Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s accusation that Democrat Bill Ritter is selling access to the statehouse by employing a lobbyist to handle fundraising efforts certainly seems like the pot calling the kettle back.
During his years in Congress, Beauprez collected $50,210 in campaign contributions from lobbyists. As reported yesterday, earlier this year he voted for a weak version of federal lobbying reform legislation.
He also earned the dubious distinction of the number one ranking for being the lawmaker in Congress closest to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), who left Congress after revelations of his ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his indictment for political money laundering charges in Texas. Beauprez earned the ranking from Public Campaign Action Fund (disclosure: I work for Public Campaign when not writing for Colorado Confidential and Muckraking Mom) because he had given $30,000 to DeLay’s leadership PAC, ARMPAC; $1,000 to Tom DeLay’s legal defense fund; was a member of a special fundraising program known as Retain our Majority Program, run by DeLay; voted with DeLay 95.8 percent of the time; and voted for an ethics rule change that would favor DeLay.
But that doesn’t mean that Democrats don’t take money from lobbyists as well. One of Beauprez’s lobbyist donors, Danny Tomlinson, gives to Democrats and Republicans alike. And Beauprez’s opponent Ritter takes lobbyist cash in addition to using lobbyist Mike Feeley to help with fundraising.