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Ok, kossacks, the time to start helping our allies in the fight for reasonable, common sense gun regulations has arrived. This is an action diary for my State Represenative, Mike McLachlan of Colorado's 'Fightin 59th' District. Having only been in office several weeks, Mike is already facing the threat of a Recall Election!

Why? I'll tell ya below the fold.

Mike McLachlin, CO State Rep
Mike McLachlan
That's Mike, wearing very formal attire for southwest Colorado. He has worn other formal attire as well, such as the uniform of the U.S. Marine Corps(1965 to 1967). He is the son of a U.S. Air Force Officer, who voluntarily left the University of Nebraska to enlist in the Marines. This man did his time in Vietnam--a fact not lost on this very conservative District. Mike returned from Vietnam, and after receiving his degree from Southern Colorado State University, he enrolled at the University of Arizona, and received his Law Degree in 1973. He went on to have a distinguished career in Law, including serving as our local La Plata County Prosecutor as well as our County Attorney. So distinguished in fact, that he became Colorado's Solicitor General in 1999, appointed by then-Attorney General Ken Salazar. From that position, Mike successfully argued the Constitutionality of Colorado's Women's Health Clinic Shield Law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mike is a lifelong Democrat. Perhaps not of the variety known as a San Francisco Liberal(like me, sorta!), but we Dem's have a large tent, and Mike represents this rural area's sensibilities very well. He has supported unions for some time now, and by that I mean both kinds of Unions. He supports workers unions and the right to collectively bargain with employers as well as Civil Unions between 2 adults. It's not marriage equality, I know, but it is as close as we can get at this point in time in Colorado. Not ideal-but infinitely better than a same sex marriage ban the CO GOP would like, right?
We here in the 59th District rely heavily on the 'extraction industry' for our tax base. By 'extraction industry', I mean the mining of natural gas. As you can imagine, the extraction companies try everything in their power to avoid taxes and circumvent safe procedures while maximizing profits. Mike served on The Southern Ute Tribe - State of Colorado Environmental Control Commission, and in that position helped protect tribal lands from the degredation of those extraction profiteers. Mike is a strong supporter of the safe development of oil and natural gas. During his time as La Plata County attorney he helped write and develop the guidelines that are the gold standard in co-operation between local entities and oil and gas companies here in Colorado. You may not feel kindly towards a man who 'supports oil & gas development', but, remember--that is our bread & butter here. Mike is a strong supporter of creating an all-of-the-above energy plan for the State of Colorado and is a strong supporter of renewable energy and the development of clean burning natural gas. Again, no one would get elected here by promising to end the business that employs many of our local citizens.

Mike is also a strong supporter of The Second Amendment. He could not survive a primary here if he wasn't. I've said many times on Dailykos 'all my liberal friends are gun owners here' because it is true. I've also said many, many times that there is a huge gulf in attitudes between urban & rural dwellers when it comes to guns. Simply put, attempting to pass CA, NY or Chicago-style gun restrictions here in rural America is political suicide, a non-starter that will leave my area firmly in GOP control.

And that brings us to today. Mike unseated a complete whacko in 2012, J. Paul Brown, who wrote many Op-eds(prior to being elected back in 2010) stating Obama is a Socialist, a Muslim, a Kenyan usurper, and Mike beat him by 971 votes. Does that clear up the nature of the 59th district for you? Only 971 votes!
Mike is a common sense approach sort of guy, willing to compromise to meet a common goal, and specfically in this case, was a stalwart in Colorado's attempt at reasonable gun controls.

Kossack nzanne wrote a fine diary about this very thing the day it passed our State Leg:

If you look at Anne's diary, you'll see Mike stood up for reasonable controls--well, very reasonable by our rural standards:

First, background checks on private sales and transfers of firearms.

Second, limiting gun magazines to 15 rounds.

Third, requiring gun buyers to pay for their own background checks ($5-12). This is actually the reinstatement of an extremely profitable program begun in 1994.

And fourth, no concealed weapons on college campuses.

Seems pretty good, huh? Well, except that he has stepped on the 'No regulations, ever' crowd's toes by doing this, and no doubt reminded the extraction industry's deep pockets of their disdain for him. Mike will likely be the first Democrat facing a recall in the USA because of a gun control vote he made!

Here's the article from my local paper, The Durango Herald:  in which the recall effort is described as having a 'tough road ahead'. I disagree--anytime an effort is founded & funded within days, it is a serious thing. Mike needs our help, and our money to fight this potential recall.

Granted, he is facing a clown car filled with the likes of Tancredo and Coffman, but still-he's only 2 months past being sworn in, and mounting another campaign so soon won't be easy.

Here, have a chuckle at the recall website as it is today:

 But when you are done chuckling, please dig deep into your wallet for Mike. Remember, Mike only replaced a whacko GOP'er by getting 971 votes more than the to-the-right-of-the-Tea-Party guy!

If you really want to 'Shut Down the NRA', here's your chance to put your money where your mouth is. Please support this good Democrat, who is working in my--and your--best interests. Because, believe me, anyone that replaces Mike will NOT vote they way you would like.

Mike McLachlan's Act Blue donation page:

Let's show Mike some love, and further our Democratic agenda.

Thank you!

Originally posted to Thinking Fella on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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