Under an obscure Colorado state law, the two Democratic legislators who are facing recall elections would qualify to receive up to 10 cents for every vote cast if they retain their seats, the Denver Post reported.
Taxpayers are already shelling out nearly $500,000 in the Sept. 10 recall elections of Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron. If every registered voter in the contested districts participated, Morse would stand to be reimbursed $6,901 and Giron $8,100, according to the Post.
But a consultant for the campaigns said neither incumbent would pursue the payments.
“It’s just not something we’re going to look to do,” Kjersten Forseth is quoted as saying. “The taxpayers are already being forced to pay for these unnecessary recalls, and we’re not going to look to punish them.”
The cost of the election — particularly what is being spent by outside interests — dominated the news in the final remaining days before the elections. Not counting taxpayer funds, the tally is around $2 million, The New York Times reports, and will surely be higher by the time the votes are counted.
Morse took TV reporters along while he campaigned door-to-door this week and defended his campaign accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from out-of-state supporters while also decrying “billionaires and extremists” from out of state who are funding the opposition.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $350,000 to fight against the recalls. Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad gave $250,000.
“Campaigns cost money,” Morse told Colorado Springs’ KRDO Channel 13, “and since there’s outside interests that are trying to force the taxpayers here to pay for a special election, we’re OK with outside money coming in to (resist) that.”
Those outside interests have recently increased their stakes in wanting to see Morse and Giron gone. Campaign finance reports filed this week show that the National Rifle Association dropped another $250,000 into the efforts to unseat them, bringing their total reported expenditures to over $360,000.
An NRA spokesman told the Denver Post that more cash can be expected as the election deadline nears.
Morse and Giron are being recalled because of their support for Colorado’s new gun control laws.
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