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Backers of Morse recall effort respond to criticism

Group speaks publicly for first time about petition drive

Morse Recall Backers Speak

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Basic Freedom Defense Fund commented Thursday about its desire to recall state Sen. John Morris of Colorado Springs, and is offering an interesting prize in that effort.

Spokesman Anthony Garcia spoke publicly for the first time about the group's intention to oust Morse from office, because of opposition to gun control legislation he sponsored or supported.  The group plans to collect more than 7,000 signatures by June 3.

Garcia defends the group's actions against a TV advertisement by Morse supporters accusing the group of using convicts to gather signatures and not conducting background checks on them.

"I'm not worried about it," said Garcia.  "We don't ask anyone for personal information.  Maybe their supporters should be checked out, too.  In fact, the ad did us a favor because it increased the awareness level about the recall.  People know it was dirty politics."

Garcia said a member of an affiliated group, the El Paso Freedom Defense Committee, has provided an incentive to petition volunteers by offering a handgun to whomever gathers the most signatures.  The prize makes sense, Garcia said, because most of the members of both groups are gun owners.

"The winner will be subject to all laws, including a background check," said Garcia.  "If the winner doesn't want the gun, we'll give something else."

Petition volunteers turned in signatures Thursday at Kennedy Enterprises, a local marketing firm.  An unidentified staff member declined to be interviewed and wouldn't allow news crews to talk with volunteers.  The staffer later said the firm's policy is to not discuss the confidential nature of its business.

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