May 2, 2018

What happens to a politician who bucks his party? If you’re the Assistant House Minority Leader, it doesn’t end well.

Full disclosure: I’ve known Cole Wist for nearly 25 years, and I’m glad to call him a friend. That’s why I was sad and angry to see him denounced as a traitor and threatened with demotion.

Cole’s offense? Sponsoring House Bill 18-1436.

The bill would allow law enforcement officers to remove guns temporarily from the homes of individuals who pose a significant danger to themselves or others. Reps. Wist (R-Centennial) and Alec Garnett (D-Denver)—backed by a phalanx of sheriffs and police chiefs—unveiled the proposal on Monday morning.

By Monday night, Cole had been branded a “mole” and hauled into an emergency meeting with his GOP colleagues. He survived an effort to strip him of his leadership post.

The good news: the House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1436 anyway. The bill will face a steeper climb in the state Senate.

Please ask Senate President Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City) to support HB 1436. And please thank Reps. Garnett and Wist for showing us what leadership looks like.

-Andrew Romanoff