UPDATE: Democratic CD-6 candidate Morgan Carroll slams JoAnn Windholz and pressures Rep. Mike Coffman to, you know, say something:
State Senator Morgan Carroll released the following statement condemning Rep. JoAnn Windholz’s statement and calling on Congressman Coffman to walk his talk and do the same.
“It’s deeply disturbing and dangerous for Rep. JoAnn Windholz to blame Planned Parenthood and the victims of this attack for this atrocity,” said State Senator Morgan Carroll. “She needs to retract her statement with a sincere apology to the victims of this violence or else step down.”
“As an elected leader in this community, if Congressman Coffman meant what he said in his statement, he should join me in condemning the statement of Rep. Windholz and ask for her to retract it with an apology or step down.”
Moral: when you’ve become the stick Democrats use to beat up your fellow Republicans with, you’ve screwed the proverbial pooch.
As the Aurora Sentinel reports today, GOP freshman Rep. JoAnn Windholz’s unfiltered moment this week, in which she explicitly blamed Planned Parenthood for the actions of a domestic terrorist who attacked the organization’s clinic in Colorado Springs is causing major headaches for local Republican strategists. Windholz’s extremely narrow margin of victory in 2014 makes her highly vulnerable to begin with in the upcoming presidential election year, and with this messaging disaster piled on…well, it doesn’t look real good for her.
And that’s assuming she lasts that long:
Critics have begun an effort to recall Adams County state Rep. JoAnn Windholz following comments she made this week about Planned Parenthood being responsible for a deadly shooting at one of their clinics in Colorado Springs.
Two people both critical of Windholz’ comments became acquainted on social media this week and decided to begin the recall effort, using Facebook themselves to make the recall happen. Leading the process is Steve Cohn of Longmont, and Naomi Bigwood of Adams County, who lives in House District 3o, represented by Windholz…
“…Windholz has NO BUSINESS governing Colorado in any capacity,” Cohn and Bigwood said on a Facebook site dedicated to her recall . “Irresponsible rhetoric like hers is what caused the shooting.”
For its part, the Colorado Republican Party has issued a statement distancing itself from Windholz’s remarks, but according to the Sentinel has no plans to ask Windholz to resign her highly competitive seat:
Steve House, Colorado’s GOP chairman, said the comments Windholz made do not reflect the view of the Colorado Republican Party. He said the party will not ask Windholz to resign because of the comments.
“We have and will continue to condemn acts of violence, regardless of the motivations behind them,” he said in a statement. “Violence, under any circumstance, is never acceptable.”
It should be noted that the statement from the Colorado GOP doesn’t specifically name Rep. Windholz, simply noting that “some” officials have made statements since last week’s shooting that “do not reflect the views of the Colorado Republican Party.” That’s the same boilerplate language that GOP chairman Steve House and his predecessor Ryan Call have repeatedly cut and pasted to respond to grossly impolitic statements from GOP lawmakers like Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Gordon “Dr. Chaps” Klingenschmitt.
Who, we are obliged to note, both remain in office.
What we’ve heard, at least initially, is that there isn’t much appetite on the Democratic side to carry out a recall election against Windholz–since they felt confident after her razor-thin margin of victory in a strong “GOP wave” election that 2016 would be a pickup opportunity. With the addition of this major message disaster to Windholz’s baggage train, it’s reasonable to assume that a defeat in 2016 is even more likely. On the other side, sources tell us Republicans are highly reticent to do anything that might damage Windholz, operating on the hope that she can live this “gaffe” down and retain the advantage of incumbency.
We’d say they’re probably both making the best possible choice from their respective points of view–but Windholz, or even a “generic” Republican candidate (in case the GOP was considering finding one), was most likely going down in 2016 anyway.
For all of these reasons, re-arranging the Titanic’s proverbial deck chairs may not be worth the effort.