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June 21, 2019 07:03 PM UTC

Recalls, Then and Now

  • by: Dean

By my count there are three distinct groups working to recall Gov. Polis. The Spite Wars they’re waging on Facebook is sowing confusion among the newbies who think such a simple thing as recalling a sitting governor shouldn’t be complicated. A frequent comment is “Look what we did in 2013!”

Yeah, about 2013. After an horrific mass murder modest gun safety laws were passed that annoyed Dudley Moore of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. A fairly mendacious campaign followed that did lead to the recall of two others, including Angela Giron from my home, Pueblo. Recall elections quickly filled those recall vacancies with solid Republicans.

BUT… (I love the occasional dramatic gesture) at the very next regular election both of those Republicans were voted out of office and replaced with Democrats. Further, the laws that prompted those recalls remain on the books to this very day.

In the end, the recall campaigns accomplished nothing but the invalidation of the votes of the majority, which promptly voted to undo that recall at the next opportunity.  Yet this blunt, ineffective method is the only tool wielded by the Recall Polis crowd today.

Signature collection starts July 8 and can only extend 60 days. With three competing recall groups circulating petitions it’s hard to imagine a scenario where one of them gets the nearly 700,00 valid signatures required to trigger a recall election. Weirder things have happened, but if this effort is successful in recalling a governor who won by 10.6 percentage points, it’s sobering to imagine the electoral backlash the majority might unleash at the next opportunity. Should these hardcore conservatives succeed, it could mean the death of their movement in this generation.





29 thoughts on “Recalls, Then and Now

  1. Polis won't be recalled, for all the reasons you cite, plus the competing recall groups cannot work together. They do not play nice with others, especially when there is so much easy money to be made by scaring and riling up their gullible base.

    However, I think that the chances are excellent that the recall gang will get the National Popular Vote referendum petition 125,000 + signatures necessary to put  the NPV on the ballot for voters to approve. They've all been working on it for months – every stupid recall attempt of a state legislator has also circulated “Repeal the NPV” petitions – they are fairly unified, and they are all delusionally certain that they are working to make sure Colorado's (Republican) votes will count in the next Presidential election.

    It's just another way for the sore losers to try for a "do-over" of the 2018 election results.

    1. The National Popular Vote effort makes far more sense to me than foolhardy attempts to recall Polis. I much prefer to have Colorado stand on its own than yield our electoral votes to whoever takes California, from either party. Let the Colorado voters decide.

      The makeup of Congress does provide protection to smaller population states with each state having two senators. 

      1. Exactly – "Let the voters decide". A majority of voters in the entire country, regardless of which state they live in. It would have spared us Trump and GW Bush, and the world would be in a lot less hurt than it is now.

        1. Bush won Florida by 537 votes, thanks to Ralph Nader's "ego" as the Green Party presidential candidate. The Gore campaign goofed big time by not calling for a recount of the entire state, instead of just a couple counties.

            1. We're gonna have jilliots, jilliots.

              Voting for jilliots, jilliots.

              Let us watch their IQs drop.

              (To the tune of "We're gonna get physical."devil


            2. Huh. I mentioned Stein and Nader first to point out that with National Popular Vote compact, the impact of these little third parties diminishes.

              So it's hard to see that I "lose it" when they're mentioned, if I mention them first?

              Logic isn't your strong suit, I see.

              I do like to poke you with Stein's name, though… always fun to trot out the boogeywoman and watch you jump. devil

      2. I agree with NPV,  but am fine with them trying to put it on the ballot, because it least it's a democratic practice and creates a dialogue (even if slanted) on the issue.  

        The recall attempts are just sore loser attempt at a do-over for an election where they hated the results.

  2. CHB, we wouldn't be "yielding our electoral votes" at all.  We'd be voting for the most popular candidate, period.  California would be yielding their votes just as much to us.


    1. And what if the "most popular candidate" did not carry Colorado……

      Old saying: be careful what you wish for, you may get it, and the unintended consequences.

      1. And why should my vote be *more* important than someone in Texas, even if they disagree with me? Should not each of our votes be equal?

        Having "someone I did not vote for" become President because a majority of voters selected them is an *intended* consequence.

      2. If the "most popular" candidate did not carry (Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, ____ state), but if National Popular Vote compact determined a Presidential victory, then R&R and yourself would have no gripe about third party candidates. Sad for yousad

        The Ralph Naders and Jill Steins of the world would have minimal impact if the National Popular Vote determined the winner of a national election.

        We are living now under the tyranny of a minority. Republicans are a permanent minority party, because their bad ideas (tax relief for rich, corporations are (privileged) persons, perpetual war, environmental degradation, the white "race" is threatened and must be defended) are now entrenched in party orthodoxy.

        Republican leaders like Mitch McConnell and Cory Gardner recognize this, and so they must rely on voter suppression tactics and negating electoral consequences: denying Obama two Supreme Court justices, a permanent state of recall elections in Colorado, vicious and obvious voter suppression in Georgia, Alabama, wherever they can get away with it.

