A new report out by the International Business Times‘ David Sirota (why is someone who hates capitalism reporting on business?) shows that Colorado’s Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper may have a slight conflict of interest in hiring Amazon’s lobbyists in Colorado, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Federalrecords reviewed by International Business Times show that at the beginning of 2017, Amazon hired Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck to lobby for the company. A few weeks later, Hickenlooper’s office awarded a $210,000 taxpayer-funded government lobbying contract to Brownstein Hyatt, after the firm helped bankroll Hickenlooper’s election campaign. Brownstein’s then-shareholder and government relations and public policy manager became Hickenlooper’s chief of staff.”
In defense of Brownstein, it’s a fairly large firm and perhaps it has been able to wall off certain clients. But it does look sort of shady. Don’t worry, Luis Toro and Colorado Ethics Watch has come to Hick’s rescue:
“‘I think it’s fair to surmise that whatever they’re pushing is not going to be adverse to the other clients of the lobbyist,’ said Luis Toro, the executive director of the nonprofit Colorado Ethics Watch, in an interview last week. He added that, because ‘pretty much all lobbyists are going to have connections like this,’ the governor’s office might be better off using its budget to hire an in-house lobbyist, as opposed to a private firm.”
Nonetheless, for once in our lives we agree with Sirota, it does seem to be just a little shady. Maybe someone should CORA Hickenlooper’s communications about this issue. Anyone?