Morse Paid Petition Recall Campaign Turns In 16,000+ Signatures

FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, as expected, the paid recall petition drive against Colorado Senate President John Morse in retaliation for gun safety bills passed this year in the Colorado General Assembly appears successful:

The group working to recall Colorado Senate President John Morse over the passage of Democratic gun control legislation earlier this year turned in more than 16,000 signatures at the Secretary of State’s office Monday morning.

That’s more than double the number of valid signatures — 7,178, a percentage of voter turnout in 2010 when Morse was elected — that will be needed to force a recall election in El Paso County later this year…

[T]he push to oust Morse has drawn most of the attention from pro-Second Amendment activists within the state, not to mention a lot of financial help from undisclosed groups that have funneled money, through a non-profit called “I Am Created Equal”, to Kennedy Enterprises, which has paid petition gatherers to collect signatures.

16,000 signatures is enough to overcome even a very low "validity rate" for gathered signatures, which is expected as collecting signatures in a state senate district with poorly-known boundaries can be difficult. It's worth noting that for-profit petition company Kennedy Enterprises has never failed to get something on the ballot via petition drive.

Lynn Bartels of the Denver Post follows up today with more reports of deception from petition gatherers, in addition to video of similar false statements from a Morse petition gatherer that surfaced last week. There is some recourse for individuals who realize they have been deceived by a petition gatherer, allowing them to have their names removed–we'll be watching to see if anything develops with that possibility. 9NEWS:

Morse has several options available to challenge the signatures, including court action. Deadlines for the various challenges are spelled out in state law.

"Thousands of those signatures were obtained inappropriately," Morse said. "Now, will we be able to prove that? We'll have 15 days to figure that out. That's going to be tricky."

As of now, it does appear the first-ever recall of a sitting Colorado legislator is headed for the ballot.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. That's one area of the law that needs to be strengthened. If a petition gatherer is caught deceiving voters, the penalty should be at the very least the disqualification of all of that gatherer's petitions. The penalties should increase for increasing numbers of deceptive gatherers, and at a certain point they should lead to the automatic disqualification of the petition and possible penalties for any organization involved in the deceptive signature gathering.

    Unfortunately like in most states, proof of deception here in Colorado generally only leads to the disqualification of a single signature.

    • Konola says:

      I happen to be in South Dakota reading this, and the local news is talking about the failed recall of a Rapid City Councilman. Here state law says that if the petition is circulated by someone from out of state, the entire petition is disqualified. That seems harsh, but in this case the councilman gets to stay in office because the company circulating the petitions hired some guys from Montana to solicit signatures.

    • Albert J. Nock says:

      Phoenix Rising,

      1 thing about all petitions is they go to the voter for final approval. You either trust the voter or you do not. This is the same voter that chooses representatives. You either trust this voter or you do not.

      The scum sucking signature gather is nearly irrelevant…


  2. State Dems need to be fired up for this recall election; NRA supporters will be out for the political head of Senate President Morse and they'll be out in force.

    Moderate Republicans who don't want to be led around by the NRA's leash might consider entering in the fray by asking the question "does Sen. Morse's action really rate a recall given the generally high standards we set on recall elections?" This is why most of the Wisconsin recalls failed; voters failed to equate the recalled official's actions with something serious enough to rate a recall – criminal acts or moral bankruptcy.

    • Craig says:

      Phoenix, they believe he did commit a criminal act.  Voting for an unconstitutional law.  We'll see if the public buys it.  Frankly, I think Morse's campaign is easy.  This is what I did.  I think it was right.  I'd vote for it again.  If you want to remove me for voting what polls and my conscience tell me is right, then go ahead.

      • I know that's what the extremists think. I'm suggesting that the moderates who don't want the NRA to always be leading them around should lend some support by questioning the severity of the action.

        And Morse's campaign is anything but easy. His message is simple, sure – I did this, here's why and here's why I think my opponents are wrong. But the campaign is going to be based on the ground game. Morse needs absolutely everyone to show up. His message has to include "if you believe that what I did is good for Colorado, I need you to show up on {election day} and vote!" And he has to really drive that point home without sounding desperate. His GOTV has to be beyond exemplary – his district is about 34/33/33 D/R/U now, and he might have lost his last regular election (when his district had a few more Dems in it) had it not been for the Libertarian in the race.

        • ArapaGOP says:

          Sorry, but conservatives will fight harder to protect our gun rights than liberals will fight to take them away. The intensity gap in this campaign has been proven over and over. Morse will lose this election because gun owners have more to lose if he isn't recalled. Libs don't care enough to counter us.

          • Davie says:

            Speaking of the "Don't Care" department — glad you're ok with 30,000 annual gun deaths: murder, suicide, accidental, young, old, women, children, etc. just so you can stroke that Smith & Wesson of yours.

          • BlueCat says:

            Winning the recall would not affect your so called gun rights. The laws stay in place unless declared unconstitutional and there's little chance of that.

            • ArapaGOP says:

              Winning this recall will send a message to Democrats everywhere that there are limits to their abuse of power.

              And Colorado Democrats will learn that lesson too. You need it more than most.

              • Curmudgeon says:

                Of course, a recall would require a special election at the same time, wouldn't it? How will the GunSuckinn' and Meth-Smokin'-Gay-Prostitute-Lovin' votes be split between the candidates (DERP, EXTRA DERP, OR MEGA DERP)?   Isn't that how Morse won in the first place? 

              • ClubTwitty says:

                Nay.  The world.  It will prove once and for all that Karl Rove's Permanenet Conservative Majority is here!  In a Landslide suckers!  Learning the lesson of the sleeping majority and the silent giant…or..well, nvermind.  You'll see!  You'll all see! 

