Introducing The First Pointless GOP Grandstand of 2014

Reps. Dan Nordberg and Jared Wright (R).

Reps. Dan Nordberg and Jared Wright (R).

As announced yesterday by your Colorado House Republican minority press office:

Today, House Reps. Dan Nordberg and Jared Wright announced their plans to introduce legislation during the 2014 legislative session to create a tax deduction for Coloradans to offset the federal tax penalty for not purchasing health insurance as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
The Healthcare Liberty Act will provide a state tax deduction for Coloradans, in an amount equal to the federal tax penalty, levied against them for failing to purchase health insurance as mandated by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
“Millions of Americans are learning they will not be able to keep their health insurance under Obamacare even though the President promised they could,” said Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs). “Congress has failed to act and the President has declined to lead, it is time the state legislature step up and help our constituents deal with the surging costs of Obamacare.”

“Many Colorado families are relying on us as their elected representatives to try to mitigate the adverse impacts of Obamacare.  I hope my friends across the aisle will work with us in a bi-partisan manner to provide some relief to the thousands of Colorado families who have been negatively impacted by this law,” said Wright (R-Fruita). “Our bill is an appropriate response to the tax penalty and will help people in Colorado who simply cannot afford this expensive new government health insurance mandate.”

What this legislation would target is the $95 per person penalty that some Americans will pay in 2014 if they don't have health insurance. High income earners who lack insurance may pay a little more, and these penalties are set to increase over the next few years to a maximum of $695 per adult or 2.5% of income (whichever is greater). The penalty for dependent children is half the amount charged adults. There is an additional limit on the tax penalty for failing to purchase health insurance, set at the annual cost of the least expensive plan available from the taxpayer's state's health insurance exchange. Also, if the most affordable available health insurance option amounts to more than 8% of your income, you're exempt from any penalty. The individual mandate is one of the most basic functions of the Affordable Care Act, and it's important that everyone knows how it works.

For many months now, and especially since the troubled rollout of the insurance marketplaces give them fresh ammunition, Republicans at every level have been busily preparing legislative attacks on the Affordable Care Act. You're going to see legislation like this in just about every state house in America next year. We haven't heard if this specific legislation is pre-written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), but it wouldn't surprise us in the least if it were. In some states, legislation to directly undermine the Affordable Care Act of this kind will most likely become law next year–much like the "proud" refusal by many conservative state governments to join the ACA's expansion of Medicaid coverage for the poor.

But in Colorado next month, this spiteful little bill goes directly to the "kill committee." As politically expedient as Republicans may find a stillborn grandstand against "Obamacare," it's also quite risky as the outlook for the insurance marketplaces slowly improves. With the narrative of the insurance exchanges belatedly but inevitably turning positive, this could be a "solution" that debuts after the problem is already solved.

And then, Republicans just look like jerks–who want the health care reform that the voting public still thinks is necessary, and still would rather see repaired than repealed, to fail.

When The Sheriff Won’t Enforce The Law

TUESDAY UPDATE: A reader points us to an appearance last night on The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell by recalled Colorado Senate President John Morse, in which Morse slams Weld County Sheriff John Cooke's stated goal to repeal the post-Columbine Amendment 22 background checks at gun shows:

Would it have made a difference in Morse's very close but successful recall election for the voters to have known that the Republican who replaced him, Bernie Herpin, played a big role in the opposition to Amendment 22–which was approved by 70% of Colorado voters in the 2000 elections? We'll never know, since Democrats decided to avoid engagement on the gun issue wherever possible last summer. We've been clear in our opinion that this was a pivotal mistake. Sources tell us that Morse always agreed with that assessment, and only reluctantly avoided directly confronting Herpin on the issue on insistence from outside consultants.

What we feel very confident about is this: if the public understood what the gun lobby in Colorado really wants, and has persuaded officials like Sheriff Cooke to support, they would be appalled. This gap between public perception and the extreme reality of the gun lobby's agenda is exactly what Democrats need to address going into next year's session. One of 2013's most important lessons for Colorado Democrats is that they can never again leave this issue for opponents to frame. Original post follows.


