Giron Petition Declared Sufficient

Unexpected news out of Pueblo, as a press release from Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced today:

Today Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced the petition to recall Senator Angela Giron (SD-3) was found sufficient.
On June 10, 2013, the proponents of the recall effort submitted 13,466 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State's office began an immediate line-by-line review of the signatures. The proponents were required to gather 11,285 valid signatures, equaling 25 percent of all the votes cast in the previous election for Senate District 3. The total number of valid signatures on the petition was 12,648.
Under Colorado law, any eligible elector can file a protest with the Secretary of State within fifteen days to challenge the validity of the petitions. Barring a successful protest at the conclusion of the protest period, the Governor will be responsible for setting an election date.

We'll be the first to admit that we did not expect such an extremely high validity rate as appears to be the case with the petition effort against Sen. Angela Giron. We had heard that volunteers were cross-checking voter registrations against public voter registration data in real time with mobile technology to confirm that signers were valid residents of the district, and with this success in hand we think that should become a standard practice wherever possible. Regardless of which side you're on in the debate over gun safety legislation passed this year, you've got to hand it to recall organizers for running a tight ship. As more information becomes available–including blue-on-blue Democratic infighting relatively unknown outside Pueblo that apparently contributed to the success of this effort–we'll have more to say about what happened here.

Though again, despite the unexpectedly successful signature drive, there is a potentially fatal flaw in this recall petition. Its failure to include the request to elect a successor, as constitutionally required, could make this a lost cause.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    It's no victory to "succeed" in abusing our democratic system out of spite.

    • Urban Snowshoer says:

      I thought the Wiscon recall effort against Governor Walker was improper, despite the fact that I don't like Walker and regard his restriction on collective-bargaining a cheap shot and a red-herring: the ability to collectively bargain has little (if anything) to do with the difficulties in reforming pensions. I also regard all of these Colorado recalls against legislators who voted in favor of gun legislation a misuse of the recall process, though I happen to support the gun legislation in question.

      Recall propenents, be they liberal or conservative should be careful what they wish for: the shoe is going to be on the other foot some day. Recalls should be reserved for genuine incompetance or credible evidence of criminal activity.  If the losing-side can use a recall merely because they don't like  the election results, government will become even more dysfunctional than it is now.   

      • BlueCat says:

        So did lots of folks in Wisconsin. Many Dems who hated the guy believed that bad policy isn't grounds for a recall. You elected the guy, you're stuck with him. Malfeasance, criminal behavior have been regarded as the legitimate reason for recall, not buyer's remorse.  But don't expect that kind of principled view from the wacko right.

        • Urban Snowshoer says:

          I don't live in Wisconsin (I live in this great state of Colorado), so I don't know for sure but I imagine the recall against the governor failed for the reasons described above.

          I guess I just don't want the recall to turn into yet another tool for sore-losers (be they liberal or conservative) to subvert the political process, though we may be heading down that road anyway.

          • BlueCat says:

            I have a sister who lives there in  a small town in the orbit of Madison so lots of Dems. She talked to many people who felt that yes it was mainly about policy and, after all, that is what Wisconsin Dems and unions were pushing, not  the ultimately unproven criminal activity.  They felt that you get to take another crack at a guy you disagree with next election.

            I doubt the right will have any such scruples. They don't even pretend it's about anything but policy. It's going to be pretty hard to and expensive for elected government here to function if good sized minorities can always get enough recall signatures just because they don't like the stands taken by fairly and squarely elected officials.  Let's hope that if the recall goes forward in spite of the language violation it fails because winning would set a terrible precedent. Every election would be provisional.

      • Of course in Wisconsin, there was a John Doe probe going on of both Walker's Milwaukee County Executive office and his Governor's office. In the end they didn't indict him or charge his buddies with election violations even though there was IMHO some good evidence that he misused his office for election purposes – but at least there was a criminal investigation surrounding him at the time. And there was the whole shutting out of citizens from the State House, and the redistricting shenanigans…

        But in the end, voters decided it was more about bad policy than about a failure to uphold the law and kept him in office. And if it's about policy I agree – you shouldn't be using a recall based on a policy decision.

  2. mamajama55 says:

    There were also abuses in the petition gathering process – even though a signature may be on the voter rolls in the correct district, some voters were lied to, intimidated, or harassed into signing. Volunteers will be following up to verify these signatures.


    • BlueCat says:

      Best op to stop this in its tracks will be the omission of required language. I don't hold out much hope for that.

      • No word so far from the Giron camp about filing suit based on that omission? Are they hoping for a quick ruling on the Morse complaint?

        • mamajama55 says:

          Angela Giron is going to also file suit on the anti-Constitutional omissions from the petition language:

          Bravo! Go Angela! She has been a hard working legislator, getting more accomplished than most of her critics have done in a lifetime! Homeless veterans can now get appropriate treatment at Fort Lyons thanks to her  (and other legislators, of course) – kids can finish high school and college, people can hang on to their homes, ill people can get acupuncture treatment for mental illness, and so much more.

          If this lawsuit can keep taxpayers from wasting $150K on a recall election which she would win anyway, I say go for it…

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