By Adrian D. Garcia
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 IAmCreated-Equal.com 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, email@example.com, twitter/ adriandgarcia
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