Politics & Guns, Laura Carno, July 22, 2013

Station:     http://politicsandguns.com/episode-145-political-round-table/

Show:        Politics and Guns

Guests:     Carno, Laura

Link:         http://politicsandguns.com/episode-145-political-round-table/

Date:         July 22, 2013

Topics:    Senator John Morse, Recall election, I Am Created Equal, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Second Amendment, Ignoring Constituents, Rachel Maddow Show, Committee Hearings, Denver, Sheriffs’ Lawsuit, John Cooke, Maketa, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Kelly Maher, Revealing Politics, Campaign Finance Laws, Contribution Limits, Angela Giron, Diana DeGette, Magazine Capacity Limit, Self-Defense

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FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF 501(c)(4) I AM CREATED EQUAL LARUA CARNO:  It’s just another stall tactic, just another place for them to be able to say –our District Attorney in this case is a Republican —  for them to be able to say, “Here’s, again, another Republican who didn’t pursue this,” and that sort of thing.  So, that’s where we are, but there is a –there’s one Republican candidate that’s on the ballot to replace Senator Morse and one who’s on the ballot to replace Angela Giron.  And in the case of Senator Morse’s race, there were a couple of people interested.  The Republican party did sort of a mini, internal primary, just with the district leadership, so that there would only be one person on the ballot.  So, that’s all going forward, and we’re excited that those voters get to have their day at the ballot box.  They’ve certainly earned it.

HOST:  Absolutely.  Now, if – I was reading earlier, and I don’t know if this is true or not, because it was in a forum post, but I was reading – somebody was saying that Senator Morse was going to be term-limited anyway, that this was going to be his last year as a Senator.  Is that right?

CARNO:  Yes.  That’s correct.  And that’s one of the common questions that the recall committee got when they launched this, “Why don’t you just let him finish out his term?”  So, there are a couple answers to that.  One is, he didn’t get everything he wanted in the last legislative session.  And just as a reminder to your listeners, Senator Morse was a very moderate Democrat.  You wouldn’t have been able to guess from his legislative agenda from the previous terms that he’d been in there — you wouldn’t have been able to guess that he was a Democrat.  He is former law enforcement.  He had some good pro-police bills,   pro-military bills.  He even sponsored in 2007 a reciprocity bill for Conceal /Carry holders for Colorado – a very pro-gun bill.

HOST:  Mm-hmm.

CARNO:  This spring, when New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg started spending his money in Colorado, Senator Morse changed.  And so, it’s a little bit bigger picture than just the gun laws.  He changed when his constituents said – and by the way, not just Republicans, Indepependents and Democrats as well, when they said, “Hey, Senator, we don’t like how you’ve changed,”  He just ignored them.  And that’s what threw them over the edge.  You have to listen to your constituents, and we need to be represented by somebody who actually represents our views.  So, there’s that piece of it – that he’s just not done yet with everything he wanted to do.  And the second piece is, is that we want this to also be a message to the pro-gun legislators across the country, many of them Democrats, who are currently being attacked by Bloomberg’s money, and thrown into primary challenges and different things like that, based on them standing up for our Second Amendment rights.  And we want to be able to send that message across the country, that you need to represent your constituents.  So, those are the two reasons that it’s not okay to let him just finish his term.

HOST:  Okay.  Very Cool […] Is there any other delaying that can be done, or is this pretty much set in stone?

CARNO:  Uh, it is set in stone.  I’m not an attorney, but attorneys tell me it is set in stone.  And I think the filing on Sunday evening — or the release of a press release, I should say– saying that they’re going to go after signature gatherers criminally, that’s not something that would delay the election.  They’re just trying to get more press for their side.

HOST #1Okay.

HOST #2:  Hey, Paul, can I toss in some comments?

HOST #1:  Sure.

HOST #2:  […]  And Morse told other legislators, “Well, for things like this, you need to ignore your Constituents.”  Holy Cow! Talk about an imperial legislature.

HOST #1:  Oh yeah—

CARNO:  You’re exactly right.  And that was one of the straws that broke the camel’s back.  Not only did he tell publicly – he said that on national cable news, that that’s what he was telling his senators, was to ignore that feedback, but when there were over 10,000 people at the state legislature to testify against these bills, he orchestrated it so that seven bills went through two committees in one day, and almost nobody got to speak their mind.  So, cutting off public process is not okay with the citizens of his district.

HOST:  […] I’m glad Colorado didn’t lay down.

