Hickenlooper’s profligate use of taxpayer dollars was hardly restricted to the $150,000 he wasted on legal fees to defend his illegal use of Maseratis and private jets.
As the Denver Post reported in January, Hickenlooper’s expenses from the fund included $13,000 for a campaign-style “legacy” website in the months prior to his presidential announcement, $20,000 on state owned aircraft, and $112,000 on undefined “personal services.”
Between mid-2014 and the start of 2019 — a time span that includes the end of Hickenlooper’s first term in office and his entire second term — those expenses include $20,381 in rentals of a state-owned aircraft, $111,842 on “personal services” and at least $399,006 in dues to groups like the National Governors Association, Western Governors Association and National Association of State Budget Officers.
When @Hickenlooper was Governor, he used $13,000 of taxpayer dollars to build a campaign-style website highlighting his “legacy.”
It used to look like this ⬇️ But… then we bought it.
— The Senate Majority (@NRSC) January 29, 2020
Democrats, including former Senate candidate Lorena Garcia, have openly slammed Hickenlooper for forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of his legal fees.
Last month U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn joined state Sen. Paul Lundeen in requesting the U.S. Treasury audit Hickenlooper’s potentially illegal expenses from the fund.
The request for a Treasury investigation came after Democrats in the state legislature voted in lockstep to block an audit during the last legislative session.
Several Democrats, including Andrew Romanoff, called for Hickenlooper to embrace an audit to clear up the perception he illegally spent taxpayer dollars on himself.
“If I were in John’s shoes, I would welcome an audit — request an audit and put this to rest,” he said in an interview this week. “Transparency is in the taxpayers’ best interest, and we should all be open and accountable for how public dollars should be used.”
State Sen. Rhonda Fields, whose daughter worked on Hickenlooper’s presidential and Senate campaigns, defended blocking the audit by suggesting the legislature lacked jurisdiction to hold Hick legally accountable.
“We can’t press charges for fraud,” she said. “We can’t charge anyone with fraud.”
It is not immediately clear whether Hick will emerge from the basement and defend raiding a 9/11 economic recovery fund for his own benefit.
From our standpoint, if we illegally spent taxpayer dollars on flights, personal services, and a “legacy” website, we probably wouldn’t be in a hurry to engage or debate our opponent either.