Kerry Donovan has ably represented the people of Chaffee County since 2015. Donovan sponsored 25 bills through the State Senate during the 2019 legislative session, most of which directly benefit us, her constituents.

A few examples:

SB19-107 and 19-078 designate equal broadband access for smaller providers and reduce barriers to broadband deployment, helping break the stranglehold the big players (like Verizon and AT&T) have enjoyed at the expense of the public in rural areas.

SB19-004 addresses the healthcare desert, a major concern for rural residents. This package of three bills provides for collective consumer negotiations with health insurance providers, offers a state option for coverage in counties which lack other options, and reinsurance for high-risk individuals who might otherwise be priced out of coverage. Dovovan also sponsored the Senate version of HB1216, which limits the cost of insulin to users; and cosponsored SB19-005, which creates a state program to import prescription drugs from Canada, where pricing is far more competitive than in the U.S.

Donovan also supported the Extreme Risk Protection Order (HB19-1177) – the so-called Red Flag Bill – which has led a group of irate gun-rights advocates to demand her recall. The 31 recent shooting deaths in El Paso and Dayton seem to have silenced this group for the moment, but it will only be a matter of time before they raise their voices again. Donovan herself has stated: “I believe that gun owners will exercise personal responsibility and discretion in the interest of public safety when selling their weapons and will work to make sure that background checks help and do not hinder that process. But I do support making sure that convicted criminals or the mentally ill cannot get guns.”

Those are hardly the words of a reactionary trying to strip people of their right to bear arms. But groups like Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, driven by Second Amendment paranoia, are eyeing the option of recall petitions for her and any other supporter of HB19-1177, along with two Chaffee County Commissioners and the governor of Colorado.

Fortunately for the rest of us, these efforts don’t seem to be getting enough traction at this point to bring a petition to the ballot. Kerry Donovan was elected to the State Senate by a wide margin. For a tiny minority of the electorate to take it on themselves to reverse the popular vote is a thumb in the eye of electoral democracy. We can only hope that the horrors of Dayton and El Paso will put some brakes on their misguided efforts, and put some spine into the politicians who send out their empty “thoughts and prayers” after every shooting, and stonewall any efforts at gun control.

If you don’t like Donovan’s track record in office, vote her out in 2020. I value my right to vote, and I don’t appreciate a minority of self-appointed vigilantes trying to force a duly elected State Senator out the back door.

Lee Coveney
Salida