This week, Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper may have opened his mailbox to an unwelcome letter – an ethics complaint filed with Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission over his personal use of the state’s plane. The complainant is Grassroots Radio host Jason Worley. Since the left is the only side with a vastly-funded legal operation solely dedicated to suing the other side of the aisle, leave it to a gutsy radio host to take on the Governor himself.
According to the complaint:
“On or about August 16, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper attended the weekend kick-off for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Durango, Colorado (the “Durango Kick-off”) and used a State-owned King Air Turbo, with the Tail Number N205SP (the “State-owned plane”) to transport himself, his son, and Ken Gart to the Durango Kick-off. On information and belief, Ken Gart is a political supporter of the Governor and not an employee of Colorado.”
The complaint asks the IEC for a specific remedy of double the amount of “the financial benefit obtained through the public funds and/or property”. Despite the fact that Hick and Gart reimbursed the state for the plane ride, the ethics case against Gessler opened the door for this type of remedy. Read the rest of the complaint here for additional details.
Another interesting point about this complaint is that Gart is no ordinary political donor. The Gart family has given, by our calculations, over $13,000 to Hick alone, according to TRACER. Ken Gart and his wife Rebecca have maxed out to Hickenlooper each year he’s been governor. Ken Gart is part of the Gart Family of Denver. Have you been to Gart Sporting Goods? Or have you heard the store’s SNIAGRAB (that’s bargains for those of you who can’t read backwards) ads? Right, those Garts. Ken Gart has two brothers, Tom and John, who also are married to Margie and Martha. It’s also worth noting that Sally Gart recently gave $1,000 to the “A Whole Lot of People for John Morse” committee.
After giving over $16,000 to his campaign, the least Hick could do is give the guy a ride. Regardless of societal propriety, the state plane isn’t Hick’s to use to wine and dine top donors and it’s incumbent upon the IEC to ensure that Governor Hickenlooper is given equal treatment as Gessler.