun 25 years ago, made a TV ad in which she declares, “Don’t you dare tell me how best to defend myself.”  “My message is that I am pro-choice on self defense,” Carno says. Asked why residents are upset by gun laws, Carno replies, “Colorado is sort of a Wild West state, and we’re accustomed to taking care of ourselves. To say, ‘We will decide for you how you should best defend yourself,’ people don’t take kindly to that.”

This is the first legislative recall ever in Colorado, but Morse believes that tougher laws passed here should give victims of gun violence, including Newtown families, hope that Congress will follow suit.

Watch:“We have not given up” on reforming gun laws, Biden says.

“Don’t stop, no matter what, because you’re right and the other people are wrong, and we’ve got to get this done,” Morse says. Even if it costs him a political career.  “It’s costing me nothing — nothing — compared to what these families are paying,” he says. “Stand up and do something. Stand up and make sure this never happens to another family.”  Carno says she’s prepared to fire Morse.  “You need to listen to me, because you work for me,” she explains. “I got you hired and I can fire you.”  Moments after the recall petitions were validated, Morse supporters filed challenges, meaning all of this could end up in the courts, and the actual recall election could be months away.

See the original post here.

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NRAVideo’s, Cam Edwards, did an interview with Laura Carno.

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John Morse Recall Effort Turns in 16,000 Signatures

DENVER – Organizers of the effort to recall Colorado State Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) turned in more than double the number of signatures required to force a special election Monday.

The recall effort began in response to Morse’s leadership role when Colorado Democrats pushed for new gun-control laws earlier in 2013.

Supporters say they gathered more than 16,000 signatures, which must now be verified by the secretary of state’s office. If at least 7,200 of them are valid signatures from registered voters in Morse’s district, a recall election may take place later in 2013.

“With that much of a cushion, having half of them get tossed out, I’ve never seen that many be invalid,” political strategist Laura Carno said. “We feel very comfortable.”

Morse has several options available to challenge the signatures, including court action. Deadlines for the various challenges are spelled out in state law.

“Thousands of those signatures were obtained inappropriately,” Morse said. “Now, will we be able to prove that? We’ll have 15 days to figure that out. That’s going to be tricky.”

In the end, if there are enough valid signatures there will be two options for Morse: recall election or resignation.

If Morse were to resign, Democrats would simply appoint a member of their party to fill the vacancy. That Senator would then fill out Morse’s term, which would mean sitting for 2014’s legislative session.

If a recall election takes place, the governor will call a special election in the district.

Voters will first be asked whether to recall Morse, and in a separate question, who should replace him if he is recalled.

Candidates wishing to appear on the ballot must obtain signatures to appear.

Colorado GOP chairman Ryan Call says the party will help locate a candidate and support their effort to obtain enough signatures.

Morse recently told 9NEWS he has no plans to resign, but he stopped short of ruling it out.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

See the original post here.

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Recall Effort Starts Against Senate President

June 3, 2013

By Charles Ashby
The Daily Sentinel 

A group hoping to recall Colorado Senate President John Morse says it turned in more than double the number of signatures it needed Monday to force a recall of the El Paso County Democrat.

But if it turns out those signatures are of registered voters in Morse’s Senate District 11, the recall election that will follow won’t just be the first in the state’s history, or about a single state lawmaker, both sides of the recall effort say.

It will be a national debate over gun-control laws, specifically between New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the National Rifle Association, both of which have already spent millions of dollars on gun-control legislation in Colorado and elsewhere in the nation.

“If this ends up on the ballot, then I do think it turns into a race of national importance,” Morse said. “At that point, I won’t be surprised at all to see the other side’s current outside money being matched by outside money (against the recall). There probably will be plenty of interest in this nationally.”

State campaign finance records show that the group backing the president, A Whole Lotta People for John Morse, has already accepted thousands of dollars from the Washington, D.C.-based America Votes, a left-leaning nonprofit group that gets much of its funding from Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

This is only a small part of the full post which you can see here.

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Group to Recall Senate President Over Gun Votes Turns in 16K Signatures

June 3, 2013

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KDVR

DENVER — The group working to recall Colorado Senate President John Morse over the passage of Democratic gun control legislation earlier this year turned in more than 16,000 signatures at the Secretary of State’s office Monday morning.

That’s more than double the number of valid signatures — 7,178, a percentage of voter turnout in 2010 when Morse was elected — that will be needed to force a recall election in El Paso County later this year.

