A Colorado lawmaker targeted for recall because of her support for a White House-driven anti-gun agenda in the state legislature has quit rather than wait for the results of a recall vote, after two of her colleagues were voted out of office.
For state Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, the previous recalls of two Democrats left her party with only an 18-17 advantage in the chamber. A successful recall against Hudak would have shifted the majority to the Republican Party.
The Denver Post reported Hudak announced her decision in a letter to her party leadership, stating that by “resigning I am protecting these important new laws for the good of Colorado and ensuring that we can continue looking forward.”
State law allows the Democratic Party vacancy committee to appoint a replacement to fill her seat until 2014.
WND reported earlier on the dirty tricks in the anti-gun rights campaign to shut down the voices of Hudak’s critics.
The effort to remove Hudak followed the earlier recall of Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron. At that time, WND reported, recall backers charged that Chicago-style thug tactics were being used against them.
The tactics apparently were being employed again in the Hudak campaign.
Anti-recall activists were telling voters that the collectors of petition signatures could be criminals, according to a report posted at the Independence Institute website.
“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.
The 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 in the robocall 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.
The following is a doorhanger used by Hudak supporters:
Westminster, Colo., 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.”
Writer Charles C.W. Cooke at the National Review also reported on the dirty tricks that targeted the Hudak recall.
“Having been roundly beaten last time, the gun-control movement changed its tactics for this fight. For September’s recalls, anti-gun advocates managed to outspend their opposition by 8-1. They lost anyway. In September, they brought in heavy hitters from the Obama campaign and beyond, waging a professional campaign against rank amateurs whose campaigns were widely regarded as a waste of time. They lost anyway. In September, they had reams of positive national news coverage. They lost anyway,” he said.
“This time, in desperation, the gloves came off,” he wrote.
He told the story of Mike McAlpine, who advocated for the recall of Hudak and worked to collect signatures.
“Our opponents have taken to blocking us: as cars pull in, they run up to the driver’s side door and physically stand next to the door so that the person inside cannot open the door and come outside,” he said.
Cooke reported opponents formed human chains to block anyone who wanted to sign the recall petitions.
“They yell at the person while they’re at the table trying to sign, or blow an air horn in their ear,” McAlpine told him. “There have been a half-dozen examples of that. In addition, when we go out to knock on doors and present the petition, they will follow us down the sidewalk and scream and yell.”
He said the local police have refused to address the “stalking and intimidation.”
He reported police even threatened to arrest signature collectors on public property.
“Unless there is something extremely peculiar going on, one can only presume that Hudak recognized that she was going to lose. And why wouldn’t she?” Cooke wrote.
WND reported earlier when Hudak was following the White House line on gun control and sparked controversy with her comments.
In a legislative hearing, she scolded a witness opposing a gun restriction.
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.
Hudak told Collins: “I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun. 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 didn’t need mine.”
In the session, Colorado Democrats admitted that Vice President Joe Biden called them to lobby for the gun bills.