UPDATE: These recalls are brought to you by the Neville clan.
Even before the final votes were counted in a 2018 election that saw sweeping victories for Colorado Democrats, local Republicans were keen on telling anyone who would listen to expect Democrats to “overreach” in the 2019 legislative session.
As we noted in this space last November, “overreach” is the kind of term normally reserved for the losers of a given election:
As all sides in Colorado politics take stock of this year’s landslide victory for Democrats up and down the ballot, we’re seeing reactions that closely parallel–at least on the surface–the response to the last big Democratic surge in Colorado in the 2012 elections. Hand-wringing about the supposed horrors of life under Democratic control in Colorado leads to talk of certain areas of the state either seceding or (new in 2018) joining Wyoming.
And that’s how it’s spun: Democratic “overreach” prompts a completely unhinged secession movement that is nonetheless taken at least somewhat seriously. And of course, in 2013 Democratic “overreach” led to recalls! Some variation of this faux concern warning to victorious Democrats has been the conclusion of the majority of post-election opinion from conservatives, as well as the state’s crop of aging white male “centrist” opinionmakers.
It was silly for Republicans to predict a Democratic “overreach” in 2019 when you consider the results of the 2018 election. Democrats won every statewide office, something that neither political party had accomplished in decades; Jared Polis was elected Governor by a double-digit margin; and Democrats added seats to their State House majority and took control of the State Senate. Nevertheless, Republicans clung fast to their “overreach” message, using the same club to whack away at issues from gun safety to a National Popular Vote for President.
While Republicans yell “overreach” every time a Democrat grabs for a cup of coffee, the real “overreach” is happening within their own ranks. As Marianne Goodland reports today for the Colorado Springs Gazette,
Recall petitions are underway against two Colorado Democratic lawmakers over their votes on Senate Bill 42, the bill that will add Colorado to the national popular vote interstate compact.
And a Facebook page has been set up to start the process for a recall of Gov. Jared Polis, though he has yet to sign the bill.
Statements of purpose, the first step before the petition filing, have been submitted to the secretary of state. They target state Sen. Jeff Bridges of Greenwood Village and Rep. Meg Froelich of Englewood. Both voted in favor of Senate Bill 42.
We’re a bit surprised that the first recall attempt of Democratic lawmakers is in reaction to National Popular Vote legislation; we would have put better odds on the first recall attempt coming in overreaction to so-called “red flag” legislation, since the 2013 GOP recall efforts were related to the darn libruls taking everybody’s
guns high-capacity magazines.
It also strikes us as odd that the first recall targets would be Denver-area Democrats from House District 3. Last November, incumbent Rep. Jeff Bridges pummeled Republican challenger Toren Mushovic by a 61-39 margin; you can’t make much of an argument that HD-3 voters were on the fence about Bridges in 2018. Bridges has since been appointed to fill the remainder of Daniel Kagan’s State Senate term, with Froehlich selected to replace Bridges in the State House. In the case of Froehlich, we’re talking about a recall attempt of a legislator who has not yet been elected by voters; local residents approached about signing a recall petition for Froehlich will be excused for being confused.
And finally, as Goodland reports, any effort to recall Gov. Jared Polis will require more than just a Facebook page:
Recalling the governor (who has not yet signed Senate Bill 42) will take more than 631,000 signatures to get to the ballot. And he cannot be recalled until he’s been in office for six months, according to the secretary of state.
To recap, an “effort” is underway to recall a legislator who won re-election by 22 points just four months ago. Another group is trying to oust Gov. Polis — who was elected by an 11-point margin — which is something they can’t even legally attempt until later this summer.
This should work out well.