‘Personhood’ Now Amendment 48

The measure to define a fertilized egg as a person has become Amendment 48 for Colorado’s 2008 ballot (as I mentioned at my other blog). As I’ve argued, the measure gives Democrats an advantage this November. As Electa Draper reports for The Denver Post, the Democrats agree.

[I]n this political cycle, even candidates who oppose abortion are not interested in identifying with highly controversial social issues, said Denver political analyst Floyd Ciruli. … Conversely, Ciruli said, if a conservative candidate doesn’t endorse it, he or she could alienate the base.

In the U.S. Senate race, Bob Schaffer’s campaign spokesman, Dick Wadhams, who also leads the Colorado Republican Party, did not return calls for comment.

Democrat Mark Udall’s campaign spokeswoman, Taylor West, said, “Mark’s been very clear that he does not support this. Schaffer has been refusing to take a position. He’s trying to hide how far out he is on this issue.” …

Musgrave spokesman Joe Bretell would not comment other than to say Musgrave signed the petition to place the measure on the ballot.

Musgrave’s Democratic rival in the 4th Congressional District, Betsy Markey, opposes the amendment.

“It’s an extreme measure,” Markey spokeswoman Anne Caprara said. “It’s an extreme right-wing tactic. This will shine a light on Marilyn Musgrave.”

I doubt that Musgrave, an incumbent in a conservative district, is vulnerable, but Schaffer definitely is. Amendment 48 gives women a strong incentive to show up at the polls — and vote for Udall while they’re at it.

It is indeed telling that Musgrave signed the measure. If Markey is smart, she’ll praise gun owners, oppose tax hikes, and spend every campaign cent she has mailing women and independents in the district linking Musgrave to Amendment 48. I don’t know anything about Markey, but if she’s even reasonably competent and centrist this issue gives her a chance to win.

I’ll be interested to see how Schaffer tries to evade the issue. Good luck on that.

Maybe Colorado Republicans will eventually figure out that most Westerners don’t want to live in a theocracy.