Gardner Has His Own Potential Senate Ethics Investigation Following New Report
WASHINGTON, DC – The Congressional Integrity Project is calling out U.S. Senator Cory Gardner’s hypocrisy after he accused his political opponent of violating ethics rules during the Colorado Senate debate. Recent reporting raised significant questions about Gardner’s ethical record, exposing how he may have used his government office to enrich himself and boost his wife’s business by championing the oil and gas industry’s policies. The report led government watchdog, the American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF), to formally request a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into whether Senator Cory Gardner’s policy positions have financially benefited his wife’s business interests.
Kyle Herrig, Executive Director of the Congressional Integrity Project, released the following statement:
“Cory Gardner’s holier than thou attitude on ethics is laughable. The Gardners have yet to answer these serious questions about their lack of transparency and possible self-dealing. Coloradans deserve to know if Gardner abused his power to benefit his wife’s clients.”
The reporting and the ADLF’s request for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation was based in part on the Congressional Integrity Project research report detailing U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-CO) record in public office. The report, part of the organization’s “Covering for Corruption ” series, highlights how Gardner has leveraged his positions in state government,the U.S. House, and the U.S. Senate to benefit his wife’s business interests as a consultant and advocate for the fossil fuel industry.
Throughout his political career, Cory Gardner has carried water for the oil and gas industries, which have contributed more than $1.7 million to his campaigns — including over $1 million from big oil PACs alone. At the same time, those industries have employed Jaime Gardner as she made a career out of helping them generate profit from public land.
- Jaime Gardner has taken advantage of Washington’s revolving doors, running the pro-fossil fuel groups Colorado Resource Alliance and Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF) that provided regulatory information to energy clients while her husband served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- After Cory was elected to the public office, Jaime created a consulting firm that represents energy clients with substantial interests in the work of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which her husband sits on. Her clients also had interests in the work of the House Energy and Commerce Committee when he was in the House of Representatives.
- During his time in office, Cory Gardner has pushed for Jaime’s clients’ priorities, including allowing drilling in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf, streamlining permits for deep-water drilling, and allowing the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines.
To obscure these conflicts of interest, Cory Gardner failed to list his wife’s employment on his personal financial disclosures in either 2013 or 2014 — a possible violation of ethics rules — and Jaime has not disclosed her specific clients publicly.
Given these findings, the Congressional Integrity Project sent a letter to Jaime Gardner (HERE) calling on her or her husband to release her full client list. Coloradans can see how her husband’s positions have aligned with her clients’ interests, or if her clients lobbied Gardner’s office directly.
The Congressional Integrity Project has previously released reports on Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Florida Senator Rick Scott detailing how they have misused their positions to enrich themselves and their families. For more information on the Congressional Integrity Project’s work visit: www.congressionalIntegrity.org. For the latest updates, follow @USIntegrityProj on Twitter.
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