Colorado Dem ousted over gun control forms new group to support gun control

Greg Campbell | Contributor

A Democrat who lost his job for pushing gun control wants to help other politicians follow in his footsteps.

Ousted Colorado Senate President John Morse has formed a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization to support “principled leaders” in favor of gun control.

Morse announced last week that he was heading the group Americans for Principled Leadership, which aims to “elevate the gun safety discussion to the national level with enough momentum to build a movement that effectively educates people to the benefits of having principled leaders into office,” according to the group’s jawbreaking mission statement.

Morse and former Sen. Angela Giron were the first state legislators to be recalled from office in Colorado history. They were targeted for supporting the state’s new gun control laws, which include limits on ammunition magazines and universal background checks, among other measures.

Morse also introduced a bill that would have made semiautomatic rifle makers liable for any damage they caused, but killed the bill when he didn’t have enough Democratic support to pass it.

National gun control groups spent heavily on the two politicians’ anti-recall campaigns. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally donated $350,000. But voters kicked them from office and replaced them with Republicans.

Second Amendment supporters have now targeted a third Democrat, Sen. Evie Hudak. If she is successfully recalled, Republicans will gain control of the state senate.

Morse said his organization will fight against recalls like the one that cost him his job and the one that now threatens Hudak.

“The Tea Party Republicans in Colorado are seeking yet another recall election, and are rumored to be considering four more for a total of seven,” he is quoted as saying by the Colorado Observer.

He said the goal of tea party Republicans is to “steal senate seats and gain the majority using special elections with extremely low turnout because they can’t win general elections with high voter participation.”

Morse was recently featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he said one of the reasons he lost the recall was because his supporters didn’t vote.

His new organization’s website says it will “provide support for current and upcoming principled leaders” who would “keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and domestic violence offenders and ensure more massacres like Aurora and Sandy Hook don’t happen.”

“We need more of it both to make the United States safer from gun violence and to move our country forward on many other issues from immigration to tax cuts focused on the middle class instead of the rich.”

Throughout his recall campaign Morse railed against outside groups trying to influence the election, even as his campaign benefitted from outside groups. As a 501(c)4, Americans for Principled Leadership does not have to disclose the identity of donors.

“I’m glad ex-Senator Morse continues to remind Coloradans that liberal leadership means arrogance and ignoring constituents,” Sean Bartley, who worked on the campaign to replace Morse, told the Observer.

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