Golfers fore Primavera skewers Rep. Bill Berens, who accepted $20,000 from the Colorado Oil and Gas Association this summer for knocking in a hole-in-one during the lobbyist’s private golf outing.
We are a committed group of House District 33 golfers with a passion for the sport. We were deeply concerned to learn that our current representative accepted $20,000 dollars for a hole-in-one from the Colorado Oil & Gas Association. As a result, “golf” has become synonymous with “scandal” in our great state. We support the candidacy of Dianne Primavera because she will bring ethics, focus and fair play back to the Capitol and the golf course.
The story of Beren’s instant riches was orginally broken by Colorado Confidential on October 5. It has generated a tremendous amount of local coverage, including two editorials by the Rocky Mountain News admonishing Berens for accepting the money.
Not satisfied to let the story pass well ahead of election day and out of voters’ minds, Berens double bogeyed the damage control response on October 26 by alerting the local district attorney of his impending complaint against the Broomfield Enterprise. He alleged that the newspaper violated the law by printing a letter to the editor from a 19-year-old college student critical of him and which pointed out the unusual contribution likely broke the spirit of a new law forbidding cash gifts to lawmakers, if not the law itself.
That action brought howls of derision and another series of newspaper articles and blog posts reminding voters once again about Berens’ shaky ethics in taking a contribution from a lobbyist with business before his recently announced assignment to the transportation and energy committee.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Association money equals 67 percent of Berens’ annual salary as a state legislator.