Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Complaints flow over ads about Colorado senate recall elections

By Megan Schrader Published: August 27, 2013

A Manitou Springs woman has filed a complaint against recall election candidate Bernie Herpin for ads he sent out attacking the Democratic senator he hopes to replace.

The door hanger, which says "Paid for by Bernie Herpin for Senate District 11" advocates for the recall of Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.

Ann Schmitt says in the complaint that candidate committees are supposed to refrain from spending money or advocating in issue campaigns.

"This frivolous complaint is another desperate attempt to distract voters from John Morse's repeated ethics problems and failed record," Herpin said.

The recall portion of the ballot is an issue campaign - with committees advocating for voters to vote 'yes' or 'no' to kick Morse out of office.

The second portion of the ballot is a candidate campaign - with the Republican candidate Herpin advocating for votes to replace Morse if he is recalled.

So Morse's campaign, which is an issue committee, would be unable to campaign against Herpin who is a candidate and vice-versa.

Herpin's campaign said it is legally allowed to inform voters how to elect Herpin, which includes the need to recall Morse.

At issue is whether Morse should be recalled from office on Sept. 10 for his leadership style and his support of gun legislation that became law this summer.

The complaint is a minor one that asks Herpin's campaign to pay a fine and set up an issue committee to run the ads and money through.

Several campaign ads in the recall election have ruffled feathers.

Earlier this month advertisements that claim Herpin supports bans on birth control were called so blatantly false that TV stations should refuse to air them. The ads also stated that Herpin wanted police to investigate miscarriages as potentially illegal abortions.

Herpin, who opposes abortion, said he would never try to impose his beliefs on others.

On Tuesday, legal counsel for Morse requested advertisements paid for by Free Colorado be removed from Xfinity by Comcast stations.

The TV ad misquotes Morse as saying gun owners are a sickness in our souls that needs to be purged.

Morse called the insinuation obscene.

In the same ad, Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, who faces a recall election on the same day as Morse, is accused of paying political thugs to harass recall supporters. A segment of the ad shows the transaction of cash between two people in a grainy photo of shaking hands.

"There is absolutely no truth to these allegations of misdeeds on behalf of my supporters," Giron said.

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Contact Megan Schrader

719-286-0644

Twitter: @CapitolSchrader

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