Opinion| Steven Ahle| In what could be a game-changer in Colorado, the favorite in the race, John Hickenlooper has been charged with ethics violations after he refused to show up and defend allegations that he took free airplane rides paid for by corporations.
Hickenlooper was expected to defeat incumbent Cory Gardner.
If he is found guilty before the election, that might be a plus for him since he is a Democrat and that would prove he is not willing to play by the rules. Hickenlooper is very popular in Colorado and very well may still win even if convicted.
The ethics commission voted 4-1 to find Hickenlooper guilty of violating Amendment 41 that limits the gifts you can accept from corporations. He accepted airfare and several expensive meals from MDC Holdings in March 2018.
Commissioner Bill Leone said:
“I’m concerned that if we allow this kind of special, privately financed treatment for elected officials, it just accentuates the cynicism that led to Amendment 41.”
From Breitbart News:
The commission will meet on June 12 to decide what penalties the former governor will face for the two ethics violations. This will also include his contempt violation for failing to show up after he was subpoenaed regarding his ethics violations.
Melissa Miller, Hickenlooper’s campaign spokesperson, said that special interests had hijacked the ethics process to attack the former Colorado governor.
“We fully expect the special interests who’ve exploited this process to continue to mislead Coloradans with negative attacks because they know John Hickenlooper will be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate,” Miller said.
Hickenlooper faces a primary election against Andrew Romanoff on June 30 for the U.S. Senate Democrat primary. Hickenlooper hopes to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
Joe Jackson, a spokesman for the Colorado GOP, said in a statement on Friday, “The IEC made clear today that no one is above the law, not even a former governor. Coloradans should think twice before voting for a man found guilty of several ethics abuses.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said that Hickenlooper broke Coloradans’ trust in him by violating ethics laws.