Hick­en­looper says out­siders lost Colo. gun re­call elec­tions N.Y.’s Bloomberg unapolo­getic

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY VALERIE RICHARD­SON

DEN­VER | Colorado Gov. John Hick­en­looper has a mes­sage for out-of-state gun-con­trol groups: Stay away from the next Colorado re­call. Please.

The Demo­cratic gov­er­nor said Sun­day it’s “prob­a­bly not a bad idea” for gun-con­trol ad­vo­cates — read, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — to re­frain from jump­ing into the state’s lat­est re­call drive, this one against Demo­cratic state Sen. Evie Hu­dak.

“Colorado is a state that peo­ple like to be re­source­ful them­selves and solve their own prob­lems,” said Mr. Hick­en­looper in a video in­ter­view with USA To­day. “They don’t re­ally like out­side or­ga­ni­za­tions med­dling in their af­fairs.”

Mr. Hick­en­looper’s re­marks, made dur­ing a weekend trip to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., for the Hero Sum­mit, came as his first pub­lic ac­knowl­edg­ment that the Bloomberg strat­egy may have back­fired in Colorado.

Mr. Bloomberg do­nated $350,000 to two Demo­cratic state leg­is­la­tors fight­ing the re­call elec­tions, which were trig­gered by their sup­port for gun-con­trol bills pushed ear­lier this year by May­ors Against Il­le­gal Guns, a group he founded.

Both Democrats lost the Sept. 10 re­call, but Mr. Bloomberg re­cently dis­missed their de­feats as lit­tle more than col­lat­eral dam­age.

“What do you mean we lost?” Mr. Bloomberg told Time mag­a­zine in the Oct. 21 is­sue. “I’m sorry for those two peo­ple. But we won in Colorado. On to the next state.”

Mr. Hick­en­looper gave the group push­ing the third re­call, Re­call Hu­dak Too, a 50-50 chance of gath­er­ing the sig­na­tures nec­es­sary to force another spe­cial elec­tion. Vol­un­teers have un­til Dec. 3 to col­lect 18,303 valid sig­na­tures from vot­ers in the sub­ur­ban Jef­fer­son County dis­trict.

“I didn’t think they’d get enough sig­na­tures for the first two, but they’re well-funded, and there’s a lot of en­ergy be­hind this, a lot of frus­tra­tion,” said Mr. Hick­en­looper.

He added that he isn’t thrilled with the re­call ap­proach to oust­ing law­mak­ers. The Sept. 10 de­feats of state Sens. An­gela Giron and John Morse were the first re­calls of state leg­is­la­tors in Colorado his­tory.

“Cer­tainly the Found­ing Fa­thers an­tic­i­pated re­calls, and it’s been part of our sys­tem since the very be­gin­ning,” said Mr. Hick­en­looper. “I ac­cept re­calls. I think it’s a very ex­pen­sive and in­ef­fi­cient way to pick your lead­er­ship.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg dis­putes con­tentions that his May­ors Against Il­le­gal Guns group lost in Colorado.

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