The press release went out Wednesday from Colorado Senate District 11 recall successor candidate Bernie Herpin, though you've seen its subject many times:
Today, Bernie Herpin pledged to lead the way in passing Jessica’s Law in the Colorado Senate once John Morse is recalled.
Herpin was joined at the press conference by the bill’s House Sponsor Representative Libby Szabo, Police Protection Association Vice President Mike Singels, and former El Paso County Undersheriff Teri Goodall.
This past legislative session, Libby Szabo led the fight for Jessica’s Law in the Colorado House. Unfortunately, Democrat leadership blocked Jessica’s Law.
Wednesday's Herpin campaign press conference featured Arvada Rep. Libby Szabo, who appeared on the O'Reilly Factor show on FOX News earlier this year to accuse Colorado House Speaker Mark Ferrandino of "obviously protecting someone" by sending this perennially-introduced legislation to die in the House State Affairs Committee–an explicit attack, happily assisted by O'Reilly, on the fact that Speaker Ferrandino is openly gay.
As we've discussed exhaustively in this space, Colorado law is already considered stronger than the provisions of "Jessica's Law," which could also rob courts of reasonable latitude to best make the punishment fit the crime. For this reason, Szabo's legislation was opposed by both the Colorado District Attorneys' Council and the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Many readers will also recall the indignant reaction to these allegations from former Denver Post editor Curtis Hubbard, who went on the O'Reilly Factor himself to refute the entire story.
In short, Bernie Herpin is counting on voters in Senate District 11 not having heard the details about "Jessica's Law." If Herpin actually cared about the issue, he would be aware that current law allows for more severe punishments of sexual predators than "Jessica's Law" would mandate. He knows that, and so does Rep. Libby Szabo. The whole "Jessica's Law" media offensive by Republicans this year was nothing more than a dishonest (and bigoted) attempt to manipulate the fears of low-information voters for electoral advantage.
So naturally, it's the ideal smear for these recall elections.