Next up as part of Colorado Confidential’s series on perks members of the Denver City Council have received, this story takes a look at the reports of Councilwomen Jeanne Faatz (Dist. 2) and Kathleen MacKanzie (Dist. 7), as well as former Councilwomen Rosemary Rodriguez (Dist. 3) and Elbra Wedgeworth (Dist. 8).
The first part can be read here, the second part here, and the third part here, along with the initial story on lagging transparency.All disclosures are from 2005, as that is the most recent record available.
Faatz has the shortest list of gifts, including listing that she received an item from a personal friend (but doesn’t specify what), as well as that she receives a parking space at City Hall and a tag she can put on parking meters in Denver to avoid parking charges if she is on official business. She explained that she does not believe in accepting gifts of any type, and even reported early on a poster she received during the first six months of the current reporting period.
Councilwoman MacKenzie also lists her parking spot and parking meter tag on her report, along with a range of meals and other events she has not had to pay for out of her own funds. These events include the Mayor’s Christmas party, a Martin Luther King, Jr. luncheon, and a firefighter awards luncheon. MacKenzie appears to be a fan of Bambino’s at 1135 Bannock, though, as she was treated there by Mike Mosco of the Police Protective Association, as well as a law firm. She also dined with someone from lobbying firm CRL, but doesn’t note on her report with whom she met, where the dinner took place, or why she met with them. She did not, however, accept any free sports tickets.
Former Councilwomen Rodriguez and Wedgeworth provided somewhat more detail on their reports.
Wedgeworth specifically noted tickets to a variety of rubber chicken type dinners and luncheons, including for the DIA Partnership, the Downtown Denver Partnership, affordable housing, the MLK Rodeo, the Denver Metro Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Women’s Foundation, the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, the Denver Public Library, the Girls Scouts, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, and the Zion Baptist Church.
Also on her list are tickets to the Denver Broncos game against the Philadelphia Eagles, tickets to the play “Wicked” at the Buell Theatre, and tickets for the opening of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. When contacted about this report, Wedgeworth explained, “The only things I go to are city related.”
As an example she pointed to the Broncos game, noting that she was appointed by the Mayor to be the City’s representative on the Board of Directors for the Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority, which hosted the event at the Broncos game. For the showing of Wicked, she attended as a guest of the Denver Nuggets Community Fund.
Wedgetworth also noted on her report that she received, but never used, a pass to Six Flags Elitch Gardens. What a waste!
Rodriguez reported a similar list of tickets to dinners and luncheons, including the Denver School of Science and Technology (which is not in her district), the League of Women Voters (as a guest of JP Morgan), the University of Denver (as a guest of Wells Fargo), the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (as a guest of United Airlines), the Girl Scouts (as a guest of George K. Baum), the Denver Public Library Commission (as a guest of Fofi Mendez, a Denver political consultant), and the Bell Policy Center.
Rodriguez also listed her free parking space and parking meter tag, as well as a ticket to see the Rockies play, as a guest of Coors. She explained that this event was part of a fundraiser for “Christmas boxes” for families in need.
It appears, then, that for these Councilmembers, any freebies come as part of their official duties.