Ethics Commission Finds Hickenlooper to Be “Corrupt But Like in the Normal Way"
When an independent ethics commission first started looking into favors extended to former Governor John Hickenlooper by business figures, no one would blame him for worrying. Free trips on private jets and high end dinners from businesses like MDC Holdings, a company involved with the housing industry, would seem to be a textbook conflict of interest. And according to Debra Johnson, the head of the ethics commission, "It like, totally was. But that's a style of corruption everyone's tolerated for years. We aren't going to pretend that isn’t normal."
Gov. Hickenlooper also accepted free limousine rides from Fiat-Chrysler while attending Bilderberg meetings in Italy. The ethics commission issued a statement saying "we find that is standard operating procedure for someone as ambitious and mid-grade sleazy as the average politician. We'd consider it almost weird if Hickenlooper failed to cash in his influence for perks like this."
The commission goes on to say, “This is the exact sort of wink-wink bribery we all should be used to at this point. This is not President Trump flagrantly charging the Secret Service thousands to ride in his golf carts. It’s the establishment brand of corruption where you pretend to believe rich business people lend you their jet out of the goodness of their heart."
Hickenlooper went too far for even the ethics commission however when he initially refused to appear before them via video chat. This led them to find him in contempt, before he eventually complied and appeared last Friday. Asked about the contempt citation, Johnson says, "He was just getting in the way of the whole slap-on-the-wrist process. The way these things go is you show up to the commission and we issue a fine you can easily afford after years of using your position to network with wealthy donors. If he doesn't testify, we can't pretend to punish him."
All in all, Johnson says she is "happy the system is back to working the way it's supposed to."