Two of the Colorado legislature’s most aggressive advocates for renewable power mandates lost their Senate seats last night in a historic recall election. Gun control legislation took center stage in the national media coverage of the recall election, but Sens. John Morse (D-Colorado Springs) and Angela Giron (D-Pueblo) hurt their cause by strongly alienating voters earlier this year championing costly renewable power mandates.
Morse, the sitting Senate President, sponsored Senate Bill 252, which doubled the percentage of costly renewable power rural electric customers are required to purchase. The bill, which the Senate passed on a party-line vote, pleased environmental activist groups and liberal elites in Denver and Boulder while alienating Democratic, Republican, and independent voters in the rest of the state. Even the very liberal Denver Post urged the Colorado legislature to reject the bill.
Giron took Morse’s bill and ran with it, frequently championing the electricity restrictions and related global warming claims in public events. For example, Giron spoke in favor of electricity restrictions and posed for photographs last month at a rally held by the environmental activist group I Will Act on Climate.
The recall of Morse and Giron sends a particularly strong message given the strong Democratic majorities in their respective districts. In Morse’s Senate district, registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republican voters by a 56-to-44 percent margin. In Giron’s Senate district, registered Democratic voters outnumber registered Republican voters by a greater than 2-to-1 margin. Blue collar Democrats in large numbers joined independent and Republican voters to defeat Morse and Giron.
Morse and Giron benefited from a massive advantage in campaign funds, outspending recall supporters by a 6-to-1 margin. Wealthy out-of-state liberal activsts such as Michael Bloomberg donated heavily in support of Morse and Giron, but the Democrats’ wealth disparity over recall supporters did them little good at the polls.
With the defeat of Morse and Giron, Democrats now hold a razor-thin 18-to-17 majority in the Colorado Senate. Prior to the recall elections, the Democratic 20-to-15 edge gave the party a substantial cushion to ram through controversial legislation such as stringent gun control laws and costly renewable power mandates.