Archives for August 2013


Episode 145 – Political Round Table

Thanks to Paul A Lathrop for inviting Rob Morse and me to talk politics on his podcast.  Have a listen:


PER DIEM POUNDING: Conservative Women’s Group Slams Morse On Ethics Violation


By ColoradoPeakPolitics


I Am Created Equal, the Colorado Springs-based conservative women’s group run by Laura Carno, is out with a blistering new ad slamming Senate President John Morse over his abuse of tax-free per diem payments and the ethics investigation he faced over it.

At the time when Morse was hit with the ethics complaint he threatened the person who filed the complaint, telling the Colorado Springs Gazette: “If I were a private citizen, I would own these peoples’ homes.”

In a nice twist, Morse wasn’t able to take the complainant’s house, but the people of Colorado Springs may succeed in taking Morse’s seat.

While the ethics complaint was dismissed on a technicality by the Democrat-majority, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Morse took over $40,000 in tax-free payments, including on days he was in China, fundraising with lobbyists, and host of other activities for which he should not have been billing the people of Colorado.

Democrats will try to deflect this attack by noting the complaint didn’t succeed, but that doesn’t detract from the clear evidence proving his abuse of per diem, nor will technicalities remove the stink of corruption that this ad will firmly affix to Morse.

To paraphrase an old post of ours, John Morse has 99 problems and now a charge of corruption is one.

See the original post here.


Recall ad blisters Sen. John Morse on per diem


By Lynn Bartels

The Denver Post

A new ad supporting the recall of Senate President  dings him over  he charged during the off session in 2009.

It’s no surprise the Colorado Springs Democrat was hit with an ad on the topic, although the spot never mentions that a bipartisan committee investigating the per diem dismissed an ethics complaint filed against Morse.

The 30-second ad will begin airing Thursday.

“Sen. Morse, you charged us for days you got your hair cut, and when you went golfing. We didn’t elect you to be king, Sen. Morse,” GOP activist says in the spot.

Morse and a fellow Democrat,  of Pueblo, face separate recall elections on Sept. 10 in their Senate districts over their support for gun-control bills in the 2013 session.


A new ad supporting the recall of Senate President John Morse (Rockchalkmediademo via YouTube)

A new ad supporting the recall of Senate President John Morse (Rockchalkmediademo via YouTube)

The per diem ethics complaint was filed in 2011 concerning expenses filed in 2009. All lawmakers are eligible to collect daily per diem during the 120-day legislative session, and Morris in 2009 was one of 11 lawmakers to bill for the full 120 days.

But lawmakers in certain leadership positions also are eligible to charge $99 a day in the off-session for days they handle legislative matters, and it was that per diem that was the focus of the complaint. Morse, then the majority leader, billed for leadership pay for 206 days out of 239 off-session days, according to records.

Morse said at the time he could have blocked out his personal activities, such as golfing and getting a haircut, when his records were sought, but didn’t want to look like he was hiding anything. But his billing for 206 days stood out because the Senate president billed for only 143 days and the House speaker for 111 days.

The ad is the work of , which Carno said she formed to “set the record straight on the relationship between and citizens and their government.”

See the original post here.


New TV ad rips Morse over 2011 per diem complaint


By Eli Stokols

Fox 31 Denver

ENVER — Laura Carno, the conservative activist whose non-profit group helped fund petition gatherers to put a recall election on the ballot, is up with her first TV ad of the recall campaign.

The spot, which will begin airing on Colorado Springs television stations Thursday, attacks Senate President John Morse, a Democrat, over an ethics complaint filed against Morse in 2009 over his alleged misuse of per diem he opted to receive from the state when the legislature was out of session.

“Sen. Morse, you charged us for days you got your hair cut, and when you went golfing,” Carno says in the ad. “We didn’t elect you to be king, Sen. Morse.”

