Rally to remove JoAnn Windholz hits the Capitol Tuesday

Rep. JoAnn Windholz referred to Planned Parenthood as the “real culprit” in the shooting at a Colorado Springs clinic. Tuesday, activists will rally at the state Capitol to demand her resignation.


Backers of an effort to recall state Rep. JoAnn Windholz, the lawmaker who referred to Planned Parenthood as the “real culprit” in the Colorado Springs shooting, plan to rally Tuesday at noon on the west steps of the state Capitol to demand she step down from office.

Her remarks blaming Planned Parenthood for the murders, first reported by The Colorado Independent, earned her ire from across the nation and inspired several Coloradans to launch a recall effort against her. But they haven’t filed their petition yet. They’re asking her to step down first.

The district the Commerce City Republican lawmaker represents strongly favors Democrats. She won her House District 30 seat by a mere 106 votes in 2014. Democrats hold a 10 percent voter registration advantage over Republicans, 38 percent to 28 percent. Unaffiliated voters fall squarely in-between, at 33 percent.

To date, recall organizers have raised more than $5,500 for the effort out of a $10,000 goal. Almost all of that was raised in the first two weeks after the recall effort was announced in early December. Steve Cohn, one of the recall leaders, said they planned to donate any leftover funds to the families of the victims of the Nov. 27 shooting.

Windholz has already filed to run for re-election in the fall. Two Democrats, Dafna Michaelson Jenet and John Myers, both of Commerce City, are vying for her seat, and both have already raised more than $8,000 each for the primary race.

Campaign finance reports filed last week showed Windholz took in $3,575 in the reporting period that ended Dec. 31, 2015. That included $500 from the Adams County GOP and $400 from the Colorado Medical Society political action committee. She also received contributions from PACs for physical therapists, optometrists, independent pharmacies and several lobbyists.

But all of those donations came in before the Dec. 1 story in The Independent. Nobody donated in December, a sign that her remarks may be costing her campaign cash. She received one $50 donation on Nov. 30th and nothing since then.

Michaelson Jenet took in just under $3,300, with a $400 contribution coming from Friends of Colorado Hospitals. She also received smaller contributions from several House Democrats throughout December.

Myers took in $2,600 in the last reporting period, with $200 coming from state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder. Smaller contributions came from State Board of Education member Jane Goff, former Jefferson County School Superintendent Cindy Stevenson and David Longanecker of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. Longanecker is retiring this summer and will be replaced by current Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia.

Recall backers aren’t the only ones targeting Windholz.

The powerful national group Emily’s List, which works to get prochoice women elected to office, has put Windholz on its 2016 must defeat list. So has the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. This week, the DCCC pointed out that Windholz’s name could appear on the ballot in November just below that of Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora. The DCCC is working to bolster the campaign of state Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, who is challenging Coffman for his Sixth Congressional District seat in the fall.

A DCCC statement issued earlier this week said that Coffman “continually refuses to denounce Rep. Windholz’s vile statement blaming Planned Parenthood for the three tragic murders at their facility. The fact that they will be running together on the ballot this year puts a spotlight on the striking similarities between their attacks on women’s access to healthcare – positions that are completely out-of-touch with their swing districts.”

While he has said nothing about Windholz, Coffman did, however, express sympathy for the victims killed in the shooting – Jennifer Markovsky, Ke’Arre Stewart and Officer Garrett Swasey of the CU-Colorado Springs Police Department – as well as for the nine people injured.

“This is an unspeakable tragedy for the Colorado Springs community,” Coffman added, in a statement issued Nov. 30, which he released after returning from leading a congressional delegation to Afghanistan.

Unlike Coffman, Windholz has never offered any public expression of sympathy for the victims.

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.


  1. Sorry, Mr Spitz, but you’re out of your freaking mind. People like you drive me crazy. Women dealing with THEIR pregnancies however THEY decide to is NOT YOUR BUSINESS. Until it’s YOUR body and YOUR decision, there is NO reason for you to have ANY say about it at all. Why is that SO freaking IMPOSSIBLE for you people to understand? NONE of you gives a damn about that kid once it’s born, not one BIT of concern about the mother’s economic or mental conditions or even her own desires for her OWN life.

    Unitl you people start caring about the children who ARE born, your “concern” for the unborn is nothing but blatant hypocrisy.

    It’s also just fascinating that, while abortions are only around 3% of what PPFA does, NONE of you people is concerned about the removal of the other 97% of what they do. This is mamagrams and other cancer screenings, among other things. And so you idiots want to take away ANY medical care a HUGE number of these women get, THAT’S really showing your concern, isn’t it? Face it, this isn’t about abortion at all, it’s about the DESTRUCTION of the ONLY health care many, many women (and men) get in this GREAT country of ours. It’s all about YOU people getting to control what OTHERS do with THEIR lives. Not terribly American of an idea, is it?

    HYPOCRITES, one and all of you. I sincerely hope this terrible person loses the election. She doesn’t serve ALL the people in her district, it’s time for her to go. So LITTLE regard for those who died because of the LYING of those who doctored videos to make them say things that did NOT happen. THOSE are the people who are REALLY responsible for this, THEY are the ones who should be held responsible.

    This woman is esssentially condoning what happened. That is NOT the position for an elected official to hold. She needs to be let go and someone who will represent more than just the religious NUT CASES in the district.

    And I LOVE how it’s damn near ALWAYS MEN who are the ones out murdering people in the name of stopping “murder”. Maybe Mr Spitz needs a pregnancy of his own to understand what that means to one’s reality. Too bad he’ll never learn that REALITY for over HALF the planet’s population. Women are NOT here for YOU to knock up and feel all powerful over. GET OVER IT.

    And for the record, I’m just as male as anyone out there. I just don’t believe that people like YOU should be able to rule anyone else’s life, like you apparently do.

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