On the October 9 broadcast of her 1310 KFKA show, Amy Oliver praised Greeley City Council at-large candidate Maria Secrest, but she has yet to tell listeners that she has personally donated money to Secrest's campaign, as the Greeley Tribune reported. Will it take two weeks for Oliver to admit her ties to Secrest, as it did for her to reveal her ties to the campaign promoting a ballot measure that Oliver also has touted on the air?
Despite her on-air criticisms of Greeley City Council candidates who accepted contributions from organizations opposing the city's Initiated Question 200, 1310 KFKA host Amy Oliver -- who has endorsed Question 200 on the air -- as of October 24 had not disclosed to listeners that she personally has contributed money to the campaign of a city council candidate who supports the initiative, which would stop the city from making most employee payroll deductions for outside organizations.
Oliver's failure to disclose her contribution to Greeley City Council at-large candidate and Question 200 supporter Maria Secrest, whom Oliver touted during her October 9 broadcast, is similar to her failure to tell listeners about her personal ties to the Ask First Greeley campaign that is promoting Question 200. Oliver is director of operations for the free-market think tank the Independence Institute, which is conducting the campaign and has promoted similar measures in other Colorado cities. As Colorado Media Matters pointed out, despite an October 9 on-air endorsement of Initiated Question 200, Oliver did not mention her personal ties to Ask First Greeley until her October 22 show.
During her October 22 broadcast, Oliver said it was "interesting" how "those city council persons who are opposed" to Initiated Question 200 "also received union money." Echoing an assertion she made on October 9, Oliver further stated that "government now using government resources to ... collect dues that then make their way into political campaigns" is "a blatant conflict of interest."
On her October 9 show, after reading passages from what she said was a Greeley Tribune article, Oliver also praised Secrest as somebody who "got it right" for her support of the measure, which would "stop the city of Greeley from deducting union dues from city employees' paychecks," according to a July 7 Tribune article. As Colorado Media Matters noted, Oliver complained on the same broadcast that "there are those people who don't care if there's a conflict of interest in city government," before adding, "[A]nd by the way -- I know of three people that opposed this measure that received money from organizations that opposed the measure as well."
From the October 9 broadcast of 1310 KFKA's The Amy Oliver Show:
OLIVER: Now by the way, Ward 4 as well, they had a debate last night. Two things you ought to know there: Bill Gillard opposes the .54 percent tax increase for roads and the .25 tax increase for public transportation. By the way, if those both, those were to pass, Greeley would have the highest sales tax in northern Colorado. In Ward 4, I gave you the names of the four candidates. "The group differed most Monday night on Question 200, which is concerning city employees' paychecks. Asking if Greeley should be stopped from deducting most money from its employees' paychecks" -- that is an interesting description. Most money from employees' paychecks. The only thing that would be deducted, that would not be allowed to be deducted from employees' paychecks: dues for private organizations. Should your taxpayer dollars be used for the infrastructure of private organizations that have political purposes? It's pretty simple. There's an enormous conflict of interest there.
Maria Secrest, as far as I'm concerned, got it right. She said no, they shouldn't be. And it doesn't matter what the group is; what if the group is the ACLU? What if the group were the National Rifle Association? What if the group is a labor union? It doesn't matter; that is not the role of city government. Yet it seems that there are those people who don't care if there's a conflict of interest in city government, and by the way -- I know of three people that opposed this measure that received money from organizations that opposed the measure as well.
Despite her statements about "conflict of interest," Oliver has yet to disclose on the air that, according to an "Itemized Contributions Statement" filed with the Greeley City Clerk's office, Secrest's campaign accepted a $50 contribution from Oliver on October 16:
The Tribune also noted in an October 22 article that Oliver is a contributor to Secrest's campaign:
* Maria Secrest is outraising and outspending her three opponents in the council at-large race. Secrest has raised $3,605, while Susanne Villarreal has raised $735 ($400 from a loan). TJ Marlo has raised $469 ($269 from a loan) and Russ Baxley has raised nothing.
Secrest has received contributions from donators such as Weld County Sheriff John Cooke, Perry Buck -- wife of District Attorney Ken Buck, radio personality Amy Oliver and Greeley City Councilman Carrol Martin.