UPDATE: By request, here's a direct link to Weld County Sheriff John Cooke's Rocky Mountain Gun Owners candidate questionnaire. The positions claimed by Sheriff Cooke in this document are unambiguous: Cooke supports repeal of the post-Columbine law requiring background checks on sales of guns at gun shows, Amendment 22. Cooke even opposes the standard Brady "insta-check" background checks required for all firearms purchases from gun dealers nationwide. In short, Cooke opposes any background checks for gun puchases. These positions put Cooke well outside the mainstream of opinions on this issue based on any polling we've ever seen.

And anyone reading today's New York Times really needs to be aware of this.


Weld County Sheriff John Cooke.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke.

The New York Times' Erica Goode reports:

Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if [Weld County] Sheriff [John] Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.

Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes…

Sheriffs who refuse to enforce gun laws around the country are in the minority, though no statistics exist. In Colorado, though, sheriffs like Joe Pelle of Boulder County, who support the laws and have more liberal constituencies that back them, are outnumbered.

“A lot of sheriffs are claiming the Constitution, saying that they’re not going to enforce this because they personally believe it violates the Second Amendment,” Sheriff Pelle said. “But that stance in and of itself violates the Constitution.” [Pols emphasis]

The backlash against Colorado's new gun safety laws this year has been at least figureheaded by Colorado county sheriffs more or less from the beginning. As we've tried to explain when they are invoked in the debate, elected county sheriff positions in this state have been aggressively targeted by the gun lobby. Many of the most prominent county sheriffs involved in opposition to the gun bills and the subsequent lawsuit owe their jobs to the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

RMGO's position on many gun safety policies is in fact distantly to the right of the public–as are the positions held by Weld County Sheriff John Cooke and many other Colorado sheriffs. Cooke's RMGO candidate questionnaire indicates that he opposes all background checks for gun purchases. Not just checks on "private" transactions, but getting rid of the standard background checks performed on gun sales at stores everywhere today. Sheriff Cooke even favors repeal of Amendment 22, the ballot initiative passed in the aftermath of the shooting at Columbine High School to require background checks for gun show sales. It's key that this point not get lost: this is a law that passed with the support of over 70% of voters.


Andy Kerr Replaces Hudak As Senate Ed Chair

Sen. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood).

Sen. Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood).

As reported by FOX 31's Eli Stokols Sunday evening:

Senate Democrats are set to announce Monday that Sen. Andy Kerr will replace former Sen. Evie Hudak, who resigned her seat last month to avoid a recall election and preserve her party’s one-seat majority in the chamber, as the chairman of the Senate Education Committee…

Kerr was chosen over Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, a former teacher and principal who also sits on the committee.

Johnston will continue to serve as chair of the Senate Finance Committee, a post he’d have had to give up to head the education committee.

A higher profile for Kerr will be good for Democrats generally, and for Kerr's own competitive re-election bid next year.

Stokols briefly discusses the background of Sen. Mike Johnston's education reform efforts, like Johnston's role in passing the controversial 2010 Senate Bill 191 "teacher accountability" legislation, as well as this year's defeated Amendment 66. Stokols traffics a bit more than we would in unsourced rumors from a conservative blog to raise the possibility that Sen. Andy Kerr was a contentious pick over Sen. Johnston (we haven't ourselves heard that). That said, we tend to agree that for the purposes of unifying Democrats after a tough 2013, Kerr is probably the better choice to lead the Education Committee.

Evie Hudak Honored By MSNBC’s Alex Wagner: “A True Champ”

A segment from Wednesday night's NOW With Alex Wagner show on MSNBC we wanted to make sure got a mention. We hope that recently resigned Colorado Sen. Evie Hudak of Arvada has had a chance to watch this. Vital perspective on what happened this year, both to Sen. Hudak, and in Colorado politics generally:

The day before Thanksgiving, faced with yet another recall that could have handed the state’s gun laws to Republicans, Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak resigned from her seat. By resigning, Hudak ensured that the states’ gun safety measures that she championed will be allowed to stand.

