Pueblo Recall Organizer Admits Lying To Petition Signers

Victor Head.

Victor Head.

​We've edited and posted a section of audio below that everyone needs to listen to. This was recorded about four hours into Monday's testimony in the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee on Senate Bill 14-094, the bill to repeal last year's landmark universal background check law for private gun sales and transfers. Speaking this this clip is Victor Head, the plumber-turned-political organizer who "spearheaded" the successful recall of Sen. Angela Giron last September. Head is now a candidate for Pueblo County Clerk.

According to Head's own testimony, he obtained at least some of those petition signatures by lying to the signers.

Transcript follows after the jump. To summarize, Mr. Head starts by claiming that his problem isn't with background checks on gun sales, but with private transfers. Head then gives examples: of his brother and his mother, both of whom he claims he would have to perform a background check on to "loan" a gun to them for over 72 hours.

The problem is, that's just not true. Family members are totally exempt from the requirements of HB13-1229.

But it gets even worse, as Head doubles down on his mistake under "friendly" questioning from GOP Sen. Ted Harvey:

I changed a lot of people's minds by making that contrast. The statistics are potentially right, although I'm aways leery of statistics, that we keep hearing, 80% of Coloradans, you know support background checks for sales, or 90% nationwide. You talk to people and they'll say 'yeah, absolutely,' and then when you tell them, 'okay that's a sale, but what about a transfer, you know, from you to your brother or whatever, they do a 180. [Pols emphasis] Instantly. They say 'well wait a minute, you're talking just loaning it?' And I say 'yeah, that's what the legislation says.' And they would say, 'well sign me up, that's not okay.' That was the overreach…

Not only did Mr. Head admit to giving out false information in order to obtain recall petition signatures against Giron, he exposes the underlying senselessness of the whole effort. You see, folks, Sen. Angela Giron was the sponsor of a key amendment to HB13-1229, #L.028, which created the exemption in the law for family members. That is, the very issue Head claims to be upset about.

Oops.

It doesn't matter if this was simply ignorance or a deliberate deception. After garnering praise from almost everyone, even from this blog for running a tight ship with the recall petition drive, now we know that Victor Head's "success" in bringing the recall of Sen. Giron to the ballot was at least partly the result of lies. By Head's own admission, he changed minds in that recall petition drive by telling undecided voters something that wasn't true. On any objective level, that is a travesty, and every single person who lived through last year's recalls needs to understand it.

Starting with the voters in Pueblo Head lied to–and whose vote he intends to ask for again this November.

HEAD: All of the exceptions that Sen. Aguilar pointed out at the beginning of this testiony are capped at the 72 hours. Even the gentleman with his wife, the same situation as me. Uh, they bought a gun together, or whoever did it, and it sits in the car. And when they borrow that car back and forth it is still subject, even if they're married, common law, you know, we were kind of talking about that, it's still subject to the 72-hour cap. Even within your own home. I'm sure there's got to be legislators up here that leave a gun at home with their significant other because they're up here for a week at a time, they're supposed to do a background check. Even in your own home. That's how the bill's written, and that's the fact. That's not assumptions, or, um, up for debate at this point.

My brother and I, similar to another gentleman that testified, we own guns together. We've pooled money together, we have a joint gun safe that we just take guns in and out. And he goes hunting for more than three days at a time, if he took a gun that I'm the one who did the background check on, we're in violation of it. Um, my mother carries for her concealed carry weapon, she carries one of my guns. She didn't want to have to buy her own, she asked if she could borrow one, that's fine. I didn't gift it to her, I understand that part's legal, but there's just so many exceptions that are still capped by the 72 hours. And that's the heart of this issue I think. That is the big divisiveness that comes in here, where it's not about sales and purchases. It's about transfers within your own home, your own car, within your own life, and people in there…

ULIBARRI: Sen. Aguilar.

AGUILAR: Thank you Mr. Chair, and, um, Mr. Head, the language is not ambiguous: "does not apply to a bonafide gift or a loan"–period. There are sections that are temporary, as Sen. Harvey pointed out, but it does not include family. And I don't want anyone to leave here believing there's any question about that…

ULIBARRI: Sen. Harvey.

HARVEY: Thank you. You said most of the people you talked to believed that the background checks would probably be okay, but the transfer part is the issue that they are dealing with–that they have a tough time for. Is that what you noticed where you're from in Pueblo, do you think it was perhaps that overreach that led to, um, the citizens of Pueblo to follow your lead in a recall of their state senator?

ULIBARRI: Mr. Head.

HEAD: Um, that's, you've exactly characterized it. Not that I'm representing anything or what not but I did spearhead the recall in Pueblo, and I changed a lot of people's minds by making that contrast. The statistics are potentially right, although I'm aways leery of statistics, that we keep hearing, 80% of Coloradans, you know support background checks for sales, or 90% nationwide. You talk to people and they'll say 'yeah, absolutely,' and then when you tell them, 'okay that's a sale, but what about a transfer, you know, from you to your brother or whatever, they do a 180. Instantly. They say 'well wait a minute, you're talking just loaning it?' And I say 'yeah, that's what the legislation says.' And they would say, 'well sign me up, that's not okay.' That was the overreach, that was my whole point in this testimony to differentiate the sales versus the transfer portion of this law. That is what the issue is in my opinion…

ULIBARRI: Are there further questions? Senator Jones.

