Election 2018Hot Sheet

GOP gubernatorial candidate Victor Mitchell calls out Hickenlooper on Amazon

Author: Joey Bunch - January 20, 2018 - Updated: February 15, 2018

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Victor Mitchell’s new digital ad campaign doesn’t go after his Republican primary opponents, or even the best-known Democrats, Jared Polis, Mike Johnston, Cary Kennedy or Donna Lynne.

Instead the entrepreneur and former legislator from Douglas County takes aim at Gov. Hickenlooper and the tax breaks being offered to lure the Amazon HQ2 project to Denver.

Mitchell goes on to give Amazon pause as to how welcome they might be in Colorado if he’s the governor, saying he’s too wealthy for a tax break to matter. Denver this week made the top 20 for the economic development prize that cities across the country have courted.

“If Amazon brings its HQ2 to the Denver Metro area, it could be a great thing,” Mitchell said in a statement. “The promised high-paying jobs will be good for our workforce. But Amazon should come here, first and foremost, for Colorado’s terrific quality of life, and not simply for tax deals.”

The Republican millionaire called out the billionaire who owns Amazon.

“Jeff Bezos is reportedly the richest person in the world, at $105 Billion,” Mitchell continued. “We must not give the richest man in the world, and his company, Amazon, tax breaks that would enrich them and the Denver metro area at the expense of economic development for rural Colorado. The state has a finite number of dollars for tax incentives, and Amazon must not be allowed to pocket all or even most of them. It would only deepen a growing urban-rural divide in Colorado, creating a system of haves and have-nots, and lead to fewer job opportunities back home for young people from rural communities.”

Mitchell threw in, “Colorado shouldn’t give one red cent to Bezos, not a penny. He is just too wealthy for
it to matter.”

Instead,  tax incentives could be steered to small- and medium-sized businesses to smaller towns in Colorado, where “it could make a huge difference in the lives of people living and working there.”

He called on Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to be more transparent in their business dealings with Bezos.

“Gov.Hickenlooper and Mayor Hancock and all the other government insiders ram-rodding this deal to let the sun shine on their proposal to Bezos,” Mitchell stated. “Let us know about all contacts and communications with Bezos his Amazon team. It’s our money, the people’s money, that the insiders are dangling before Bezos. Tell us how much and under what terms.”

The digital ad campaign will run for at least two weeks, the campaign said, then it will be renewed as “developments in the Amazon saga warrant.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.