10/05/2013

New recall effort in Colorado against State Senator Evie Hudak, control of Colorado state senate hangs in the balance



A new recall effort in Colorado has just started against Democratic State Senator Evie Hudak.  They have just over 8 weeks to get the necessary signatures, but the people behind this effort are the same ones who spearheaded the two successful recent recalls in Colorado.  


Compared to the other two state Senators who were recalled, this district is not overwhelmingly Democratic, but actually pretty balanced.

SD19 - Hudak (D) - 48%-45% (48%-46%) Unfortunately this district changed little, Democrats tried a couple different ways to shore up Evie Hudak, but Carrera was having none of it, it remains Westminster/Arvada and a pure tossup seat for an incumbent who barely won in 2008, not ideal to say the least. . . .
By contrast: 
SD3 - Giron (D) - 56%-39% (56%-39%)  Same as before, Pueblo and Pueblo West, 44% Hispanic, safe Democratic. . . .
SD11 - Morse (D) - 52%-41% (50%-42%) The Democratic stronghold in El Paso County, this district takes in almost every Democratic precinct there is.  The Commission's local Republican member Bob Loevy agreed that Dems deserve one seat, and this is it! . . .
In case you don't remember, Senator Evie Hudak was the one who reprimanded Amanda Collins during her testimony before the Colorado state legislature (see about 2:18 into the video).  From Investors Business Daily:
. . . Collins was raped at gunpoint in a University of Nevada-Reno parking garage in October 2007. Nevada law prohibited her from carrying a gun on the campus, but her attacker had one. She was raped 50 feet away from the campus police department office. Her attacker was James Biela, a serial rapist who raped two other women and murdered another. 
He attacked her at gunpoint in a gun-free zone. At the time of the attack, Collins had a concealed weapons permit but not her firearm due to university policies prohibiting carrying concealed weapons on campus. Just such a gun-free zone policy is why the Aurora, Colo., shooter chose the theater he did. 
As she ended her compelling testimony, she asked the committee, "How does rendering me defenseless protect you against a violent crime?" 
In response, Democrat Sen. Evie Hudak lectured her that "statistics are not on your side." She said that Collins had rudimentary training in martial arts, yet the rapist overpowered her and therefore could have taken her gun if she had one. . . . 
Collins told the condescending Hudak, "I know without a doubt in my mind, at some point, I would have been able to stop my attack by using my firearm. He already had a weapon of his own; he didn't need mine." 
Salazar had pompously responded to Collins' story and advocacy of armed defense by saying, "It's why we have call boxes; it's why we have safe zones; it's why we have the whistles; because you just don't know who you're gonna be shooting at." 
Women, Salazar opined, "couldn't possibly know if they are in danger. And you don't know if you feel like you're gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone's been following you around or if you feel like you're in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop ... pop around at somebody." . . . .
From the Denver Post:
In her Tuesday statement, Hudak said: "Amanda was reflecting on her experience and asked the committee if having a gun would have made her safer. I realize now it was a rhetorical question. Amid this emotional testimony, my goal was to share research data about the increased danger of having a gun in an assault." 
Collins on Tuesday said Hudak's comments were shocking and disturbed her deeply.
"I had a hard time falling asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about what she said to me," Collins said. 
After the hearing, Hudak apologized to Collins, but Collins questions the senator's motive for doing so. 
"I don't know how genuine it really was," Collins said. . . . 
BTW, Hudak's statistical claim is completely wrong.
"I just want to say that, actually statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun," Hudak said during the hearing. "And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you." . . .
The National Crime Victimization Survey clearly shows that having a gun is the safest course of action for victims confronted by a criminal and that is particularly true for women and those who are weaker physically.  The claim people will have their guns used against them is usually based on a misreading of police data.  It is often pointed out that up to 13% of officers who are killed are killed with their own gun (it is also as low as zero percent).  There are a couple problems with that: 1) The right comparison isn't the percent of officers who are killed who are killed with their own gun. The comparison should be the percent of officers who are assaulted who are killed with their own guns.  Take the numbers for 2009.  Out of 57,268 officers who were assaulted, one was killed with his own gun.  If you look at assaults with injuries, it is still just one out of 14,985 assaults.  2) Police have a much more difficult job than civilians.  If you take a concealed carry course, the point is that you have a gun to keep the criminal away from you.  Police can't just brandish a gun and watch the criminal run away.  They have to be willing to come into physical contact with the criminal and that is where the real problems arise.



My take on the previous recalls is available here.

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