Several weeks back as two Colorado legislators were recalled over their anti-Second Amendment votes during the most recent legislative session, WND reported recall backers charged that Chicago-style thug tactics were being used against them.
Apparently it’s happening again, according to local reports.
Not surprising, because the stakes now are higher. Earlier, when Democrat Senate President John Morse and Democrat Sen. Angela Giron were thrown out of office by voters, to be replaced by Republicans, the changes just reduced the Democrat majority.
The current recall effort, against Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak, if successful would change the balance of power and give the GOP the majority, throwing a wrench in the surging leftist agenda under Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Democrat majority in the state House.
If recall backers turn in about 19,000 signatures by the first part of December, the vote would go ahead. Hudak would have to defeat the recall effort for Democrats to retain the majority â or simply quit, which would allow a Democrat committee to appoint her replacement.
The recalls of Morse and Giron were the first-ever for the state of Colorado, and at least in part sparked the interest in the recall of Hudak, who made a reputation for herself during the 2013 legislature of sticking to the White House agenda for more gun control.
In fact, her comments made headlines during the session.
Hudak, of Westminster, during one legislative hearing, actually scolded a witness opposing one of the gun restrictions.
Amanda Collins, 27, of Reno, Nev., told her story of being assaulted and explained that had she been carrying a concealed weapon, the incident might have ended differently.
“I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun,” Hudak scolded. “And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”
Hudak continued, speaking over the committee witness, “The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that every one woman who used a handgun in self-defense, 83 here are killed by them.”
Finally able to resume her testimony, Collins said, “Senator, you weren’t there. I know without a doubt [the outcome would have been different with a gun].
“He already had a weapon,” she told the meeting of the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. “He didnât need mine.”
Now, in a blog post from CompleteColorado.com that was posted on the site for the Independence Institute, a report documents how anti-recall activists have been warning that those collecting petition signatures could be criminals.
"Residents in the Arvada/Westminster area of Hudak's district receive door hangers that made broad, unsubstantiated claims that signature gatherers in the area were criminals. The door hangers also suggested that the signature gatherers would use any information received on the petitions for nefarious purposes," the report said.
Denver's Channel 9 reported a robocall also was added to the mix.
That message said, "This is a community alert for Arvada and Westminster from the Democracy Defense Fund. Paid signature-gatherers who have not gone through a criminal background check could be in Westminster and Arvada this week asking for signatures in a recall petition."
The woman's voice then tells listeners not to sign a petition and claims that personal information could be collected by someone who has not gone through a background check.
"If you sign this petition, your signature and personal information will become public record, available for anyone to access," said the warning.
See the doorhanger:
Westminster resident Julie Schell contacted the television station to complain that there was no news coverage of the "threat."
"It sounds like a warning from police to me," she told the station. "If it's just telling you to vote for something, it's overkill."
Cheryl Cheney of the Democracy Defense Fund told the station her group has identified criminals working with the recall movement, but the station reported, "The group was unable to provide verifiable evidence."
The earlier reports of thug activities came from, among others, Victor Head, a plumber from Pueblo who lined up the recall that removed Giron from office.
"Everyone who signed a recall petition has received multiple phone calls, mailers and face- to-face visits in an attempt to get them to remove their name," said Head. "Our small town is now facing Chicago thug tactics by [those] attempting to prevent us from exercising our rights to hold our elected officials accountable for their votes."
Head organized the group that recalled Giron for her gun control votes. The laws include a ban on any magazine that can be modified to hold more than 15 rounds. Since magazines have a removable plate on the bottom to ease in cleaning, the law can be interpreted as a ban on the sale of all magazines in the state. Additionally, the law prohibits the simple act of handing a magazine or firearm to a person to assist with clearing a jam, calling it an illegal transfer.
The laws have been challenged in court by the majority of the state's sheriffs, who call them unconstitutional and unenforceable.
In that campaign, too, robocalls were used suggesting that signature gatherers were criminals.
"Criminals, convicted of forgery, fraud and even sexual assault â if they are not already, these workers will be in your neighborhood soon," the alert said.
Head said the tactics were beyond the pale.
"People who signed the petition received a phone call from a live person asking them if they wanted to remove their signatures from the petition. This was followed up by two different mailers which contained a postcard that people could send back asking for the removal of their signatures from the petition and then after that they sent people to go door-to-door to visit the people who signed the petition."
He continued, "I had one woman who told me she had nine missed phone calls from Pueblo United For Angela while another woman said she had four phone calls and two door knocks in a single day. While they are not technically breaking any laws the constant follow-ups is almost borderline harassment."
Jim Elson, a voter who signed the petition against Giron, told the Pueblo Chieftain he was berated by a caller from Pueblo United For Angela.
"An individual called and asked if I remembered signing a petition pertaining to Sen. Angela Giron. Of course I remember signing that petition," Elson said. "He laughed at me and said, 'Well, do you know you signed a petition that contained false and fictitious information?' He then went on to say that I didn't know what I was signing.
"Why do you call me at home and berate me and tell me I'm so misinformed? It was so insulting," Elson continued.
In that case, the presence of criminals actually was on the other side. MediaTrackers reported a volunteer for Pueblo United For Angela was arrested while canvassing a neighborhood on a failure-to-appear warrant, which it claims could be related to a domestic violence charge. The volunteer, Elric Franco, was going door to door asking residents who signed the recall to rescind their signatures.