Former state Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton, will have a tough time wriggling out of a state ethics investigation inquiry launched this week into charges he has violated the lobbying ban law.
Salazar finished his legislative term on Jan. 4, 2019, and on the same day went to work with fractivists at Colorado Rising and allegedly began lobbying against the energy industry.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission voted unanimously to review the allegations brought by the Public Trust Institute (PTI), so there is obviously some there, there.
The lobbying ban is supposed to block lawmakers from trying to cash in on their influence, by prohibiting them from lobbying the state for a full two years.
How has Salazar allegedly lobbied?
Salazar held a press conference on the west steps of the state Capitol on Jan. 4, announcing his new employer’s intent to “directly influence state legislation and policy,” according to PTI. At that time, Salazar said the governor’s office “doesn’t belong to one individual no matter how much he paid for it. It doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to the people of the state of Colorado. And Colorado Rising is here to give them that reminder on a daily basis if we need to.”
In March, Salazar held a press conference and urged people to call their lawmakers and tell them to vote for Senate Bill 181, which sounds a lot like lobbying.