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Expecting a different result

September 8, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Sept. 8, 2013

By Kathy Wallace

Two horrendous mass shootings in Colorado in 12 years. Horrendous mass shootings in Connecticut, Tucson and Portland, Oregon, too.

At least 15 mass shootings since Newtown and a wannabe mass shooter in Decatur, Georgia, who was talked down by the magnificent and unarmed Antoinette Tuff.

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insane, having the same thing happen over and over again and doing nothing, is equally insane.

I am proud that the Colorado Legislature, led by Sen. John Morris, took a few rational steps to free us from this insanity.

If the NRA convinces voters to recall John Morse, you can bet we'll never see an end to this cycle of violence.

Expecting a different result

September 8, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Sept. 8, 2013

By Kathy Wallace, Peyton

Two horrendous mass shootings in Colorado in 12 years. Horrendous mass shootings in Connecticut, Tucson and Portland, Oregon, too.

At least 15 mass shootings since Newtown and a wannabe mass shooter in Decatur, Georgia, who was talked down by the magnificent and unarmed Antoinette Tuff.

If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insane, having the same thing happen over and over again and doing nothing, is equally insane.

I am proud that the Colorado Legislature, led by Sen. John Morris, took a few rational steps to free us from this insanity.

If the NRA convinces voters to recall John Morse, you can bet we'll never see an end to this cycle of violence.

Another supporter silenced

September 1, 2013

Over the weekend, Roger Butts posted the below message on his Facebook page. He did so because the local daily paper had chosen not to publish it as a letter to the editor. 

Soon after Roger posted this, someone had complained to Facebook, saying that his status update violated "community standards" and the message was removed. 

We are reposting Roger's statement, because we believe that the voters have a right to hear from their neighbors.

Dear Editor,

Regardless of what you think of Senator John Morse, this recall effort on September 10th deserves a no vote strictly on procedural grounds. It is a serious abuse of the political process to go after a sitting state Senator based on disagreement with policy positions. Sen. Morse was elected twice by his constituents.

Senators in our system are afforded longer sentences and broader districts in order to exercise greater individual discretion in relationship to House members. We want our Senators to keep an eye on the big picture and to vote their conscience. That is how our bicameral system was designed. For a group to manufacture a recall effort based on his votes around gun control provisions (and then manufacture a whole host of faulty and disingenuous reasons for the recall) is not worthy of our democratic experiment.

The use of impeachment and recall efforts puts our democracy at risk. Every generation must safeguard our democratic institutions and processes and a strong No vote against this recall will help to safeguard against this kind of abusive and cynical use of the recall option in our election procedures.

Recalls should be reserved for situations in which a politician abuses powers by breaking laws, stealing funds, etc. This cynical use of the recall effort is not worthy of our democratic spirit and is not in keeping with the best instincts of our human spirit, which must be used to strengthen our democracy and the institutions through which we live out our democracy. 

Roger Butts

Colorado Springs

Message lost in the madness

September 1, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Sept. 1, 2013

By Patty Ceballos

There have been too many misrepresentations of the facts throughout this recall campaign. But the most damaging, in my opinion, has been the misquotation that gun owners "have a sickness in their souls."

Why the supporters of the recall chose to twist Sen. John Morse's speech, in which he is quoting Robert Kennedy, is obvious. They want voters to believe that Sen. Morse views gun owners as a sickness.

What it has also done is cause unnecessary division in our community and confusion surrounding this important conversation about public safety. As a supporter of background checks for gun purchases, I do not believe that gun owners are dangerous people.

It's a shame that the message behind Kennedy's beautiful speech, given after the murder of Martin Luther King Jr., has been lost to this campaign madness. So, I will repeat what Kennedy, and Morse, said: "Too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives from the shattered dreams of other human beings. But this much is clear, violence breeds violence, repression breeds retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls."

All they had to do was wait

September 1, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Sept. 1, 2013

By Tracey Wright

The Republican Party is supposedly the party of limited government. They complain to no end about "wasteful spending," and yet, when it suits their purposes, no expense is too big.

Take the unnecessary effort to recall Sen. John Morse.

Morse is a term-limited senator, with only one year left to serve. That's it. Next November, there will be a campaign to fill his seat in District 11. If the Republicans want him gone, all they had to do was wait. Allow the process to work its course. But that wasn't good enough for them. They are forcing El Paso County taxpayers to foot the bill - a quarter of a million dollars - for a special election that offers nothing positive for the citizens of Colorado.

Historically, recalls have been used in the face of politicians who have broken the law or committed serious ethical infractions. They were never meant to be a mechanism used to usurp the will of the voters. After all, Morse won re-election fair-and-square. The voters in his district sent him to Denver to represent them. And what has Morse done, other than vote his conscience?

Thanks to this recall, we now have entered a new, ugly age of politics. Whenever a politician votes against a special interest group, they will face the threat of recall. And the people will have to foot the bill.

