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Every fledgling newspaper needs a target, and every crusading anti-government activist needs a media foil.

In that way, the Independent and Douglas Bruce were meant for each other in the early 1990s. Not a match made in heaven, but definitely in Colorado Springs.

Bruce had won his hallmark victories with the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, and the Indy appeared soon thereafter to engage him. The two also shared some characteristics: irreverence, cantankerousness, determination.

Through the years, amid an evolving landscape, our periodic head-butting continued. He made so much news, and we took it from there.

So, after Bruce's conviction on tax-evasion charges, as we thought of how to cover his sentencing, we had to ask Cara DeGette, who wrote the first cover story and columns about Bruce nearly 20 years ago, to return for an encore.

Now living in Denver but still fully plugged in, Cara was psyched. On her own, she had attended portions of Bruce's trial. She went Monday for the sentencing, and her subsequent piece reads just like her feisty Public Eye columns from the past. For nostalgia's sake, we've added a retrospective of Bruce-related covers through the years, and reporter J. Adrian Stanley has put together a thorough timeline of Bruce's life in Colorado, available here.

It's quite a salvo. But then, where Douglas Bruce and the Indy are concerned, it's always been this way.

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