Colorado

Allies of Senator Morse Launch Misleading Website, Radio Ads to Deter Recall

Campaigns

Allies of Colorado Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), who faces a potential recall election because of his unpopular support of strict gun control measures, recently launched a misleading website along with a series of robocalls and radio ads labeling recall petitioners as frauds and criminals.

In what seems a desperate attempt to stop the possibility of Sen. Morse’s ouster in a special election, the political action committee (PAC) “A Whole Lot Of People For John Morse” has created a website called “Colorado Recall Watch.”

The site is vaguely eerie, with a black and red color scheme and typesetting apparently meant to resemble a police report. It warns people not to “become a victim,” instructing visitors to listen to a “Public Awareness Alert” linked on the page.

This “alert”, in reality, is an abusive political robocall currently targeting Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs residents, airing on AM radio stations throughout Morse’s district. A man with a deep, serious voice tells the listener that out of state workers are in their neighborhood gathering data on their homes and families.

The advertisement warns residents to be concerned, demand that these petitioners leave their property, and even to report them to the police. At one point, the narrator says: “Criminals, convicted of forgery, fraud, and even sexual assault – if they are not already, these workers will be in your neighborhood soon.”

During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Luke Buchanan, a canvasser for Obama For America, sexually assaulted an unsuspecting 21 year old female resident of Loveland. Colorado Recall Watch does not specify if Buchanan is now working to recall Morse or if this is what the ad may be alluding to.

Nowhere in the call is Morse’s name or campaign mentioned; the word “recall” is used generally and only twice.

One Colorado Springs resident, Karla DeCall, was very disturbed by the call and thought it was from government or safety officials: “The message was very urgent…I thought maybe a child was missing or something.”

However, DeCall noted that recall signature gatherers “did not appear to be criminals to me. They were just trying to follow the political process.”

While the website, robocalls, and radio ads strive to dissuade voters from signing the Morse recall petition through intimidation, characterizing the drive as “data mining,” visitors to the Colorado Recall Watch site will  find two separate requests for the collection of data by Colorado Recall Watch itself.

The site instructs that the first step of action residents should take is to “Decline To Sign” the recall petition against Sen. Morse before requesting that residents “Sign up here if you pledge to protect your family’s personal information…” [emphasis added]. The site then asks the reader to provide personal information including full name, email address, and zip code.

“A Whole Lot Of People For John Morse” spent nearly $2,000 to launch the site and the initial robocalls, according to the PAC’s latest campaign filings with the Colorado Secretary of State. The Colorado Democratic Party has provided $2,100 in funds for website support and voter file access.

Of the $23,000 in donations documented on the TRACER site, 97 percent came from outside Morse’s district.

Morse’s extreme stance on gun control has won the favor and financial backing of several national far-left organizations including America Votes, which accounted for $20,000 in contributions to “A Whole Lot Of People For John Morse” with a check on April 29.

Sen. Morse sponsored a measure earlier this year that would have held gun manufacturers and retailers legally liable for all injury or harm where that weapon was involved, pulling the proposal on the day it was to be introduced due to lack of support from his fellow Democrats.

Morse faces a growing effort by his constituents to unseat him by recall election not only because of legislation he authored on gun control and his alignment with groups like Bloomberg’s Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns group, but also due to his support of SB 252, which would hurt rural energy providers such as Colorado Springs Utilities.

Follow Kyle Forti on Twitter: @kyleforti