Politics, Wayne Laugesen

New York’s Bloomberg seeks to influence recalls against his Colorado helpers

The soda-banning mayor of New York would like to control Colorado with the help of state Senate President John Morse.

Anyone who has followed or researched Morse knows of an odd, hard-left turn that led to his possible recall.

The once-moderate Springs Democrat rolled over constituents this year, shut down public discussion and attempted laws so extreme they would have cost us countless jobs. He tried to force our firefighters into a union, even though Springs voters have rejected the idea twice.

“Cleansing a sickness from our soul doesn’t come easily,” Morse said on the Senate floor while discussing a jobs-killing bill that would have made gunmakers liable for crimes committed with guns.

The Morse agenda has gone so extreme he managed to generate no-holds-barred opposition from the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association. Public employee unions typically support Democrats, but our cops know a dangerous agenda when they see one.

So extreme is the Morse platform that Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat who listens to and cares about opposing views, would benefit politically from a Morse defeat. Hickenlooper had to run behind-the-scenes interference to keep Morse from effectively killing Colorado’s oil and gas production. A Morse defeat would also benefit Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino and other Democrats who respect opposing views and represent all Coloradans.

The John Morse hard-left turn became less mysterious recently when the secretary of state reported a $350,000 personal donation from billionaire New Yicon_op_edork Mayor Michael Bloomberg to support Morse and fellow recall defendant Angela Giron, a Democratic Pueblo senator. We wonder if Morse has become more concerned with winning the favor of extreme, nationally prominent East Coast liberals than with representing interests of Colorado Springs.

Democrats are often smart about guns. Even the National Rifle Association has supported Democrat-led efforts toward tighter background checks to keep guns from felons and people with serious mental illnesses.

Morse and Bloomberg are not typical liberals regarding guns or anything else. Bloomberg has become too extreme even for New Yorkers, trying to control the amount of salt and the size of soft drinks they consume.

Morse may be even more extreme than Bloomberg. He told The Gazette’s editorial board about a weird desire for a law that would control pain-management decisions of pregnant women and others in rural hospitals. He hoped to ban procedures performed by nurse anesthetists, which would force patients to endure travel to anesthesiologists in distant cities. Morse succeeded in substantially raising electric rates for farmers and other Coloradans. Every piece of his agenda involves the political class taking money and decisions from individuals.

Perhaps Bloomberg had to scour 1,777 miles of fly-over country to find a fellow politician with similar zeal for controlling the little people.

One must wonder if Bloomberg’s huge investment in Morse results, in part, from frustration with Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach. Bloomberg’s anti-Second Amendment organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, persistently attempts to get Bach’s signature on a pledge of support for more federal gun control.

“Bloomberg is way out on the fringe regarding the Second Amendment,” Bach said. “He wants to interfere with our local community and determine what’s best for us. I and our police chief are strong supporters of the Second Amendment, in the interest of public safety, and I have repeatedly refused to sign Bloomberg’s pledge.”

The far left has characterized the Morse recall as a campaign of the National Rifle Association, an organization with thousands of members in Colorado Springs. The country’s 4.2 million NRA members have given $108,000 to the recall – less than a third of what Bloomberg contributed to keep Morse fighting against majority values of Colorado Springs.

District 11 voters will decide Sept. 10 whether Colorado Springs needs rule-by-proxy of New York’s controlling mayor.

Think globally, vote locally.

Wayne Laugesen is editorial page editor at the Colorado Springs Gazette, where this op-ed originally appeared.



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