CARNO:  Colorado didn’t lay down.  And on a slightly more amusing note, there’s a small town in Colorado that is considering issuing licenses for citizens to shoot down drones.

HOST:  Oh, I love that!

HOST:  I saw that [inaudible].

CARNO:  So they’re getting some flak from the feds and – on the internet story, but it’s just amusing.  […] Well, and the other legal thing going on in Colorado right now, is 55 out of the 64 county sheriffs are enjoined in a lawsuit to overturn these laws, saying that they’re unconstitutional and unenforceable.  And when you add up 55 out of 64, there are Democrats in there.  This is not a Republican vs. Democrat argument.  This is the peoples’ right to chose their own form of self defense versus the government telling them what they must or must not do.

HOSTS:  […][commentary by hosts about Democrats fighting against photo ID laws for voting, and how fraud allegations would be tough to prove]


CARNO:  Right.  And these fraud allegations are in the petition gathering process.  They’re claiming that petition gatherers misrepresented things, you know, why the recall was happening.  And, you know, what’s interesting about that, is that the recall committee, and those of us on the phone, are as interested in not having fraud as anyone.  And so, if they can absolutely prove fraud, we’re interested in that, too.  But they can’t. So, it’s just another stall tactic.  It’s just another political ploy to try and paint the recall supporters as – you know, not just as people concerned about the quality of their government, but as people who will do anything to get their way.  And that’s just not accurate.

HOST:  Sure.  […]  [discussion between hosts about voter ID laws and if it’s possible to implement so that it’s not just another poll tax.]


CARNO:   You know, and the other thing it brought to mind, the other day a friend of mine got a fishing license for himself and his son.  They were going to go up to the mountains and go fishing.  And he had to provide a drivers’ license and second form of ID to get his fishing license.


CARNO:  And I don’t hear cries of people saying, “I’m being disenfranchised from being able to get a fishing license!”  And—

[facetiously] It’s obviously racist!

CARNO:  [facetiously] Obviously.  And you say, you know, you look at whenever there’s a problem with a law, can we look at the one or two instances where there might be an issue of disenfranchisement, see if an executive in that area can make a smart decision on who – on if the person is who they say they are even if they don’t have ID, rather than making the entire system so open to fraud?  So, I think that the disenfranchisement argument does not hold water, and it’s just a way to make sure there is fraud in the system.  So, I’m in complete agreement with you, Paul.



CARNO:   You know, I think the other thing is the way that we speak about the firearms issue, the self-defense issue.  And you all know this, we’re in the gun world— I know that we’ve all been in it for decades. We speak to one another about the Second Amendment with particular words. We talk about the Constitution’s Second Amendment, what we think its original purpose was, and all of that kind of thing.  But, we have to come to the conclusion that most people don’t care about it- in the same way, with the words, as we care about it.  But people sure do care about the government not butting in and telling them what to do.  They sure care about women being able to protect themselves, and people in inner cities being able to protect themselves.  So, to the extent that we can speak about our issues in ways that are relevant to people who don’t like politics as much as we do, and don’t follow the gun issue like we do, the better the chance the standard, traditional media is going to cover it because then it sounds relevant to their viewing audience, if that makes sense.

HOST:  Mm-hmm.  Mm-hmm.

HOST:  Oh, absolutely.

[commercial break]


CARNO:  Absolutely.  I mean, that’s our hope is that the stands that we’re taking in Colorado spreads to other parts of the country and, you know, emboldens people who may not have felt comfortable sticking up for themselves and their rights in states like New Jersey and California, where it’s slightly less popular to be pro-gun.

HOST:  Right.  Sure.

HOST:  [plea for California voters to contact their governor and legislators]

HOST:  [discussion of social media in getting the message out to voters and in growing the audience of Politics & Guns]

[@ 51:52]

CARNO:  Well, I think that’s the benefit of tools like Facebook and Twitter, that if you have good content like Rob was talking about with Jame O’Keefe, some of his videos that go viral, those are the places it goes viral.  So, for very little money, you know James O’Keefe needed to put a cast on his arm and do some things that cost a little money, but he was able to show how poorly in Eric Holder’s voting area, that the voter ID laws worked.   So, and that can be shared on Facebook and retweeted on Twitter and go everywhere in the country and worldwide very, very quickly.  So, I’m a big fan of social media to do that , whether it’s your podcast, or my YouTube, or Rob’s blogs.  Any of those things can be amplified significantly with social media.

