Last week, Governor Hickenlooper uploaded a video of himself asking for money for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Fund (DSCF), a clear violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act. When Compass Colorado called him on it, he took the video down, but not before Compass downloaded it. Then, the Colorado Springs Gazette asked Hick’s staff about the violation. Here’s what his deputy director of communications said:
“Asked how Hickenlooper could utter the acronym DSCF without recognizing it was a partisan campaign group, Shrewsbury said by email: “He didn’t know. There are hundreds of acronyms surrounding him every day, and he, just like the staff, didn’t know that this had anything to do with the campaign. Staff and Gov. truly thought this was a glass ceiling challenge to have more women in government.”
That’s well and good, but Hickenlooper knows the rules well and, in the video, he even says:
“I’m Governor John Hickenlooper and I was challenged by [state] Sen. Kerry Donovan to donate to the DSCF “Glass Ceiling Challenge” and I’m donating $20 because electing women matters.”
But, here’s the problem, he donated $20 to the group. In his office. How can the governor not know what the DSCF is? That would be like a Republican president not knowing the National Republican Congressional Committee or the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It is inconceivable. Even the DSCF states that “The DSCF’s primary objective is to win as many Democratic seats as possible in the Colorado State Senate.”
Unfortunately for the Governor, just because he didn’t know he was breaking the law doesn’t mean he didn’t break it. Is Team Hickenlooper really going to throw some junior staffer under the bus for this?
Then, we turn to Luis Toro, head of Ethics Watch, which is supposed to be a nonpartisan watchdog group. In practice, the group primarily goes after Republicans and right-leaning organizations. Here is what he said when he was confronted with this information:
“I don’t think it’s a violation, and I don’t think Compass Colorado does either. They’ve not hesitated to file complaints against government in the past … What’s prohibited is using state funds for electioneering. You couldn’t prove state money was being used,” Toro said.
Unfortunately, the law says that the use of facilities even is a problem, not just state funds. But, Toro knows this well. After all, Toro went after Republican state Senate candidate Don Suppes for the same thing just last cycle. Here’s what Toro said, in case he forgot:
“To use one’s position as an elected official to divert public resources to support one’s own election campaign strikes at the heart of democracy,” said Luis Toro, Director of Colorado Ethics Watch. “Don Suppes’ blatant misuse of his position as Mayor to get free office space for his campaign is exactly the kind of misconduct our state law is meant to prohibit.”
We assume that using one’s position as an elected official to divert public resources to support one’s party’s own election also strikes at the heart of democracy.
Good grief, isn’t there a single Democrat whose default response is to tell the truth? Are any Democrats honest?