One of the most important rights and tools against political corruption and malfeasance Colorado citizens have is the ability to recall elected officials who are not just inept, but dangerous to the state and citizenry.
The serious and repugnant problem of state Rep. Joann Windholz, R-Reunion, doesn’t make the cut.
Windholz is under fire for her misled, mistaken and maleficent comments about the November shooting siege at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. On a Facebook post, Windholz — who lives in Adams County and represents north Aurora — blamed Planned Parenthood for the heinous murders and injuries, an attack carried out by an unhinged, well-armed extremist.
“Violence is never the answer but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any (Planned Parenthood) facility, is (Planned Parenthood) themselves. Violence begets violence. So (Planned Parenthood), YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”
She has yet to apologize or recant the tirade, and it’s clearly the ramblings of a person dealing with character, educational and personality issues. The Aurora Sentinel and many in the community have called for her resignation and censure, and her repulsive commentary prompted a recall effort.
But this isn’t a place for recall. Earlier this year, voters in the Jefferson County School District successfully recalled three right-wing extremist school board members who were doing catastrophic and irreparable damage to the state’s largest school system. We supported the recall because there was no other remedy for school district residents to stop or even slow the train wreck those board members were engineering. Because of their malfeasance, the district was about to lose hundreds, if not more, of the best teachers it had, for good. This — on top of open meetings abuses, embarrassing calls for revisionist history curricula and more — gave voters no choice but recall. The destructive school board members had two years left in their terms and made it clear they would run the district over the cliff.
That’s not the case with Windholz. As offensive and disconcerting as are her recent rant and other comments about abortion, religion, guns, healthcare and more, she is but one vote in 65 in the Colorado House of Representatives, and her term essentially expires at the end of this legislative session in May. Windholz surprised the state by overtaking a former Democratic stronghold by a slim margin. Given her brief and unsavory record as a lawmaker, there’s little doubt that district voters will oust her if her own Republican Party doesn’t find another candidate to do it in a primary even before the general election.
While we strongly support the sentiment behind a recall effort, real and effective remedies to Windholz exist, precluding the political nuclear option. GOP leaders should remove her from any committee assignments, and the body of legislators themselves can censure her if she doesn’t step down.
There’s no doubt the GOP would like to retain this seat next year, so it’s surprising that they haven’t muscled her out already, given that she is a liability not only in her own election, but she is a potential toxin for others who are perceived to support her.
Republican leaders should persuade Windholz to apologize and step down. If they don’t, all legislators should work to minimize her role and ability to taint an already polarized and unharmonious system.
And those working to recall Windholz should immediately put their efforts into finding superior candidates from both parties to move Windholz aside, making it clear Aurora is not Colorado Springs, where elected leaders regularly inflict such atrocious rants with impunity. Finding candidates with better qualifications is going to be easy.
Text of State Rep. JoAnn Windholz’ Facebook post of Nov. 30, 2015:
Violence – Where it starts.
The freedoms we enjoy in the United States include those that were made up to fit the audience and unsubstantiated numerical support, specifically the right to an abortion. When a violent act happens at a Planned Parenthood (pph) facility (most recent in Colorado Springs) the left goes on “auto-pilot” blaming everyone insight when they should be looking in a mirror. Free Speech has brought to light the insidious selling of baby body parts (pph has no shame). These facts and overall mission of the abortion industry would easily send anyone over the hill who wasn’t rational.
The “war on women” is what pph began with Margaret Sanger and it has turned into a war on the family, especially children. It has changed children from a blessing to a commodity making it very hard to consider ourselves to be a civilized respectful rational society.
Violence is never the answer but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any pph facility, is pph themselves. Violence begets violence. So pph, YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS. My question is, if abortions were free at pph, how long would they stay in business? Pro-Life organizations offer their caring services saving women and children for free every day and they clean up the mess that pph has left behind.
Pray Daily for the women who abort, their children, and the providers.