As the Colorado Statesman's Peter Marcus reports–you might not agree, but be aware of this spin:
Motivated by a grassroots uprising this summer that ousted two sitting Democratic state senators, proponents of a ballot initiative that would ask voters in 2014 to define an unborn child as a “person” say they are likely to target Republicans who don’t support their anti-abortion movement…
Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, said his organization and its followers feel empowered after gun rights activists and liberty groups were able to take down Senate President John Morse and Sen. Angela Giron last month with limited financing compared to recall opponents. Similar to personhood, the efforts were assembled by a grassroots base that felt overlooked by state officeholders.
Mason points out that his volunteers inserted themselves into the recall elections, where personhood once again became an issue. Political attack ads highlighted the Republican successor candidates’ support for personhood. Bernie Herpin in Colorado Springs and George Rivera in Pueblo faced the assaults.
Herpin found himself on the defensive, vowing that he did not support personhood. But Rivera unapologetically stated his support for the drive.
In response, Mason said personhood supporters sent volunteers to Pueblo to help Rivera, but ignored Herpin in Colorado Springs because he rejected the initiative.
Supporters of the "Personhood" abortion ban constitutional amendments, which appeared on the ballot in Colorado in 2008 and 2010 and only narrowly missed the ballot again in 2012, have at times been quite belligerent with their fellow Republicans who express an insufficient degree of support. The reason is simple: the issue of banning abortions can be as damaging to Republicans campaigning in a general election as it is a litmus test in a Republican primary. The best example was probably the assault on U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer, who faced withering criticism for his failure to endorse the 2008 initiative–complicated by Schaffer's defense of labor practices in the Mariana Islands which allegedly included forced abortions on pregnant female workers. In 2010 and to a greater extent 2012, Personhood proponents softpedaled their criticism of Republicans who were by then in full retreat on the issue–at least publicly.
Well, folks, antithetical to the desire by most Republicans to keep themselves out of this toxic wedge-issue fray, the Personhooders evidently think the recent recalls prove they were right all along. Sen. George Rivera's victory in Pueblo, whatever the true reasons, seems to have persuaded the anti-abortion movement to double down–which means taking a public stand for or against Republican candidates based on their support.
However giddy with victory they may be, we know Republicans who will find that prospect absolutely horrifying.