Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper posted a fundraising video shot in his official state office soliciting donations to the partisan Democratic Senate Campaign Fund, which is the Democrats’ fund to help elect Democratic state senators. In the background of the video, one can see the official Colorado State Seal. That’s really bad.
After Compass Colorado sent a press release highlighting the video’s ethics violation, Team Hick quickly pulled it down. But not before Compass copied the video. Here’s the new and improved video:
Beyond the illegality of shooting a fundraising video in the Governor’s office in the State Capitol, there are a couple of other issues with the video:
- Who is holding the script that keeps entering the frame on the left? Is that a staffer from the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund? Is this organization complicit in using state resources to fund campaign activities?
- In the video, Hickenlooper said, “…I’m donating $20 [to the Glass Ceiling fund to elect more women] because electing women matters….” Um, actually, donating $20 when you’re a millionaire (or close to it) says “electing women doesn’t matter, get out of my office.”
- Finally, Hickenlooper’s wife is a super accomplished lady (we won’t hold her rescinding her GOP registration against her…this time). The fact that he can barely think of one of her accomplishments is lame – “she breaks ceilings by her very nature.” Or, by being a top female executive who likely has sourced millions in deals. Jeez. Do we have to do your job, too, Democrats?
Nonetheless, Ethics Watch has been silent on the issue because, let’s be honest, Ethics Watch isn’t nonpartisan. It’s incredibly partisan. But, just in case they’re reading, we’ll do their job, as well. Below is the state statute that Hick violated. Feel free to condemn this incredibly egregious violation of the rules, Ethics Watch. This is a clear violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
It is improper and unethical to use state equipment and state services such as offices, telephones, internet access accounts, copiers, fax machines, computers, postage, supplies, and staff time for campaign or personal purposes. Use of state equipment for these purposes holds potential civil and criminal liability. See, Colo. const. art. XXVIII, sec. 9 (2) (a), Colo. const. art. XXVIII, sec. 10, and Section 1-45-117 (4), C.R.S. A member of the General Assembly is not prohibited from using state facilities or equipment to communicate or correspond with the member’s constituents, family members, or business associates. See, Section 24-18-106, C.R.S. Furthermore, the official state seal, measuring two and one-half inches in diameter, may only be used by the Secretary of State in an official capacity. However, the Secretary of State has issued rules regarding the use of copies of the state seal.