Lawmakers Are No-Shows at Charity Party

And the fallout from Amendment 41 continues. While some legislators are stepping down early to escape its reach, Amendment 41 might be affecting something else this December – holiday parties. Take, for instance, the annual women lobbyists and legislators charity party. Every year, female lobbyists and legislators in Colorado gather to meet, mingle and donate money and gifts to charity. In past years, there’s been a good showing of legislators, but at this year’s party on Tuesday, only three showed up. Annmarie Jenson, whose lobbying firm organized the event, thinks legislators are trying to obey the spirit of Amendment 41, which has not yet gone into effect.

“My impression is that a lot of legislators are not doing things they used to do,” said Jenson.

The party could conflict with Amendment 41 in the future because local businesses donate the food and beverages. The so-called Ethics in Government initiative will prohibit legislators from accepting such freebies, even if the event is meant to benefit charity.

But, Jensen said, they had a great turnout of lobbyists and raised $1,100 as well as many holiday gifts to donate to Families First and the Delores Project, a women’s homeless shelter in Denver.

Jensen said the event is usually a great opportunity for legislators and lobbyists to come together in a non-partisan environment.

“It was a bonding experience for the women and a chance to meet new legislators,” she said.

The party will hopefully continue next year, Jensen said, but it might be a lobbyists-only event.