UPDATE: A review of campaign donations reveals that three of Hickenlooper’s new appointments were campaign donors, including two who maxed out. It looks like Hick is stacking the deck (pun intended) with his own donors. This isn’t the Howdy Doody we’ve come to love for his quirkiness, it’s Chicago-style politics.
Paging Common Cause — now is the time to rev up the pay to play outrage machine.
BREAKING: More to come…
In a brazen move by Governor Hickenlooper, the entire Gaming Commission has been replaced with his personal appointments. Hick says his reason for replacing every member in one fell swoop is he was upset with the Commission's decision in May to cut taxes for casinos. Hoping to stake the political high ground, facing off with the less-than-loved casino industry, Hickenlooper made a major mistake with one of his new appointments: Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr.
From The Denver Post:
"Adams county Sheriff Douglas Darr of Thornton, who will serve as a member from the 2nd Congressional District and as law enforcement representative, for a term expiring on July 1, 2013."
That is the same disgraced Sheriff Darr who was found to have violated the First Amendment rights of his deputy and 2010 campaign opponent, Mark Nicastle, forcing taxpayers to shell out more than $100,000 to Nicastle in a lawsuit. Darr's actions were so clearly unethical and shameful that even liberal lawsuit group Colorado Ethics Watch (CEW) called for his resignation, saying:
“There is no question in my mind that Sheriff Darr should resign,” said Luis Toro, director of Ethics Watch. “Any person who uses their office to retaliate for political differences, or to prevent an opponent from campaigning, no longer deserves the office nor the trust of the people who put him in office. This is corruption at its most obvious, and Sheriff Darr should resign his office immediately.”
We wonder if CEW will issue a statement condemning Governor Hickenlooper for appointing this "corrupt" Sheriff to the Gaming Commission as a representative of all law enforcement?
It's an odd choice to appoint a disgraced Sheriff to represent the entire law enforcement community. We're sure that's not the face they would choose to put forward.
Even more jarring is the fact that Hickenlooper replaced Commerce City Police Chief Philip Baca for voting for a tax cut. Apparently, in Hickenlooper's world tax cuts are worse than violating someone's First Amendment rights.
(Photo via Doug Darr for Sheriff campaign website)