Colorado Republicans who used unprecedented tactics to prevent the legalization of civil unions are to have a fight on their hands this November if the new group Fight Back Colorado gets its way.
Fight Back Colorado bills itself as an independent expenditure committee that is nonpartisan and is reacting solely to the way in which the Republican leadership in the Colorado House worked to prevent a civil unions bill, that had bipartisan support, from coming to the floor.
Says Executive Director Brad Clark in an email:
This independent expenditure committee is designed to hold anti-equality legislators accountable for their actions. This will be a deliberate and strategic campaign, targeting resources to defeat state legislators who killed civil unions in Colorado. Once we replace enough anti-equality representatives with pro-equality representatives, we will close up shop.
Simple as that. This is in fact a strategy that was successfully used in New York to replace stridently anti-marriage equality senators. This, in 2011, led to several Republicans joining Democratic legislators to legalize marriage equality in the state, legislation that in June had its first anniversary.
Fight Back Colorado has yet to make clear which legislators it plans to campaign against, and it has made it known that it will likely not have the funds to target every single legislator that was opposed to the civil unions legislation.
Based on the events that led to the civil unions bill being killed, we can make some educated guesses on likely targets.
A chief candidate surely must be Republican House Speaker Frank McNulty who deliberately ran down the clock by having lawmakers discuss other bills in excruciating detail so that the civil unions bill would not make it onto the floor on the final day of the session.
When Democratic lawmakers refused to keep playing that game, McNulty simply ended that night’s scheduling, killing almost 30 bills in the process.
When a special session was called, the Republican leadership sent the bill to a committee where all Republicans were against the measure, and so the bill was killed. Had it reached the House floor there were more than enough votes to pass the bill.
Here’s a video from Fight Back Colorado talking about its aims:
To learn more about Fight Back Colorado, please click here.
A recent poll found 75% of Colorado voters support recognizing gay couples with marriage (47%) or civil unions (28%). Only 22% said there should be no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.
Image taken from YouTube video, no infringement intended.