On Saturday, The Denver Post’s The Spot blog reported on the quirky and fun antique truck owned by State House Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood). While it's cute that his wife gave it to him as a gift, what's not so adorable is that Tyler has been using his campaign finances to restore the truck.
The story immediately brought to mind infamous fraudster Dan Maes and his habit of reimbursing himself for campaign mileage during his failed gubernatorial bid. There's just something about candidates lining their own pockets with campaign cash for their own personal vehicles that tends to rub voters the wrong way.
Beyond voters, we wonder how his donors would feel about contributing to Tyler’s expensive hobby.
Here’s what Tyler had to say about his truck:
“’My wife Susan got it for me for my 50th birthday and I spent five years of spare time restoring and customizing it,’ Tyler said, in an e-mail. ‘I hot rodded the original engine with Corvette parts, then added disc brakes to stop it. It runs sweet!’”
We're sure his top donors love that he’s spent their hard-earned, generously-given money on “hot-rodd[ing] the original engine with Corvette parts” and, then, “add[ing] disc brakes to stop it”.
Here is a screen shot of the expenses charged to his campaign over the years to restore this carbon-emitting beast (taken from the Secretary of State’s TRACER web site):
Over $1,000 has been dropped into this beast courtesy of Tyler's campaign backers. That's a nice little chunk of change to benefit Tyler's hobby vehicle. Sure wish we had a campaign account to fix up our car.
Included in that figure is $27 for a “parking ticket for campaign truck”. The IRS doesn’t allow small business owners to write off parking tickets as expenses, why should Max Tyler be allowed to do so?
Oh, that’s right, because the rules that apply to the hardworking small business owners in Colorado don’t apply to this Renaissance man.