Columnists, Elections, Featured, Gold Dome, Jon Caldara, Uncategorized

Caldara: Winnable recalls are weapons for victory, the Sullivan effort isn’t one of them

A month ago I wrote a column comparing the recall effort against state Rep. Rochelle Galindo to the famed Doolittle Raid against Japan at the start of World War II. The point being that removing Galindo because of her votes wouldn’t really hurt the machinery of the progressive monolith at the Colorado Capitol, but it would prove that we could fight back and win.

The recall effort was so successful Galindo surrendered before it happened.

Galindo, who proudly billed herself as a “Latina lesbian,” has been accused of sexual misconduct by a woman who worked for her campaign, according to 9News and Colorado Public Radio reports. I doubt the alleged victim would have come forward if not for the recall effort.

In her abrupt resignation statement, she said the “allegations against me are false.” If so, why resign?

Hillary Clinton once said, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.” (Well, every survivor except Juanita Broaddrick, Leslie Millwee, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey that is.) The Democratic establishment must believe this accuser because they dropped support for Galindo like a radioactive potato.

How will folks like Elizabeth Warren walk back their stand with Rochelle stances?

The respectable class in political commentary claim that recalls should never be initiated over how an elected official voted. I disagree.

Voters have a legal right to recall any official for any reason they like no matter how trivial or consequential. Galindo voted for a restriction on oil and gas development while representing the district most dependent on oil and gas for its economy.

If the official who represents Vail voted to outlaw skiing, her voters shouldn’t have to wait to the next election to express their will.

We shouldn’t have to wait until a politician is accused of sexual misconduct to remove them. Assault to their constituent’s way of life is reason enough.

I’d love to recall all the progressives in Colorado. I’d also love to date Angelina Jolie, but I’m not going to waste my limited time trying to get that to happen either. Why? Because reality is a bummer.

The deciding factor in starting a recall is simple — can it be successful, not just desired.

Those of us who are heartbroken watching our once tolerant state being turned into Venezuela want to fight back. No wonder there is talk about a dozen recalls coming to legislators and even the governor.

But let me caution my friends who want to pull the trigger on recalls. Don’t start a recall you can’t win. And for God’s sake stop thinking that a majority of voters think the way you think. They don’t.

Stop taking Denver’s decriminalized magic mushrooms and get real.

A perfect case is the planned recall of state Rep. Tom Sullivan for sponsoring a very flawed red-flag bill. His “Extreme Risk Prevention Order” bill, now law, is dangerous and illiberal no matter how well intended. It strips people of due process and destroys the principle of innocence until proven guilty. Other states have created more workable red-flag laws that avoid these pitfalls.

But, the recallers should remember that Sullivan ran on a promise to vote for this bill. The people elected him knowing full well he’d support it. From their point of view, all this man did was what he promised to do.

Contrast that with Galindo who campaigned that she was “neutral” on Proposition 112, an anti-fracking initiative, and then when in office voted for something arguably worse.

Oh, and then there is this tiny thing that matter to voters. Tom Sullivan is the grieving father of a child killed in a mass shooting, something so horrific almost none of us could dare to imagine.

I lost my first, and only child at that time, to cancer, and even I cannot conceive of what some of my opponents in the gun debate like Sullivan and Tom Mauser endure. While I furiously disagree with their plans to disarm us, I can never question their motivations. And neither will voters who don’t feel as strongly as I do about our civil liberties.

Put simply, suburban moms are not going to vote to recall the father of a mass shooting victim over a red-flag bill he promised he’d support. He will survive this effort, giving him and his progressive colleagues a perceived mandate to ruin Colorado even more.

If a recall is going to be a weapon for political victory, not just an expression of anger, it must be objectively winnable.

I’m looking at you Senate President Leroy Garcia.

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver.


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