Fight Back Colorado, a group devoted to defeating anti-civil union lawmakers, has announced its first target: Representative Robert Ramirez, a Westminster Republican who narrowly won his race two years ago and who Fight Back Colorado says flip-flopped on civil unions. The group has sent mailers to voters in Jefferson County that depict Ramirez as a bomber pilot and say he's "taking Jeffco the wrong way!"
"He didn't vote on civil unions, but he committed to support civil unions and then, when the time came, he basically turned his back on the community," says Roger Sherman, treasurer and spokesman for Fight Back Colorado, which was formed after legislators defeated civil unions. "We had counted on him, and a legislator ought to be held accountable for his word. When he flip-flopped, he became a target."
Ramirez says he supports rights for same-sex couples, but doesn't believe in same-sex marriage. "I told them I supported civil unions, but I don't support the bill they brought through last time," he says. "The bill they brought through last time was marriage."
Fight Back Colorado notes that after expressing his support, Ramirez attended an anti-civil union rally. Ramirez remembers attending a rally, but says the focus was on defending marriage, not defeating civil unions. "I was out there because my pastor asked me to come," he says. Westword covered a rally the day after the bill was defeated at which Ramirez briefly addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support.
But Ramirez doesn't think Fight Back Colorado's targeting of him has much to do with civil unions. He says it's because "I took their precious Democratic majority away two years ago." Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the House.
Ramirez acknowledges that he faces another "tight race" this year. Sherman thinks so, too. "We were clear we were going to pick competitive races and try to make a difference," Sherman says. Ramirez, he adds, "barely won his seat. He has a substantial record that doesn't align with his district and we decided we'd highlight that."
Sherman says Fight Back Colorado plans to target other lawmakers, as well -- though their names haven't been announced yet. "Stay tuned," he says.
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