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August 09, 2013 10:28 AM UTC

Gessler To Morse: Let Me "Edit" That For You

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Colorado Independent’s Tessa Cheek reports:

ON WEDNESDAY, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office signed off on ballot language for the state’s first-ever lawmaker recall election, where Democratic state Senate President John Morse will effectively face Republican City Council Member Bernie Herpin.

The Morse campaign doesn’t like the ballot language and believes the Republican secretary of state may have worked to tilt the scales in the race, stripping out language Morse submitted to be included.

But the Herpin campaign argues the Secretary didn’t go far enough. In a release the campaign charges that, in the language Morse submitted to the secretary, he “violated state law” by making false assertions about Herpin and about Basic Freedom Defense Fund — the group organized to promote recall of Morse mainly in response to his support for gun-control legislation last spring.

The recall campaigns, launched months ago, have been characterized by regularly erupting similar back-and-forths and there may be many more to come over the four weeks leading to Election Day on September 10.

Specifically, reports the Independent, GOP Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s office “edited” two statements from Morse’s ballot language–an allegation about a “junket” de facto opponent Bernie Herpin took as a Colorado Springs city councilor, and an accusation that Herpin “opposed criminal background checks, a position so extreme it would allow felons and domestic abusers to buy guns.” We don’t know very much about the first allegation–we will soon enough–but on the matter of Herpin’s opposition to background checks, we can tell you that he is the founder of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition. That organization certainly appears to oppose background checks:

Finally, we firmly believe that exercising one’s right to bear arms should not justify being identified on any government list, as precedence has shown time and again that agreeing to “reasonable controls” has only resulted in the continuing and irrevocable infringement by the government on the rights of the individual. [Pols emphasis]

Also, you can read Herpin’s own guest editorial against 2000’s Amendment 22, the initiative closing the “background check loophole” at gun shows passed with overwhelming voter support after the mass shooting at Columbine High School. It’s not available online anymore, but it’s not equivocal:

First, there is no such thing as a “gun-show loophole.” [Pols emphasis] Federal law explicitly and intentionally exempts the private sale of firearms from federal regulation. Lawmakers recognize that sales and exchanges of goods and services between private individuals are not subject to the control or scrutiny of the government. They also recognize that such laws are unenforceable at best and threats to personal liberty at worst.

This would seem to validate the charge that Herpin “opposes criminal background checks.”

Once you accept that, then yes, Gessler’s “edit” is a real problem. And Gessler’s well-earned reputation for shenanigans as the state’s chief elections officer makes it pretty easy to throw the penalty flag.


5 thoughts on “Gessler To Morse: Let Me “Edit” That For You

  1. Look, Gessler's scum.  I'll work my ass off to defeat him if he dares to run for SOS again.  But this kind of complaining is for losers.  If you want Morse to win, you've got to work for him to do so and not get involved in these side shows.  No one will read that stuff anyway.  And besides, if Morse thinks those are good  lines to attack his opponent with, well then he has lots of money to make his case, before the voters even see the ballots.  Forget this nonsense.  The real issue here is the gun laws that were passed.  That's what the campaign should be all about.  If it's all about the gun laws, well then I think both Morse and Giron both win.

  2. This is an example of what I have been saying since the election.  For all the politicos who think the Cannabis Industry is not going after candidates, think again. I look forward to the next few elections watching politicans explain why they support the most racist laws in American history. I would bet John Morse wished he had 700 business owners, 5000 employees and 200,000 patients supporting him right now. Instead he has given them reason to work against him. I wonder if the republican running against him will figure this out.

    The Cannabis Industry has voters to affect your race.

    [The national advocacy group Marijuana Policy Project compiled the list, calling Morse the worst state legislator of 2013 for trying to slip through a last minute bill that would have repealed Colorado’s marijuana legalization law, Amendment 64, if voters didn’t approve a tax scheme at the ballot box in November.]

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