Longmont City Councilmember Brian Hansen has been making a lot of noise recently about campaign contributions and how they can negatively affect votes on council. He has either forgotten, or wants you to forget, how he took a sizable contribution himself and within 9 months turned it into a favorable vote for the contributors.
Back in August of 2008, I wrote about this at Longmont Advocate in a piece called “In The Pocket” where I discuss how the Benker Bloc was basically in the pocket of the Fraternal Order of Police after the FOP gave them collectively nearly $5,000 in campaign contributions. I supported the FOP and the Longmont Police Officer’s Association in one of their drives for collective bargaining, and I played a point/counterpoint pro and con recording on my podcast. On their second attempt they won collective bargaining.
This is about that.
This is about the hypocrisy coming out of Brian Hansen’s mouth lately about money buying votes. Mr. Hansen received a $500 cash contribution and a $266.75 ad buy from the FOP during the 2007 campaign season. Within 9 months, Mr. Hansen and the rest of the Benker Bloc turned that sizable contribution into a favorable vote for the FOP putting their collective bargaining initiative on the ballot. That, according to Mr. Hansen, is the epitome and a perfect example of money buying votes on council.
I’m sure you’ve seen lately examples of people collecting signatures to get issues on the ballot, sometimes they’re successful, sometimes they aren’t. The FOP was willing to go through this process, but Mr. Hansen (as well as Sean McCoy and Sarah Levison) took care of that for them in a 4-3 council vote. Clearly, money bought influence. And Brian Hansen received the least among these councilmembers: Sean McCoy got $1,000 as did Sarah Levison – along with the same ad buy. Karen Benker received a whopping $1,500! See what I mean by “in the pocket”?
In a recent candidate forum, someone asked the question about those evil realtors swaying votes. But Sarah Levison was surprisingly candid and said it just wasn’t true. Remember, Ms. Levison and the rest of the Benker Bloc pushed hard to amend the Longmont Fair Campaign Practices Act because of a $5,000 contribution to Gabe Santos by…the Longmont Association of Realtors! And now she’s just admitted IT BOUGHT NO INFLUENCE. So that whole exercise with the LFCPA, and the ensuing lawsuit (of which I was a party to), was a complete waste of time.
Don’t let Brian Hansen’s hope for mass amnesia about his actual record continue. Ask him about this and press him on his double standards.