Did They Send Thank You Notes?

Backers of an initiative to ban gifts from lobbyists to public officials have released a report detailing more than $200,000 in gifts and free trips from lobbyists, including ski jackets, whitewater rafting trips, and fly fishing lessons.State Representatives received an average of $1,570 in gifts since January 2005; senators, $1,170. Gov. Bill Owns got more than $57,000, according to the report by Coloradans for Clean Government, which is advocating for Amendment 41.

They also went on trips to locales such as China, the Czech Republic, and Israel.

Earlier this year, The Denver Post reported that 65 out of 100 state lawmakers accepted more than $29,000 worth of golf outings, ski-lift passes and other goodies. State Sen. Peter Groff  (D-Denver) being one of the biggest gift takers, taking $2,180 worth of gifts.

If Amendment 41 is approved by voters, legislators will no longer be able to take gifts from lobbyists, and they could take no more than $50 annually in gifts from non-lobbyists. Legislators would be prohibited from becoming paid lobbyists for two years after they leave office. An independent ethics commission would also be established.

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About the Author

Nancy Watzman

is a Denver-based writer.

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