Here’s to you, Bill Artist

Senate President Bill Cadman, House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and lobbyist Bill Artist at the Colorado Restaurant Association's Blue Ribbon Reception on Wednesday.
Senate President Bill Cadman, House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst and lobbyist Bill Artist at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Blue Ribbon Reception on Wednesday.

Lawmakers lauded and lampooned lobbyist Bill Artist Wednesday night at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s annual Blue Ribbon Reception.

Artist is the longtime lobbyist for the group, which hosts a party on opening day of the Colorado General Assembly.

“The association was formed in 1933. They hired Bill Artist to get rid of Prohibition and it worked. You’ve been lobbying us ever since,” joked Senate President Bill Cadman.

Cadman, a Colorado Springs Republican, said lawmakers appreciate Artist, his team and the Colorado Restaurant Association. As someone whose job keeps him from going home on a regular basis, Cadman said he has yet to cook at his place in Denver. That, he said, means he is continually supporting the restaurant industry, which has supported him during his nearly 16 years in office.

Cadman singled out Artist during his remarks welcoming those to the event. House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, a Boulder Democrat, joined in.

“I don’t want to do a one up on the president — so early in the session,” she said.

But the speaker noted she has known Artist  since she was a lobbyist trying to get her bills passed and Artist was a Republican lawmaker.  Artist served three terms in the state House and then founded J. William Artists & Associates in 1986. His daughter Lacee now lobbies with him.

“Now it’s nice to have him as the lobbyist and I’m the lawmaker,” she said.