Time To Resign – Happy Hour Does NOT Count As “Legislative Business”

UPDATE: The Denver Police Department promises “significant new information” about Rep. Bradford’s case at a press conference scheduled for 3:30PM. Developing.

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State Bill Colorado summarizes today’s update to the story of Rep. Laura Bradford’s skirting of a DUI charge last week in downtown Denver, due to a constitutional provision meant to prevent the arrest of legislators for petty or political purposes “going to or returning from” legislative business. As reported yesterday by this blog, and confirmed now by multiple sources:

Before her non-arrest, Rep. Laura Bradford attended a happy hour at Prohibition, a bar just a few blocks east of the Capitol, multiple outlets reported. Sources told The Denver Post that Bradford was at the bar for several hours. ColoradoPols.com described it as a “lobbyist happy hour.” Speaker Frank McNulty told The Post he couldn’t recall whether Bradford told him at that time whether she had been at a legislative function the night she got stopped…

Critical to understand is that Rep. Bradford, although she claims to have not intended to invoke legislative privilege, specifically told Denver Police she was proceeding home from a “legislative function.” These are the words she used in her apology on the House floor yesterday as well, and these were the words that DPD says triggered the decision not to arrest her for what seems to have been a fairly obvious case of DUI.

“I was driving my personal car with legislative license plates. In response to the officer’s inquiry, I stated that I was leaving a legislative function, was on my way home and was expected to be at the capitol the next day,” Bradford said.

Game over, folks. No reasonable person could ever, ever consider a happy hour with lobbyists to fall under the heading of a legislative session, committee hearing, or debate as described in the Colorado Constitution, Article V, Section 16. The fact that Rep. Bradford referred to this happy hour as a “legislative function” when asked by police where she was coming from–not trivia, a key question under the law–is damning evidence that Bradford not only understood the relevance of those words to the police’s choices of what to do with her, but despite what she says now, fully intended to invoke legislative privilege to prevent her arrest for DUI.

And if that’s true, take a deep breath and acknowledge what it means.

It means that Rep. Laura Bradford must resign.

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32 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Next stop: McNulty says in the Post story today he didn’t learn about Bradford’s stop by police until Friday. Did Bradford try to keep it a secret?

    Outta there!

    This is quickly going to start hurting McNulty if he does not request her resignation. Does McNulty think lobbyist happy hour is a legislative function? Let him say so then!

    Outta there…

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Fucking job killing Republicans . . . such a shame, it was one of maybe only two things that a large majority in both parties could agree on.  (Happy hour and campaign contributions.)

      Starting next week, breathalyzers at both chambers’ doors . . .  

    • HikingTheAppalachianTrail says:

      Too bad Bradford didn’t kill a pregnant woman and tamper with evidence.  

      • JeffcoBlue says:

        Maybe grandchildren?

        Would you leave one lying on the road after something like that?

        Is there ANY evidence that Williams didn’t cooperate with the lengthy grand jury investigation? Fucking bullshit and you know it.

        The problem with Bradford is there will not be a grand jury.

      • Aristotle says:

        Driving under the influence is serious, but since all the evidence for that has been blown, there’s still the matter of Bradford stating that she had just attended a “legislative function.” I never referred to drinking with my work friends as a “work function,” so I hope you (and Bradford, and anyone else) aren’t going to say she could have called it that innocently.

      • Pita says:

        Please keep your dark, snarky opinions to yourself! No one wants anyone harmed for any reason.

      • nancycronk says:

        Wow.

        Please note Williams wasn’t drunk behind the wheel. If she was, all the Dems on Pols would be asking her to resign, too. She wasn’t.

        There isn’t a blogger on Pols that hasn’t swerved their car once because something in the car distracted them/hit them/surprised them/etc. at some point during their years driving, leaving them to think, “Thank God that didn’t cause an accident”. If you say you’ve always driven perfectly 100% of the time, I’m calling you a liar. Mistakes happen. It’s every person’s responsibility to decrease the likelihood of driving accidents by staying sober and not texting while driving.

  2. Middle of the Road says:

    She told a blatant lie to get out of the humiliation of a DUI and she got caught. Time to go.  

  3. Vanessa says:

    [Balmer’s resolution passed on a 33-31 vote, but it wasn’t completely a partisan split. Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Cokedale, voted in favor of the resolution while Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Colbran, voted against it.

    Bradford later said she’d made a mistake.

    “I was distracted,” she said, and voted the wrong way.]

    http://blogs.denverpost.com/th

  4. Gray in Mountains says:

    probably takes practice

  5. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    Who was buying the drinks?

    While I am not a fan of amendment 41, it is in the constitution and if Rep. Bradford tab was picked up, she might have another problem.

    Live by the constitution: die by the constitution.

  6. abraham says:

    Let’s keep this in perspective. I see no reasonable interpretation of the no-interference-with a legislator that applies to the Bradford incident.  She ought to be appropriately prosecuted for driving while impaired.

    We have had several legislators over the years who have gotten into trouble for driving impaired, and some of them ended up in alcohol abuse treatment.  Some of them were highly respected and regarded legislators yet they did not shirk their personal responsibility for their actions.  

    I do not think that this arises to the level of having her resign her seat, but I think that the House of Representatives needs to censure her on the record and the Speaker needs to make her removal as a committee chairman permanent.  

    In just a matter of weeks she will be facing her constituents in the nominating process and they can take appropriate action with respect to her political future.  If I were one of her constituents, I would be hard pressed to support her for renomination.

  7. brio says:

    On the upside, at least she clearly wasn’t that drunk:

    The fact that Rep. Bradford referred to this happy hour as a “legislative function” when asked by police where she was coming from . . is damning evidence that Bradford not only understood the relevance of those words to the police’s choices of what to do with her

    That’s not bad, for thinking while impaired.

  8. Ralphie says:

    That Denver PD will announce “significant new information” on the Bradford case at a 3:30 PM press conference.

    http://www.kdvr.com/news/kdvr-

    Does anyone more familiar with Denver Media know where this might be streamed so we yokels on the west side of the mountains might watch it?

  9. johnpauljones says:

    Rep. Bradford asked (at least twice) to be treated like everyone else during the stop.  

    Bad judgment to drink and drive?  Yes.  Campaign issue? Yes.  Should she resign?  No.  

    The officer who pulled Bradford over showed character for coming forward because of the mischaracterizations.

    DPS was right to apologies.

       

    • dukeco1 says:

      you are right. I have not seen the new info.

      Her own words above are pretty clear, however.

    • Ralphie says:

      She shouldn’t resign.  She has gotten away with it.

      Some poor schlub in a blue suit will now take the rap for her bad behavior.

      But not her.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Did you repeatedly ask (at least twice) to be treated like everyone else?  I never have, either.

      Seems to me, rather than being a situation of someone wanting to be in good faith “treated like everyone else,” the good Representative was letting those officers involved know in no uncertain terms that they damn sure needed to know that they were dealing with a very special someone who was, most definitely, not like everyone else .  .  .

      To me these “requests” for equal treatment smell as bad as just about everything else surrounding this incident.

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