Democrats “Go There,” Call For Gessler’s Removal From Office

With this press release late yesterday, you may consider any remaining pretense dropped:

Following lengthy testimony by Secretary of State Scott Gessler, Republicans on the House Local Government Committee killed SB 109, which would have ended confusion surrounding registered voters who are tagged as “Inactive Failed to Vote” and had bipartisan support from legislators and county clerks alike. After the vote, Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio issued the following statement:

“Colorado’s Republican Leader Scott Gessler has once again prioritized his partisan agenda above the rights of Coloradans to vote. If Scott Gessler is unwilling to fulfill his duties as a non-partisan election officer, the people of Colorado should consider all avenues necessary to remove him as Secretary of State.” [Pols emphasis]

The call yesterday for the ouster–by any lawful means necessary, including recall–of Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler comes after his testimony against Senate Bill 12-109 in the House Local Government Committee. SB-109, which was killed on a party-line vote at Gessler’s urging, would have resolved the “inactive-failed to vote” status of thousands of Colorado voters, and clarified procedures for voter registration status. The bill was drafted in direct response to the controversy last fall over Gessler’s insistence that ballots not be mailed to these otherwise registered and eligble voters. A number of county clerks, led by Pueblo and Denver counties, openly rebelled against Gessler and prevailed in court.

What Gessler proved yesterday, what seems to have been the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio, is that Gessler doesn’t want this problem actually solved. By testifying against Senate Bill 109, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support, Gessler revealed that imposing conditions on the distribution of ballots to legally registered voters, the outcome he sought by trying to stop “inactive failed to vote” ballots from being mailed last fall, really is his goal. Gessler proved this wasn’t simply about “uniformity,” since the bill he testified against would have created uniformity.

Uniformity on the side of equal access to ballots. That’s what Gessler opposes.

And this is the latest in a series of actions Gessler has taken that reveal an agenda as Secretary of State fundamentally at odds with the interests of the citizens who elected him. Gessler continues to attempt with rule implementation to effect sweeping changes to Colorado election law, reflective of untested court decisions where he wants, in outright defiance of court decisions he doesn’t like–in all cases exercising a capricious lack of judgment, and naked partisan ambition totally inappropriate for his role as Colorado’s chief elections officer. His lack of an ethical compass in his official position was on display right after his election when he tried to “moonlight” for his former law firm. It continued to glare brightly while he slashed fines for a county Republican Party accused of gross fiscal negligence, then held a fundraiser for them.

We’ve been saying it from the beginning: this scheming partisan elections lawyer was a terrible choice for Secretary of State, one of the very worst electoral choices ever made by the people of Colorado. What’s needed now, before anybody starts talking about the daunting logistics of recalling him, or other strategies that can be employed to blunt his agenda against the voting rights of the people of Colorado, is the simple recognition that Democrats calling for Gessler’s ouster by any lawful means is not just an outburst of election-year hot air.

It’s time to recognize how serious a threat to “small-d” democracy Gessler really is.

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. rocco says:

    For a long time the republicans ran the con, denying that they’re in the business of suppressing the vote, while doing every possible thing to do exactly that.

    It’s been a standing fact since the turn of the 20th century that the fewer people that vote, the more it helps the republicans, the better the registered turnout, the more favorable the results for the majority of Americans.

    Now they’re parading it front and center, like “Yeah, we’re doin’ it, what are you gonna do about it?”, and it’s simply time to stop screwing around, arguing whether or not it’s happening, and just flat get busy and put a stop to it.

    This story is very accurate, Gessler literally has no moral compass. It’s so head turning that it’s completely understandable that a rational person asks “How can this be?”.

    Like the Second World War, the answer isn’t in trying to understand what motivates these reptiles, why they do the things they do.

    The only thing honest people need to know about them is how to beat them.


    At this point, since not even shaming these creeps works, I’m in.

    • ellbee says:

      Rocco, really?  WWII?

      Who exactly in WWII are you comparing Republicans to, just so I can get an idea of the magnitude of your comparison?

        • ellbee says:

          Ok.  The Nazis.

          Godwins!  Godwins!

          You’re right.  Scott Gessler is just like a Nazi.

          Rocco, you’re a smart guy and make great arguments most of the time.  Why would you want to lose an argument before you start it by invoking Nazis or Imperial Japan in comparison to a duly-elected State SOS?

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            “Like the Second World War, the answer isn’t in trying to understand what motivates these reptiles, why they do the things they do.”

            You seem to be reacting to this a bit too literally. This is in no way a Godwin’s situation, either.

            And I think picking on this may be an admission that there isn’t a way dispute the main point of his argument.

      • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

        aren’t you ashamed of such a blatantly leading question? rocco is talking about the futility of trying to understand irrational actions in a rational context. The matrix doesn’t work because rationality isn’t the point.

        The point is to institute a functioning, dominate plutarchy so the 1% can institute their “free market” paradise.

        “The Shock Doctrine”, by Naomi Klein…read it.

        • ellbee says:

          Comparing anything in American mainstream politics to Nazis immediately negates one’s argument in my eyes.

          Nothing is like the Nazis.

          • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

            There were many parties who made irrational decisions besides the Nazis. He let you pick and you chose Himmler and the boys.

            • ellbee says:

              Rocco?  Exactly to whom were you referring to in your comparison?

              You made it – please elaborate.

              • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                or Benito Mussolini ?

                Do you then accept roccos argument ?

                • rocco says:

                  But I’m fine with his pick.

                  The repubs do have much in common with the Imperial Japanese doctrine, that of taking what you need, by any means. The old shooter cheney way.

                  The Fascists in Itlay married corporations to government, another red mantra.

                  But the Nazis………….He picked ’em, he owns ’em.  

                  • ellbee says:

                    You mentioned WWII.  You made a comparison, it’s your argument and I own none of it.

                    Can you please tell me who specifically you were referring to, and what your comparison is to whomever you were referring to that took part in WWII?

                    I think it’s a pretty fair question.  You’re the one that said it.

                    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

                      is the whole conceptual basis of Gessler’s actions is that the law is under me.  It is used as a tool, along with his position, to subvert democracy and serve his own narrow aims.  Election law, and his position, should be treated with a lot more dignity.  Why ? Because when the law is mistreated, (or perverted) that way, we keep sliding ever towards meaningless banana republic standards.

                      In short, he shits on the law, and then rubs it in our faces.  He cheapens the position, and that weakens democracy.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      in your one sub-point up there?  WW2 after the US was involved?  Or starting in 1939?  Some people would date it further back with Japanese aggression in Asia.  Please be more precise so I can better understand the magnitude of your offense!

                    • rocco says:

                      I was referring to the mindset my parents took on after Pearl Harbor.

                      My mom and dad both were retired U.S. Military, committed Roosevelt Democrats, as am I, and while I wasn’t born ’till ’48, they were still talking about the commitment made by the entire Nation to win the War my entire childhood.

                      Time after time, they talked about how Pearl Harbor galvanized the nation, the rationing, shortages, how really important work descriptions got more gas than others, no silk, butter, saving cans, donating clothes, buying bonds, and sacrifices.

                      Our family was lucky, we didn’t lose anybody. But my dad did play an important role, and was proud of it the rest of his life. And I’m very proud of him as well.

                      But the similarity to today was that once Japan attacked and the other Tripartite partners declared war, the republican isolationists stopped henpecking, the public stopped wondering how these dictators and Tojo could be so evil, why they were, and everybody just came together to work to beat them.

                      The motives, agenda, or ideologies of Germany, Italy, and Japan simply didn’t matter any more.

                      The only thing that did after America entered the war was two sledgehammer words:

                      Unconditional Surrender.

                      By all three.

                      That’s how I compared the republican party to the Axis Powers. I wasn’t really thinking of how the republicans are like any of the Axis partners in great detail, but our professional victim took tactical offense, and the thread got hijacked.

                      Ralphie, sorry about the thread jack. It wasn’t my intent.    

                    • ellbee says:

                      At least you finally elaborated.

                      So the Republicans have committed an offense as great as the Axis powers in WWII and must be fought until the party is completely destroyed?

                      How do you see that taking place in real terms in today’s America?

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      Go back to the original comment.

                      First, to end the threadjack.

                      Second, to get the context again, which you’ve completely lost sight of in your absolute desire to be offended.

                      Like the Second World War, the answer isn’t in trying to understand what motivates these reptiles, why they do the things they do.

                      The only thing honest people need to know about them is how to beat them.


                      At this point, since not even shaming these creeps works, I’m in.

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      We’re on that original thread. So never mind that part…. THIS thread has been completely hijacked. For some reason I thought we were somewhere else.

                      Where’s my coffee?

                    • ellbee says:

                      You get Sanka now for not calling Godwin’s wherever it rears it’s head.

                      Actually, I think I owe you a beer or a coffee.  It’s been a while.  Hope all is well with you.

                      We’ll just have to get together before I’m ‘destroyed’ by Rocco and his minions.

                    • AristotleAristotle says:

                      And too late about the coffee. It’s all gulped down with a donut. Breakfast of champions…