Here’s something you don’t see every day, a group of lawyers advertising a campaign fundraiser featuring congressmen discussing legislation of importance to would-be donors.
It’s one of those matters that sort of staggers along the line of congressional ethics – “No solicitation of a campaign or political contribution may be linked to any action taken or to be taken by a member or employee in his or her official capacity.”
But that didn’t stop it from happening earlier this month, according to Todd Shepherd of Complete Colorado.
The law firm of Fredericks Peebles and Morgan hosted the event in Broomfield to raise money for U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva of New Mexico, the influential ranking member of the House Resources Committee.
Also listed on the invitation was the congressman’s new best friend and fellow Resources Committee member, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis.
The main event, as listed on the invitation:
Reception to include discussion of Indian energy legislation, additions to H.R. 328, the American Indian Empowerment Act of 2015, preventing the treatment of Indian lands like public lands, affirming the exclusive authority of tribes to tax energy development, inclusion of tribes in energy efficiency and weatherization programs. Contribute by check or online.
It’s a fairly straight-forward deal.
When pressed by Shepherd for an explanation, Polis’s financial director Kate Siegel said the invitation bearing her boss’s name is not the same one she approved.
“I’ve never seen that [flier invitation] that you attached. The invite that we approved for that event, though similar layout, said nothing about a piece of legislation (in compliance with ethics rules). I’m guessing the law firm that hosted the fundraiser changed it without telling us.”
Without admitting to any violation, Siegel’s answer seems to acknowledge the possibility of an ethical problem with the flier we presented her.
Grijalva, by the way, is the same congressman who has been investigating university professors who disagree with the Obama administration’s take on climate change, including Polis’s own constituent, University of Colorado Professor Roger Pielke, Jr.
Grijalva is also the same congressman Polis has been squiring around his district lately to lobby for his wilderness bill. No wonder Polis has been doing so many interviews this week expressing his certainty, that despite two previous failed attempts, his bill would finally pass this session.