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February 11, 2011 02:53 AM UTC

Blind Spot: Hancock and Metro Taxi

  • 12 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

As the slate of Denver mayoral candidates report their numbers for last month, opponents of city councilman Michael Hancock are turning up the heat over his role in the ongoing denial of PUC approval for Mile High Cab to launch taxi service in metro Denver. Last September, you might recall, columnist Susan Greene argued the plight of Mile High Cab, and competition-stavred consumers in Denver–and the stiff opposition to their bid from Michael Hancock.

In January, Hancock reported over $125,000 in contributions, with at least $8,000 of that total from Metro Taxi or employees. And Metro Taxi has consistently been a top contributor to Hancock–something, as this Xtranormal-ified transcript we were forwarded from Hancock’s PUC testimony against Mile High Cab last fall attests, he’s a little evasive about under questioning:

Ouch! Assuming the accuracy of that transcript, it certainly doesn’t cast Hancock in the best light. For those of you who can’t see the video, it consists of an attorney grilling Hancock about his contributions from Metro Taxi before the PUC. Hancock initially answers “no” to questions about receiving money from Metro Taxi–presumably in a personal context–then is hit with record of his campaign donations. The overall effect is to make Hancock look conflicted arguing against more taxi competition.

Nevertheless, administrative judge Paul Gomez did deny Mile High Cab’s application last year. These decisions are based (in theory, anyway) or an assessment of service, and the PUC tries to balance the need for services under its regulation with demand. It’s worth noting that there are a lot of cab drivers, many of them recent legal immigrants from developing nations, in Hancock’s district today. One of Mile High’s selling points, said Greene in her column, is their lease rates charged to cabbies would be a fraction of that charged by the big competitors. So maybe downtown Denver doesn’t need more cabs, or maybe Metro Taxi just doesn’t want more competition–for customers or drivers.

Either way, say his opponents, you really can’t take Hancock’s word for it (see cartoon).

Cross-posted from Denver Pols.

Comments

12 thoughts on “Blind Spot: Hancock and Metro Taxi

    1. We didn’t see that, and we got this today along with a highlighted spreadsheet of updated numbers and donors. People do send us things every day, and this one made us chuckle.

  1. Hancock opposed Metro Taxi; then Metro Taxi donated? Did Hancock then change his position? In other words, what impropriety is alleged here? I ask as someone who has no strong preference in the mayor’s race right now.

    1. vs Metro Taxi.

      The allegation is that he did a favor in some sort of shady way for a donor by testifying in favor of keeping out the competition. Metro Taxi is a huge employer in his district, of course he’s going to go to bat for them, just as Chris Romer would go to bat at the state house for a big employer in his district.

      BFD.

    2. Hancock doesn’t seem to know that Metro Taxi is giving thousands of dollars to his campaign at the same time he’s voting against allowing Mile High Taxi to be the competition.  Of course he knows it.  And it seems a little unfair.  It also seemed a little unfair when he was the “guest speaker” as a mayoral candidate at an open house for teachers sponsored by KB Homes – one of the biggest homebuilders in his district – last week.  No other candidates were invited and KB footed the bill – did they report it as a campaign contribution or a marketing expense to teachers.  Fine line, huh?  No rules were probably broken, but it’s appearances – just like those wacky school board members probably didn’t break any real rules with their Defense Denver work – but it doesn’t pass the smell test.  Appearances, people.  They know better.

    1. but there isn’t a position in this state (except for arguably governor) that will, for better or for worse, define the public’s perception of “Democrat” throughout Colorado more than “Mayor of Denver.”

      So, if that person in the mayor’s office happens to be a feckless, two-faced, untrustworthy, duplicitious, self-absorbed, and double-dealing assclown . . .  then it becomes a huge concern for Democrats everywhere in Colorado.       If, on the other hand, that person is anybody other than Chris Romer . . . well, then honestly, I guess I could really care less myself.  

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