        Young people are overwhelmingly choosing "none of the above" in party registration. They are unaffiliated. Candidates must compete with the power of their ideas and implementation, not old buzzwords.  National popular vote is the wave of the future.

        1. Since the term "wave of the future" so beloved by MJ was coined by Anne Morrow Lindbergh to describe Hitler's national socialism, I can only second CHB's caution: be careful what you wish for!

        2. Once again, MJ, you are wrong.

          I would love a system that allowed for people to vote their consciences without a train wreck ensuing.

          I've always admired the French system of voting in two rounds. In the first, everyone from left to right runs and people vote their hearts. The two finalists make the runoff. That is when people are compelled to vote with their brains.

          Now it is not perfect but it probably an improvement over ours. Usually it yields a center-right and center-left candidate. Not always:  last time around, a centrist and a fascist made it into the runoff. And about 15 years ago, the father the fascist – himself an even nastier fascist – made it into the runoff with the center right candidate, Jacques Chirac.

          I would love to see enough states join the Popular Vote Interstate Compact but I am realistic and have the ability to count. And I do not see where you get enough states with 270 or more electoral votes to sign on either today or in the near future.

          1. It's closer than you think – per Wikipedia's count, 196 votes already in the pot, plus 88 with legislation pending. The NPV site says only 74 votes are needed now.

            Georgia's governor Kemp would veto, so that leaves us very close assuming WI, NC, OH, KS, and MN with new and improved Democratic governors pass NPV laws. SC and the other small states considering NPV legislation may or may not pass it, but either way, you're at ~260 votes. Closer than you might think. 

             As Somebody said, "Elections have consequences".

            1. How popular is the NPV amongst voters? Because if it polls well, I know that WI has the ballot initiative process by which supporters can bypass the GOP-controlled legislature? Is that route available in any other states?

              1. Pretty popular – 71%-81% in Wisconsin, according to the state-by-state status breakdown on the NPV site.

                In Wisconsin, an NPV bill was introduced but not voted on in their state legislature.

                The NYT has interesting opinion pieces on whether or not the Electoral College was originally a pro-slavery ploy. The evidence seems to me pretty compelling that it was – blacks were considered to be 3/5 of a person and could not vote; however, their presence in those southern states meant that the states had population sufficient to qualify for proportional representatives in Congress.

                So the ugly origins of the Electoral College, are giving us ugly modern Presidential results that tend to favor Republican presidents, and do result in a tyranny of the minority – and the Electoral College should be repealed as a Presidential election system.

                My point in hijacking this thread (sorry, Dean) to talk about the NPV repeal bill is that this is the only one of the recall movement's efforts that, IMHO, will succeed in Colorado. They will at least succeed in placing it on the ballot. They are unified, it is statewide, they've been at it since March, and every drag race, stock show, any other recall petitioner, has also been toting around the anti-NPV petitions.

                125,000 valid sigs is not an insurmountable obstacle under those conditions. And repeal would be dangerous and consequential.  So we need to be aware of pro – and anti-NPV compact arguments, since we’re likely to get inundated with pro-repeal propaganda close to election time. I don’t know if they would need to call a special election or wait until November 2020. – somebody should write a diary about it…..blush

                    1. … so that the slave owners could vote but not the slaves… so that the owners could keep slavery legal

                      Of course it was pro-slavery.
                      At least no one called the founders "boy."

                1. Whether it was for the protection of slavery or not is interesting but also besides the point. Regardless of why, can we agree it created a shitty system?

      3. And what if the “most popular candidate” did not carry Colorado….

        Then we are stuck with the guy or gal for whom the most people nationwide voted. There are worse things that could happen. An inevitably do.

  3. If by "hardcore conservatives" you mean right wing nut job (rwnj) , I agree.

    Conservative is not what the current Republican party is about.

    Conservative is what the ACA was based on.
    Conservative is not about trillion dollar deficits and a military focused on 20th century tech in order to subsidize defense contractors when what we need is fighting forces that understand climate change, money laundering, fake news and communication grids (internet, power, highways, 4 dimensional battle space)

    The current Republican party is loved by the low information and the racist and the sexist and the rich, uber rich and those who aspire to it. If Ike was alive, he'd be a D.


  4. I just watched a brief news clip on local TV about a Polis Recall rally in GJ yesterday..

    It showed about 25 old white people in some bleachers, listening to remarks by what appeared to be a young activist.

    One of the older spokespersons mentioned the legislation Polis supported that proved he didn't care about the western slope. The usual crap. Old ,white, homophobes and your garden variety gun nuts will rally around this, but not many. 

    Maybe Rose Pugliese, noted carpetbagger and O&G acolyte, can light a fire in the bellies of the downtrodden, already reeling from the lack of love for their fossil fuel dreams (read: Jordan Cove).

    If the size of that crowd was indicative, the governor has very little about which to worry.

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