The Pueblo Chieftain's Jeff Tucker reported a few days ago, and we wanted to make sure got mentioned:
Pueblo County has said the cost of conducting a recall election in November pushed past $200,000.
Now the man who replaced then-state Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, in the election is considering finding support at the capitol to help the county cover some of those costs…
On Friday, [Sen. George] Rivera, a Republican, said it makes sense to try.
You'll recall that Democrats defending former Sen. Angela Giron from her recall tried to use the cost of holding a recall special election–costs borne by the counties where the elections are held–as a reason to motivate voters to decline to sign recall petitions.
At the time, that didn't sit very well with then-candidate George Rivera:
Rivera said there has been a lot of discussion regarding the cost and need for a recall election.
“There are a lot of people out there who will say that we can’t afford it,” he said. “But what are your rights worth? You can’t put a figure on that.”
And so there's no confusion about where Rivera stood during the recall election:
Rivera claims Democrats raised a phony issue this summer [Pols emphasis] in protesting the estimated $186,000 cost of the recall election. He called that a small price for protecting the right to recall elected officials if necessary.
Well, folks, now that George Rivera has gone from insurgent recall successor candidate to incumbent Colorado Senator, it seems making nice with local government–even raising their "phony issue" at the Capitol–is the thing to do! After all, the cost of a special election is quite significant, and could certainly be a decision making factor in future recall elections. But given that recalls are supposed to be local affairs, is it possible that's the way it should be? Why should the state cover the costs of a "local grassroots" recall election? Do we really want recalls to be an easy, no-consequence free-for-all?
In Rivera's case, recall was his ticket to office–so it makes sense that he would want to see it paid for by somebody who won't notice as much. But a hypocritical flip-flop after winning one recall isn't how we'd recommend to grease the skids for the next one.