Last week, Colorado Public Radio’s Bente Birkeland broke the strange story of Colorado Republican Party chairman Dave “Let’s Go Brandon” Williams’ side gig as a legislative aide, putatively working for at least one member of the GOP House minority. This odd but not unprecedented arrangement was further complicated by two additional factors: Williams’ election in March to lead the Colorado Republican Party, a paid position which Williams claims to be foregoing compensation for, and the more immediate problem that no one seems to have ever actually seen Williams at the Capitol during all this time he’s been drawing a state paycheck.
Last Friday Rep. Williams made a too-little too-late attempt at addressing the latter problem:
.@BenteBirkeland wrote about how Williams is an aide and GOP chair and how unusual that is: https://t.co/U9CzljICHU
This is the first time I’ve seen Williams at the Capitol this year #copolitics #coleg
— Jesse Aaron Paul ☀ (@JesseAPaul) April 28, 2023
It wouldn’t just be the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul surprised to see Williams, since House Minority Leader Mike Lynch himself says Williams hadn’t been seen inside the building previous to last Friday. With the session nearly over, the question of what exactly Williams has been doing to earn a full-time legislative aide’s pay without entering the building all this time is still very much unanswered. In addition, legislative aides, who are generally presumed to be at work inside the Capitol when clocked in, face tight restrictions on electioneering activities on state time. We’re not even sure how that would work with a “remote” aide, but if anything like the same restrictions apply this seems like a major problem for GOP chairman Williams and the lawmaker(s) who enabled this arrangement.
Showing up the day after being outed as a “no show” employee with a big smile certainly is nervy, and nobody ever accused the bombastic former Rep. Williams of lacking audacity. What boldness doesn’t do in this case is answer the legitimate questions raised by Williams’ employment arrangement. Under no circumstances should taxpayers be keeping the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party financially afloat, especially for a job he by all accounts didn’t even show up to do for the entire legislative session.
It’s the swampiest situation Colorado politics has seen in quite some time.
Workin' hard? Or hardly workin'?
Most jobs that I know of (outside the politico patronage spouls world) have policies and requirements related to somewhat regular attendance — a (not-all-that-spontaneous) spontaneous reappearance policy has yet to be seen, or written?