Yesterday in Colorado there was a recall election. State Senate President John Morse (D) and Senator Angela Giron (D) were booted from office and replaced with Republicans (who had petitioned to get onto the recall ballot). Why? Dereliction of duty? Financial scandals and lawbreaking? Ordering mob hits?
No, nothing so egregious. Nothing illegal or even scandalous. They were ousted from office because they supported Colorado’s newest gun laws. They were the victims of a battle fought in Colorado between the National Rifle Association and NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Those national groups financed and fought over the recall of two people who had been properly elected by the voters of Colorado, two people who could have been voted out of office in the next election if their constituents were unhappy. Morse, in fact, was term-limited and would have been out of office next year anyway.
But no, in a complete subversion of our democratic election system, outside organizations came into Colorado and turned the entire system on its head.
It’s not the first time outside money has come in to influence Colorado elections. But it’s the first time they’ve come in to organize a special recall election to punish legislators for exercising their constitutional rights and obligations.
The system is long established and it works pretty well. At regularly scheduled elections, voters vote for their favorite candidates. The candidate with the most votes wins. If the elected representative displeases the voters, they are free to elect someone else the next time.
This is about democracy and our election system. National organizations steamrolling that system in order to advance their own special interests, whatever they might be, and to punish anyone who opposes them, is subversive in the truest sense of the word. It ought to be unconstitutional. It ought to be illegal.