FACT CHECK: Gardner's Washington Allies Launch Another Misleading Attack to Distract from His Record of Standing "100%" With Trump - John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

FACT CHECK: Gardner’s Washington Allies Launch Another Misleading Attack to Distract from His Record of Standing “100%” With Trump

The organization Senator Cory Gardner led in 2018 is out with another misleading attack to support the struggling incumbent who cannot defend standing with President Trump “100%.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee is already under growing scrutiny for running a “horrifying” ad exploiting a tragedy that they continued to stand behind even as a survivor asked them to remove it. Independent fact checkers ruled the ad is “misleading” and “smells like sh*t”.

Hickenlooper for Colorado Communications Director Melissa Miller released the following statement:  

“With coronavirus cases on the rise, unemployment relief expiring for 227,000 Coloradans out of work, and no plan for additional federal relief, Mitch McConnell and his lackeys are increasingly desperate to distract from their failings and Senator Gardner’s record of standing with Donald Trump 100% of the time. No number of misleading ads that ‘smell like shit’ will get the stink of Trump off Gardner.”

Get the facts on Washington Republican’s latest misleading smear: 

FACT: There are no “secret donations” – Companies and nonprofits made contributions for specific public private partnerships that are all searchable on the online transparency portal which Hickenlooper revamped. 

  • “The donations were not secret.” – 9News
  • “The donations, however, were not “secret,” as the ad claims.” – FactCheck.org
  • “A new transparency web site was launched on January 1, 2015 containing information from the new system.” – Transparency Online Project

FACT: In a recent editorial, the Denver Post called Hickenlooper “an ethical public servant” who made “an honest mistake.”

  • A Denver Post editorial said, “we don’t believe Hickenlooper was trying to undermine the system, or disrespect the commission, or avoid accountability. In fact, the governor has been extremely transparent.”
  • They also noted “there is ample evidence that he tried to comply with the spirit and letter of the law,” and “we consider both of those infractions to be relatively minor violations of the ethics laws.”
  • They further noted, Hickenlooper was “an ethical public servant” who made “an honest mistake.”

FACT: Republicans are attacking Hickenlooper for his trips to bring business to Colorado. The state went from 40th in job creation to the top economy in the country while he was Governor.

  • A national Republican group with ties to Mitch McConnell is behind the attacks: “A vice president for America Rising began filing open records requests in March 2018, when Hickenlooper was still in office, to obtain his travel records. The results of those open records requests formed the basis for the ethics complaint, filed by the Public Trust Institute, which was formed two days before the complaints were filed by former Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty.” – Colorado Politics
  • There are allowances to the gift ban that include: “Travel to conventions or meetings when the offer is made ex officio, is related to the person’s official duties, is of benefit to the state, the individual is representing the state, or the state pays dues to the sponsoring organization (other exceptions may apply depending on circumstances); Gifts from relatives and friends.”-Colorado Independent Ethics Commission 
  • “Take Colorado, which ranks No. 1 in the ‘economy’ category for the second year in a row. When Democrat John Hickenlooper first took office in 2011, Colorado ranked 26th in unemployment and 40th in job growth.” –  U.S. News and World Report

FACT: The truth is there is no 9/11 fund – that’s a lie by Republican operatives. The federal fund that paid for former Governor Hickenlooper’s legal representation is leftover ‘state fiscal relief’ from a 2003 federal law. This fund has been used by every Governor since then on various state expenses.

  • The ‘Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003’ “Provides $10 billion for State and local government assistance and $10 billion for Medicaid assistance through September 30, 2004. Amends the Social Security Act to add a new title, Temporary State Fiscal Relief” – Congress.gov
  • “These funds were intended to provide antirecession fiscal stimulus to the national economy and to help close state budget shortfalls due to the recession that began in March 2001.” – U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • President Bush did not even mention 9/11 in his remarks at the signing ceremony of the “Jobs And Growth Tax Reconciliation Act.” – George Bush White House Archive
  • Colorado received a separate $122 million federal grant from the Department of Homeland Security post-9/11 for first responders—those funds are completely separate from the 2003 Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act Fund. – Denver Post
  • “For the past dozen years, the fund has been treated as a highly discretionary tool in the budgetary tool belts of Colorado’s governors, granting them wide flexibility over how its money was spent.” – Denver Post

FACT: The attorney represented the Office of the Governor, and it is “common practice” for the state to appoint legal counsel to defend officials named in complaints.

  • “Because the ethics violations occurred while Hickenlooper was governor, his defense was paid for by the government — common practice in Colorado.” –Denver Post
  • “In the past two years, the state has also covered the legal costs for an outside attorney representing state Sen. Vicki Marble of Fort Collins” – Colorado Politics
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