$250,000 for this?

August 31, 2013

By James Howald

$250,000 to run a recall election for a state Senator who is out of office in less than a year. Does that seem like a good use of taxpayer money to you?

$250,000 of El Paso County taxpayer money to run a recall against a politician who was elected twice by the voters in his district.

Sen. John Morse stated that, if the recall succeeds, he will be gone, but the gun laws will remain. Think about that for a second.

The recallers say that this will send a message to all politicians that they won't be safe in their jobs if they go against the will of the people. But the politicians already know that the people can remove them from office – they're called elections, and we have them every other year!

Now, thanks to the recallers, we get to have even more elections. Maybe we will have elections every year. Or twice a year. How about once a month?

And each time at $250,000.

 

 

 

 

 

Where's the outcry?

August 30, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Aug. 30, 2013

By David J. Baker

"Fiscal conservatives" in El Paso County have been strangely silent about the cost of the recall of John Morse. According to the office of El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams, Morse's recall will cost local taxpayers about $200,000.

I haven't heard outcry from Douglas Bruce or his followers complaining about this waste of taxpayers' money. El Paso County has a lot of better things to spend two hundred grand on than a senseless political folly.

Can't get their story straight

August 30, 2013

By Steve Kjonaas

These recallers just can't get their story straight.

First, they said it was about the gun bills.

That, of course, wasn't working. The vast majority of Coloradans realize that guns, like cars, must be regulated in the interest of public safety.

So they changed their story, and said it was because Sen. Morse didn't listen to them.

But as anyone in Sen. Morse's district knows, John is a dedicated public servant who goes out of his way to always be available to his constituents. All one has to do is look at his work at the Legislature to know that he represents people like us to the best of his ability.

So that, too, didn't work.

Now they've changed their story again. This time they've adopted the “everything but the kitchen sink” strategy, blaming the recall on a number of bills that the senator has supported. Unsurprisingly, these are the same bills that the far-right in Colorado has fought so hard against and lost, because an overwhelming number Coloradans supported them.

When are the recallers going to tell us the truth? Their mission from Day One has been a vindictive effort to subvert the will of the voters in Sen. Morse's district. The same voters who twice elected Sen. Morse to the Legislature and will elect him once more.

Acceptable forms of ID

August 29, 2013

Are you planning to vote, but not sure what ID to bring with you to the polls? 

According to the Secretary of State's website, you have a number of options: 

(a) A valid Colorado driver’s license;

(b) A valid identification card issued by the Department of Revenue in accordance with the requirements of Part 3 of Article 2 of Title 42, C.R.S.;

(c) A valid U.S. passport;

(d) A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States government or of this state, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of this state;

(e) A valid pilot’s license issued by the federal aviation administration or other authorized agency of the United States;

(f) A valid U.S. military identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector;

(g) A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the elector. For example:

(I) A cable bill or telephone bill,

(II) Documentation from a public institution of higher education in Colorado containing at least the name, date of birth, and legal residence address of the student elector,

(III) A paycheck from a government institution or private company, or

(IV) A Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaskan Native Blood.

(h) A valid Medicare or Medicaid card issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (formerly the United States Health Care Financing Administration);

(i) A certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate for the elector issued in the United States;

(j) Certified documentation of naturalization;

(k) A valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible elector issued by an institute of higher education in Colorado, as defined in section 23-3.1-102(5), C.R.S.;

(l) A valid veteran identification card issued by the United States department of veterans affairs veterans health administration with a photograph of the eligible elector.

(m) A valid identification card issued by a federally recognized tribal government certifying tribal membership.

(n) Verification that a voter is a person committed to the department of human services and confined and eligible to register and vote shall be considered sufficient identification of such person for the purposes of section 1-2-210.5, C.R.S.

Complete waste of taxpayers' money

August 29, 2013

Published by the Gazette, Aug. 29, 2013

By Kay Johnson

So we are having Colorado's first recall election for the guy who is president of the Senate: and not for illegal activity but because some disgruntled plumber from Pueblo backed by the NRA didn't like what he heard about background checks. So now what - we get some hand-picked guy installed for us by the local GOP? The "strict Constitutional" ideas we keep hearing about turns out to be fly-by-night politics as usual. And Bernie Herpin is qualified to serve at the state level because why exactly - he was a City Council member in Colorado Springs? What?

Are these folks going to chip in for all the lawyer fees, running this stuff by the Colorado Supreme Court, and printing ballots and running an election? Right. According to today's Gazette, the two people who filed the lawsuit didn't even get themselves qualified after wasting everyone's time. On top of all the money wasting, John Morse did nothing illegal, has a year left, and his vote reflects the sanity of the American public. This is a complete waste of the taxpayers' money, and we should be reimbursed by the people who could not wait for 12 months for the legal avenue at the ballot box.

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