What we know — and don’t — about the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate after the second debate | CraigDailyPress.com
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What we know — and don’t — about the Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate after the second debate

Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff dodged major questions about their backgrounds and policies, as they questioned each other for the first time

John Frank / Colorado Sun
Rivals John Hickenlooper and Andrew Romanoff dodged major questions about their backgrounds and policies, as they questioned each other for the first time.
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Former Gov. John Hickenlooper continues to avoid questions about state ethics violations and his decision to defy a subpoena, declining to say during a U.S. Senate debate Wednesday whether he did anything wrong or should be held accountable.

His rival in the Democratic primary, Andrew Romanoff, said he’s not sure whether he believes Tara Reade’s sexual harassment allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and didn’t outline a clear plan to pay for the trillions of dollars in new federal spending he supports.

The two candidates left much unanswered in the second remote debate in two days, this one hosted by The Colorado Sun, CBS4 Denver and PBS12, even as they sharpened their criticisms when given the chance to ask each other a question.

Hickenlooper said he accepted responsibility for the verdict that he twice violated the state’s constitutional ban on gifts to public officials by taking rides in a corporate-owned jet and limousine. 

But he continued to blame the Republicans who filed the complaint and defended the travel. He said the trip aboard a company plane owned by a large homebuilder was necessary to do his job and he didn’t realize he didn’t pay the full cost of a conference in Italy that included the  limousine ride. The commission rejected both excuses as implausible.

On the first day of the hearing, the two-term former governor ignored a subpoena and court order to testify and became the first person to be held in contempt by the ethics commission. During the debate, Hickenlooper acknowledged “no one is above the law,” but defended the move, saying it came based on legal advice he received.

He dodged a question about whether he should pay back taxpayers for the cost of his state-paid attorney given his decision not to show until the second day. The attorney fees for Hickenlooper now exceed $125,000, according to state records.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.


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