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Duking it out

Kudos to the Rocky Mountain News for finally following up on the increasingly bizarre rantings of El Paso County's once favorite political son, Charlie Duke.

Last week, the News reported Duke does not legally qualify to be on the ballot as an American Constitution party candidate because he was not a member for 60 days prior to the party's convention in July as called for in party rules.

As part of its coverage, the Denver-based daily finally followed up on the latest conspiracy theories professed by the former candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives.

Duke accused his erstwhile opponent, incumbent Lynn Hefley of conspiring with the Mafia, Jewish people and the Clintons to manipulate the stock market and ruin him financially.

But in reporting on Duke's egocentric world view, News reporter Lynn Bartels only echoed an article written by the Indy's Cara DeGette in May, when Duke originally announced his switch to the Constitution party.

"The Hefleys are undermining me by manipulating the stock market," Duke told DeGette at the time. "They are not doing it personally. They are asking the president to do it, and he's asking the Mafia. The Mafia controls the options rating, and as you know, the Mafia was created by the Rothchilds many centuries ago."


The great satellite bash, part II

In last week's Public Eye column, spokesperson for the 21st Space Wing, Colonel Robin Chandler, was adamant that security personnel had stopped protesters before they were able to touch a Ground 3 Milstar satellite communications unit.

"I know for a fact that they didn't reach [the Milstar unit]," she told the Indy.

It turns out Chandler's intelligence gathering may have been hampered by cloud cover. After their release from El Paso County Jail this week, the five Roman Catholic nuns who took part in the protest provided evidence that they did indeed pour blood (their own) on the high-tech, mobile satellite dish.

A set of color photos, taken by someone friendly to the protesters' cause, clearly shows a streak of red substance oozing down the side of the drab green unit. A military security officer is standing next to the Milstar unit, looking directly down at the stain.

Meanwhile, 74-year-old Sister Anne Montgomery, insisted that she did indeed take a hammer to the satellite dish. "I definitely hammered on that dish," said Montgomery.

The sisters wielded hammers and poured their own blood on the apparatus to protest what they say is America's bellicose posture toward outer space and toward Iraq.


Home was where the shelter is

As the city slouches toward a final decision on a one-stop homeless center/soup kitchen in the Mill Street neighborhood, the head of a group that's authored the only definitive national study of such homeless campuses has written an op-ed piece for USA Today that is highly critical of the concept.

Proponents of the Colorado Springs shelter note that their proposed facility is different than many of the ones referred to in the report, authored by Robert Hess, CEO of the Center for Poverty Solutions in Baltimore, Maryland.

But the article once again raised points about such mega-shelters that have, to date, not been hashed out in local newspapers (except, of course, in the Independent).

"A 'one-size-fits-all' campus model does not address the individual needs of the people most affected," Hess wrote. "Homeless campuses too often serve as revolving doors that warehouse poor people for a limited amount of time, then spin them back out onto the streets with no improvement in their ability to climb out of poverty."


Mullen's Top 200

When you read in the Gazette last week that City Manager Jim Mullen had mailed an info package attacking Doug Bruce's "TaxCut 2000" initiative to the 200 most influential people in the city, did you care about what was in the mailing?

Of course not, you wanted to know the identity those top 200 Colorado Springs wheeler dealers. Well, we got the list, courtesy of the Colorado Open Records Act, and it's not what you'd expect. It's a strangely random assortment of good ol' boys, city employees, developers, city hall regulars, community pillars, bartenders and spouses of the powerful.

Mary Tom Isaac is on the list, but not her somewhat better known relative, former mayor Bob Isaac. Tony Leahy from downtown's Tony's Bar, restaurateur Dave Lux, and Ritz Manager Luke Travins, made the cut. But not El Pomar's Bill Hybl and Thayer Tutt, and not Focus of the Family's Dr. James Dobson.

The G and Business Journal were both represented, but not the Indy. Bottom line: If you'd like to be one of the chosen, hang at Tony's or the Ritz. Just tell them Jim sent ya.


Planners and deciders

Speaking of decision-makers, here's what George W. would likely say of Mullen's top 200. "We don't believe in the planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans," from Scranton, PA, Sept. 6.

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