Friday, 29 November 2013

Colo. State Senator Resigns to Avoid Being Recalled Over Gun Issue

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In anticipation that the recall movement that had successfully ousted two other Colorado state senators over gun control issues this past summer was about to overwhelm a third, state senator Evie Hudak (shown) abruptly resigned on Wednesday, rather than face a recall election. By resigning, under Colorado law her successor must be appointed by the Democrat Party, thus preserving a one-vote margin in the state Senate. If she had been ousted, she likely would have been replaced with a Republican.

The recall movement claimed it had 18,900 valid signatures which it was going to submit to the Colorado state secretary on Monday, and it was becoming more and more obvious that Hudak was destined to meet the same fate as former state senators John Morse and Angela Giron.

In her letter of resignation Hudak explained:

One year ago, on the day before Thanksgiving 2012, I was informed that all of the ballots had been counted and I had won reelection to the State Senate with 35,664 votes...

We ... worked to pass sensible gun-safety legislation ... I am proud of what has been accomplished over the last year…

In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning as State Senator for District 19, effective immediately.

In her letter she noted that the Democrats had succeeded in passing, over increasingly noisy protestations, restrictions on magazine capacities for handguns, and a requirement that every purchaser of a weapon, even in a private transaction between two individual citizens, undergo a background check before the transaction can be completed.

What she didn't mention in her letter was that her reelection in 2012 was won by the narrowest of margins — less than 600 votes — nor did she make any reference to the firestorm she created as a result of her insulting and demeaning response to one of those citizens testifying against those bills last March: Amanda Collins.

Collins is a rape survivor who was attacked in a “gun-free” zone while a student at the University of Nevada-Reno in 2007. Katie Pavlich, an editorial contributor to Townhall magazine and a Fox News contributor, gave the details of what happened that night:

While in college in 2007, she was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office at the University of Nevada-Reno and was lucky to get out alive. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. He attacked her at gun point in a gun free zone.

At the time of the attack, Collins was in possession of a concealed weapons permit but was not in possession of her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus.

Collins testified during the hearings in Colorado:

If I had been carrying that night, two other rapes would have been prevented and a young life would have been saved…

In my experience I know that the university that I attended, the University of Nevada-Reno ... didn't have any call boxes the night I was attacked. They afterwards installed them but I can tell you that a call box above my head while I was straddled on the parking garage floor being brutally raped wouldn't have helped me one bit.

The safe zone? I was in a safe zone and my attacker didn't care.... I could see the police cruisers less than 50 feet away from me, from where I was being attacked, but the moment I saw those cruisers, I knew at the same time that no one was coming for me ... they were all off duty. The offices had closed. They weren't in their cruisers. There was no one there.

A whistle wouldn't have gotten anybody's attention. It was isolated. It was late at night. It's really frustrating that I'm supposed to hand over my own protection to [someone else] but they're not able to guarantee our protection....

The comments that this representative made about women not knowing if they're going to be raped or accidentally shooting the wrong person was extremely offensive because [my attacker] specifically targeted female students.

So, is he saying that all women are unable to make sound decisions in the midst of that, that we should go against our God-given gut instinct that something was wrong?...

I was legislated into being a victim.

Hudak responded:

I just want to say [that] statistics are not on your side. Even if you had had a gun … chances are that if you had had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.

Collins answered:

Respectfully Senator, you weren't there.... I was there. I know without a doubt in my mind at some point I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm.

From that moment Hudak became known as Colorado’s “You don’t need a gun to prevent rape” state senator, and it was just a matter of time before she was either ousted or would be forced to resign.

The pressure came from Democrats who saw the handwriting on the wall: Hudak would be ousted and a Republican would take her place in the recall election, and that simply couldn't be allowed to happen. It would tip control of the Senate to the Republicans who might threaten their progressive legislation.

As Denver political consultant Floyd Ciruli said: “I don’t think the Democrats wanted to take the risk of losing another seat. This way, they can keep the majority at least through the upcoming legislative session.”

Hudak confirmed Ciruli’s conclusion in her resignation letter: “In the interest of preserving the progress made over the last year, I am resigning.” Her decision to resign had little to do with being responsive to the voters in her district, but instead in preserving the legislation enacted over the protests of citizens in her district.

As for the rest of the legislative session it is to be hoped that Hudak’s resignation serves as a reminder to those remaining: Do not ignore your constituents or you too will be seeking other employment come November.

Photo of Colo. State Senator Evie Hudak: AP Images

A graduate of Cornell University and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at

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