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July 28, 2019 09:53 AM UTC

Why Open Records Laws Exist, Mike Pence Edition

  • 5 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols
Vice President Mike Pence.

Following up the story of last week’s visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Colorado, including a stop in Aspen for a jointed Trump 2020/RNC fundraiser and a fundraiser for Sen. Cory Gardner in Windsor not attended by Sen. Gardner, from FOX 31’s Joe St. George:

24 hours after Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo made national news for asking Republicans or the White House to reimburse the county for security costs associated with Vice President Mike Pence’s visit, DiSalvo is getting his money back..

“They actually found somebody who is not the party host who is willing to pick up the expenses for my department and a few others,” DiSalvo said.

DiSalvo said the donor wished to remain anonymous.

First of all, we’re happy to see the local authorities who carry much of the burden for campaign stops by high-ranking officials who need protection, motorcades, etc. getting reimbursed for their expenses. This is a longstanding bone of contention when politicians from either party show up for events that cannot be considered to have any kind of public benefit, and in Colorado where budgets are infamously tight it’s even more of a problem. Both parties have been guilty of mooching off of local public safety officials for political event logistics, and both parties should pay up to local governments for the privilege.

But folks, under no circumstances should any such reimbursement be allowed to happen anonymously. We’re fairly certain that it won’t be anonymous for long, since FOX 31 or another media outlet or citizen who wants to can easily file a Colorado Open Records Act request to find out who ponied up. If there’s a justification for withholding that name from a CORA request, we’d like to see it in writing.

Again, it’s great to see local governments not getting stuck with the tab for the significant expense of supporting political events. But after the recent scandal in Yuma County with GOP billionaire Robert Mercer getting deputized in exchange for big donations to the sheriff’s office, this is money whose quid and quo need to be fully disclosed.

Comments

5 thoughts on “Why Open Records Laws Exist, Mike Pence Edition

  1. If someone relieves a political campaign of the obligation to pay its expenses, doesn't that count as a political donation?  Shouldn't it be reported on a FEC report?

  2. I don’t know why anyone has any thought that this isn’t just a good faith gesture by some well meaning, deep pocketed, patriot . . .

    . . . I mean, is it so very hard to believe that Trump isn’t writing those checks himself? — just because it’s the right thing to do???

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