Columns » Ranger Rich

Recall of the wild

Ranger Rich

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Today we will look at our village, and the ongoing recall effort against Colorado Senate president John Morse. He is a Democrat. The recall campaign, of course, is the work of Republicans, many of them tea party people who believe the Kentucky Derby is a hat.

They want to oust Morse from office because of his leadership in passage of gun-control bills this year. One new law requires background checks for private and online gun purchases; another bans magazines holding more than 15 rounds.

These kinds of tea party folks, who now basically run the Republican Party, enjoy having vast stockpiles of guns to protect their valuable possessions, such as the 1971 Coleman camping stove they use to cook hot dogs for special occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, when Cletus bags his 100th raccoon of the season, etc.).

While Colorado College political science professor Bob Loevy has pointed out that recalls technically can be launched for any reason, they're historically the result of illegal or gross misconduct. The move by Republicans to recall the state Senate president because of his gun control support has caught the eye of the entire nation, which already believes we paint our houses while wearing a pair of jackets because the paint can says, "For best results use two coats."

As you might expect, the National Rifle Association, which has poured money into the petitioners' efforts, is following the outcome closely. So are right-wing "news" organizations like The Daily Caller and the Washington Times. But what's happening in and around Colorado Springs has also been covered by the likes of the Associated Press, ABC News and the New York Times.

A June 20 story in the Wall Street Journal picked up on the fact that an election would be costly — the El Paso County clerk and recorder has estimated it'll cost taxpayers at least $150,000 — and is being sought despite term limits that prevent Morse from running for re-election in 2014 anyway.

"We think he's done a great job, and we don't think this is how recalls are meant to be used," Christy Le Lait, manager of the campaign fighting the recall, told the WSJ. "We have a representative form of government, and constituents aren't always going to agree with every vote an official makes."

The Republicans have gathered more than 10,000 valid signatures on the recall petition, enough to force an election in Senate District 11. Details about the petition language are still in dispute. But the 10,137 valid signatures came as a surprise, in light of the rumor that many gun-crazy Republicans are unable to read or write. (An example would be Texas Gov. Rick Perry.)

As you probably already know, the sore loser petition, I mean the recall petition, is fronted locally by a Mensa Club organization called the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee. It's made up of people who share a common experience: They've all been locked in a bathroom and became so frightened they peed their pants.

A spokesperson for that group, Jennifer Kerns, told the WSJ that Morse "pushed through the most radical agenda in Colorado history." Then went back to what she was doing before the WSJ called: kneeling down and praying in front of her Sarah Palin/Michele Bachmann shrine while trying to pry open a can of Spam with her teeth.

Among the charges leveled against Morse by the Freedom Defense Committee was that he made comments dismissive of gun-rights supporters.

Oohh, the poor babies. The Senate president hurt their little feelings and now they want to spend $150,000 or more to hold a purely political recall election.

Although I will say this: At least they're giving it the old college try. To which many of them would probably reply: The old what?

Rich Tosches (rangerrich@csindy.com) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.

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