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July 27, 2013 10:47 AM UTC

Recall's Hired Hands: It's a Small World After All

  • by: Colorado Pols

Jennifer Kerns.
Jennifer Kerns.
The Colorado Springs Independent reports on the new spokesperson for the Basic Freedom Defense Foundation, Jennifer Kerns, who has a lengthy resume in GOP communications. For good for ill:

[Jennifer] Kerns is the spokesperson for the Basic Freedom Defense Fund, the group behind the recall of Colorado Senate President John Morse. But opponents of the recall, eager to paint the election as less "grassroots reaction" and more "calculated political move with national consequences," have pointed out the Kerns isn't a small fry in the political world.

In fact, Kerns' website reveals that she has long worked for the conservative cause, mostly in California. Kerns has worked for the California Republican Party and the Koch brothers. She's also directed "the two largest Tea Parties in the nation."

Perhaps most interesting in light of recent news, Kerns was the main spokesperson for California's Proposition 8, which banned same sex marriage before it was overturned in the courts. [Pols emphasis] But Kerns says via e-mail that her prior work did not influence her work against Morse, who was a major supporter of Colorado's civil unions law…

The recall election now proceeding against Colorado Senate President John Morse began as a loosely-organized volunteer operation, featuring such entertaining characters as former "spokesman" Nick Andrasik–whose embarrassing "proud gun nut" photos combined with highly inappropriate comments about certain female Democratic legislators during the debate over gun safety bills this year to get Morse's recall off to a shaky start.

But the story of the recall didn't end with Andrasik, of course, and this blog was first to report the arrival of professional petition gathering operatives back in April, funded by another organization overseen by Republican usual suspects Bob Beauprez and Mark Hillman. That paid signature drive was principally responsible for the overwhelming success of the petition effort to force a recall election against Morse. Since then a number of allegations have surfaced, ranging from highly misleading petition gatherers to an outright fraudulent "signature" from a woman dead two years–which passed the Secretary of State's validation process.

The "professionalization" of the recall campaign against Morse is evident from the paid petition drive, the growing role of well-funded national groups like Americans for Prosperity in the recall campaign, and in new spokesperson Jennifer Kerns of the BFDF. Kerns also lists on her resume "Founding Communications Director of Charles and David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity in California." Is that the way AFP likes to describe themselves?

Therein lies a potentially big problem: all of these people and organizations bring their own baggage to this "grassroots" recall campaign against a relatively obscure state senator. Kerns, the former spokesperson for California's invalidated Proposition 8 gay marriage ban can claim, as she does in this story, that Morse's work to pass civil unions legislation this year "had no influence" on her work to recall him. But thanks to her, that's part of the story now. Likewise the longstanding controversy over the Koch Brothers' machinations in American politics becomes a factor in this recall that's supposed to be about guns. The proxy war being waged becomes obvious.

And that may not help the recall of John Morse succeed.


10 thoughts on “Recall’s Hired Hands: It’s a Small World After All

  1. It is a proxy war, all about targeting districts with large conservative populatiions, and turning Colorado red, or at least purple, again.

    I sincerely doubt that most of the moneyed interests funding these recalls care about guns, the 2nd amendment, or the Constitution, more than accumulating corporate profits.

    Fortunately, voters are not as stupid as the "hired hands" like to think that they are.

      1. Where have you been, Eliot? Of course, they know it will just fail again. Just like, in the GOP House, they know that their next 40 Obamacare repeals will fail to make it past the Senate just like their last 40 have. You mean you have yet to figure out that it has nothing to do with actually accomplishing anything? 

      2. It kinda depends on whether you are talking about the endangered specie, the Grand Old Party, or the new invasive specie the Gynoticians On Patrol, doesn't it Elliot?

      3. Sure they do. It drives the base to the polls on election day, along with all of the other hot-button issues the GOP is pushing. Anti-choice, anti-immigration, anti-voting, anti-tax, anti-Muslim – whatever really stirs up the remaining base, that's what the GOP needs and pushes, because that's what keeps them as close to a majority as they still are.

        Run a slate of true Libertarians for office who don't care about militant border patrols, gynecological invasions, and stopping the overwhelming persecution of Christians in this country and the GOP will suffer a landslide defeat.

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