Forced to choose between losing his Fair Elections Fund matching campaign dollars, and his dignity, Denver city councilperson Chris Hinds crawled from his electric wheelchair to the stage. Hinds was forced to meet his commitment to appear at the debate, planned with no handicapped access, or lose $125k in funds. In his own words, Hinds was forced to choose between his campaign and "public humiliation."
The Councilmember is participating in the Fair Elections Fund, which matches local campaign contributions with taxpayer dollars, to encourage candidates with fewer resources. Hinds has collected $125,000 in Fair Elections Fund money as of the end of January.
Candidates are required to participate in public debates like Monday night's event. If Hinds wanted to keep his campaign money, he had to join the debate, even if it was inaccessible.
"That I would have to choose between my campaigns' viability, and, frankly, public humiliation… truly I feel like this is just not OK," he said.
Hinds also said that he was only informed about the debate at the last minute, and expressed frustration that it was scheduled in the middle of City Council's Monday meeting.