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Colo. plumbers push to recall anti-gun lawmaker in online ads

DENVER — They probably aren't going to win any awards, but the low-budget ads released this week by the plumbers running the effort to recall an anti-gun lawmaker have a homegrown feel.

That's probably because the commercials were filmed in the backyard of Victor Head, the 28-year-old president of Pueblo Freedom and Rights, which launched in March the recall of Democratic state Sen. Angela Giron after her gun-control votes.

The video ads show Mr. Head, his brother Adam and their friend Ernest Mascarenas — all plumbers who live in Pueblo — explaining that they're not "out-of-state interests," just local guys who support gun rights.

Victor Head said the recall group spent $2,000 to record two video spots and two radio ads. So far the videos have only aired on YouTube because the group can't afford the $600 to $1,000 per spot that it would cost to run the ads on local television, he said.

Meanwhile, the Giron campaign is inundating the Pueblo media market with an estimated 12 to 15 television spots per day. Her organization, Pueblo United for Angela, had raised about $93,000 as of July 1.

"You have to stand up for what you believe in," says Ms. Giron in the ad, which does not mention her votes on gun-control legislation.

In addition, a pro-Democrat group called We Can Do Better, Colorado, is running ads attacking her Republican challenger, George Rivera.

"She's got multiple ads on every day on three stations. She's spending per day what I have for the whole campaign," said Mr. Head. "But I still think we have a good shot."

The plumbers' video received a thumbs-up from Colorado Peak Politics, a conservative website that said the ad "has a charm about it — far from a slickly produced spot, it's a raw, amateurish ad that underscores the grassroots nature of the recall effort."

Critics of the recall, including the New York Times, have attacked the effort by describing it as a product of the National Rifle Association. The Giron ad says that "extreme groups from Denver want to force costly recall elections even though Giron is already on the ballot a year from now."

The plumbers, who have received no donations so far from the NRA, blast that claim in their video ad. "Sen. Giron and her support committee have lied to you. They are calling us extreme groups from Denver, out-of-state interests and wealthy outside groups," says Victor Head in the spot.

"We are none of those," says Adam Head. "We are three Pueblo plumbers who decided to hold our senator accountable for her votes against the will of her constituents."

The group collected enough signatures using volunteer petition-circulators to force the Sept. 10 recall election. A second Democrat, Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs, is facing a recall on the same day.

The recalls were organized in response to the Democratic state legislature's passage of three gun-control bills. The election marks the first recall of state lawmakers in Colorado history.

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