Shadows surround the people, money and cats trying to influence Denver’s 2019 race for mayor


It’s a stretch to call the cartoon mailed to Denver voters this month a comic strip because it’s not exactly funny and it’s also sort of confusing.

The clip-arty mailer paints a world in which feline lobbyists — fat cats — get cozy with a human mayor in Colorado. Presumably the cartoon politician is meant to be Michael Hancock, though he is never named and the artist depicts him as a balding white guy.

“What’s funny about $1.3 billion pay to play?” the card reads. Presumably the ungrammatical sentence is a reference to Colorado Public Radio’s report that clients of Denver’s big three lobbying firms have received more than $1 billion in city contracts since Hancock took office.

The group behind the mailer, “Friends of Denver’s Future,” is not registered in the City and County of Denver, which may be against the law. Any committee that raises or spends at least $500 to influence a city election must register with Denver Elections Division.

It could also be an independent electioneering group — sort of rogue political actors, at least officially. They promote or deride political candidates but are not technically tied to anyone’s campaign. These organizations must file reports once they spend $1,000.

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