Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Liberal group calls John Morse 'worst' politician in country

The Gazette editorial Published: September 9, 2013

Gun rights and tax hikes aren't the top concerns of idealistic young adults at prestigious liberal arts institutions. So it's not surprising Senate President John Morse was able to speak at a rally Friday, which featured free food, and get Colorado College students to march downtown and cast their votes for him en masse.

A comment falsely attributed to Winston Churchill, but useful nonetheless, says: "If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain."

Genuine liberals, such as Gov. John Hickenlooper and Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, bring a lot of good to public process. Arch-liberal celebrity Ashton Kutcher, a staunch supporter of President Barack Obama, teaches young Americans the value of hard work - even as the president advocates state benefits and dependence.

"I have never had a job in my life that I was better than," Kutcher said at the Teen Choice Awards this year, explaining that most opportunities in life look a lot like work.

Countless liberal Democrats are strong defenders of the Second Amendment.

Liberals in Colorado's 11th Senate District should understand that Morse is not a genuine liberal. Rather, he governs as an equal-opportunity authoritarian.

That's why he may become the first state politician in Colorado history to be recalled.

It's a safe bet many of the students who rallied for Morse last week would also rally for more marijuana rights. That's not to pass judgment on Colorado College. It's just a young, liberal college thing to advocate marijuana freedom.

Morse claims to favor legalization, but advocates of that cause do not favor authoritarian Morse.

Don't ask us. Ask the Marijuana Policy Project, the country's largest and best-funded organization working toward legalization of pot. The organization feels so threatened by Morse - a purported advocate of their cause - they named him this year's worst legislator in the United States.

Got that? The worst legislator in the United States. This isn't a pro-gun, anti-tax outfit. It isn't conservative in the least. It's just an organization of activists and professional lobbyists who want more liberal drug laws.

As recall advocates complain of Morse sneaking through jobs-killing bills at the last minute, the Marijuana Policy Project has a strikingly similar complaint.

Morse helped impose a giant tax increase on candy and soda, endearing him to soda-banning Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York. If Morse could tax the air we breathe, he probably would. So at the end of the last legislative session, he co-sponsored a bill that would have suspended Colorado's Amendment 64, the law that legalizes marijuana, unless voters approve a giant tax increase on pot.

The Denver Post told it like this: "The resolution was introduced at about 6 p.m. on the third-to-last day of the legislative session - the absolute last moment it could have been formally proposed."

The Marijuana Policy Project complains that Morse "tried to sneak a bill through the final hours of the session that could have resulted in the repeal of a voter-approved initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol."

We're not opposed to heavy taxation of recreational pot sales and voters are likely to approve a statewide 15 percent wholesale tax and 10 percent retail sales tax in November. But we question a legislative attempt to suspend a constitutional amendment as a club to get more taxes. We're flummoxed that Morse, the self-professed legalization advocate who rallied support of college students, managed to govern with such a heavy hand that even the country's leading marijuana advocates consider him the worst politician in the country.

This recall isn't a battle of right versus left, conservative versus liberal. It's a citizen effort to end the reign of a politician who views the public - even his most liberal constituents - as fodder for the elite political class in Washington, Denver and New York.

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