Evie Hudak—the Colorado state senator who insulted a rape victim on the senate floor while citing bogus statistics to promote the anti-gun agenda of the Obama administration and Michael Bloomberg—resigned her seat November 27 to avoid a democratic recall election.
Hudak’s resignation denies voters in her district the ability to decide her fate at the ballot box—and then to decide who will replace her if recalled. Instead, a tiny elite of Democratic party operatives will decide her replacement. No doubt they will select another Democrat to maintain their party’s one-vote advantage in the senate. Although lawful, Hudak’s decision to resign replaces a democratic recall election with a profoundly anti-democratic decision by party elite.
What is shocking about Hudak’s anti-democratic decision is that her supporters have accused her opponents—the very people advocating a democratic, constitutionally authorized recall—of being undemocratic. The leftist organization ProgressNow Colorado accused the recall organizers of “breaking our democratic process by initiating an endless string of recall elections.” (This “endless string” consists of three; John Morse and Angela Giron were recalled in September.) As I’ve pointed out, recalls are part of the democratic process, and trying to shut down recalls is anti-democratic.
Although democratic voting properly is bound by constitutional constraints—and although both the attempt to recall Hudak and her decision to resign comport with the law—it is obvious to all but the most mendacious that a recall proceeds by democratic signature gathering and voting, whereas a replacement by party elite does not. It is equally obvious, then, which side supports democracy in this context—the recallers, not Hudak and her supporters.
Despicably, some of Hudak’s supporters turned to voter intimidation in an effort to derail the democratic recall—yet so far as I am aware the purveyors of democracy at ProgressNow Colorado have said not a word to condemn such tactics. I personally received a deceptive anti-recall flyer distributed by Democratic operatives. Thankfully, such viciously anti-democratic tactics did not succeed in this case.
If individuals care to argue that democratic recall elections in general are a bad idea or that a particular recall effort is misplaced, they are free to do so. But to claim that democratic recall elections are somehow undemocratic is ridiculous. Hudak chose the undemocratic path of resignation precisely because she feared what voters would decide if allowed to vote.
Author and blogger Ari Armstrong writes at the Free Colorado website.