A top adviser to House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst was forced to leave the Capitol today for violating House rules that prohibit someone from holding a staff position while simultaneously running for partisan office.
Former state lawmaker Jenise May, who lost her Adams County House seat in a major upset last year, was hired by Hullinghorst to work for the House Democrats in an attempt to warehouse her for a run for Senate. Her new job was announced in a Denver Post political blog on Dec. 11, 2014 and she filed to run for Senate District 25 on Jan. 2, 2015.
We get it… May lost her seat and needed a job to tide her over until she could run again. It’s so obvious it makes our brains hurt.
So when Hullinghorst told The Durango Herald: “It was a mistake. It was a complete surprise, I think, to both of us,” nobody can seriously believe her.
It is such an obvious conflict of interest that we’re kind of shocked they are pretending like they were unaware of the issue. As a legislative staffer, May served as a gatekeeper to the Speaker and the rest of the Democratic caucus. That kind of leverage shouldn’t be allotted to someone with a political agenda of her own.
After being confronted about the violation, May told the Herald she would close her campaign:
“I’m just going to go home,” May said, as she was walking to her car to leave the Capitol. “I’m just going to close my candidacy. What else can I do? It’s a policy, I didn’t even know. I just found out. … All I can do is say I left, what more?”
“What more?” she asks? May and Hullinghorst could actually try reading the rules. Ignorance is never a viable excuse, and in this case, not even a believable one.