Statewide Candidates Ditch Secession While Cory Gardner Dodges

SATURDAY UPDATE: The Denver Post editorial board busts Rep. Cory Gardner's chops pretty well today:

"When asked about the 51st state initiative previously, Congressman Gardner has said that he loves Colorado," [Gardner spokesman Alex] Siciliano added.

OK, but does he love Colorado enough to stay a part of it?



FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports:

State Sen. Greg Brophy, one of four prominent Republicans vying to be their party’s gubernatorial candidate next year, told FOX31 Denver Thursday that he will vote against a ballot measure for Yuma County to secede from the state of Colorado and form a 51st state along with other rural counties.

“It’s a drastic thing, like a couple that’s been married for 50 years suddenly filing for divorce,” Brophy said Thursday. “I’m running for governor to be the marriage counselor, to help bring this state back together."

Resisting the urge to make a joke out of Sen. Greg Brophy's "marriage counselor" analogy, he's the second candidate for high office in Colorado after U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck to come out against the secession proposals being voted on next week in ten rural Colorado counties. Buck and Brophy were under particular pressure to take a stand on secession, being items on their respective ballots in Yuma and Weld counties.

While it isn’t politically advantageous for any politician running for statewide office, however conservative, to embrace the rather extreme initiative of secession, the movement itself isn’t something candidates like Buck or Brophy, both facing primaries in their respective races, will belittle.

In both cases, they express sympathy for the "disaffection" felt by rural citizens that supposedly led to the drive by county commissioners in these rural counties to place the measure on the ballot. In this way, Buck and Brophy are able to capitalize on the secession movement's energy while appearing "grownup" about supporting this extremely unlikely proposal. It's also a nice segue into the alternative "Phillips County Plan," which would directly conflict with a 1960s civil rights-era U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating equal representation by population in state legislative redistricting. Given that the "one man, one vote" principle upheld by the Reynolds v. Sims decision is on the Heritage Foundation's "activist court" hit list, we expect that Brophy will be more than happy to make this as-of-now unconstitutional proposal an issue in next year's legislative session.

Also voting–quite possibly already having voted–is Rep. Cory Gardner of Yuma. Gardner has repeatedly failed to disclose his views on the secession question, most recently dismissing it as a "state issue." That's a particularly inadequate answer in Gardner's case, since not only will he personally be voting on secession, but any attempt to actually carry out secession would require a vote in Congress. With that in mind, Gardner really does have an obligation to take a stand one way or the other.

Maybe Gardner secretly views secession as his only shot at a U.S. Senate seat? He could at least say that.


9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    “I’m running for governor to be the marriage counselor, to help bring this state back together."

    I'm sorry to disagree with you Senator Brophy, but this state is not splitting apart. This is not about bringing people back together. We have honest disagreements, as we should in a democracy. Your opinion just happens to be in the minority right now. Why is it when Republicans railroad their agenda through, it's because they have a mandate, but when Democrats do it, we're being divisive and tearing things apart? 


    I can guarantee that if you were elected, you would in no way, shape or form represent my interests. And if I were to bring it to your attention, you would write me off just as easily as you accuse the Democrats of doing to rural Colorado. 


    Republicans, you are the ones so ready to tear things apart just so you can remold it in your own image. 

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    It's a secret ballot, he doesn't have to tell you anything. Sorry but it's true.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Of course he doesn't have to. Nobody has to share their views or votes with anyone, though most who don't want to share that kind of info don't run for public office. But, being a Rep., people have the right to ask what his positions on important issue are, including those that may appear on a ballot. What his answers are and whether or not he chooses to answer are certainly among those things people should take into consideration when deciding whether or not to give their support. 

      Can you imagine Gardner refusing to say whether he voted for Romney or Obama because it's a secret ballot?  Can you imagine what Rs would say if a Dem candidate refused to say how he or she voted on 66 because it's a secret ballot?  


      Pretty lame comment, Modster.

  3. n3bn3b says:

    Thanks for linking to the Heritage report. Here's what it says:

    This case is activist because the Court sub silentio relies upon theLiving Constitution doctrine, creating a “principle” found nowhere in the Constitution’s text or tradition. The Court abuses precedent, building upon its error in Baker v. Carr, in which the Court arrogates unto itself the authority to rule upon questions properly reserved to the politically responsible branches, establishing the broad rule that Equal Protection prohibits apportioning representatives by geographic or political subdivisions—a rule that finds no quarter in the Constitution’s text or history..

    In putatively interpreting the requirements of the Equal Protection Clause, the majority fails to even address the full text of the Fourteenth Amendment, the second section of which provides a remedy if states choose, as Section 2 acknowledges to be within their authority, to deny “or in any way” abridge the right to vote in cases not dealing with rebellion or crime. Furthermore, if the meaning of Equal Protection were as broad as the Reynolds court claims, then the 15th Amendment, which prohibits denying or abridging votes on account of race, would be wholly superfluous, as the Equal Protection Clause would fully accomplish this end.

    Historically, there is no evidence at the time of the adoption of the 14th Amendment’s that the term Equal Protection applied to political questions, like how a government chose to allocate representatives. Indeed, the widespread use of representation based on geographic or political subdivisions in the states, and the “Great Compromise,” which granted each state two Senators and at least one Representative regardless of population—stand in awkward opposition to the Court’s novel reading.

  4. langelomisteriosolangelomisterioso says:

    Of course N3bbish is pleased to quote the Heritage Foundation in this instance but would be the first to deny that the Heritage provided the template for the PPACA.

    He's also never once replied to my suggestions that it would be mete for him to meet my ex-ranger friend who could instruct him on really well concealed weapons carry. The Heritage even more than  Heartland or Catois a political hack organization whose principal function is to serve as a base for wingnut propaganda ops.

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