An ethics complaint has been filed against Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser alleging he violated campaign finance laws when he held a June fundraiser for his reelection campaign in Hawaii.

Yes, he was fundraising in Hawaii. At the Grand Wailea Maui.

When you’re Colorado’s attorney general, you can afford this view at the Grand Wailea Maui.

Weiser is the chairman of the Attorney General Alliance, an association of attorneys general from across the nation, which held their convention at this Waldorf Astoria resort.

We don’t know how much it cost the alliance to hold their convention there, but we do know the resort did not charge the chairman to piggyback his fundraising event onto the event, and it only cost his campaign about $438 total to pay for food and drinks.

It”s not known how much Weiser raised at this exclusive event.

The complaint notes of the convention sponsors:

“Several of the sponsors were then, or are currently engaged, in active litigation against the state of Colorado. These include Juul, Purdue Pharma, Pfizer, Google and Facebook.”

Weiser’s campaign told Colorado Politics he paid his own way to attend the conference out of his campaign funds. It’s not reassuring that Weiser is spending campaign funds for Hawaiian trips to be lobbied by the likes of Facebook, Pfizer, Google, or anyone.

The complaint filed by the conservative group Defend Colorado contends the extraordinarily low cost of the fundraiser is a solid indication that it was an unreported campaign gift contribution, which is illegal.

The state ethics commission is being asked to investigate the Hawaiian fundraiser and levy a fine if the venue constitutes as an unlawful contribution.

The complaint cites the Colorado secretary of state’s campaign finance manual, which bars in most cases the use of hotel space for free or at a discount.

Weiser’s campaign defended the fundraiser, mostly by attacking the Republican group that busted them for the possible violation.

Weiser’s people can’t seem to get their story straight as to where in the hotel the fundraiser was held, but insist it was not in restaurant that rents for nearly $40,000 for events.

From Colorado Politics: 

Anna Noschese, the registered agent for the Weiser campaign, denied any campaign finance violation. She said she checked with the resort about paying for the use of the dining room and was told it was booked up. The fundraiser, she said, took place in a public foyer, located at the bar of the resort. She said the resort’s management told her that area is regularly available for use for free.


Noschese, after reviewing the exhibits and photos, again said the fundraiser was “in the little standing entryway.”

It sounds like the campaign needs to get their story straight as they parse the location of the fundraiser inside the luxury hotel. Public foyer, bar, or in that “little standing entryway,” it sure sounds like “hotel space for free or at a discount.”

Rooms at this resort cost nearly $1,000 a night, so we find it hard to believe the fundraising cost was only $438 for food and drinks.

In one photo filed with the complaint, we counted 33 people, which averages out to $13 per person.

At a resort like this, we’re guessing that buys a glass of water and a handful of pretzels.

Maybe an olive.

It’s also worth noting Weiser was photographed at his event without a mask, in violation of Hawaii’s health code.