Looks like Democratic Sen. Irene Aguilar may have learned her lesson when it comes to blocking necessary audits of government money, like she did when Republicans wanted an accounting of the millions of dollars wasted by Connect for Health Colorado.
Nothing to see here she declared back in 2014, when the Senate Health and Human Services Committee she chaired voted along party lines to kill the GOP bill telling the state auditor to examine the agency.
The Denver Post reported then that Aguilar said there was no point in “throwing more government” at the health exchange.
“I have been exceedingly impressed by the transparency (of the exchange) and public participation at the (board) meetings is impressive,” she said.
The joke was on us after a state audit finally revealed shoddy bookkeeping, a lack of oversight and a host of other problems in their spending of $32 million in taxpayer dollars.
Now the Post reports that nearly $600,000 intended for Coloradans with disabilities is instead going to a trade organization and some of that money may have been used to lobby state officials.
Alliance (Colorado) has an annual budget of $667,000, of which $574,000 comes from membership dues, according to the nonprofit’s federal tax records. Alliance reported spending $45,000 on lobbying, but it is unclear whether preparation for lobbying and meeting on public policy were counted as lobbying. Lobbyists have discretion when reporting their hours — some count all their work, while others count only face time with lawmakers.
Three guesses as to who is screaming for more openness by the community boards that manage the money, one of which pays its director nearly a half million dollars, and passes out Costco cards and free home internet for employees?
There’s a difference between throwing more government at an agency like burdensome regulations that Democrats favor, and Republicans insisting that government actually do its oversight job and account for the money they are spending.
We can only hope that’s the lesson that Aguilar has learned.