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Democrats and conspiracies

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Democrats and conspiracies Quick -- name three things that characterize politics in Colorado! Give up? Here's my list:

1. Strangely unattractive people who somehow get themselves elected to petty political offices.

2. Elected official wannabes who solemnly announce their candidacies for offices that they have absolutely no shot at winning, and ...

3. Loony conspiracy theories, beloved of both the left and the right.

The last several days have seen priceless examples of all three. Let's start by reviewing, in our mind's eye, the Rocky Mountain News front-page photograph of President Bush bussing Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave. If a picture's worth a thousand words, this one's worth 10,000, just for the body language.

The president's expression of pained acceptance speaks of a man who is willing to make the supreme sacrifice for his party, his country and his maker. Musgrave, famous for introducing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, has the glazed, disbelievingly joyous look of a lottery winner, or of the fat girl whom the football star has just invited to the prom.

And just last Friday, Gary Lindstrom, who represents Summit, Lake and Eagle counties in the state Legislature, announced he's running for governor. Lindstrom's 63, and a Dinosaur Democrat from the git-go. As the political blog ColoradoPols.com points out, he's pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-immigration -- and, as for pot, legalize it! Here's how he describes Colorado's growth problems in the Vail Daily:

"We have a five-bedroom house and we're inviting 20 people to stay. We're marketing something that's over capacity. You can tell people to try to stand up in the kitchen to sleep, but that's not going to work."

Lindstrom's claim to fame rests in a recent letter he wrote to Attorney General John Suthers, claiming that the oil companies were conspiring to drive up fuel prices in the mountain resorts. As Suthers pointed out, Lindstrom's charges had no merit. But so what? Gas prices are to the conspiratorial left what Terry Schiavo was to the religious right -- a way to mobilize the true believers.

So maybe Lindstrom can siphon off enough primary votes from the too-moderate, too-sensible Bill Ritter to enable another lefty Dem to grab the nomination; the GOPsters must be chuckling at this one.

Not that the Republicans haven't outdone themselves lately in advancing over-the-top conspiracy theories. On Nov. 30, Hans Gullickson, the executive director of the Colorado Republican Party, sent out a missive addressed to "all Republicans." Its subject: the aforementioned ColoradoPols.com.

In Gullickson's words, "... the website is surreptitiously collecting information about individuals who post on its website ... It's very likely that this site is funded by one or more of the same three liberal extremists who bankrolled the purchase of the Colorado Legislature in the 2004 elections (Tim Gill, Jared Polis and Pat Stryker) ... I strongly urge all Republicans to immediately cease from posting on this site."

Why? Because those wicked donksters will use this info to divide and conquer those poor, nave Republicans!

ColoradoPols.com, for those of you who haven't taken a look at it, is a sprightly, irreverent, skankily nonpartisan site, full of insider gossip as well as important news that's underreported or ignored in mainstream media.

Created and maintained by a semi-employed political wonk/junkie, it's as addictive as a supermarket tabloid, and far more useful. The notion that it's financed by a bunch of centimillionaire lib'ruls is right up there with Saddam's nukes in terms of partisan mythmaking.

And in a nice switch, the Rocky subsequently revealed that the only person guilty of attempted data mining on the Coloradopols site was Laura Teal, a Republican operative! Hans, Hans, Hans, stay away from that techie stuff!

And, finally, what's the most powerful neighborhood in the city? The North End? Broadmoor? Briargate?

Nope. Political power is heavily concentrated in the old west side and Manitou, home of Council members Randy Purvis and Tom Gallagher, County Commissioner Sallie Clark and State Representative (and sole elected Democrat) Mike Merrifield, not to mention Manitou Mayor Marcy Morrison and longtime activist Dave Hughes.

And if some of us like our dogs mean, our yards unkempt, our junk cars in the back yard, and our politicians a little off-kilter, too bad ... don't mess with us.

-- johnhazlehurst@earthlink.net

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