The Colorado Observer broke the news last night that Independent Ethics Commissioner Bill Pinkham attended a fundraiser for ethically-challenged liberal Governor John Hickenlooper. This comes just two weeks after Pinkham exonerated Hick for attending a Democratic Governor’s Association fundraiser in Aspen last year. But, there’s no conflict of interest here, right? According to The Observer:
“Sadly, we are not surprised that Commissioner Pinkham would host a fundraiser for the governor while sitting in judgment over an ethics complaint concerning Hickenlooper,” said Deputy Secretary of State Suzanne Staiert in a statement. “Such political partisan activity has been par for the course for commissioners who are supposed to be ‘independent.’ This underscores what we have been saying about the corruption of the commission.”
Pinkham, the mayor of Estes Park, maintains that he was simply being a host to the Governor. The fundraiser occurred after a groundbreaking ceremony for the $15 million Estes Park Medical Center and Anschutz Wellness Training Center.
Even the left-leaning Ethics Watch suggested this was a conflict of interest:
Peg Perl, staff counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, said she was unfamiliar with the Pinkham situation, “but I would say if the facts played out that a sitting commissioner was involved in fundraising for someone who was appearing in front of them, we would find that problematic and a conflict of interest.”
While Pinkham claims he wasn’t a host for the fundraising event, his spokesperson suggested otherwise in an email on Friday. Sure, politicians go to fundraisers for politicians they don’t support all the time. And if they really hate the politician, they contribute money. Like Pinkham has.
The Independent Ethics Commission is a complete joke.