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Public Eye


The Indy's Owen Perkins has been noted in a new compilation of the nation's most notable sports writing for his story about baseball in Castro's Cuba, which ran in the April 8-14, 1999 edition of the paper.

The story "Viva Beisbol!" -- in which Perkins went to Cuba to get the skinny on Cuba's national pasttime -- was his first article to appear in the paper. Since then, as the arts and entertainment editor, Perkins has managed to make theater and sports coverage a hand-in-hand endeavor.

The Cuba piece is noted in the 10th edition of the series The Best American Sports Writing, alongside such luminaries as Sports Illustrated's Frank Deford and exiled novelist Salman Rushdie (who was noted for a story published in the New Yorker).

The Colorado Springs Gazette's Raymond McCaffrey was also noted for his piece titled "Brother's Keeper," published Jan. 8, 1999. McCaffrey has since left the paper.

* * * * * * * * If Colorado Springs state Rep. Ron "The Phantom" May has his way, the four state Supreme Court Justices who are up for retention on this November's statewide ballot will be tossed out like rag dolls and replaced by Republican appointees.

All four justices were appointed under the administrations of Democratic Govs. Dick Lamm and Roy Romer. According to the blue book, distributed to all Colorado voters, all four have received high marks, with recommendations from the state Commission on Judicial Performance that they be retained.

The commission, which was created in 1988 to provide voters with what the book describes as "fair, responsible and constructive evaluations" of judges, is made up of bipartisan appointees of the governor, the chief justice, the president of the Senate and speaker of the House.

The state commission has recommended that all four Supreme Court justices -- Hon. Michael L. Bender, Hon. Alex J. Martinez, Hon. Nancy E. Rice and Chief Justice Hon. Mary J. Mullarkey -- be retained, noting attorneys and court personnel rated all of them highly overall.

But that's not good enough for May, who, by the way, claims his expertise is in computers and has no legal background. In an Oct. 9 letter to "fellow Republicans" and "Pro-Freedom Recipients" that is posted on the Colorado State Shooting Association's Internet site (, May urged gun lovers and like-minded thinkers to use the opportunity to vote out the justices, since the retention of judges issue has gone "unnoticed" during the campaign but could have long-term effects on the state.

May, in case you've forgotten, is the state representative who refused public appearances and press interviews before he barely beat Douglas Bruce to win the GOP nomination in August to replace outgoing state Sen. Ray Powers in Senate District 10. May's Democratic opponent, college administrator Daniel Tafoya, faces an uphill battle in the heavily Republican eastern Colorado Springs district. And apparently May wants to make the state legislature -- which is already controlled by Republicans, with a GOP governor -- a "super majority" by gettting rid of the Supreme Court justices and replacing them with Gov. Bill Owens' appointees.

In his letter, May targeted Chief Justice Mullarkey (which he incorrectly spelled Malarky) as a particularly juicy target. "We could have a Republican chief justice that makes the four appointments to the reapportionment commission," May crowed. "That could have a huge impact on the make-up of the redrawn House and Senate seats! Think about it. Get the word out!"

In short, what May is proposing is a Colorado Supreme Court that he believes would redraw districts to further favor Republicans.

May's letter includes an addendum by Colorado Springs gun activist Bernie Herpin who insists that the current Colorado Supreme Court failed to follow the constitution or state law when they tossed out his challenge to the SAFE gun-show loophole ban that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Just another reason to remember to vote.

* * * * * * * * On Oct. 13, Salon magazine revisited the glib, "some even say gleeful" way that George W. Bush gloated over the death penalty during the second presidential debate.

The GOP candidate, attempting to explain his opposition to hate crimes legislation, incorrectly claimed that all three of the men convicted of the brutal 1996 murder of James Byrd, the black man who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck, will be put to death. (Actually only two face execution.)

"Guess what? The three men who murdered James Byrd? Guess what's gonna happen to them? They're gonna be put to death!" Bush said excitedly. Salon noted that Bush then smiled and continued, "It's gonna be hard to punish them any worse once they get put to death."

Bush kept going, with what Salon describes as "an odd facial twitch that seemed to be his best effort not to smirk."

"We can't enhance the penalty any more than putting those three thugs to death. And that's what's gonna happen in the state of Texas."


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