Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) ethics scandal has called into question his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission slapped Hickenlooper last Friday with the highest ethics penalty for his use of a corporate jet and Maserati limo.
The ethics commission voted to fine Hickenlooper, a 2020 Senate Democrat candidate, $2,750 for ethics violations. The Colorado board fined the former governor for allowing corporations to cover the cost of a private jet trip to Connecticut, a Maserati limousine ride, as well as elegant dinners in 2018.
Republicans and Democrats have called into question Hickenlooper’s candidacy in the wake of his ethics penalty.
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement on Friday that Coloradans deserve a better representative than someone who violated the state’s ethics rules:
The Ethics Commission’s decision to order John Hickenlooper pay the highest penalty in Commission history is an important step toward accountability. Hickenlooper violated the Colorado constitution, disrespected the rule of law, and forced the Commission to subpoena him and find him in contempt before answering their questions. Coloradans deserve better, and they deserve to be refunded for the hours billed as a result of Hickenlooper’s erratic behavior these past few weeks.
Jesse Hunt, the communications director for the NRSC, said that the ethics violations present a “serious problem with him for Colorado voters.”
Andrew Romanoff, Hickenlooper’s more progressive primary opponent, charged that the former governor will face endless GOP attack ads should he get the nomination.
During a debate with Hickenlooper last Tuesday, Romanoff said, “Look, John Hickenlooper just wrote the Republicans’ ad against him twice now. The truth is that John Hickenlooper represents a threat that we cannot afford.”
Romanoff has called for Hickenlooper to drop out of the race.
Romanoff, who supports Medicare for All, beat Hickenlooper in the Colorado Democrat caucuses last March. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) also won Colorado during the March Democrat presidential primary.
Recent polling has shown that Sen. Cory Garder (R-CO) leads Hickenlooper by 18 points in a May Keating-Onsight-Melanson poll.
One Republican pollster said that Hickenlooper’s ethics scandal could give Gardner an advantage during the Senate general election.
“There are folks that — not everything is ideological,” one GOP official told the Hill.
The Republican official added, “They might be voting against Republicans and Trump this time around. But I do think there are nonideological voters out there that will go for Cory Gardner.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.