UPDATE: Readers remind us of Twila Sue Peach, a two-years deceased voter who "signed" a Kennedy Enterprises petition, and other related allegations made during the recall of John Morse this past summer:
The Denver Post's Kurtis Lee buries the lede yet again–paragraph fifteen of today's story on the "grassroots" recall attempt underway against Sen. Evie Hudak of Arvada, which if successful would flip the Colorado Senate to Republicans:
[Recall organizer Mike] McAlpine said through small donations they are now paying only "two young" volunteers and hopes to gather 25,000 signatures.
But sources close to the recalls confirmed Tuesday that McAlpine is using Colorado Springs-based Kennedy Enterprises, [Pols emphasis] the firm that paid volunteers to gather signatures in the Morse recall. Kennedy has in the past received flak for not requiring background checks of employees.
Petition-gathering company Kennedy Enterprises is generally known for two things: a reputed 100% success rate in getting questions on the ballot via paid-per-signature petition drives, and controversy over the hiring of unscreened paid petition gatherers who potentially pose a risk to signers who give them their personal information. This isn't just a scare tactic from recall opponents: in 2008, Kennedy Enterprises conducted the petition drive for Amendment 47, that year's "right-to-work" anti-union ballot initiative. During that petition campaign, 9NEWS "found signature gatherers convicted of sexual assault on a child, theft, harassment, trespassing and drug possession" working for Kennedy Enterprises.
Kennedy Enterprises' lucrative pay scale for signatures, despite a nasty expose on KOAA-TV about the company's record, was instrumental in getting the recall of John Morse on the ballot in Senate District 11. Given the considerably higher number of signatures needed to initiate a recall election in Senate District 19, what we're talking about here could be the professional edge this "grassroots" recall effort needs to avoid embarrassment in early December. The fact is, given the constitutional loophole that prevents the delivery of mail ballots only in recall elections, and all the other attendant advantages of picking off swing legislators one by one in oddly-timed special elections, there's no reason to believe that this is going to stop. With a bankrolled effort to recall Sen. Hudak, we are now fully engulfed in an endless recall-driven free-for-all.
That is until, despite all the circumstantial leverage, they lose.