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September 16, 2019 01:07 PM UTC

Ken Buck's "Spell R-E-C-A-L-L" Speech Bites Back Hard

  • by: Colorado Pols
Colorado GOP chairman Rep. Ken Buck (R).

The Denver Post’s Anna Staver wrote an excellent post-mortem of the Colorado Republican Party’s failed summer of recalls this past weekend, and here’s how it starts:

When Congressman Ken Buck took the reins of the Colorado Republican Party in March, he stood on the stage in Englewood High School’s auditorium and told the party faithful they were going to teach Democrats “how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L.”

The room erupted in applause…

[I]n the nearly six months since that fiery speech in the high school auditorium, conservatives have tried to recall five Democratic lawmakers and the governor. Four of those campaigns failed to gather enough signatures to put a recall election on the ballot, one recall target resigned for unrelated reasons, and the attempt to remove Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, is ongoing. His opponents have until Oct. 18 to turn in their petitions.

“I think the recall process has done what it was supposed to do,” said former GOP chair Dick Wadhams. “It provided an outlet for Republicans. … Were they politically smart? I think it’s a resounding no.”

As the Republican recall threats that dominated the end of the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly have collapsed under their own weight in the last two weeks, Rep. Ken Buck’s speech in late March before the GOP state convention committing the party to support for recalls against Democratic lawmakers with dramatic flair has emerged as a symbol of the party’s incompetent reaction to massive defeat in the 2018 elections. Moderate GOP columnist Mario Nicolais writes in the Colorado Sun:

Rep. Ken Buck took the reins of the Colorado Republican Party promising to “teach [Democrats] how to spell r-e-c-a-l-l.” Vice Chair Kristi Burton Brown initiated the recall against state Sen. Tom Sullivan. Former state House candidate Nancy Pallozzi targeted her historical nemesis state Sen. Brittany Pettersen.

Heading into a critical 2020 election year, the Colorado Republicans spent the past six months demonstrating an ineffectual ground game and undermining their own credibility. That doesn’t bode well for President Trump’s reelection efforts or Sen. Cory Gardner’s slim hope of hanging onto the seat he narrowly won in 2014.

Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent:

When the effort to recall state Rep. Tom Sullivan failed just as spectacularly as the recall-Polis movement, I asked whether the Colorado GOP knew enough to be embarrassed. I think we have now answered that question. The attempt to recall Polis may not have been an official GOP project, but it’s close enough. Marianne Goodland of Colorado Politics reports that groups aligned with House Minority Leader Patrick Neville donated $10,000 to the effort.

And remember Ken Buck’s speech when he was elected GOP state chair last March, promising Democrats would need to learn how to spell r-e-c-a-l-l in the coming months? We remember Sen. Cory Gardner standing on the stage in support of Buck.

Jim Spehar in the Grand Junction Sentinel:

The correct spelling is in the headline. Your dictionary (for those of a certain age) or spell-check (for those who don’t remember or never used that heavy old bound Webster’s) will confirm it. The alternative spelling, at least for disgruntled conservatives and Colorado Republicans, is F-A-I-L.

My GOP friends need to forward that alternative spelling to their state party chair. It was Ken Buck, whose day job is representing Colorado’s 4th congressional district, who pledged at the party’s last state convention that “we’re going to teach them (Democrats) how to spell R-E-C-A-L-L.” To applause, it’s worth noting, from the only two remaining Republicans officeholders elected statewide, Sen. Cory Gardner and University of Colorado Regent Heidi Ganahl.

Republican sources tell us that there is a fierce intraparty debate underway today on both sides of “recall season” as to how seriously Rep. Buck’s absentee leadership of the Colorado GOP contributed to the failures. On the one hand, Buck certainly could have (and in retrospect should have) intervened in the filing of the doomed recall petition against Rep. Tom Sullivan, the failure of which effectively stymied any momentum Republicans had coming out of the legislative session. On the other hand, Buck is widely rumored to have discouraged the Polis recall behind the scenes, helping further alienate the party’s radical wing after paying them lip service.

Perhaps most telling in all of this is that Staver reports Rep. Buck couldn’t be reached for comment on how the spelling lesson ended up! At this point, that’s probably Buck’s best option. Comparing the rhetoric to the outcome of the now-faceplanted “summer of recalls” is an embarrassment to more than Ken Buck, but there’s only one chairman.

Perhaps it’s time to hang up both hats.


12 thoughts on “Ken Buck’s “Spell R-E-C-A-L-L” Speech Bites Back Hard

  1. Anyone asked the person who was supposedly in "day-to-day" supervision of the Republican Party about the recalls?  I've not read any comments from Steve House, the past-Chair and recently-passed-CEO of the Republican Party. At least, no comment since last May, when he said in his “outside” voice at a Republicans meeting in Pueblo that

    “We are going to support the recalls. We have to support the recalls, because, people…people are justifiably angry about what’s going on. And we need to, first of all, give a voice to that anger. And secondly, the process of identifying more voters for Trump, and for Cory Gardner, and for getting the State Senate back, starts as well with those recalls.”

    1. Yeah, I'm sure all the instances where the Cons saying the quiet part out loud making it into the public record did wonders for the momentum of the recall efforts.

    1. Hey, at least she doesn't wear a soiled blue dress, right Poddy Mouth?  

      BTW, what you up to?  Trying to get Leroy recalled?  Trying to get the money you donated to failed recall efforts back from Dudley, Boy Neville and his fellow grifters?

    2. You sanctimonious ass. Galindo was cleared of sexual assault charges. She had a consensual encounter with a 19 year old woman, who later declined to press charges. Galindo pled guilty to buying liquor for a minor (during Galindo’s campaign, when the woman was still 18),  and that is where matters rest today. Galindo resigned because of the "appearance" of misconduct.

      9 News repeats what the gossip grapevine said:   that GOP operatives, especially Sherrie Peif from Complete Colorado, were instrumental in getting Galindo's ex-partner to press charges.

      Rochelle Galindo was an excellent representative, who had the bad luck to be the first one to be targeted for recall in Weld County Recall Central. Galindo, as a lesbian woman of color, was an easy target for the racist homophobes of Weld County.



      1. kwtree, we appreciate your insight.  But getting angry with the skid mark formerly known as Poddy Mouth is worthless.  He is just an insipid and vapid MAGAt who occasionally tries to throw shit like that out there just to do his whataboutism schtick to change the conversation.  

        Generally, he sucks at it because his attempts are obvious, due to him not being very bright.  Don't play into his game.  He is worthy of your dismissive derision and nothing more.

        1. Normally, I do ignore the Pod person in the blue dress. But I felt compelled to counter the misinformation about Rochelle Galindo. I interviewed her for a diary, which I never published,  because  the assault allegation was made, and she resigned. 

          She is a bright, thoughtful, concerned person, whose voice as a working class Latina lesbian can’t be replaced in the legislature. I think what happened to her is tragic. I hear that she may go back into politics in the future, and I hope that’s true. 

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