There is no denying that recalls have become trendy in Colorado. With both Democrats and Republicans using them to hold referendums on those whose policies are at odds with their own beliefs. We saw it in Pueblo and Colorado Springs with the gun recalls. And we saw it in JeffCo with the school board.
It has gotten so bad that The Denver Post even editorialized against what they’ve dubbed the “misuse” of political recall elections. Saying: “Recall generally should be reserved for malfeasance, corruption or glaring incompetence. Otherwise, political campaigns will never end.”
And maybe the Post has a point. Where does it end? Activists in Adams County are taking recall to a whole new level by trying to get rid of Thornton City Council Member Jan Kulmann because they don’t approve of her day job as – wait for it – a licensed professional engineer for an oil and gas company.
At a March 29th council meeting, Kulmann defended herself, pointing out that each member of the council brings their “own expertise and background” making them a stronger governing body. The council also includes a teacher, an electrician and a small business owner, among others. The city attorney explained why Kulmann’s job is in no way a conflict of interest when the council votes on oil and gas related matters, pointing out that her employer doesn’t even own any mineral interests in Thornton.
Other council members spoke up on Kulmann’s behalf, with Councilwoman Jacque Phillips strongly stating: “We do not support a recall at taxpayer’s expense.”
In firing this shot, there is no question the recall wars have escalated. And both parties should be outraged. Why does standing up for local jobs and supporting responsible energy production merit a recall? Shouldn’t we all be defending this female engineer? Don’t we all want to see more women in this field and in public office? What kind of message does it send to our daughters?