Jan 8, 2011 5:25 PM by AP
DENVER (AP) - Big businesses in Colorado are bankrolling next week's the inaugural celebrations for Democratic Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper.
Businesses routinely pay for inaugural parties, but watchdog critics are again questioning whether those companies are buying undue influence.
The Denver Post reports that Encana USA, Quiznos and Vail Resorts have each donated $25,000 for inaugural festivities that include a dinner and dance.
Inaugural committee spokesman Ben Davis insists that inaugural donors won't receive preferential treatment from Hickenlooper.
Outgoing Gov. Bill Ritter raised about $1.1 million for his 2007 inaugural. Ritter's campaign committee later had to repay some of that because it was illegally used to cover campaign debt.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com/
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)