Two Democratic Colorado state senators who backed a tough new gun-control law find themselves targeted in the state's first recall election.
State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and state Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo face recall in the Sept. 10 special election.
"Legislators should be scared," Becky Mizel, chairwoman of the Pueblo Republican Party told The New York Times
. "We have a battle here."
The fight comes as no surprise to Morse, a former police chief, who told the paper the gun control laws were bound to infuriate Coloradans in the western region, where gun-related sporting activities lure tourists and generate significant taxes.
"They’re going to turn out to ride me out of town on a rail," Morse predicted. "There may be a cost for me to pay, but I am more than happy to pay it."
Democrats criticize the recall effort as a waste of tax dollars, but are wasting no time in raising funds from unions and special-interest groups in Colorado and Washington to help beat it.
Giron and Morse have raised nearly a quarter million dollars, and each campaign has received thousands from Colorado liberal groups and $35,000 each from a Washington environmental group.
Quite a few corporations, however, were surprised to learn they unwittingly had funded the Democrats' efforts, The Colorado Observer reports.
Contributions from a dozen corporations to the umbrella political action committee for state Senate Democrats were used to fight the recalls. Giron received $21,000; Morse got $17,000.
"We didn’t make the contribution with any intent of influencing the recall election one way or another," said Grier Bailey, government-affairs manager for the Colorado Wyoming Petroleum Marketers Association.
Meanwhile, recall supporters have given nearly $20,000 to the Basic Freedom Defense Fund. The National Rifle Association has provided mailers and a phone bank.
The recall kicked into gear
just weeks after the Colorado legislature passed a strict law requiring background checks and limiting the capacity of ammunition clips.
The laws were passed in response to the July 20 movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., and the Dec. 14 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
"This shot will be heard around the world," predicted Bill Adaska, a retired engineer from Denver who volunteered to gather recall signatures in Morse's Colorado Springs district. "This is the race, right here, that's going to show Washington and Chicago that when you come after our guns, we're going to take you out."
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