Reports the Durango Herald's Joe Hanel:
The Basic Freedom Defense Fund was incorporated this month as a nonprofit with an address in Durango – the same address as the San Juan Freedom Defense Committee, the campaign to recall McLachlan for his votes on gun bills.
But Monday, the groups announced they were parting ways.
A dispute over who spoke for the recall was part of the reason for the split, said Dave Saleh of the San Juan group.
A day after a story about the two groups ran in the Herald last week and quoted Saleh, who submitted the recall petition, a Denver-area man named Nick Andrasik called the newspaper and identified himself as the sole authorized spokesman for the Basic Freedom Defense Fund…
The angry threats to recall legislators who voted for gun safety bills signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper were always suspect, given the major logistical effort and expense of even getting a recall on the ballot–then the uncertainty of the election itself. In the case of Sens. John Morse and Evie Hudak, both are already term-limited, and Republicans will get a chance to take on Rep. Mike McLachlan in a year. Politically, a failed recall election would leave Rep. McLachlan much stronger, so the rule of "if you strike at the king, you must kill him" applies.
For all of these reasons, it is appearing less likely every day any of these recall elections will make the ballot, and it's quite likely the efforts will quietly fold relatively soon. As Joe Hanel continues, the much-feared Rocky Mountain Gun Owners hasn't even decided if they are going to commit:
The Basic Freedom Defense Fund “is not affiliated with or supported by RMGO or Mr. Brown in any way or with any other organization,” Andrasik said in a news release.
Brown, however, said Saleh is a member of his group, and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners is sending out emails to supporters to promote the recall. RMGO has not decided whether to spend money on the recall campaign, Brown said Friday.
He has also offered advice, although some recall proponents aren’t listening to his counsel to choose their targets carefully, he said.
RMGO has quite a bit to lose here as well–and may already be vulnerable having promoted these recalls at all. This is an organization whose power has traditionally resided on the hard right of GOP primaries, and their recent vows to "destroy the Democrats" risk being exposed as laughable if they join a recall effort that falls on its face. In an email to supporters from late February, RMGO's own Dudley Brown seems to understand that:
Before you start thinking (and saying) "RECALL" consider:
1. All Colorado State House members, and half the State Senate, face re-election every two years. That happens no matter what.
2. Recalls don't really work, except in very rare circumstances (such as elected officials committing violent felonies), and usually only in very small voting districts (city council). I've never seen a recall work in a Colorado legislative battle, and don't expect to.
3. To force a recall you have to put a TON of effort into even forcing the vote — when their re-election vote will take place anyway. Dumb.
4. If you fail in the recall, you embolden the left, as you're just proving you aren't effective.
This could be the one prediction from Dudley Brown in the gun debate that actually proves correct.