Common-sense gun safety is making Colorado better

This year, Colorado passed important, common-sense gun safety laws to reduce gun violence–without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Just yesterday, the Colorado Department of Public Safety released new information showing that these laws are working: in just the first few months, the new law requiring criminal background checks for most transfers of guns in Colorado has stopped dozens of criminals from illegally obtaining guns. And every bit as important, thousands of law-abiding citizens are continuing to buy and sell guns with minimal inconvenience. Despite all the dire predictions from the extreme right, common-sense gun safety in Colorado is a success.

Click here to send a message to our Colorado legislators, thanking them for standing strong in the face of vicious personal attacks to protect our communities from gun violence.

According to the Department of Public Safety, between July and the end of November of this year, 4,792 background checks were conducted on prospective private gun buyers. Of those 4,792 background checks, 72 sales of guns were were blocked due to a criminal record or restraining order in effect. The remainder of background checks, over 98%, were completed successfully and the transfer of the firearm went forward. [1]

The smear and retaliation campaign by the extreme right against progressive legislators who backed this year’s gun safety reforms has taken a terrible toll. But they were right to not give up. Now we can see the reforms they fought for are working–preventing guns from being sold to people who shouldn’t have them–while allowing law-abiding citizens to go about their business. Common-sense gun safety in Colorado is making our state better.

Take a moment right now to thank progressive Colorado legislators for doing the right thing in the face of tremendous pressure. We’ll deliver your names and comments to legislators and the press.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “what you don't do can be a destructive force.” In response to the tragedies of 2012 in Aurora and in Newtown, Colorado legislators took necessary action. They need to know that the people of Colorado stand with them, and can see through the lies now that the new laws are proving effective. Thank them for their perseverance, and then forward this message to your friends and neighbors.

More Data Shows Universal Background Checks Are Working


A press release a short while ago from the Colorado House Majority Press Office:

Dozens of criminals have been prevented from buying a gun under a 2013 law that closed the loophole that allowed private sales of firearms to proceed without a background check on the buyer, official statistics show. 

Stats released by the state Department of Public Safety at the request of lawmakers show that from the time the background check law went into effect in July through the end of November, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation performed nearly 4,800 background checks on private sales in the state. 

After those 4,792 background checks, 72 sales were blocked because the would-be buyer was convicted of or charged with a serious crime, or was under a domestic restraining order. The crimes include homicide, sexual assault, assault, dangerous drugs and larceny/theft. The other 98 percent of the sales were to law-abiding citizens and went through without a hitch. 

The data also show an upward trend in the number of private-sale background checks in the first five months the law has been in effect. 

“Dozens of criminals would be walking around with a gun right now if not for the new law,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora), who sponsored the background checks law with Rep. Beth McCann (D-Denver) and Senate President-designate Morgan Carroll (D-Aurora). “Our intention was to make our communities safer and make it harder for criminals to get guns. We now have five months of data that prove that the law is working.”

The data supplied by the Colorado Department of Public Safety shows a steady increase each month in the number of background checks conducted for a private sale or transfer of a gun as mandated by this year's House Bill 1229. Just over 550 checks for private sales were conducted in July, increasing to a total of 1,327 last month. The denial rate, with the exception of a small uptick in September, has held steady at just under 2% of transactions being rejected due to a disqualifying criminal record.

Those two percent of denied purchases were due to a number of reasons we'd consider very tough to argue with: four with restraining orders, a dozen people who had committed assault, five who committed burglary, and at least one rejected for a homicide conviction.

When the very earliest figures were released showing the first month of background checks had stopped ten criminals from purchasing guns in private sales, Republicans like Sen. Kevin Lundberg claimed that the number of denials was "not persuasive at all" that the law was working. We were reminded then of a 2012 bill from Rep. Mark Waller, now a candidate for Attorney General, to eliminate "redundant" state background checks by the CBI entirely. CBI checks became the law after a Castle Rock man bought a gun in a purchase that state checks would have prevented due to a restraining order, and then killed his children. Waller argued that this "one act" is the reason why have those "redundant" state checks.

