Politics, Transparency

Dems start poking around Hickenlooper ethics complaint

On July 29th, local radio host Jason Worley filed an ethics complaint against Governor Hickenlooper, essentially asking the Independent Ethics Commission to investigate the possibility that the Governor used the state owned airplane for personal and political benefit.  Worley’s complaint came after a Fox 31 story showed that Hickenlooper and a friend used the plane to travel to the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in August of 2012.  Incidentally, once Fox 31 started looking into the use of the state plane, Hickenlooper cut a check to reimburse the state for travel that had occurred almost a year prior.  Our friends at Colorado Peak Politics pointed out that the friend who got the ride-along is also a “max” political donor to Hick.

What’s interesting now is that August 7th, the Colorado Democratic Party filed an open records request looking for any documentation or writings between Secretary of State Scott Gessler (or anyone in the office) and Worley.  (Document embedded below.)

Reasonable conjecture allows us to boil it down to one of two possibilities:

1) The CO Democratic Party thinks there’s mud to be slung at Gessler somewhere in this ethics complaint.  This wouldn’t be terribly new as Gessler is to state Democrats what blood is to a school of sharks.

or…

2) There’s more to the ethics complaint than meets the eye, and the dems need to discredit the source or the origination of the complaint.  Were Democrats hoping to find something that might deflect from the merits of the complaint?

Option number two is very interesting, primarily because the ethics complaint has received almost zero media coverage locally.  Worley even penned an op-ed on these pages asking why the Denver Post had yet to cover the complaint.

At any rate, Secretary of State spokesperson Rich Coolidge informed us that the open records request yielded no documents.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning the request itself.  Filing open records requests to see what government is up to is part of what I do for a living.

But the question now obviously becomes, is there more to the ethics inquiry than originally thought?

(The CORA request by law firm Heizer, Paul, Greuskin on behalf of the Colorado Democratic Party was posted on the Secretary of State’s website, as the SOS office routinely posts all CORA requests online.)

20130807CORA Tierney by CompleteColorado

Todd Shepherd is founder and editor of CompleteColorado.com. Send him tips or story ideas at CompleteColorado@gmail.com.

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