Tue, Sep 10 2013 — Source: Denver Post

A final, frantic effort is underway to get voters to the polls Tuesday in two state Senate districts where Democratic lawmakers face ouster for stricter gun laws passed in the 2013 legislative session.

State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo are in the fight of their political lives in an election that has attracted national attention and money.

The polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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After 30 minutes of praise to God and several rollicking, hand-clapping hymns, John Morse stepped to the glass pulpit and offered a prayer of his own.

“We need you to reach down deep,” Morse, the state Senate president, told about 100 worshipers seated Sunday beneath a vaulted ceiling at Grace Be Unto You Outreach Church. “I need you not to just support me,” he said, slowing down to emphasize each word. “I need you to vote no.”

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Colorado Peak Politics gathers the latest early voting data in El Paso County, a recall election against State Sen. John Morse is in progress:

12,174 total early votes

ACN (Constitution Party): 37

Democrat: 4,023 (33 percent)

Green: 39

Libertarian: 100

Republican: 4,923 (40 percent)

Unaffiliated: 3,052 (25 percent)


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Million-dollar campaigns, saturation advertising and massive canvassing have become commonplace in U.S. elections, especially in a swing state such as Colorado. A campaign underway there has all of the above – in a recall vote for two state senators that has become a showdown over gun policy and political dominance in a changing state.

Democratic state Sens. Angela Giron and John Morse voted to require universal background checks for gun purchases and to ban large-capacity ammunition magazines. Colorado passed the restrictions in March, within a year of mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. Gun control opponents have mounted a campaign to kick them out of office; voting ends Tuesday.

Looks like that momentous drive for a $15-an-hour minimum wage in the city of SeaTac has hit a great big pothole – and it’s a little hard to tell at this point whether a judge’s decision in King County Superior Court represents a jolt or a head-first slam into the concrete.

Another two local ballot measures, in Spokane, have been thrown off the November ballot, reports the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

During the 2013 Legislative Session, many efforts were made to change the way Initiated Measure and Referral System works in North Dakota.  Most of these efforts in one way or another would have had a negative effect on the citizen’s ability to initiate and refer laws.  To prevent legislative over-reach it is time to restrict the legislature’s ability to alter The Powers Reserved to the People by asking the voters to approve the following constitutional amendment in North Dakota: 

After a legislative session in which legislators passed several statutes and constitutional amendments designed to restrict citizen use of initiative and referendum, North Dakota citizens are taking the first steps to place a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot that would protect the initiative process from legislative assaults. 

The effort, led by Dustin Gawrylow and a group called “Protect ND,” seeks to amend Article III of the constitution to block any future legislative tampering with the initiative and referendum rights of North Dakota voters.


Recall is a procedural democratic device that allows voters to discharge and replace an elected official. At least 19 states provide for recall at the state level, and most states permit recall of local officials.

Coloradans, by citizen initiative, amended their constitution in 1912 to permit it here (approved handily by a vote of 53,620 to 39,564), and scores of recall elections at the local level have been held in Colorado in the past 100 years.

Efforts to halt a proposed light rail system via the initiative in Vancouver, Washington, have been thwarted by the city, and now the city’s actions have been upheld in court. Superior Court Judge John Nichols’ ruled the City of Vancouver could lawfully block the initiative from the ballot because the proposed measure’s attempt to restrict the city from following the mandates of a state light rail project went “beyond the initiative power.”

“Stated another way,” Judge Nichols wrote in his opinion, “the people cannot deprive the city legislative authority of the power to do what the constitution and/or a state statute specifically permit it to do.”

Nebraska petition laws are again being challenged in federal court by Citizen Kent Bernbeck, who claims the current system is unconstitutional.  The two legal provisions being contested are: (1) the state’s county-based distribution requirement, which is in the state constitution, and (2) a state statute that forbids compensating paid circulators on a per-signature basis.

“He is bringing this challenge to guarantee all Nebraskans can participate in this core democratic process,” David Domina, Bernbeck’s attorney, told reporters. “A process so important that the founders of our nation called out the right as fundamental and to be preserved without intrusion.”

Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey on Thursday certified a petition for an anti-light rail initiative, a day after a judge struck down a state law that initially had prompted Kimsey to invalidate hundreds of the signatures.

What the Vancouver City Council will do next, however, isn’t clear.

Regardless of the signature issue, Vancouver City Attorney Ted Gathe has advised the city council that the proposed ordinance violates the city charter and state law and it should not go to a public vote.

Gathe told the council last month that the proposed ordinance, crafted by a group of people who oppose the Columbia River Crossing project, falls outside the scope of the city’s initiative powers and would not be legally defensible.

Tomorrow is the deadline for a group trying to repeal a tax cut on oil companies.

Yes Repeal the Giveaway need* at least 30,000 verified signatures to get a referendum on the August primary ballot. So far, over 45,000 people have signed the petition booklets.

“It’s exceeded my expectations.”

Former NBA star Tim Hardaway will be one of the first to sign an initiative petition to place an equal marriage constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot next year.

Hardaway’s petition signing will be open to the news media.

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El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams filed court papers in Denver on Thursday to demand a date for the election that could recall Colorado Springs Democratic state Sen. John Morse.

Legal wrangling has tied up the effort to recall Morse, who was targeted over his stance on gun control measures that passed the General Assembly this year. A protest of the recall effort was filed by Catherine Kleinsmith of Colorado Springs, who claims the recall petitions used in the campaign to oust Morse don’t meet constitutional muster.

The protest was denied by the secretary of state’s office then appealed to Denver District Court.