JONES: Yeah, I…so, I hope that people aren't told any more, for family members, that they cannot share a gun, loan a gun, get a gun, back and forth, because that's the way the law reads. And I'm disappointed to hear that that might have been used to gather signatures. Because it's inaccurate. And I guess, seeing all the emails repeat this stuff over and over again, I think we need to set the record straight, there's enough issues to have a conversation around about disagreements, but we should be accurate about what we say. And I would ask you to do that as well.

ULIBARRI: Mr. Head, would you like to respond?

HEAD: No.

ULIBARRI: Are there any further questions for this witness? Seeing none, thank you for your time and your testimony today.

47 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    There's a huge difference between "lying" and simply misunderstanding a horribly written and unenforceable law. Stop attacking a good man.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Ignorance of the law . . . 

      . . . is almost always the GOPus Moderatus !!!

    • Curmudgeon says:

      So, it's not his fault he lied. I thought Republicans were the Party of Personal Responsibility;  what are all you gutless, craven, bootlicking yes-men doing in it?

    • doremi says:

      Moderatus,

      I can't buy your excuse.    I don't see how anyone who can read explicit English could "misunderstand" a law that states "(6) The provisions of this section do not apply to:  ….   (b) A transfer that is a bona fide gift or loan between immediate family members, which are limited to spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles."

      That is absolutely CLEAR.  Mr. Head was running a recall effort on a Senator because she passed a bill that he did not like. Because a huge portion of Colorado voters agree with universal background checks, he chose to willfully and deliberately lie.  He is not a good man, and he is worthy of no one's respect or support.

    • crystaljespin says:

      What's your definition of a good man? One who misrepresents the facts? Lost in the wild, maniacal din of the rabid posts on Mr Head's facebook page and the other blogs, there were honest attempts to correct this misrepresentation and the people who attempted were shouted down. Did you ever read the profane and offensive posts he welcomed on his facebook page?

       

       

    • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

       Lie: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive

      Where was the intent to deceive?

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        The recallers should have read the laws which were the justification for the recall. If they did read the laws, then they demonstrated intent to deceive when they began circulating recall petitions, which read:

        Senator Giron has failed to acknowledge the right conferred by the 2nd Amendment, namely the fundamental right to the private ownership of firearms

        None of the laws Giron sponsored violated the right to the private ownership of firearms.

        So the choices are:

        1. They did read the laws, but did not understand them. This implies some degree of illiteracy.  The language of the laws was specific.
        2. They read the laws, understood exactly what the laws entailed, and deliberately chose to tell prospective signers that the laws would mean something different, i.e., that family members could not transfer guns within the family.

        There really aren't any other choices – ignorance or mendacity.

         

      • James DoddJames Dodd says:

        In the absence of proof to the contrary, a person intends the natural and foreseeable consequences of his actions.  If you misstate a fact, you intend to deceive. 

        • ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

          So, under your analysis, you admit Obama lied about Obamacare allowing people to keep their plans?  It was not that he was merely confused?

          • James DoddJames Dodd says:

            That's right, change the subject. The final resort of a weak position.  From this, I can only conclude that you are conceding that Mr. Head lied. Good for you!

            You  won't get me to defend Obama.  Yes, he lied when he said everyone could keep their insurance policy. The law specifically outlawed the whole industry of high deductible health insurance. What he may not have realized was the unintended consequence of the insurance industry canceling policies that exceed the minimum requirements of National Romney/Obama Care because the law created a "new normal." 

            But, two wrongs ddon't make a right. Your defense of this asshole, reflects poorly upon your credibility and character. 

    • gumshoe says:

      Misunderstanding? So the whole Giron recall was a misunderstanding? 
      How much they paying you, at the GOP moderatus? You' seem to almost always get first line on a thread — you can't have a real job. 

      I am not sure which is worse. Whether the recalls were a misunderstanding / lie, or whether Victor Head is really that stupid. 

    • BlueCat says:

      He didn't misunderstand it. He lied. Period. You all lie about what's in the law. There is nothing confusing about the clear exemption. You too, Moderatus, have lied though your teeth about it.  It's not spin. It's not confusion. It's not "misspeaking".  It's purposeful lying and all of you doing it know you're doing it. Period.

  2. lorettalordelorettalorde says:

    What?!? This makes me want to simulataneously throw up and cry. It is shameful and disgusting to boldly lie to voters to accomplish your own hateful political agenda. I realize that we live in a post-truth political world, but I cannot believe that Mr. Head looked his fellow neighbors and community members in the eye and purposefully lied to them. This is a deliberate miscarriage of the democratic process. And, now you think you are qualified to manage our elections in Pueblo County, Mr. Head. As a register Pueblo voter, I plan to actively participate in (honest, of course!) campaign activities that prevent you from taking office and that put an end to your so-called political future. Mr. Head, you are a liar and a cheat and you have happily used deceit to divide our community.

