A group trying to repeal a Colorado law that it says discriminates against gays and lesbians is considering whether to protest the selection of a co-manager for New York City's bond syndicate. according to a spokeswoman for the organization.
The group, New York Boycott Colorado Inc., planned to meet late yesterday to decide what position, if any, it should take on New York's selection of George K. Baum & CO. as a co-manager in the city's bond syndicate, said spokeswoman Michele Huyette.
Baum's municipal department headquarters is in Denver, while its corporate headquarters is in Kansas City, Mo.
New York Boycott Colorado is an affiliate of Boycott Colorado Inc., located in Denver. The Denver group was formed in last November after state voters passed Amendment 2. The amendment prohibits communities in Colorado from passing laws that would allow homosexuals to gain "minority status" and become eligible for affirmative action programs.
Members of Boycott Colorado say the law is discriminatory because it also prohibits homosexuals from claiming discrimination based on their sexual orientation, said Terry Schleder, director of the Colorado-based organization.
At the moment, the group has affiliates in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Washington State.
Huyette, the spokeswoman of the New York-based group, said earlier this week that the group "is looking into the matter" and planned to meet yesterday to discuss what position it should take on Baum's selection as a co-manager in the city bond syndicate.
Huyette said the group has a formal rule to protest governments that do business with companies incorporated in Colorado, or political candidates that accept campaign contributions from these firms.
She also said that the group recently determined that Baum is not incorporated in Colorado, but Baum's inclusion in the syndicate will still be discussed because it is "something that concerns us."
"I want to discuss this with several people." Huyette said. "It is something we need to look into."
No decision resulting from the group's meeting was available late yesterday.
Baum was selected in March as one of 23 co-managers in the city's bond syndicate. The lucrative positions are filled after a joint selection process, conducted by the finance officials representing Mayor David N. Dinkins and city Comptroller Elizabeth Holtzman.
Alex Brown, a senior vice president in Baum's public finance department in Denver, said the firm was selected based on its record of supporting New York City bonds in the secondary market and its ability to place city bonds with institutional investors.
According to a firm press release, Baum "ranked among the top 20 underwriters of negotiated issues in 1992. For the first half of 1993, [it] remained ranked among the top-20."
Recently, the New York protest group has criticized New York City mayoral candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani for accepting campaign contributions from executives working at Coughlin & Company Inc., a Denver-based investment bank.
The group protested a July 21 Giuliani fund-raiser attended by Coughlin executives John Anderson and Rick Price. The $250-a-person event also featured many high-ranking Republican lawmakers from across the country.
The Coughlin executives could not be reached for comment.
At the moment, the Dinkins administration prohibits city employees from traveling to Colorado on city business. The Dinkins re-election campaign also does not accept contributions from Colorado-based companies or individuals, said campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bernstein.
Ana Marengo, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said the city does not yet have "a full economic ban" on Colorado-based companies. "That would be another step," she said.
Richard Bryers, a spokesman for Giuliani, said that Giuliani believes the Colorado law is discriminatory, but that the city should not stop doing business with individuals there. "That's caving in way too far to a special interest." Giuliani recently said in a published newspaper report.