Sept 8, 2010

The Denver Post has delivered excellent reporting illustrating Mayor Hickenlooper's potential conflict of interest in his charitable giving regarding the Chinook Fund. In particular, the story by Karen E. Crummy highlighted the ironic fact that the Mayor's donations to Chinook could have potentially helped support "Recreate 68," a coalition of groups that demonstrated and protested at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, requiring a heightened police presence during the event.

The original report in the Post indicated that the Chinook Fund gave to the "Transform Columbus Day Alliance." However, CompleteColorado.com can also report that according to website captures of the Chinook Fund website, specifically in the spring of 2007, the fund gave $2375 to the "Transform Columbus Day Alliance." The timeline is important because, that ensuing fall, 83 protesters were arrested at the Columbus Day Parade in Denver.

The 2007 Columbus Day Parade protests included bloodied fake babies in the streets. Click picture for larger image.

Photo: Michael Sandoval

Another archived page from the Chinook Fund website shows that the organization "roasted" Hickenlooper in 2000 as the "unofficial Mayor of LoDo."

According to other pages, Hickenlooper remained on the board of the Chinook Fund at least through September, 2000.

On an appearance on 630 KHOW's Caplis and Silverman show, Hickenlooper said "What more do you need to know?" when host Craig Silverman said, "You were the founder of the Chinook Fund." AUDIO HERE.

The mayor has hedged on his universal support for the fund, as reported by Crummy in the Post:
Hickenlooper said he doesn't agree with all the recipients of all of Chinook's grants but doesn't "disavow" the group either.

"I support the principle of giving some small amount of power to small organizations and letting them succeed or fail on what they think is best for the community," he said.

Hickenlooper would not divulge what grants he agreed with and which ones he opposed. In 2003, however, he said he was "horrified" by some of the positions of Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace, a pro-Palestinian group that received funding from Chinook.
CLICK HERE for a full listing of the archived web pages of the Chinook Fund.