A new group calledFight Back Colorado
has a message for the lawmakers who voted tokill a bill to legalize civil unions
: Watch out.
The group launched an effort today to defeat those legislators in November's election -- though they haven't yet named names.
Fight Back Colorado's website does mention two: House Speaker Frank McNulty, a Highlands Ranch Republican, and Majority Leader Amy Stephens of Monument, who the Denver Post reports won the primary race last night for the House District 19 seat. The website does not, however, say that Fight Back Colorado will target Stephens and McNulty.
Many civil union supporters blame the bill's defeat on McNulty. After Governor John Hickenlooper called a special session to reconsider the civil unions bill (and others) because House GOP leadership blocked the bill's passage during the regular session, McNulty assigned it to the so-called "kill committee."
Here's what the website does say about Fight Back Colorado's strategy:
We will be smart and methodical about where and when we target representatives. We will determine where our efforts and resources will have the most impact in a race that involves an anti-equality incumbent who is being challenged by a pro-equality candidate. Our campaigns will be targeted and intense.
Treasurer Roger Sherman is speaking today for the group. "There are thousands of folks around Colorado who are disappointed and angry about what happened at the end of the session," he says. "This is an opportunity to harvest that anger."
Sherman says Fight Back Colorado expects to announce its targets within the next few weeks. They could be lawmakers who actually voted against civil unions or those who indicated that they would, if given the chance. "This isn't just about making legislators uncomfortable during the race," Sherman says. "We expect to have significant resources, and to pick a race or two where we can make a difference."
He adds, "The (Republican) majority is a thin majority there, so we only have to knock out one or two, which changes the makeup of the House" -- and the fate of civil unions.
Sherman, the chief operating officer for public affairs firm CRL Associates and a former member of the RTD Board of Directors, was hesitant to reveal the other members of Fight Back Colorado -- or confirm the pledges of any big donors. "This is not about any particular contributor," he says. "This is a broad-based group.... We'll take a $1 contribution. We want everyone to feel they can make a difference in Colorado."
As for Sherman himself, he says he got involved because "I'd like my relationship to be recognized in my state.... We know we have broad support in Colorado for civil union recognition, and a very few people kept that from happening this year. And that pisses me off. This is my little way of contributing to the goal of relationship recognition."
Watch a video by Fight Back Colorado below. And stay tuned.
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