Will the Latest Ethics Scandal Touch Colorado?

October 30 2009, 10:35 AM

Colorado's politicos can take a deep breath and hope the media storm emanating from the "accidental" release of a weekly ethics report passes over some other unfortunate state. The scandal, which provides information on ethics investigations, including the conduct of 19 lawmakers and a few staffers, has not been linked to anyone in Colorado. But the story, which several news organizations, including The Washington Post, broke late last night, was still evolving this morning, when the public awoke to a rare glimpse into the dealings of the secretive House ethics committee and its inquiries into issues such as corporate influence and defense lobbying. An example of what's coming out: In June, the committee said it was OK for the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, and the FBI to issue subpoenas for "certain intercepted communications" involving Congresswoman Jane Harman, a California Democrat who was heard in a 2005 conversation agreeing to an Israeli operative's request to try to obtain leniency for two pro-Israel lobbyists in exchange for the agent's help in lobbying. That scandal had been widely reported in recent months, but the report contains a few surprises, writes the Post, becoming public after apparently being uploaded to a publicly accessible computer network. The Associated Press reports the documents were placed online as a result of "cyber-hacking." Meanwhile, ethics controversy is also taking hold in Colorado state government, reports The Denver Post. Republican state employees are complaining that Democratic Governor Bill Ritter has inappropriately used work e-mail accounts to invite them to a fundraiser.