The latest effort by a Colorado super PAC to unseat legislators who killed a civil unions bill earlier this year imagines what text messages might have been exchanged among House Republican leadership. Fight Back Colorado sent an email to supporters Wednesday touting "Texts From Amy," a campaign featuring hypothetical conversations Colorado Republican legislator Amy Stephens might have had with Speaker of the House Frank McNulty when the pair led an effort to kill civil unions legislation in May.
In one imagined exchange, McNulty texts Stephens asking, "What crazy thing should we filibuster about today to block civil unions?" Stephens hypothetically responds, "What about chocolate at schools?"
The exchange references one of the more outrageous moments on the House floor, when Republicans spent hours discussing a bill with bipartisan support on reducing trans fats in schools instead of bringing civil unions legislation to the floor. McNulty eventually shut down the House of Representatives, refusing to bring civil unions legislation up for debate before the end of session.
Colorado governor John Hickenlooper called a special session to discuss the civil unions legislation and more than 30 other bills that were killed in the political standoff. Although the bill had passed three Republican-controlled committees during the regular session, McNulty sent the bill to a kill committee, where it died on the first day of that special session.
"Texts From Amy" is the third installment from Fight Back Colorado — previous campaigns include "Send 'Em Packin'" and "Farewell, Frank," and focused on deciding which legislators to target. Constituents can submit their own "Text From Amy" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fight Back Colorado launched in June and is funded in part by Denver-based activist Tim Gill. The initiative is modeled after New York's successful campaign to unseat anti-equality legislators and replace them with pro-equality candidates who would voted in favor of marriage rights. That effort, dubbed Fight Back New York, and also supported by Gill, relied heavily on unconventional online tactics and spent nearly $800,000 advocating for candidates who helped the New York's Senate become the first Republican-led chamber to embrace marriage equality in 2011.