Friednash: Ethics commission failed public and politicians in Hickenlooper ruling

Friednash: Ethics commission failed public and politicians in Hickenlooper ruling

Jun 19, 2020

Article

Author, The Denver Post, June 19, 2020

Juicy headlines about ethics violations on the eve of the primary election is exactly what the group that filed a complaint against former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper were hoping for. And the Independent Ethics Commission didn’t disappoint.

Amendment 41 includes a gift ban, limiting the value of something that a public official can accept. In 2018, the gift limit amount was $59. In 2008, former Colorado Supreme Court Justice Jean Dubofsky and I challenged the gift ban provisions of Amendment 41. Our concern was two-fold. First, the measure would chill First Amendment rights. And, it could become a political hunting license to destroy elected officials’ reputations for conduct that wasn’t unethical.

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