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Shake-up at the USOC 

The lead story in the October issue of NonProfit Times detailed the recent departure of United States Olympic Committee President Bill Hybl and executive director Richard Schultz.

In the article, headlined "USOC looks for new leadership after Salt Lake bid scandal," writer Richard Williamson claimed the shake-up comes as the Colorado Springs-based organization is attempting to "remove the tarnish of an international bribery scandal."

The scandal, involving reports of bribery in Salt Lake City's bid for the 2002 Winter Games, broke shortly before a new management structure for the USOC was recommended by an outside agent, Williamson reported.

Neither Hybl nor Schultz have been accused of any wrongdoing. However, Williamson noted, a special commission headed by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell praised the USOC's response to the scandal but did not let the USOC off the hook.

"As the organization with exclusive responsibility over the conduct of the Olympic Games when held in the United States, the USOC shares responsibility for the improper conduct of the bid and organizing committees in Salt Lake City," Mitchell was quoted as saying.

Hybl, who has been a volunteer president, will turn over his duties to a paid chief executive. Schultz, who is 70, will step down when that chief executive is selected. Both men said they approve of the new setup.

"I believe it's awkward that a volunteer such as myself is also the chief executive officer," Hybl was quoted in the article. "That may be the system that has worked when there were 20 or 25 employees at the USOC. But a part-time volunteer does not have the time and, really, the ongoing experience to manage a staff of 550."

Congrats are in order to County Clerk and Recorder Pat Kelly got local campaign finance contributions and expenditures onto the Internet. If you've got a computer, or can access one at the library, all you have to do is punch in: http://www.civic.nu/elpaso/ and then type in the candidate or organization you want to review.

For example, this year, Citizens for Responsible School Spending '99, the folks who worked to pass the D-11 mill-levy override, reported they took in $68,300 in contributions.

A quick review shows that the district's law firm, Holme Roberts & Owen, as well as The Broadmoor hotel and the Housing and Building Association each gave $5,000 for the cause. New York City-based Edison Schools gave $15,000. Last-minute contributors included Elite Properties, a development company which forked over $2,000, Ed Bircham's Office Supply store, gave $1,000, and Berwick Electric Company, which gave $500. D-11 school board member Lyman Kaiser gave $200, and $50 each came from Economic Development Chairman Rocky Scott, lawyer Bob Dunlap and activist Rebekah Taft.

Still, as of the Friday before election, the campaign had only spent $22,000 -- mostly to campaign consultants and managers and for printing costs for fliers and other literature.

Kudos to Kelly for getting this stuff on the Web.

Now, if Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson could just get it together to post timely campaign information for statewide races ...

Of course, state campaign-finance information is currently available from CIVIC, a Denver-based group. You can access that site at: http://www.civic.nu/campaign.htm. Unfortunately, the campaign-finance data is not updated for up-to-the-minute campaigning, but its sponsors say they are working on it.

Campaign-finance information for federal candidates, including the people and political action committees who are trying to get congressional, U.S. Senate and presidential candidates elected, can be obtained from the Federal Election Committee's site at: http://www.fec.gov/finance/finmenu.htm.

Happy surfing, political junkies!

Is it just our imagination, or is the city's daily newspaper trying to mislead its online readers by suggesting that the Indy is a racist, fascist, hate-filled rag?

Here's a clue: Online, The Gazette -- soon to be renamed just G -- sticks its stories onto the screen. And on the right-hand side of those stories, the paper flashes a little box, which either describes the author of the article or, in some cases, a bit about Colorado Springs. One little ditty is about Spencer Penrose, one of the city's founders. Another explains what the five-star Broadmoor is all about.

A third offers this interesting "history" of the Independent:

"In the early 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan made a major attempt to establish itself in Colorado Springs. In 1924, the KKK started its own newspaper -- The Colorado Springs Independent -- to espouse its hate-filled views," the "history" reads.

Of course, that newspaper was another Independent, which was published at a scary time in our history when the KKK had hefty political power and controlled the governor's office. The old Independent folded many decades before yours truly was launched -- under different ownership -- in 1993.

But hey, in this business, who says anybody should be fair, much less accurate?

Our favorite lead of last week comes from The Denver Post. In a Thursday, Oct. 28, story, the daily detailed how Jefferson County is attempting to curb the number of group homes for convicted sex offenders. But it kinda backfired with the opening paragraph:

"Following the lead of Lakewood and Aurora, Jefferson County will consider limiting the number of sex offenders in residential areas to one per home."

Just what we need: a sex offender in every home.

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