Well, as of today, House Bill 1229 has prevented six dozen guns from ending up in the wrong hands. Every month there will be more such denials, even as 98%+ of the lawful gun buying public has no problems. Is preventing some quantifiable number of guns from being sold, to people nearly everyone agrees shouldn't have a gun, worth a few minutes of time and a few bucks from law-abiding citizens?

Folks, excluding a few shrieking lunatics and the elected officials goading them on, this is a no-brainer.

SD-19 Vacancy Committee Discussion Thread

UPDATE #3: More statements via the Colorado Senate Majority Office:

“Congratulations to Rachel Zenzinger!  Despite recent challenges, we are united toward building a stronger Colorado in a bipartisan way,” said Pres. Pro Tempore Lucia Guzman. 

“We are pleased to welcome Rachel Zenzinger to the Colorado Senate.  Rachel will diligently serve a diverse district on the issues that are most important to the district.  I have the utmost confidence that she will be fair, collaborative, and deliberate when representing the people of her community,” said Pres.-elect Morgan Carroll. 

Incoming Sen. Rachel Zenzinger:

“I thank the members of the vacancy committee for the effort they invested in this difficult process to select a successor to Sen. Evie Hudak, and I look forward to justifying their faith in me.  Thank you to all my supporters who gave me so much encouragement during the last two weeks, and thanks especially to Sara Gagliardi for giving the vacancy committee such a strong option.  Now we have to move forward, and I am eager to get to work on the tough issues facing our state, including economic development, job creation, education, transportation and healthcare.”

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi, who lost the vacancy election by a respectable 39-27 margin:

“I want to thank my friends, family and others who have supported me in the past two weeks.  While I am disappointed not to return to the State Legislature where I have served Colorado, I have confidence in tonight's choice, Rachel Zenzinger, and I will continue my work in healthcare and on the labor front!”


UPDATE #2: Statement from Colorado Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio:

“I am proud to have Rachel Zenzinger serve as the next State Senator for District 19,” Palacio said.
 “Rachel Zenzinger has a history of being a pragmatic leader who works across party lines to get things done for her community, and I’m confident that she will represent the people of Westminster and Arvada well,”
 “In addition, I’m hopeful that Colorado’s Republicans will put partisanship aside, and commit to working with Rachel Zenzinger and our Democratic majority to tackle the issues important to Colorado families and small businesses.”


UPDATE: Arvada City Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger wins on the first ballot.


Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Arvada Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger, SD-19 candidates.

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Arvada Councilwoman Rachel Zenzinger, SD-19 candidates.

FOX 31's Eli Stokols, tonight's the night:

A group of 73 Democratic activists will vote Tuesday night on a successor for former Sen. Evie Hudak, who resigned last month in order to avoid a potential recall election and to keep the seat — and the state Senate itself — in Democratic control through November.

The panel will choose between two candidates: former state Rep. Sara Gagliardi and Rachel Zenzinger, a member of the Arvada City Council.

The choice for Democrats on the vacancy committee is somewhat similar to those Republicans have faced in so many recent primary fights: a question of one candidate who appeals more to the party’s base and another who may have more appeal come general election time.

We'll update this evening with results and more. Stay tuned.

State Republicans try to edit out internal dissent

(Do tell! – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Do you remember this headline from The Denver Post Spot blog back in September?

"Upset Republicans propose chicken protest at Colorado GOP meeting Saturday"

It referred to an idea hatched by a group of Republicans to bring boxed chicken to a GOP gathering as a protest against State GOP Chair Ryan Call, who joined Democrats in criticizing a Republican legislator for talking about the "chicken" eating habits of the "black race."

The protest never happened, but Ryan Call was so upset that the idea for such a protest would land in the hands of The Denver Post that he angrily passed out copies of The Post story at the Sept. meeting of the Republican Party's Executive Committee and announced that he never wanted to see another article like it again.

