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What a deal! First those big-interest developers and realtors make scads of money by sprawling their way across Colorado. Then they dump more than $5 million into a statewide initiative to quash Amendment 24, an attempt to control unrestrained growth in Colorado. Much of the developers' campaign cash has been used for TV commercials which -- other than those for at-large Board of Education candidate Jared Polis -- are about the only political commercials we've seen this year.

One particular anti-Amendment 24 commercial -- which has been broadcast repeatedly -- shows an earnest woman talking about how she is voting against the measure because she has "read the fine print" on the Internet and that the measure is just too extreme.

The Denver Post recently reported that the lady is actually a professional actress, and the commercial's sponsor's spokesman, Chris Paulson, admitted they didn't even know if the woman lived in Colorado. But they continue running the deceptive ads anyway.

Now the pro-growth campaign has come up with a new one, designed to tear at the heartstrings of even the most bleeding heart liberal. It shows workers building a Habitat for Humanity house with a narrator talking about how wonderful Habitat, which builds homes for the poor, is. Then, the face of the narrator comes onscreen, and it's Colorado Gov. Bill Owens himself.

In his earnest way, the governor -- certainly no stranger nor enemy to special-interest developer money -- pleads with the voters to reject Amendment 24.

"Allow Habitat for Humanity to continue their work for our communities," Owens beseeches.

The commercial doesn't exactly explain how Habitat would shut down in Colorado if the amendment passes. But perhaps if it goes down in flames, the governor will take a leading role in forcing the Legislature to tackle the massive affordable housing problem all over Colorado.

Perhaps Owens will also force the Legislature to deal with the unchecked rampant growth that the majority of Coloradans have indicated as the top issue they want their lawmakers to address.

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Poor Focus on the Family. First the Colorado Springs ministry had to deal with the embarrassment of John Paulk, their poster boy for the ex-gay movement being caught in September chatting up a man, er, relieving stress, in a gay bar in Washington, D.C.

Then, Focus president James Dobson's longtime radio sidekick Mike Trout left in October, amid titillating (yet vague) talk of improprieties with a woman other than his wife.

This weekend, Paulk, the drag queen-turned-ex-gay family man who is the ministry's manager of homosexuality and gender was supposed to lead the Focus on the Family Love Won Out conference designed to prevent homosexuality in today's youth.

In an undated, but obviously pre-gay-bar letter inviting people to attend the conference, Paulk wrote, "It's a topic that makes many people feel uncomfortable, confused and even defensive. But if you care about youth, the rise in homosexuality cannot be ignored.

"We can't escape the onslaught of information that seeks to influence our churches, schools, businesses and neighborhoods. It's often communicated that homosexuality is a biological imperative and that change and freedom are not possible.

"I am living proof that the power of God's love can transform hearts and lives."

Now, post-gay-bar outing, Paulk won't be overseeing the conference or even -- according to an Oct. 28 Gazette story -- speaking at the affair.

Perhaps other Focus executives are the ones feeling a little bit uncomfortable, confused and even defensive.

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Last week in this space, we skipped printing an inane quote uttered by George W. Bush. But the Republican presidential candidate has certainly kept 'em coming. Just take a look at the following comments, all of which Bush made during one day in the presidential campaign, October 18.

"If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency room care, we're going to have gag orders."

"Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know it."

"It's one thing about insurance, that's a Washington term."

"I think we ought to raise the age at which juveniles can have a gun."

"Quotas are bad for America. It's not the way America is all about."

"If affirmative action means what I just described what I'm for, then I'm for it."

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Things sure have changed since such stuff made then-Vice President Dan Quayle the laughingstock of the country just eight years ago. But, as Shrub so eloquently put it -- yes, on Oct. 18 -- one thing will always be certain: "Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."

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