Former Colorado Governor and failed presidential candidate John Hickenlooper has been charged for violating state ethics laws.
Hickenlooper served as the governor for Colorado from 2011 to 2019.
During the early stages of the 2020 presidential election cycle, he was one of the two dozen or so people that had thrown their name into the election hat. His campaign was short-lived, though, and he never even made it to the first Democratic primary election.
After giving up his presidential ambitions, Hickenlooper announced he would run for U.S. Senate, in an attempt to unseat Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO). However, Hickenlooper’s Senate plans are also in trouble now that he is facing ethics violations stemming from his governorship.
According to a recent article in the Denver Post, Hickenlooper was charged by Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) for violating state ethics laws on two counts, while managing to skirt charges on the other four incidents under investigation.
The report stated that while governor, Hickenlooper allowed the costs of a private jet trip to be covered by a large corporation in 2018. He also allegedly enjoyed some rather lavish dinners and a Maserati limo ride on their dime.
Hickenlooper at the time paid a $1,500 fee for the very secretive Bilderberg meetings in Italy in June 2018, stating that he believed that fee covered all his costs. The event organizer, however, stated that the money Hickenlooper put up did not even cover the cost of the limo, let alone hotel, meals, and additional expenses.
In March of the same year, Hickenlooper accepted expensive dinners and a free flight from MDC Holdings, a violation of Amendment 41 in the state ethics laws.
IEC commissioner Bill Leone stated, “I’m concerned that if we allow this kind of special, privately financed treatment for elected officials, it just accentuates the cynicism that led to Amendment 41.”
Penalties for Hickenlooper’s actions will be announced later this month.
Big problems for Dems
This presents a considerable problem for Democrats, as Hickenlooper is and has been the favorite in Senate polls for Colorado. The latest FiveThirtyEight poll puts Hickenlooper ahead of incumbent Sen. Gardner 54 to 36 percent in a potential primary matchup.
Now, Hickenlooper may even be lucky to get past his primary opponent, Andrew Romanoff. Gardner’s Senate seat is vulnerable, but this ethics violation will go a long way to help Gardner make a legitimate corruption case against Hickenlooper during the campaign.