THURSDAY UPDATE: Colorado Public Radio reports that petitions to recall Rep. Rochelle Galindo have been approved for circulation–but it’s unknown which organization the approved circulators are affiliated with.
The Greeley Tribune’s Tyler Silvy reports on efforts getting underway to recall House District 50 Rep. Rochelle Galindo–efforts that loom deadly serious due to the amount of money at least hypothetically in play, and much like the nascent campaign to recall Gov. Jared Polis shocking for the audacious prejudice on display by some of its organizers:
A local group working to recall Rep. Rochelle Galindo, D-Greeley, hasn’t yet finalized its paperwork with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, but it’s already sitting on $325,000 in pledged campaign donations from a Weld County landowner and oil and gas companies.
Motivated by the low threshold required to initiate a recall of a House member–in the case of Rep. Galindo in HD-50, a mere 5,696 valid signatures–Republican donors are ready to spend big on a do-over of the 2018 election. To put that in a perspective that should sober every Colorado Democrat, $325,000 breaks down to just over $57 for every required signature to qualify a recall for the ballot. Basically, these guys could buy every petition signer a nice dinner. With drinks.
Therefore ignoring the threat this represents would be foolhardy in the extreme.
The problem, as Silvy continues in yet another excellent deep dive story that should spike traffic for the Greeley newspaper of record, is that the people who are actually ready to organize such a recall–led by House Minority Patrick Neville–are, to put it mildly, problematic.
Colorado Senate Minority Leader Patrick Neville’s brother Joe Neville, who runs the political action committee Values First Colorado, publicly announced his involvement in a separate Galindo recall this past week. Neville is from Castle Rock, and is working to recall other legislators around the state and followed a similar recall path in 2013.
Aligned with Rocky Mountain Gun Owners’ Dudley Brown and controversial Greeley Pastor Steven Grant, Neville’s group, at this point, has no buy-in from the local group.
Part of the reasoning could be Grant himself, who in a March 17 sermon titled Reclaiming America Part 2 and published on the website of his Destiny Christian Center church, calls Galindo a “homosexual pervert,” and vows to do anything in his power to remove her from office. [Pols emphasis]
Reached by phone, Pastor Steven Grant of Destiny Christian Center Church confirmed those sentiments about Rep. Galindo, elaborating that “she’s trying to insert her lifestyle into our lives.” Ernest Luning of the Colorado Springs Gazette’s political site first reported on Grant’s sermon attacking Rep. Galindo late last week, but it was mostly inaccessible behind the Gazette’s paywall:
“My representative is a homosexual pervert, Rochelle Galindo, at the Colorado statehouse,” Grant says in the video.
“And I wrote her and said, ‘You campaigned as a moderate, and now you are legislating as an extremist, and I will do whatever it takes to get you removed from office.’ I just told her that, straight out. She needs to know before it happens.”
Grant says he told Galindo to vote against “this homosexual sex education bill,” legislation he maintains “literally removes words like ‘he’ and ‘she’ because it is offensive to those who are gender-fluid, whatever that is. I think they need their fluids changed.” [Pols emphasis]
It’s a fascinating predicament–on the one hand you’ve got rich Republicans with money to burn who would love to make trouble for Democrats after last year’s landslide election left them powerless. But the people actually working to put a recall on the ballot are themselves highly divisive figures, enough to toxify the entire effort in just a few short sentences (see above). Apparently that’s given some of the big donors pause–but with the Neville family publicly fronting the recalls before the Republican Party faithful last weekend at the party’s annual meeting, and Neville allied with the unapologetically bigoted Pastor Grant on the ground in Greeley, these are the ones bringing us all to the proverbial dance.
And as they say, you dance with the one who brought you.