The saga of the Jenise May revolving door continues. She unwisely went on the record with the Colorado Independent this week to talk about the disastrous meltdown that occurred at the Capitol last year, and reminded us all about some of the worst backroom deals that are made in politics these days.
In November 2014, May was a first-term state representative who lost to JoAnn Windholtz in the general election by mere 106 votes. But instead of pulling back and looking for other ways to stay involved politically, May got greedy.
The following month, while May was still technically a member of the House, Speaker Dickie Lee Hullinghorst announced a patronage job for her as a “special advisor.” On January 2, 2015, May filed paperwork to become a candidate for State Senate.
The rules of the state legislature forbid someone from holding a paid legislative staff position while simultaneously running for a seat in the legislature. And that makes sense – it is unconscionable to grant a make-work government position to a person who is running for the legislature, as the state legislature could be viewed as financially supporting an individual for a run to gain a seat in the state legislature. When confronted with this situation by a whistleblower, May’s reaction was to storm out of the capitol in the middle of a work day – for hours no one knew what her status was as an employee or as a candidate.
She ended up terminating her State Senate candidacy in May of 2015, and then re-opening her candidacy in September (for which she promptly received a campaign finance violation for bungling the submission of her personal financial disclosure form).
The rules are clear that this practice is forbidden. On top of that, common sense dictates that you should not be doing this, but May claims that it was an honest mistake. But are backroom deals and dishonest dealing so rampant in Democratic politics that she wouldn’t immediately recognize the conflict of interest in this situation? Well, probably.