Watchdog sees possible violation in Hickenlooper’s New Hampshire joke

The Colorado Independent

Campaign finance watchdogs believe John Hickenlooper, Colorado’s outgoing governor and a possible 2020 presidential candidate, may have run afoul of Federal Election Commission regulations this week. They’re also pretty sure there’s no chance the FEC is going to do anything about it.

Hickenlooper is a centrist, business-friendly two-term governor who lately has been acting a lot like someone who’s eyeing the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. In September he set up what’s called a leadership PAC — a vehicle to fundraise for other candidates, but also to pay for travel expenses — and since then has zipped around the country, from New Hampshire to Florida, to Georgia and Iowa. The PAC is called Giddy Up, and it’s managed by Brad Komar, who ran Hickenlooper’s 2014 gubernatorial re-election bid.

Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform program at the Campaign Legal Center, said, “If we had a functioning FEC, this is the type of thing that might trigger an investigation. But we don’t, and that means the bar for triggering an investigation is pretty high.”

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