Dudley Brown, RMGO assisting with Hudak recall effort
Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, talks to FOX31 Denver outside his office in Windsor.
DENVER — Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, led by the controversial conservative activist Dudley Brown, is assisting the backers of the latest recall effort against Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak.
RMGO’s spokeswoman, Danielle Thompson, told FOX31 Denver Tuesday that the group is assisting proponents of the recall from an organizational standpoint but has yet to commit money to the effort.
Laura Waters and Mike McAlpine, who are leading the “Recall Hudak Too” effort, told KNUS’ Peter Boyles that Dudley “is our guy”, The Big Media Blog’s Jason Salzman reported Tuesday.
“They are helping us by mobilizing their members and getting the message out that we need volunteers. And we could not be more thankful to Dudley and his group,” Waters told Boyles.
McAlpine did not return a call from FOX31 Denver Tuesday seeking comment.
Boyles was quick to criticize Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call, who told FOX31 Denver Monday that the latest recall effort targeting Hudak would “undermine” GOP efforts in 2014 “if voters perceive that Republicans are trying to win a majority through recalls.”
After Colorado’s first ever recall elections — Brown actually opposed them at first before getting on board — were successful in September, when two Democratic senators lost their seats in a backlash mostly related to their support of tougher gun control laws, Republicans trimmed the Democrats’ senate majority from 20-15 to a 18-17 margin.
If Hudak were to be recalled, it would likely flip control of the senate to Republicans, who’d hold their own 18-17 majority.
But the recall itself is a risky gambit.
Right now, Republicans have won the messaging fight around the recalls, with the September recall results validating the notion that Democratic lawmakers went too far in passing tougher gun laws earlier this year.
Pushing ahead with a third recall effort at year’s end, months after the passage of the gun laws, could refocus that message on Republicans attempting to do what they haven’t done in regular elections — win — by constantly waging recall elections.
“Republicans won that war on the idea that the Democrats, both with the gun bills and their entire agenda, overreached,” political analyst Eric Sondermann told FOX31 Denver Tuesday. “Once again, Republicans risk turning victory into defeat by succumbing to the temptation of overreach.”
Rather than helping to unify a fractured conservative coalition, the recall results appear to have only further emboldened the GOP’s activist base to challenge the party establishment heading into another important election year in which Colorado’s Democratic incumbents appear increasingly vulnerable.
“Perhaps it’s been so long since Republicans have won, they’ve forgotten how to act when they do,” Sondermann said. “Some of these conservatives just come across like they’re perpetually aggrieved and angry.
“Until they stop this holy war amongst themselves, it’s hard to see how they can be a viable force over the long-term in statewide elections.”
Moreover, as we pointed out Monday, Democrats would never allow their now slim senate majority to be decided in a recall election. If proponents get the nearly 19,000 signatures to put a recall election on the ballot, Democrats will force Hudak to resign — she’d likely be replaced with Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Arvada, who’d have to face an election challenge in the November 2014 election.
In Sondermann’s view, even if a third recall election against Hudak did materialize, the results could be different.
“Ultimately, recalls have to be for some kind of extraordinary circumstance,” he said. “If they become the norm, it’s a horrible precedent for responsible governance, and I think voters will realize that and turn on the tactic.
“Most voters won’t let recalls become S.O.P, Standard Operating Procedure.”