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No catch: Free advice for 22

City Sage


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City ballots will be mailed out on Wednesday, which means that election days are upon us.

Let's forget for a moment the nine worthies running for mayor, and concentrate on the 22 hopefuls running for seven seats on City Council.

In a crowded field, you need to listen to a seasoned professional without any ax to grind who will, without charge, tell you how to win. That would be me. So for those of you fortunate enough to be paying attention, read on.

Mike Merrifield: The consummate pro has already raised $25,000, compared to his District 3 opponent's $7,700. He scored the primo political billboard location at the Colorado Avenue bridge, and turned an attempt to deface the board into a campaign plus, wondering why the folks who gave him a beard and mustache hadn't added some hair as well.

Advice: You don't need any advice — that'd be like giving Michael Jordan tips on his jump shot.

Lisa Czelatdko: On a ballot cluttered with middle-aged guys striving to replace other middle-aged guys, Lisa C. is a 40-year-old mother of four dismayingly cute, courteous daughters. She's running against a fiercely lib'rul, middle-aged, male politician/retired schoolteacher. Unfortunately, that's Merrifield, who knows how to raise money, run a campaign, and win.

Advice: Haul those kids everywhere. Pass out literature wherever people congregate. Get your face out there, and get some new yard signs — the ones you have are unreadable. And raise some serious cash. You'll need it.

Brandy Williams: Williams is young and smart. A Springs native and an engineer by profession, she has already raised $12,600. The power brokers like her — she was seen huddled at Nosh earlier this week with über-strategist Kevin Walker.

Advice: You're in a good position, because voters, when given five votes, like to mix and match. That's why at-large Council members tend to be a varied lot: young and old, male and female, conservative and moderate.

Reform Team: Genesis 3:1 says, "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made..." Too bad for Douglas Bruce's willing accomplices, sucked into a world they don't understand. It's pathetic to watch Gretchen Kasameyer, Richard Bruce, Helen Collins and Ed Bircham obediently mimic their master's voice at the few events they've attended. They're appendages to the Dougster's monstrous ego.

Advice: Withdraw immediately, and let Bruce be Bruce. His former collaborator, Bruce Nozolino, is in the slam, charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder. Told of Nozolino's indictment, Bruce reportedly said, "He wouldn't hurt a fly." That must be why he's got $10 million bail.

Sean Paige and Jan Martin: Ain't incumbency great? You have cash, name recognition, devoted supporters and deep familiarity with the city, Utilities and Memorial. It'd be amazing if you didn't lead the at-large vote.

Advice: Be careful! It's yours to lose. Jan, don't do a Merrifield and stand on the steps of City Hall boasting of your extreme liberalism. Sean, don't do a Sean Paige and unleash a vitriolic tirade against some ill-paid journalist who made clumsy fun of you.

Tony Exum, Tim Leigh, Angela Dougan, Merv Bennett, Val Snider: Lookin' good! You've raised money, you have solid community bases, you've worked hard. Will you all make it? Probably not.

Advice: Start walking, dropping literature, calling and figuring out ways to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. Try extreme sports, or, in Leigh's case, flagpole-sitting. Jump out of airplanes (worked for Hickenlooper!). Adopt a mutt from the Humane Society. Do something!

Bill Murray, Dan Reifschneider, Dawn Lloyd, Mike Terry, Larry Bagley, David Jensen, Tony Carpenter: You're in better shape than, say, Phil McDonald or Ken Duncan in the mayoral race, but time's a-wastin'; what are you going to do?

Advice: Show up at every event, make friends. You may not prevail this time, but there's always another race, as I found out 20 years ago.

1989: A weak fifth in a five-person race for the Academy District 20 School Board. 1991: Elected to City Council!


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