By Bob Seay
Barbara Ruth Hernandez wasted no time filing her petition to recall Governor Polis. In Colorado, recalls for Governor cannot be filed until the Governor has been in office for at least six months. Hernandez filed her recall petition on July 8, exactly six months to the day when Polis was sworn in.
Hernandez believes she and her Dismiss Polis group can get the 631,266 signatures required for a recall election within the 60 day deadline. She believes Republicans can defeat a governor who won by over 10 percentage points.
What else does Barbara Hernandez believe?
Hernandez and her Heritage Defenders, a right wing activist group she leads, believe public libraries push porn on children. (Be sure to read the excellent rebuttal from a former Colorado State Librarian who summarizes the anti-EBSCO campaign as ” just another conspiracy theory for those who believe in a flat Earth and Elvis sightings.”) She believes schools are promoting radical Islamic Sharia Law . She has said that state tests in schools collect personal information about students for the purpose of spying on families.
Despite residing in the county with the third highest teen pregnancy rate in the state, Hernandez believes schools should not teach sex education. She wants to recall Governor Polis because he supported Colorado’s new sex education law, which includes lessons on consent, diversity, and accurate information on contraception and reproductive health.
Hernandez also listed Polis’s support for the new oil and gas law and for the national popular vote compact as additional reasons for the recall. Apparently Hernandez believes that if you throw enough dirt at a wall, something is bound to stick.
Hernandez and her fellow Republicans may reflect the values of some (not all) rural citizens, but they are out of step with the majority of Colorado voters. Over 80% Colorado voters support the idea that people who pose a threat to themselves or others should not have access to a guns. Yet despite this overwhelming support, Hernandez included the Extreme Risk Protection Order as a reason for the recall. She might want to ask Dudley Brown how his effort to recall Tom Sullivan in conservative Douglas County worked out for him. Her views echo those of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, which Joshua Hosler, former chairman of the El Paso County GOP, referred to as “Colorado’s Taliban.”
In fact, the term “Christian Taliban” applies to much of what Barbara Hernandez does. Before she formed Heritage Defenders, Hernandez was part of ACT For America, an anti-Muslim hate group. At a townhall meeting with Congressman Ken Buck, Hernandez’s anti-Muslim rhetoric was so inflammatory that Congressman Buck told her there was no place in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District for such racist and anti-Muslim comments.
Ken Buck called her a bigot. Think about that.
In short, Barbara Hernandez holds views consistent with what has become mainstream Conservatism in the conspiracy theory driven environment of Trump’s Republican party. Rather than reconsidering positions that cost them so dearly in the last election, the GOP is trying to nullify the votes of the majority of Colorado voters. In the recall efforts, the Colorado GOP is looking more and more like bad sports parents and less and less like a legitimate political party.
This is the unimproved Colorado GOP, a group that feels entitled to impose its views on everyone, even when they lose elections.