                • Curmudgeon says:

                  I wonder, what does it take to get on the ballot for the special election? Maybe the fiendish Democrats could splinter the votes by propping up a few other candidates, from the FreedomLiberty Tea Party, the LibertyFreedom Tea Party, FreedomLibertyGunsBabyJesus Tea Party, and the LibertyFreedomGunsUnbornBabyJesus Tea Party.  

                  Morse in a Landslide!

                • Gilpin Guy says:

                  And you'll pay for voting for someone who voted their conscience regarding the safety of our communities.  What'll show is that groups outside Colorado can pull the strings and try to bully and intimidate elected representatives to not represent the majority wishes of their constiuents.  A win for external meddlers in local affairs.  On the other hand a loss wipes out any credibility that voting for reasonable gun regulations is a bad move politically.  It is kind of like trying to recall someone for acknowledging that climate change is a reality in our time.  The heretics always get burned at the stake by the insane mob but their message lives on and nurtures the values and mores of the next generation.  Morse has already won by sponsoring legislation that won't be overturned.  Sticking it to the out of town NRA money is just going to be icing on the cake.

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            What a joke argument ArapCrapper.  You conservatives were supposed to have the enthusiasm advantage in the last presidential election because so many Americans hated our president.  How'd that turn out for you?  Oh I know I know.  Obama was the first president since Eisenhower to get of 51% of the vote in both his presidential elections.  There is this other little thing about GOTV operations.  Democrats have very successful the last few election cycles in just beating the shit out of Republicans with their GOTV infrastructure.  You think it will be MIA on this one or that Bloomberg won't counter the money by the gun manufacturers.

            Game on Motherfucker. The intensity gap is a wide as you think it is.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        Perfect response Craig.

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    I'm hoping some 3rd party group does something very simple. Mail out a weekly post card of accidental gun deaths of children the previous week to all people in his district. Don't mention a word about the election, Morse, or anything else. Just list out the deaths.

  4. davebarnes says:

    If I were John Morse, I would hire Peter [unemployed] Boyles as spokesmodel.

  5. dwyer says:

    This scares the holy sh@t out of me. The NRA has been wildly successful in combating all gun control laws.  This is designed to scare other legislators and could end all hope of rational gun control.  So what is the strategy for democrats?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Duh Eeyore.  Be true to your principles.  If you believe that the gun safety proponents are right to work for a more peaceful world than don't back down or cower in your living room watch Fox News and crying about how hopeless it is.  If I was Morse I'd be proud as hell of the fact that the bullyings are coming for me.  It means I've done something right and they are freaking out over it.

      The great Samuri were the ones who fought without fear of death.  You can take my life but you can't take my honor.  Fuck em Dwyer.  They just might be in a bigger fight than they reckoned on particularly with the Gifford and Bloomburg gun safety organizations will to spend to counter the clout of the gun manufacturers.

      If you could overcome you fears Bubba, you could see this as a great opportunity to strike a blow at the "invincible" NRA.  What if they put all this time and money into recalling Morse and the people vote to keep him?  How damaging is that going to be to the NRA myth.  Big risk but big reward.  It all hangs on Morse not apologizing for his votes.

      • dwyer says:

        Good golly, I feel so much better, Bub, thanks for helping me see the light….all we have to do is wish…and wishing will make it all come true….somewhere over the rainbow……

        "It all hangs on Morse not apologizing for his votes." 

        Nope, it all hangs on how much money comes into the state and how enthusiastic each side is.  So far, I think the momentum is with the gun people…grassroots as well as money from outside.

        What you missed is that the first phase of the retaliation has already happened…..Morse is facing a recall vote.  That fact alone could be intiminating to

        other legislators.

  6. Curmudgeon says:

    Didn't Morse win by a relatively small margin, and thanks to a Libertarian candidate siphoning off a significant amount of votes? If the recall succeeds, what are the chances of the Libertarians stepping aside and "letting" the GOP take back that seat?

  7. Rabble or Rabble Rouser? says:

    Kennedy Enterprises if I am not mistaken failed to deliver sufficent signatures for Marc Holtzman in 2006.  They are paid based on gross not net signatures so it is possible but not probable that they came up short this time.

    • Curmudgeon says:

      It's Colorado Springs, Evangelical Crazytown, the home of Focus on the Family and Pastor Ted "Meth and Gay Prostitutes" Haggard….I'm pretty sure they found the legitimate signatures of enough wackadoos who want to make sure the gubmint doesn't take their guns so they can defend against the ceaseless attacks on Blond Baby Jesus (Riding a Dinosaur).

      • ClubTwitty says:

        So, undoubtedly, many of these folks were recently screaming about (imagined) voter fraud, and are now openly celebrating the number of gross signatures–'more sigs than votes for Morse!–even though a large number, if not fully half, will be tossed as fraudulent. 

        Soon, I predict—at least won’t be surprised; we will see those same defending fraudulent signatures and methods…wonder what the Honey Badger will do?


        • gaf says:

          …wonder what the Honey Badger will do?

          Well, somehow he will see "voter fraud" even though, of course, there is no voting happening at this stage. And the fraud, of course, will be the fault of those dirty liberal voter rights folks who are somehow causing problems. (Yeah, that's a stretch, but I think the Honey Badger can make it.)

          And let's be clear–if there is fraud in this process it is NOT "voter fraud"–it would be petition/signature/signature gathering fraud. And a well-run SOS office would make sure all problems are identified and only valid signatures are counted.

          You are absolutely right that those who have been crying "fraud!" will be defending their methods.


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