Dem governor suspected of profiting from his official actions

It was the Denver Post that, during a time when Jared Polis was running for governor in Colorado and faced accusations his spending millions of dollars of his own money on his campaign essentially was “buying” the office, that profiled his rise to wealth.

For example, the report confirms he turned a profit working as a stock trader in Russia and made money on website operations, movie theaters, and floral retailers. At one point he was dealing with the U.S. Department of Defense, buying “steel, or helmets or shell casings,” and then selling them for a profit.

Then his big score came when his family went online with products from the Blue Mountain Arts greeting cards created by his parents, Susan Polis Schutz and Steve Schutz.

They soon sold it for $780 million to [email protected], which promptly went bankrupt.

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Then he spent $1 million on a campaign for a seat on the Colorado State Board of Education, later went to Congress as one of its wealthiest members, and returned to Colorado to occupy the governor’s mansion, along with his same-sex partner.

He had, earlier, joined dollars with like-minded leftist millionaires Rutt Bridges, Tim Gill and Pat Stryker to turn Colorado from a relatively evenly divided state into a Democrat stronghold in 2004 with key – and significant – contributions to contested state legislative races that gave Democrats full control of the state.

For the first time in 40 years.

But now the Denver Gazette is reporting that state Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg is charging that Polis personally profited from legislation he signed, including Colorado’s legalization of sports books, and has written to the Legislative Audit Committee of the General Assembly asking for an investigation.

“The Colorado Governor takes unilateral actions that affect Colorado businesses and industries,” he told committee chairman Sen. Jim Smallwood, R-Parker. “…the Colorado Governor wields enormous power to benefit or impede Colorado businesses. At the same time, Governor Polis holds substantial business interests that are directly and indirectly impacted by his official actions as Governor.”

He said Polis has “real and actual conflicts of interests that are going unchecked and are unaccountable.”

Full disclosure is required, he said.

Polis’ office issued an assertion that such claims are false, the report explained.

“The Governor is now solely focused on giving back to the state he loves through public service and does not actively engage in business during his time of service; any assertion otherwise is patently false,” the office said.

While Sonnenberg charged that Polis has failed to establish a blind trust for his business assets as he promised, Polis’ office said there is one, although it was unclear what it contains, the report said.

“The Legislative Audit Committee is an 8-member bipartisan panel that reviews and releases audit by the Office of the State Auditor, but can also request special studies. Its next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 28. Messages to committee members and staff were not immediately returned,” the Gazette report said.

Sonnenberg explained that based on disclosures Polis made while in Congress, Polis owned stock in FanDuel through at least May 2019 when he signed Colorado House Bill 19-1327, which put the legalization of sports betting before voters that year.

“Just after Polis signed the bill to authorize the ballot initiative, FanDuel made a $250,000 contribution to passing what became known as Proposition DD. More than 51% of the voters approved the measure,” the report said.

Polis also appointed all of the members of the state’s gaming commission, which created rules to oversee sports gambling. Those appointees included his former staff member, Shawn Coleman.

The report said Polis “has never divulged the investment” in any financial disclosures required in Colorado, making it unclear if he still is invested, or when that interest was sold.

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