[host asks Carno about Diana DeGette quote saying, “Don’t worry about being able to defend yourself, the police will come, but you’ll probably be dead by the time they get there.”  I mean, somebody captured that. That’s been all over YouTube.  […]

CARNO:  Right.  And we have a gal here in Colorado named Kelly Maher and she has a company called Revealing Politics.com, and I believe that that was one of her videos.  But she goes to public events like that, and public meetings, and just takes video.  And you definitely end up with some great little gems like that.  And Diana DeGette also famously–, and I believe it was in that same meeting, said that when – we don’t have to worry about having too many magazines or too much ammunition because once they’re gone, they’re gone.  And it was almost like she thought that the magazine, once the ammo was out of the magazine, that it was no longer useable.  So, it just showed how little she knew about firearms.  But you’re right.  You know, people having cameras in these sorts of places gives us these gems that make such wonderful fodder for these social media venues.

[discussion about places that ban cell phones with video recording capabilities, especially in legal, judicial, or criminal justice contexts.]


CARNO:  You know, I’m a big fan of “First Amendment means all of the pieces of the First Amendment” and if a government employee in the form of a police officer is respecting the rights of the citizens, and he’s being recorded, that’s fine.  And I’ve seen some, actually, fabulous videos on YouTube of police officers who are handling Conceal/Carry holders in the exact way that they should be. And, you know, part of it is, “Okay, well, can the cops really do their jobs if there are these cameras?”  But I think that it’s far outweighed by the benefits of making sure that our government officials, in the form of, you know, whatever form they’re in, and in this case, police officers, — are doing their jobs.

[commentary about the legal aspects and political aspects of pressuring and holding elected officials accountable so that they are responsive to electors and act responsibly.]

CARNO:  Right, and you know, I try to think of it in terms of places other than Colorado.  Because in Colorado we have 55 of 64 sheriffs who are supporting law-abiding gun owners.  And I forget that just up the road in Denver if you are under the jurisdiction of Denver Police Department, that police chief isn’t as pro-gun as we are, from a standpoint of us, normal, ordinary citizens owning firearms.  And so, — and I think that’s why I like to look at it from the standpoint of protecting our rights, and if it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable for law enforcement to have a camera there, I’m sorry about that.

[wrapping up the segment, hosts ask Laura to provide information for listeners to get involved and contribute.]


CARNO:  Okay, great.  So, we have –there are two campaigns going on.  I am not affiliated with either of them.  Um, the one in Colorado Springs, is Bernie Herpin – is the Republican running.  He’s retired Navy and I served with him on the Board of Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition.  He’s a great guy.  And he can be found at bernieherpin.com.  And then, in Pueblo, the candidate there is George Rivera.  And, looking right now, I’m not seeing George’s website right off.  But folks can Google it and find him, it’s George Rivera.  Here’s the interesting thing from a financial standpoint, and I’ll be brief.  People defending against a recall can raise unlimited amounts of money because it’s an issue committee.  People running for office are bound by our campaign finance laws, and they can only raise $200. So, while Morse and Giron can get however much from Bloomberg, these guys are limited to $200 a person.  So, if all of your listeners can send these guys something, it would be very, very helpful.


CARNO:  Yeah, it’s technically, in a normal situation, $400 which would be $200 for primary and $200 general.  But since this is just one election, it’s just $200.  So, it’s – I don’t like our campaign finance laws here in Colorado, obviously.

[host recaps the ‘assymetric’ nature of limits on fundraising in this election]

CARNO:  Correct, and it’s — the technicality lies in the fact that there are two ballot questions.  One:  “Should the Senator be recalled?”  And then two:  “Should he be replaced with this person or this person?”  Now, for example, George and Bernie and if they have Democrat opponents, those people will be equally bound by the $200 limit.  But the people being recalled, since theirs is an issue committee, they won’t be bound by contribution limits.

HOST:  Wow.  Wow.

CARNO:  Yeah.

HOST:  That fact should definitely be spread far and wide

CARNO:  Yep.  We are definitely talking about that!

[clarification that contribution limits are ‘per person’ or ‘per contributor’]

CARNO:  Exactly.  And now, other side organizations can raise larger amounts of money and spend larger amounts of money, so you know, and I’m talking to donors right now to see if we can raise some larger amounts of money to educate folks on the records of these two senators.  So we’ll see how that goes.

[directions to Carno’s website, Twitter accounts and Facebook page.]