You might have thought that the success of the recall election effort in Colorado last night, in which two Democratic state legislators who voted in favor of new gun-control measures earlier this year were booted from office, was a sign that Coloradans aren’t big fans of infringements upon their Second-Amendment rights and will take action when they feel those rights are threatened — but you’d be wrong, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is here to set you straight. Her statement via the Democratic National Committee:
“The recall elections in Colorado were defined by the vast array of obstacles that special interests threw in the way of voters for the purpose of reversing the will of the legislature and the people. This was voter suppression, pure and simple.
“Colorado voters are used to casting their ballots by mail, but because of lawsuits filed by opponents of common sense gun reform, voters were not mailed their ballots in this election. Those who intended to vote in person did not learn their polling locations until less than two weeks before Election Day. Tuesday’s low turnout was a result of efforts by the NRA, the Koch brothers and other right wing groups who know that when more people vote, Democrats win.
“But any electoral victory that hinges on impeding access to democracy is a hollow one, and ultimately, the NRA did not get what it wanted. The recall results will do nothing to change the Democratic control of the Colorado House, Senate and Governor’s office. And the commonsense gun laws that were passed by popular vote in Colorado will remain intact, including provisions like universal background checks and restrictions on the size of ammunition magazines. This will make residents safer from acts of violence.
…That sounds a lot more like pulling vague and desperate excuses out of thin air than it does actual evidence of voter suppression. It couldn’t be that even rural and Western Democrats might think certain gun-control measures are a bridge too far, could it, Debbie?
And anyhow, the way she tells it, you’d think that the gun-control crowd had been unfairly undercut and underrepresented somehow, which actually wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the anti-recall contributions dwarfed the pro-recall side:
Reported contributions to Morse and Giron totaled about $3 million, dwarfing the amount raised by gun activists who petitioned for the recall, though some independent groups didn’t have to report spending. Both the NRA and Bloomberg contributed more than $300,000 to the pro- and anti-recall campaigns.
And sure, I suppose the recall election might not have any immediate practical implications in terms of the legislature changing hands nor reversing the new gun laws in question, but it is a far cry from a hollow victory, and DWS knows it. Downplay it all you want, but it’s really a pretty powerful message from the voters of Colorado about just how much and which kinds of liberal controls they’re willing to let slide before they kick up some dust. I wouldn’t count on Colorado legislators at neither the state nor national level advocating for more gun-control measures anytime soon, would you?