Pioneers Museum, Colorado Springs, Oct. 26, 2010 — With just one week left before our big election, Colorado's candidates for governor have gathered at this historic site for a debate. The event will commence when Mayor Lionel Rivera tosses out the ceremonial first stupid question.
The venue has been approved by all three candidates. Republican Dan Maes says he likes museums because they have old things that are covered with dust. An example would be the museum's new exhibit: "Scott McInnis Campaign Signs Through the Ages."
Democrat John Hickenlooper says he has always wanted to see more of El Paso County. (After a brief tour of the region he vows to approve immediate disaster relief, starting with several boxes of streetlight bulbs.) Meanwhile, third-party candidate Tom Tancredo doesn't like Mexican people.
At the door we find security chief Doug Bruce, exhausted after another vigorous search of a photographer's knee with his foot. Also, state Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Pluto, can't get through the metal detector with that titanium plate in his head.
The debate begins.
Mayor Rivera: "For 20 bonus points, who was Colorado's 38th governor?"
Hickenlooper: "Dick Lamm."
Rivera: "That's enough of that filthy talk, mister! There are children in the room!"
Hickenlooper: "The 38th governor was named Dick Lamm. Richard Lamm. He served three terms."
Rivera: "Really? His name was Dick Lamm? When I was a kid, I told a Wal-Mart manager my name was Hugh Jass and I couldn't find the people I came with, and I pretended to cry. The guy used the intercom and asked anyone with a Hugh Jass to come to register 12."
After Rivera (who was trounced in a 2006 primary by Doug Lamborn in a bid for Congress and then said he lost because Colorado Springs voters loved him so much they didn't want him to leave), the remaining questions will be posed by equally distinguished Republicans. This includes Schultheis, who last year said he hoped mothers with HIV would be punished for their immorality by giving birth to babies with AIDS.
Also on the panel is former governor Bill Owens, a natural leader who calmed our fears during the terrible 2002 fire season by announcing, "It looks as if all of Colorado is burning."
Other notable panelists are McInnis, a veteran politician and noted plagiarist; recently defeated U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton; and former U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard, whom Time magazine once described as "The Invisible Man" and "Wayne Dullard."
Allard (avoiding direct eye contact): "Uh, I have no actual questions. I favor keeping things just about the way they are. For crying out loud, would everyone please stop looking at me?"
McInnis: "Four score and seven years ago ..."
Hickenlooper: "Oh Scott, just shut the hell up."
McInnis: "Ask not what your country can do for you ..."
(Security chief Bruce rushes down the aisle and silences McInnis with a loafer to the groin.)
Schultheis: "Mr. Tancredo, do you think babies should have AIDS as a way to punish their mothers?"
Tancredo: "Here's what I think, Dave. I think that in a room containing Mayor Rivera, McInnis, Wayne Allard, this Doug Bruce guy and me, you're still considered the nut."
Schultheis: "Thank you. Hey, wait a minute..."
Norton: "Mr. Maes, you won the primary despite saying before the election that the Denver bicycle program is a plot by the United Nations to take over the state of Colorado. The voters in this state are really stupid. Stupid, stupid voters. I'd love to shove my high #$%^&* heel up their @#%."
Maes: "Uh, that wasn't a question."
Norton: "Stupid, dumb bastards."
Rivera: "You're tellin' me. I got snuffed by Lamborn, and he's an idiot."
Owens: "Everything is on fire!"
McInnis: "You know that it would be untrue. You know that I would be a liar. If I was to say to you, girl we couldn't get much higher. Come on baby, light my fire. Come on baby, light my fire. Try to set the night on fire."
Schultheis: "Oh. Hugh Jass. I get it."
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