The per diem ethics complaint was filed in 2011 concerning expenses filed in 2009. All lawmakers are eligible to collect daily per diem during the 120-day legislative session, and Morris in 2009 was one of 11 lawmakers to bill for the full 120 days.

But Morse also billed taxpayers $99 a day for leadership pay on 206 or 239 days when the legislature is out of session, which lawmakers in leadership positions are allowed to do — that was the focus of the complaint.

The complaint was dismissed by a panel charged to investigate, but conservatives have continued to hit Morse over the per diem issue, even noting that the ethics committee that cleared him was dominated by Democrats.

See the original post here.



New Morse recall ad not clear on some claims


By Adrian D. Garcia

Denver Post

A group pushing to oust Senate President John Morse has purchased radio airtime to persuade El Paso County to vote against the lawmaker in this fall’s recall election.

The nonprofit political group IACE Action notes Morse’s past ethics complaint, support for tax increases and “radical” gun-control laws in the radio ad that began running Friday. However, some of the ad’s claims against Morse were unclear or overstated.

Morse, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, both supported gun-control laws during the last legislative session that led some constituents to petition for a recall election. It is scheduled for Sept. 10.

“(The ad) definitely represents the viewpoints of his constituents,” said Laura Carno, founder of and advocate for conservative causes.

Carno narrates the ad and reminds listeners of a 2011 ethics complaint filed against Morse by a right-leaning organization. The group accused Morse of irresponsibly filing for per diem — a state-funded allowance given to members of leadership for duties performed during the legislative off-session.

However, the ad doesn’t mention that the case was ultimately dismissed by a legislative panel.

“As our senator, John Morse supported billions in new taxes and fees,” Carno said in the ad. The claim refers to the Democrat’s support of Senate Bill 213, she said in a phone interview.

The Senate bill is an attempt to make education funding more equitable among Colorado’s 178 districts. Voters must approve an estimated $950 million tax increase in November before the law can take effect.

“Secret donors, most likely from out of state, fund Laura Carno’s group from Monument,” Morse said in a written statement to The Denver Post. “You will notice my ads feature people from my district, of which she is not a resident. But what she can do is funnel money to fund negative campaign ads.”

IACE Action paid $6,000 to run the radio ad on 740 KVOR-AM. This one, or other recall ads, may be expanded to other stations or television in upcoming weeks, Carno said.

The minute-long ad said “the last straw” was Morse’s fervent support of stricter gun-control measures.

“First Morse introduced a bill exposing gun store owners to a slew of junk lawsuits, a proposal so radical that even Democrats wouldn’t support it,” Carno said in the ad.

In fact, Democrats did persuade Morse to drop his bill that, in contradiction to federal law, would make gun makers and sellers liable for damage caused by gun buyers.

He went on to “pass laws so extreme” that El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa and 54 other sheriffs from across the state filed a lawsuit, the ad said.

The lawsuit claims the new gun laws that limit the size of ammunition magazines and expand background checks violate the Second Amendment.

Morse said Carno and out-of-state “radicals bought signatures for a recall election because they oppose background checks for criminals and preventing domestic abusers from having guns. It is a waste of time and taxpayer money.”

The ad will play through next week.

Adrian D. Garcia: 303-954-1729,, twitter/ adriandgarcia

See the original post here.


Colorado Recalls Make History

August 2, 2013


The American Spectator

In nearly 140 years of Colorado history, it’s never happened before. This year it is happening twice: Two legislators, both Democratic members of the Colorado State Senate, will face recall elections after the Democrat-controlled legislature, bullied by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden, and supported by Governor John “I’m a Moderate” Hickenlooper, passed heavy-handed and unpopular restrictions on gun rights in the Centennial State.

The senators in question are Angela Giron (Pueblo) and John Morse (CO Springs), the latter being the current President of the Colorado Senate. While the anti-gun laws were the precipitating event for the recall, Giron and Morse also angered constituents in their moderate districts by consistent support for a leftist agenda — including a massive tax hike, renewable energy mandates, and in-state tuition for illegal aliens — more appropriate for (or at least expected in) New York City than Colorado.

