House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and his lobbyist/gift ethics scandal continues to be bad news for Colorado politicians.
We've written before about how DeLay's troubles could affect potential gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, and now DeLay's troubles are reaching Congressman Bob Beauprez. In May Beauprez was linked to DeLay for receiving $20,000 in campaign funds from the embattled Texas Republican, and just the other day the Associated Press ran a story about travel paid for Beauprez and his wife by special interest groups that the Congressman didn't report in a timely manner:
Two members of Colorado's congressional delegation failed for months or years to file appropriate disclosure forms for travel paid for by special interest groups, an Associated Press review has found. Republican Rep. Bob Beauprez and his wife traveled to Spain and Israel last fall on a $21,000 trip paid for by a private foundation, and Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette took a $410 special interest trip to San Diego in 2002. Neither filed disclosure forms with the House Ethics Committee until early May, according to records reviewed by the AP...
...Beauprez's trip, which cost $21,226 for him and his wife, was among the more expensive trips reported in the past few months. It was paid for by the Michael Cherney Foundation, which has various charity projects in Israel, including help for bombing victims.
What does this have to do with DeLay? Well, if DeLay's troubles didn't continue to receive national attention, the AP probably doesn't bother looking into this story. DeLay has thrust every member of Congress under the spotlight when it comes to taking gifts from special interests, and the press is looking closer because of his troubles. This new report will come back to hurt Beauprez in a Republican primary for governor, and certainly in a general election, and here's why...
What was Beauprez doing on this trip that cost $21,000? According to his spokesman: Beauprez had been invited to speak at a summit on tolerance and anti-Semitism and America's relationship with Israel. But that's not all.
Progress Now, the unabashed left-wing political group in Colorado, dug up some pretty interesting follow-up on this story. Normally we wouldn't pay much attention to anything Progress Now says, but this time they've got the Web links to prove their case. Beauprez was actually speaking about alternative organizations to the United Nations.
So what? Well, suddenly the potential attack ad against Beauprez just got a lot worse: "Bob Beauprez has traveled across the world on the checkbook of special interests to speak against the United Nations."
And it's all because of Tom DeLay.
(Now before you get all riled up and send in angry comments that we're out to get Beauprez, just try to take this at face value. We're hear to report on Colorado politics, and this is an important event in the 2006 governor's race. This attack will come next summer, and this will be the genesis of it.)