“This sends a strong message,” said Rob Harris, who delivered three boxes full of petitions to the Secretary of State’s office. “We’ve obtained enough signatures to recall a state legislator for the first time in the history of Colorado.”

The Secretary of State’s office has 15 days to review all the signatures and determine how many valid ones were received. After that, Morse’s team will have 15 days to contest those signatures deemed valid by the state.

Two other recall efforts against Democratic lawmakers who supported the gun control measures have already failed; signatures in another aimed at Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, are due next Monday.

But the push to oust Morse has drawn most of the attention from pro-Second Amendment activists within the state, not to mention a lot of financial help from undisclosed groups that have funneled money, through a non-profit called “I Am Created Equal”, to Kennedy Enterprises, which has paid petition gatherers to collect signatures.

But Harris insisted it’s been a grassroots effort.

“I ran this recall,” he said. “Not the N.R.A. It sends a message to Denver and Washington, DC that we, the people, are watching and that we will do something about it.”

Meanwhile, the group backing Morse, “A Whole Lotta People for John Morse”, has drawn most of its funding from “America Votes”, a national non-profit that lists New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose group was a driving force behind the new Colorado gun laws, as one of its donors.

Last week, the group released a video showing a petition gatherer mischaracterizing Morse’s record in hopes of getting someone to sign.

“We’ll go through these signatures with a fine-toothed comb,” Morse told FOX31 Denver Monday afternoon. “And we’ll file some protests with the Secretary of State’s office because we know a lot of these signatures were gathered based on misinformation and lies.”

Morse has insisted that he won’t resign his seat to avoid the recall election, but that’s still a possibility, given that the move would allow Democrats to appoint former state Rep. Michael Merrifield to finish out the final year of his term.

“This is a hill worth dying on,” Morse said. “This is a fight worth having; it’s a fight we’ve already had on the floor of the Senate; it’s a fight worth winning.”

Merrifield has already filed papers to run for Morse’s seat in 2014 and would likely be a Democratic candidate on a recall ballot should an election take place.

See the original post here.

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Morse’s Lack of Accountability, Overreaching

June 2nd, 2013

By Laura Carno

The Gazette

There are two key reasons why State Sen. John Morse should be recalled and why I am supporting this effort.

First, Sen. Morse ran for office pledging to focus on jobs and the economy but, when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” (MAIG) started pouring money into Colorado, he instead shifted his focus to strict gun control. In previous years, Sen. Morse sponsored bills that were bipartisan and moderate. He even sponsored a bill in 2007 (SB07-34) that guaranteed reciprocity for holders of Concealed Carry Permits from other states. But when Sen. Morse returned to Denver in 2013, he was the prime sponsor of “The Assault Weapon Responsibility Act” – so far reaching that his own Democrat caucus wouldn’t support it.

Another overreaching bill supported by Sen. Morse limits the magazine size that law-abiding citizens can use. Hardened criminals won’t abide by this new law. Moreover, women – statistically smaller than their assailants – have the right to all the ammunition they might need to stop their attacker. Sen. Morse and his caucus do not have the right to make that self-defense decision for me and countless other women.

Still other gun bills supported by Sen. Morse have caused manufacturers to leave Colorado. Is that a focus on jobs and the economy?

Second, when these bills made their way through the Senate, Senate President Morse ran seven very controversial bills through two committees in one day. The common practice with controversial bills is to have one bill in one committee, giving citizens on both sides the opportunity to be heard. Thousands of people who came to testify against gun control bills were denied that right. Some drove four hours to have their voices heard. Yet each committee only allowed 90 minutes of testimony for each side. The right to address elected officials was denied.

Further, on March 11, when Sen. Morse was on a national news show, he shared his advice to his senators regarding the constituent emails on the gun-control bills: “We just have to stay away from some of this toxicity” and “Don’t read any more of these than you absolutely have to.” Government officials are not above the citizens. We are equals. It is their job to listen to us.

Due to Morse’s actions, a grass-roots group of citizens decided to do a recall. Recalls are usually David vs. Goliath efforts, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sen. Morse’s response was to send robocalls scaring citizens into not opening their doors for petition gatherers. While Sen. Morse’s committee received 80 percent ($20,000) of its donations from an organization with close ties to Michael Bloomberg, he labels the recall effort as “funded by out of state interests.” This is not true, but it doesn’t keep Sen. Morse from saying it.

The citizens of Senate District 11 deserve someone who will represent their interests in Denver, not someone who turns a deaf ear when they tell him he doesn’t know what’s best for them.

See the original post here.