Skiing in Colorado is pretty expensive these days, but even the priciest day on the slopes isn’t nearly as expensive as skiing with Sen. Cory Gardner’s family and friends.
For $2,500 per person or $3,000 per family ($5,000 for corporate PACs), lobbyists and political consultants could bring partners and kids to join the Senator, his family and his staff at the Ritz Carlton hotel, slope-side at Beaver Creek, one of Colorado’s fanciest ski destinations. This year was Gardner campaign’s fifth annual ski trip fundraiser.
Unfortunately for the guests, Gardner himself was unable to be there in person. According to one attendee, lobbyist Travis Brown, impeachment hearings kept Gardner “chained to his desk” over the weekend. His campaign spokesman did not return an email asking to confirm the reason for his absence.
In his absence, attendees were able to mingle and chat with Gardner family members, campaign staff and, of course, each other. Over 70 people (not counting partners and children) are listed on a guest list obtained by the Colorado Times Recorder.
In addition to household names like Coca-Cola, Facebook, FedEx and MillerCoors, representatives from the energy and health care industries comprised the largest portions of the event attendance list. Companies included Koch Industries, BP America, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy, Next Era Energy (the nation’s largest electric utility holding company).
United Health, Humana, and the Federation of American Hospitals were among the members of the for-profit health care industry. A lobbyist for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for companies with health plans governed by Medicare and Medicaid, was also on the list. AHIP is a co-founder of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, the advocacy group behind a six-figure ad campaign opposing a proposal to add a state option to Colorado health insurance exchange.
Another notable name on the guest list: Facebook’s Director of Public Policy and chief Senate lobbyist Myriah Jordan, who in 2016 signed a public letter opposing the possibility of then-candidate Trump’s presidency calling him “fundamentally dishonest” and predicting he would “use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.” Jordan did not immediately respond to a Facebook message asking to confirm her attendance.
The Beaver Creek weekend fundraiser was paid for by Gardner For Colorado, a joint fundraising committee comprising the Gardner campaign and his leadership political action committee, Project West PAC. Four of the top ten combined contributors to Gardner’s 2020 campaign and Project West PAC were on the guest list: DISH Network ($77,000), NextERA Energy ($56,500), Xcel Energy ($52,150), and Deloitte, LLC ($46,250).
A phone call to Gardner campaign fundraiser Katie Behnke was not immediately returned.
To see the full attendance list, grouped roughly by industry, click here for the original article on the Colorado Times Recorder.