GOP freshman who promised to “put Colorado families first” hosts special interest lobbyist fundraising junket

Friday, March 16, 2012
CONTACT: Joanne Kron, Executive Director at 303-991-1900

DENVER: Following an exposé by CBS News regarding a fundraising junket to Florida hosted by Colorado freshman Rep. Cory Gardner, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online advocacy organization, called on Gardner to apologize for breaking a key campaign promise to constituents.

“Cory Gardner promised to ‘put Colorado families before the Washington special interests’ on the campaign trail in 2010, but in less than two years, he has only succeeded in making a mockery of that promise,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Joanne Kron. “This high-dollar fundraising junket in Key Largo for lobbyists, caught on camera, shows where his loyalties truly lie—and it’s not with his constituents.”

Today’s report from CBS News details a fundraising junket hosted by Rep. Gardner and about a dozen other members of Congress at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. Rep. Gardner was captured on camera as the host of a $10,000 per person “happy hour” fundraiser. In the report, Gardner’s participation in this fundraising junket is contrasted against his promise in campaign commercials to “put Colorado families before Washington special interests.”

“Gardner says he ‘puts Colorado families first,’ but we doubt very many Colorado families in his district could afford the $10,000 Gardner charges lobbyists for ‘happy hour’ at swanky Florida resorts,” said Kron. “Gardner should apologize for breaking trust with constituents, and agree to spend more time with them than with Washington, DC lobbyists.”