Last Saturday, our village hosted the 2004 El Paso County Republican Party Assembly, a thrilling event highlighted by county commission candidate Douglas Bruce telling the crowd that "God isn't finished with me yet!" -- an apparent reference to the fact that only two of his four hooves are cloven.
The gathering of Republicans took place at the World Arena, the same venue where our village rodeo will be held in August. This gives World Arena workers about three months to crank up the fans and air the place out so the bulls don't complain about the smell.
The assembly began shortly after 10 a.m., following a scary moment in which U.S. Senate candidate Pete Coors tripped over his checkbook and fell overboard during the traditional kickoff to these big Republican events: the Parade of Yachts Past The Soup Kitchen.
The master of ceremonies for the event was former county Republican Party Chairman Chuck Broerman, now the vice chairman of the entire state Grand Old Party. Broerman moved up the Republican ladder by lying to Colorado Springs officials so he could illegally obtain parking meter hoods. Then he covered the meters to reserve some prime parking downtown spots for his Republican friends.
Anyway, it was a great assembly with hundreds of delegates and about 2,000 others milling about, gathering in small groups to discuss politics. (Footnote: One exception was a guy who stayed by himself for hours, standing all alone near the stage. Political insiders surmised that he was new in town and didn't know anyone. Although it's also possible he was presiding over the weekly meeting of the "Jews For Coors" fan club.)
Local District Attorney Jeanne Smith was at the assembly, too, although clearly just as an observer and not in any way using her job to influence the election for her successor, who she hopes will be Assistant District Attorney Dan May, and not her other employee John Newsome. Midway through the assembly she reassigned Newsome to the Lawn Watering Restriction Enforcement Unit. Then she picked at the huge wart on her nose, stuffed a small dog into a picnic basket, strapped it onto her bicycle and rode off into the storm clouds.
Another highlight came when highly esteemed County Commissioner Tom Huffman, who is voluntarily declining to seek re-election because he has deceived the taxpayers and no one likes him, took the podium and said goodbye. He told the four people who were listening to him that last year's recall election drove his family out of town and that he'd soon be joining them in Arizona.
Up next was commission candidate George Ross, who told the crowd that if elected he would support law enforcement because, "crime is not going away."
(Which would be the only real difference between crime and Commissioner Huffman.)
Moments later -- in a move so puzzling that state Sen. Ed Jones' toupee scratched itself -- Lynn Rivera, wife of Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera, nominated gun advocate Bernie Herpin for District 2 commissioner.
This obvious slight of Councilwoman Margaret Radford, the mayor's colleague who was running against Herpin for the commission seat, did not go unnoticed by the crowd. The mayor and his wife, one observer said, are still angry that Radford backed friend Sallie Clark and not Rivera in last year's mayoral election.
This continued City Council dysfunction and back-stabbing is great news -- if you're one of our village's 450,000 potholes.
Radford, by the way, a "traditional family values" candidate, narrowly failed to get the 30 percent of the delegates' votes that was required to automatically get on the Aug. 10 primary ballot. This so disappointed Radford campaigner, official Republican delegate and energetic homo-hater Will Perkins that he angrily stuck two sharp pins into his Siegfried and Roy voodoo dolls.
Former County Commissioner Betty Beedy was there, too. She's working on Bruce's campaign and was assigned to stand guard beside the District 2 metal ballot box. Betty, to the credit of her and her race, successfully fought off the urge to sit on the box whenever a black person holding a ballot got within 50 feet of it.
(Not that the Republican gathering attracted a huge black population. I counted five African-Americans in the crowd of nearly 3,000 people -- six if you make the mistake of counting Sen. Jones.)
Also at the assembly was the man warmly known as a "career politician's career politician," our very own U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colorado When It Was Still Covered By The Ocean. He told people he liked U.S. Senate candidate Coors, but was not ready to endorse him just yet. "I'd like to wait to see how it plays out and consider so many other factors and I haven't really made up my mind," Hefley told a bystander.
Translation: Coors' gigantic check to the Re-elect Hefley campaign hasn't cleared yet.
On a personal note, the best moment of the assembly came when former village Mayor Bob Isaac, who has fought through a terrible illness over the past few months, walked to the podium and spoke on behalf of District 3 commission candidate Sallie Clark.
For you newcomers, Isaac presided over our village during the long-forgotten Ounce of #$%^!@* Common Sense era, a time when we could actually drive around town without snapping an axle on our crater-filled roadways, a time when we didn't have to pay a surcharge to keep our streetlights on because our arrogant, city-owned utilities and its $300,000-a-year boss says they're broke!
Geez. That was quite an angry outburst. Maybe God isn't finished with me yet, either. I bet he'll get to me right after he finishes Doug Bruce.
And that Woodmen/I-25 intersection.
Tune in to Tosches each Thursday morning at 7:30 on the Eagle.
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