Politics

Bennet Touts Campaign Donor in First Ad

New Belgium Brewing Co. has donated thousands to the Colorado Democrat

campaign
Fat Tire Amber Ale, made by New Belgium Brewing. / AP

Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet’s first ad of the election cycle touts one of his campaign donors, the New Belgium Brewing Company.

Bennet released his first television spot Thursday, which features the senator talking about beer and farmers.

"They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or sometimes, these guys’ treasure," Bennet says, pointing to a herd of cows.

The ad then cuts to Bryan Simpson, who is only introduced as a "brewery worker" in Fort Collins. Simpson praises Bennet for working against a federal regulation of how breweries can sell spent grain, or leftover malt beer makers can resell to farmers.

What the ad does not disclose is that Simpson works for New Belgium Brewing Company, which has a Super PAC that has donated $5,000 to Bennet’s campaign.

The New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc. Federal PAC gave two contributions to Bennet’s campaign in December worth $2,340 and $2,300. The PAC also spent $360 on a fundraiser for Michael Bennet for Colorado on Dec. 16. The three transactions, totaling $5,000, were the group’s only disbursements in their latest filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The company’s president, Christine Perich, has also donated to Bennet. She donated $1,000 to his campaign and $1,000 to his Super PAC Bennet Colorado Victory in December.

Most of New Belgium Brewing Company’s Super PAC funding comes from small donations from the company’s employees, and one $5,000 donation from CEO Kim Jordan.

Jordan has also donated to Bennet, contributing $10,000 to his campaigns since 2009, according to the Federal Election Commission.

New Belgium Brewing, known for its Fat Tire beer, has been involved in political activities before. Along with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, The company donated $100,000 in December to a nonprofit snow sports group to "fight against climate change."

Bennet sent a fundraising email announcing the ad, which the campaign said embodies Bennet’s time in the U.S. senate.

"Friend—we wanted you to be one of the first people to see our new TV ad, ‘Treasure,’" the email said. "We’re especially proud of this ad because it highlights who Michael is as a senator and his record of getting things done for Colorado."

Request for comment from the Bennet campaign and New Belgium Brewing were not immediately returned.