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August 08, 2007 11:30 PM UTC

Hey, Bob, About that Conflict of Interest Thing...

  • 8 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols



The liberal group Progress Now has been after Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer to return contributions to his Senate account that appear to have a connection with a vote he cast as a member of the State Board of Education. Progress Now held a press conference today in an attempt to bring more attention to the issue, and while at first glance it seemed like more of the same, Schaffer may have backed himself into a corner. Check out this highlight from a press release sent out today:

Schaffer, in his current role as a member of the Colorado State Board of Education, recently cast the deciding vote for a for-profit company, owned by David Brennan, to continue to receive hundreds of thousands of Colorado taxpayer dollars for programs that the company sells to Denver’s charter schools. (Denver Post, May 10, 2007). The Denver School Board had voted 6-1 to get rid of Brennan’s costly programs. (Rocky Mountain News, May 10, 2007)


Schaffer took money from Brennan both before and after the vote.  Schaffer still has not disclosed to the State Board that since this recent vote he has taken thousands of dollars more in campaign contributions from Brennan within weeks of his vote for Brennan’s company…


In the December 10, 2006, Schaffer lectured his fellow Board Members on the need for disclosure of political contributions to members of the SBOE.(SBOE Recorded Minutes 12/10/2006, 2:47:10)  Schaffer pontificated “Government grant making as the most corrupt aspect of civil government in America.”


SBOE Member Karen Middleton called on Schaffer to pursue a “written conflict of interest policy” for the members of the SBOE. (SBOE Recorded Minutes 12/10/2006, 2:44:05)


Schaffer, while agreeing to take the lead on drafting a policy over eight months ago, has yet to introduce a SBOE Conflicts-of-Interest Disclosure Policy.[Pols emphasis]


Whoops! It’s one thing to try to explain away a vote that appeared to be a conflict of interest, but when you were waving the flag over making disclosures just a few months earlier…well, this is really starting to look bad. The public thinks every politician takes money for favors, so there was only so much damage this could have done, but when you can throw in a word like “hypocrisy” it makes things a whole lot worse.


Click below for the full press release from Progress Now…

ProgressNowAction held a press conference today outside the Colorado State Board of Education Meeting calling for each of its Members to take a Conflict-of-Interest Disclosure pledge. 


The call followed the delivery of a petition, signed by hundreds of Coloradans to the SBOE calling for Member Bob Schaffer to immediately return campaign contributions he received from the owner of a for-profit education company that was rewarded a contract with the SBOE.  Schaffer cast the decisive vote to continue the contract to this company. 


“We call on each Member of the Board to pledge to disclose their conflicts of interest,” stated Michael Huttner, Executive Director of ProgressNowAction, Colorado largest progressive online advocacy organization.  “With Bob Schaffer’s recent failure to disclose his conflict of interest, the people of Colorado have the right to know who is giving political contributions and what business they have with the Board.”


Schaffer, in his current role as a member of the Colorado State Board of Education, recently cast the deciding vote for a for-profit company, owned by David Brennan, to continue to receive hundreds of thousands of Colorado taxpayer dollars for programs that the company sells to Denver’s charter schools. (Denver Post, May 10, 2007). The Denver School Board had voted 6-1 to get rid of Brennan’s costly programs. (Rocky Mountain News, May 10, 2007)


Schaffer took money from Brennan both before and after the vote.  Schaffer still has not disclosed to the State Board that since this recent vote he has taken thousands of dollars more in campaign contributions from Brennan within weeks of his vote for Brennan’s company. (FEC, Schaffer Itemized Receipts, pg. 53 and 75/186)  Schaffer failed to disclose to the State Board during the vote that he has taken campaign contributions from Brennan going back to June 15, 2004. (www.opensecrets.org )


Schaffer charged with drafting a conflicts policy but never pursued it:


In the December 10, 2006, Schaffer lectured his fellow Board Members on the need for disclosure of political contributions to members of the SBOE.(SBOE Recorded Minutes 12/10/2006, 2:47:10)  Schaffer pontificated “Government grant making as the most corrupt aspect of civil government in America.”


SBOE Member Karen Middleton called on Schaffer to pursue a “written conflict of interest policy” for the members of the SBOE. (SBOE Recorded Minutes 12/10/2006, 2:44:05)


Schaffer, while agreeing to take the lead on drafting a policy over eight months ago, has yet to introduce a SBOE Conflicts-of-Interest Disclosure Policy.


“Schaffer is a complete hypocrite when it comes to corruption,” stated Huttner.  “We demand that Schaffer stop lecturing his fellow Board Members about corruption, return the money he took, and sign a conflict of interest disclosure pledge to end his hypocrisy today.”

Kevin McCaskeyKevin McCasky

Comments

8 thoughts on “Hey, Bob, About that Conflict of Interest Thing…

    1. …entertaining. 

      However, they left out the part about the Republicans pushing for the exact same freeze a few years ago.

      What partisan (and grammatical) bullshit.

      1. Kareoking to Madonna? I guess more republicans are gayer than they lead on to be.

        Dead Guvs, why not deleting this post for having lies in it? No one violated TABOR.

    2. …and I don’t throw “ilk” around lightly, is that your anger is based on the making of your definitions.  You know, like “death tax” instead of “inheritance tax.” 

      Everyone except you morons know that a “tax increase” means a “tax RATE increase.”  Because if your tax rate doesn’t change – fine with you Holy TABOR – there is no increase. 

      If it were otherwise, we would have to refund tax revenues that exceeded some prior level just because the economy is booming.

      Sometimes dealing with Caldera and you flying monkeys reminds me of trying to dialogue with a third grader.

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