As the Colorado Springs Gazette’s Marianne Goodland reports, the hits just keep coming for the once-and-again poster child for Colorado Republican nuttery, Sen. Vicki Marble–this time with an ethics complaint over a questionable town hall she hosted in Feburary with monetary help from a drilling company proposing controversial operations in her district moving forward:
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission Monday voted unanimously to issue subpoenas to state Sen. Vicki Marble, a Fort Collins Republican, her legislative aide, Sheryl Fernandez, and an oil and gas company that paid for a Marble town hall last February.
The complaint against Marble alleged that Extraction Oil and Gas paid for the February 15 town hall, potentially a violation of the state’s limit on gifts to lawmakers.
Sarah Hall Mann of Broomfield filed the complaint after attending the February event. She said in the complaint that Brian Cain, a media relations employee of Extraction, paid the bill for the event, which was held at CB & Potts, in the Flatirons Crossing mall.
According to the state’s ethics laws, lawmakers are prohibited from accepting gifts valued at more than $59. While the amount of the town hall isn’t known, according to Mann, the event was attended by 50 to 75 people, who were each given two free drink coupons for alcoholic beverages.
According to Goodland, who covered this story previously at the Colorado Independent, the party least cooperative with the Ethics Commission appears to be Extraction Inc.–the oil company accused of paying for the free booze and hors d’oeuvres for attendees to Marble’s town hall. We’re pretty sure that every legislator would love to have a deep-pocketed sponsor to cover drinks and nosh for town hall attendees, since this would result in more people coming to often sparsely-attended legislative town halls.
The only problem being it’s not legal. The particulars here also point toward the unhealthily close relationship between the oil and gas industry and Republican lawmakers in Colorado–so much so that, as the woman who filed the complaint told Goodland, the purported town hall held by Sen. Marble “was one long ad for the oil and gas industry.”
If so, that at least means Sen. Marble was doing right by somebody. As she proved again becoming a nationwide spectacle for the second time in her career, she’s not doing much for the Republican brand.