FACT CHECK: Washington Republicans Launch Misleading Attack Ad to Distract from Gardner’s Record - John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

FACT CHECK: Washington Republicans Launch Misleading Attack Ad to Distract from Gardner’s Record

Hickenlooper for Colorado Communications Director Melissa Miller released the following statement on another misleading attack ad launched by Washington Republicans who cannot defend Senator Cory Gardner’s record:

“Republicans know John Hickenlooper is the best candidate to take on Senator Cory Gardner and are launching millions of dollars of increasingly desperate attacks because they can’t defend Gardner’s toxic record of standing with President Trump. Their latest attempt is to attack John for initiatives like delivering books to four-year-olds across the state and boosting tourism on the Eastern Plains. As Governor, John dramatically increased transparency and supports efforts by the state legislature for more oversight of these important programs.”

Desperate Republicans have already spent $2 million to attack John and have reserved nearly $15 million in TV advertising. 

Please see below to get the facts about this misleading smear. 

Republicans and right-wing groups have already spent more than $2 million to attack John.

  • Washington Republicans and the NRSC have spent $1.1 million
  • Cory Gardner has spent over $300,000
  • Dark money conservative group Unite for Colorado has spent $940,000

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.”

Hickenlooper revamped Colorado’s transparency portal which shows funding sources across Colorado government, including public-private partnerships.

  • “On July 1, 2014, the State implemented a new ERP system, CORE.  A new transparency web site was launched on January 1, 2015 containing information from the new system. The old transparency site will be available for access to data prior to July 1, 2014.” – Transparency Online Project

Hickenlooper used public-private partnerships to fund important projects and help public dollars go as far as possible.

  • One Book 4 Colorado has gotten nearly half a million books to four-year-olds across Colorado
  • Pedal the Plains brought tourism and economic development to communities on the Eastern Plains through a bike tour—to the tune of a quarter million dollars for host communities.
  • Colorado’s Senior Advisor on Aging helped improve life and coordinate services for seniors across the state, leading to U.S. News and World Report calling Colorado the 4th best state for “effectively serving [its] senior citizens.”

Public-private partnership sponsors were listed publicly and credited in press releases, annual reports, event signs, websites, media coverage, remarks, and more.

  • Denver Business Journal Headline: “Ahead of final state address, Hickenlooper reflects on public-private partnerships”
    • “He’s sought help from the private sector since then in growing Colorado’s innovation ecosystem, in turning the state into a national hub for cybersecurity and in attracting attention to this place through the Biennial of the Americas.
    • “Now he points to some of these efforts as his proudest accomplishments. And some business leaders who have worked with him through these efforts say they have been able to accomplish great things for the economic development of the state that business groups could not do themselves.”

Governors before and after Hickenlooper used public-private partnerships to fund many State projects. For example:

  • Governor Ritter used public private partnerships to fund biofuels research.
  • Governor Owens used public private partnerships to renovate the governor’s mansion.
  • Governor Polis is using a public private partnership for COVID relief.


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