During an hour-and-24-minute discussion about the chicken protest, Call reprimanded CO GOP Secretary Lana Fore-Warkocz, who was accused, over her objections, of leaking the chicken-protest story to The Post. Never undermine the Republican Party again, she was told.

That is, according to the unedited, unofficial meeting minutes, written by Fore-Warkocz in her capacity as party secretary, and given to me by credible sources.


Gessler confirms Democrats will retain Hudak seat at least through next general election

Speaking on KOA’s Mike Rosen Show Wed., Secretary of State Scott Gessler said that Colorado Democrats will hold State Sen. Evie Hudak’s seat at least until the next general election in Nov. 2014.

Rosen: So, all things being equal, the Democrats will retain their 18-17 majority in the State Senate through the 2014 session….

Gessler: “That’s correct. Unless someone wants to recall another state senator. But not that I’m advocating for that at the moment. But yeah, currently, that’s the way things are going to work out.  And the Democrats will retain their 18-17 majority. They will cling to it.”

Gessler’s comments, which were not reported by real journalists, are important because recall organizers pledged last week to forge on with signature gathering, hoping that somehow, some way, their efforts would lead to a recall election in Hudak’s Westminster district. Gessler’s comments appear to officially close the door on the Hudak recall campaign.

Who Will Replace Hudak in State Senate?

FRIDAY UPDATE: Kurtis Lee of the Denver Post reports that Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp will not seek appointment to the SD-19 seat vacated by Sen. Evie Hudak. Rep. Kraft-Tharpe reportedly endorses former Rep. Sara Gagliardi.


Democrat Evie Hudak's resignation from the State Senate on Wednesday effectively ended the attempted recall in SD-19, but it still leaves Democrats with a significant election battle in 2014.

Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp

Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp

Hudak was re-elected to the State Senate in 2012 by a slim margin over Republican Lang Sias, which meant Democrats wouldn't need to think about the seat again until 2016. With Hudak's resignation on Wednesday, Democrats don't have to worry that a recall election might swing control of the Senate into Republican hands for the 2014 session, but they still have to think about maintaining a majority into 2015. Democrats will fill Hudak's seat through a vacancy committee, but whoever wins the appointment will have to run for a full term next year.

Democrats have represented SD-19 for the last decade, with Sue Windels serving two terms prior to Hudak's 2008 victory, but the district has not been an easy seat to hold. With the 2014 election right around the corner, Democrats have a critical decision to make when the vacancy committee convenes.

Sara Gagliardi

Former Rep. Sara Gagliardi

There is certainly time for other candidates to emerge, but as of now, it looks like a potential three-way race among Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp, former Rep. Sara Gagliardi, and Arvada City Council member (and a former campaign manager for Hudak in 2012) Rachel Zenzinger.

All three candidates will have their share of supporters, all three have strong credentials, and all three can make a good case for why they should get the appointment. But from a purely strategic perspective — we're not going to get into any potential policy arguments here — one makes more sense than the other two. Here's why:


Several Republicans Could be Top Recall Targets

Supporters of a recall of Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak have just a few more days (Dec. 1) to finish gathering petition signatures in hopes of getting a recall measure placed in the ballot in Arvada. But if you thought that might be the end of the recall season…think again.

Sen. Bill Cadman

Can Sen. Bill Cadman (R) survive until 2016?

As we noted earlier, Republican Sen. Vicki Marble is apparently hearing rumors about a potential recall attempt in her district. Sen. Marble's district is among those with the largest number of signatures required to trigger a recall (19,550), which is based on the total number of votes cast in the last state senate race. For comparison's sake, Sen. Hudak's district also has a high signature threshold, with 18,962 signatures required.

Democrats have decried the recall process as a subversion of Democracy and an abuse of the intent of the process. Recalls are supposed to be about clear malfeasance — they were never meant to be implemented by an interest group that doesn't like one or two specific votes. It's not just a clever line to say that we already have a recall process every two years.