  3. gertie97 says:

    He said something that was not true. He said it again and again and again. If that's not lying, I don't know what is.

     

  4. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Thanks, Pols, for publishing the audio and the transcript. I couldn't find it.  Yes, Victor Head is a liar. He wants to be in the position of a County Clerk who interprets existing laws, but can't be bothered to examine the actual wording of the law whose sponsor, Angela Giron, he's trying to recall from office.

    I agree that the wording of the background check law 13-1229 is not ambiguous. You can loan or give a firearm to a member of your extended family, period. Head has to know that what he's saying is untrue, even if all of his friends repeat it. The fact that he (or PFR volunteers or paid canvassers from Kennedy Enterprises) deliberately lied to people to get them to sign a recall petition lets us all know whom we're dealing with here.

  5. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Listen to the arrogance in Head's voice as he describes how he spearheaded the recall. With total lies.

    People of Pueblo, you must not elect this man to any office.

  6. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Mark Udall admits lying to voters.  Substitute Mark Udall for Victor Head and throw in a "keep your policy and your doctor" every now and then and you have an article I can believe in.  Period.

  7. Robb says:

    So he either didn't understand this exceedingly simple law until what, Monday, which makes him an idiot. Or he did, and he's a liar. 

  8. notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

    I still say mockery is the best weapon against the Grizzled Old Prevaricators. Robb has it right; either they're liars or they're fools. Either way, they ought to be the butt of many jokes. With a little luck they'll die off either of embarrassment for being so gullible or in a fit of apoplexy at the next manufactured scandal. Here's hoping. 

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      Are you talking about Obama and Udall?

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        Andrew…please leave this discussion to the adults in the room. Your reply to notaskinnycook is your most pathetic so far. If you cannot even provide comic relief here, then you are really just taking up valuable space that could be used by someone with an actual clue. 

      • dustpuppydustpuppy says:

        Are you talking about DeLay, Reagan, Bush, *, North, Ryan, Romney, Cheney, McCain, Rove, Boehner, McConnell, and… and… and… I could go on with thousand of Republicans who are nothing but liars and whores for the 1%. What is your interest in being a Republican? That – I REALLY want to know.

        Why are you a Republican? That's what I want to know. What made you a Republican? What do you believe in besides guns, gays and God? Seriously.

  9. dwyer says:

    I think what Head did was awful, and effective.  Is this being reported in Pueblo?  How do Dems get the word out about what happened?

    This is the power of the propaganda machine.  You all may talk among yourselves as no one else is listening.  I think that is sad.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      The Chieftain's not covering Head's admission – no surprise there. The Chieftain has been in the tank for the recall since March 2013. Head has made no public statement, and his facebook page doesn't even mention Monday's hearing anymore.

      Instead, it's all about Victor Head's helping to challenge HB1303- "the failed election law", as they insist on calling it. Apparently, he is hoping that continued challenges to election law will help him against Bo Ortiz. But this is also a strategy for Republicans around the state. They are calling for a two year moratorium on enforcing HB1303.

       On to the next battle.

  10. Craig says:

    The real problem as I have been saying all along is that the Democrats refused to talk about and defend the gun laws they had passed.  They're still doing it as far as I can tell.  Why the hell didn't Giron tell the truth and call this guy a liar?  Because Democratic consultants told Democrats to ignore the gun issue.  As far as I can tell, thats still the common wisdom among Democratic consultants and it will cost the Democrats dearly in 2014.  If you think Dudley Brown is done, you're wrong.  If you think you don't have to answer these "ridiculous" lies, you're wrong.  If you think Dudley Brown won't continue to tell these lies, you're wrong.  He will.  And Democrats have to stand loud and proud in favor of what they've done and they have to answer these lies each and every time they occur and finally, they need to innoculate themselves from the lies because they will come last minute. You need to innoculate by getting out in front an disabusing people of the lies before they come to them in an election eve mailer that you don't have the chance to rebut and that everyone believes is true, because you don't answer.  Do it  or those of you in close districts are going to lose.

  11. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Victor Head also broke Colorado election law:

    1-13-109. False or reckless statements relating to candidates or questions submitted to electors – penalties – definitions.

    (1) (a) No person shall knowingly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue 2013 351 submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office. (b) Any person who violates any provision of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) commits a class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in

    section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S. (2) (a)

    No person shall recklessly make, publish, broadcast, or circulate or cause to be made, published, broadcasted, or circulated in any letter, circular, advertisement, or poster or in any other communication any false statement designed to affect the vote on any issue submitted to the electors at any election or relating to any candidate for election to public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for purposes of this subsection (2), a person acts "recklessly" when he or she acts in conscious disregard of the truth or falsity of the statement made, published, broadcasted, or circulated. (b) Any person who violates any provision of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) commits a class 2 misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in

    section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S. (3) For purposes of this section, "person" means any natural person, partnership, committee, association, corporation, labor organization, political party, or other organization or group of persons, including a group organized under section 527 of the internal revenue code.

    OK, so Head broke the law. Who will charge him? More importantly, perhaps, who will still vote for him to administer election law in Pueblo County?

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