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POLITICS: PennAve

John Hickenlooper: Michael Bloomberg's money didn't help Democrats in state recalls

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Steve Contorno,Gun Control,Colorado,Campaign Finance,PennAve,John Hickenlooper,Michael Bloomberg

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foray into two state recall races may have hurt the chances of two Democratic senators.

Colorado senate President John Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron lost historic recall battles last week after voting to support new stricter gun control laws in the state. The Democratic lawmakers collected about $3 million in their fight, much of it from outside Colorado, including $350,000 from Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of gun control laws.

The Western state is the site of a shooting in a crowded Aurora movie theater two years ago that killed 12 and injured dozens more. The legislature passed and Hickenlooper signed a new law that requires background checks on all firearm purchases and bans magazines that contain greater than 15 rounds.

Hickenlooper, however, believes that the money that flowed to the two Democratic senators — which by some accounts was six times what recall proponents spent — may have done more harm than good.

"It’s funny, in Colorado like a lot of western states we're very self determined. We like to solve our own problems," the Democratic leader said. "Outside money coming in is generally not welcome."

Last week, former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Democrat, said the recalls had little to do with gun control and instead was part of a larger blow back against a Democratic party "that may have drifted too far to the left."

Hickenlooper disagreed.

"I saw most of the campaign literature in both of those recall campaigns and it was very specific to universal background checks," Hickenlooper said.

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