Two years ago Denver Mayor Michael Hancock found himself in the middle of a PR nightmare after accepting a luxurious $40,000 Super Bowl trip that was paid for by the Metro Denver Sports Commission, which drew on donations from Comcast, CH2M and the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.
The Denver Board of Ethics said that Hancock didn’t violate any ethics rules but said that accepting such an extravagant gift looked bad (and they were right). Forty thousand dollars is more than some people make in a year, and it’s just shy of the average Denverite’s salary.
So, instead of letting special interests pay for his trip this year, Hancock is sending taxpayers the bill. By contrast, Gov. John Hickenlooper is also attending the Super Bowl but at his own expense.
For all the complaints the public has about outside money influencing politicians, let us be clear: it is equally frustrating to see politicians spend taxpayer dollars on frivolous sh!t like fancy dinners, hotel rooms and sporting events.
We’re rooting for the Broncos, and we get why the Denver Mayor wants to be at the game. But, come on, dude. Stop pretending like this is a work trip. We all know it’s not.