From the Denver Post
On a late February night in Palm Beach, a mansion owned by billionaire art collectors was teeming with activity. Pianist Chloe Flower played Chopin, a four-course meal was served and, most importantly for the hosts, $1,000 bottles of some of the world’s best champagne were poured.
Seated somewhere near the middle of this “by-invitation bacchanal,” in the words of one attendee, was U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, according to news reports, an Instagram video and a promotional photo of the party.
The party was put on by Krug Champagne, a French company owned by a multinational conglomerate of luxury brands called LVMH. For the past 20 years, LVMH has lobbied the U.S. Senate on a range of issues related to its brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Hennessy and Krug Champagne, disclosure reports show.
State Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat and outspoken critic of Gardner, says Gardner’s appearance at the champagne party is an ethics violation. Sullivan claimed in a complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee this week that Gardner violated a ban on gifts of more than $50, as well as a ban on gifts from companies that hire lobbyists.