Yet as much as Democrats may be disgusted by the recall efforts, there is a growing sentiment that they can no longer afford to take the high ground if control of the Senate is in danger of being flipped. Recalls are a difficult process — there's a reason that the Sept. 10 recalls were the first in state history — but the campaigns against Democratic Senator John Morse and Angela Giron were made somewhat easier by lower signature requirements: just 7,178 in Morse's SD-11, and 11,285 in Giron's SD-3.

There are several Republican Senators, however, who are more than vulnerable to a potential recall. Some could be particularly interesting, such as the case of Sen. Owen Hill; it would be curious to see a recall effort take place against Hill while he tries to simultaneously win the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate

Here at Colorado Pols, we'd rather see the whole recall nonsense come to an end altogether; as we said earlier, this is not how a recall is supposed to be implemented. But if Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the Tea Party, and other angry right-wingers insist on promoting recalls, Democrats probably can't sit on the sidelines any longer.

Take a look after the jump to see the signature requirements to trigger a recall in Senate districts held by Republicans:


Leroy Garcia to Run for Senate District 3

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Representative Leroy Garcia, currently a representative in District 46 of Pueblo County, has announced that he will run for election to Senate District 3 in 2014. Senator Angela Giron was recalled from that office September 10, 2013, and has let her close associates know that she is not running for the SD3 seat in 2014.

Representative Garcia's voting record is mostly very progressive: for in state tuition for undocumented immigrants, for driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, for civil unions, for sales taxes and regulating the marijuana industry, and many other key bills.  There isn't much daylight between Garcia and Giron on any of the above issues. Then we get to the gun laws, and Garcia looks much closer to the current occupant of the SD3 seat, George Rivera. Rivera has vowed that repealing all of the gun legislation will be a top priority for him in 2014.

Garcia voted for background checks, (HB1229) but against the buyer having to pay for the check. (HB1228)  He also voted against limiting magazine capacity (HB1224), and against prohibiting concealed carry on campuses (HB1226). He voted yes on SB197, prohibiting domestic violence offenders from having guns, and for various other bills limiting access to firearms.


Peter Boyles Critiques Local Coverage of the Hudak Recall Effort, as Only Peter Boyles Can

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

In the heated battle and drama surrounding the efforts to recall Colorado State Senator Evie Hudak, accusations of malfeasance and misrepesentation have been thrown back and forth, a gubernatorial candidate has proffered obscene gestures, and local news outlets have entered the fray to parse out the truth and report on the contentious issues raised by the two sides.

Never the wallflower, KNUS 710AM radio talk show host, Peter Boyles, has become the media point man for the Recall organization, hosting the organizers Mike McAlpine and Laura Waters in daily appearances for updates and rallying cries. As you might guess, the tone of the show these days is combative and loud.

When KDVR Fox 31's reporter Eli Stokols and KCNC CBS4 Denver's Shaun Boyd ventured into Arvada and Westminster to report on the Recall and efforts to thwart it, they were not spared from Mr. Boyles cutting criticism and confrontation.


Recall is Radical, Angry, Pointless

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

by Dave Chandler

Anger and vengeance.

“She has infringed upon our constitutional right to keep and bear arms” says the angry diatribe of the petition statement for recalling Evie Hudak, state senator from the 19th district.

But here’s the deal, background checks for purchase of firearms are constitutional (DC v. Heller) and limitations on magazine capacity are arguably constitutional under the same Supreme Court ruling. It is, therefore, an assertion — and nothing more — that a vote in the state senate “has infringed” on anyone’s right to “keep and bear arms.”

What the recall attempt by gun radicals is really about is anger and political retribution, and to accomplish those ends the recallers are willing to throw into the trash the very principles of the U.S. Constitution they claim to venerate.


“Standing with Evie”: Supporter Pics and Updates

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

These friends of mine are Jefferson County patriots, standing up for the democratic process, and for an effective state legislator, Senator Evie Hudak. Hudak is being threatened with a recall election, and recallhudaktoo is gathering signatures for this effort. They'll need 18,400 valid signatures by December 3 in order to force an expensive recall election. On the Peter Boyles show,  recall organizers said that they had around half of the signatures they needed as of  November 8.