The restrictions in question require background checks for every gun sale, including between individual citizens (along with the imposition of a state fee for each background check), and ban the purchase or transfer of magazines that hold more than 15 cartridges.

Although the state’s Attorney General, John Suthers, has said he will not enforce the magazine ban as intended by its drafters, the measure was intentionally written to prohibit smaller magazines that could theoretically be modified to hold more than 15 rounds, effectively banning the most common magazines for the most common pistols in America (read more in Alex Spiro blog).

Furthermore, the law requires “continuous possession,” meaning that while you can lend your gun to somebody, you cannot lend along with it a magazine that falls under the ban, nor can you sell the magazine or even pass it down to your children along with the gun that requires it. The ban is intended, over time, to turn as many guns as possible into expensive paperweights.

As is typical where you find grassroots efforts against Democrat politicians, and as even the New York Times admits, “Ms. Giron and Mr. Morse are raising and spending far more than their opponents,” including “$35,000 apiece from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington group that supports liberal and environmental causes,” as well as $3,500 each from the nation’s largest government workers’ union, AFSCME. This despite Jim Elson, the former president of AFSCME 123, signing the petition to recall Senator Giron, telling the Denver Post, “Guns isn’t the only issue, but it was the final straw.”

Liberal groups are not in a complete panic, however, because even replacement of both Morse and Giron would still leave the senate with a Democratic majority, albeit by a single seat, through 2014.

In the Colorado Springs race, a spokeswoman for the pro-Morse group “A Whole Lot of People for John Morse” (derisively called “A Few People for John Morse” by pro-recall forces) throws around the usual charge that the other (conservative) side is funded by a few rich people, the NRA, and out of state money.

The hypocrisy is palpable, but then accusations, or even proof, of hypocrisy have never slowed down Democratic rhetoric in Colorado or anywhere else.

I spoke with Laura Carno, a Colorado Springs conservative activist whose organization, I Am Created Equal, provided funding to those working on the recall. According to Carno, contributions to her group (which she then used to help fund the recall effort) came from a mix of small and large donors, none of them came from out of state, and none from the NRA — though she emphasizes she would gladly accept a contribution from that particular group.

The desperate pro-Morse group also repeatedly tried and failed to disprove the legal validity of the recall petitions, leading Denver District Court Judge Robert Hyatt (not known as a friend of Republicans) to note that “the proponents for the recalls unquestionably made a good faith effort” to ensure the petitions were properly executed.

Pueblo, a heavily Democratic city in south-central Colorado, is seeing the most effective conservative organization it — and perhaps any other part of Colorado — has ever seen, brought unexpectedly by a 28-year old, tattooed, bearded plumber named Victor Head (a principled, committed young man whom I had the chance to meet on Saturday).

Mr. Head, angered by the assault on his fundamental rights, understood — again unusually for a Republican — how to bring the 21st century, particularly smartphones, to bear on the electoral process. As the Denver Post put it, “Political observers predicted he would never collect enough signatures, but Head and his allies, including two other plumbers, one of them his brother, saw the technology as a viable tool to make the recall effort a reality.”

Despite the massive outspending of the pro-Giron forces against Mr. Head’s grassroots efforts, and despite the roughly 2-to-1 Democratic registration advantage over Republicans in that district, Ms. Giron stands a good chance of being recalled.

Forty-five miles north, Senate President John Morse is in even bigger trouble. Although his senate district includes the quirky (and liberal) town of Manitou Springs, John Morse won his 2010 election by only 252 votes in a race in which a Libertarian candidate won five times that number. In other words, if not for the presence of a third party candidate, Mr. Morse would likely have lost; this is not a safe “blue” seat, despite redistricting since 2010 having made the district lean slightly more Democratic than its prior configuration.

This is NOT the full post. See the full post here.