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OFF LIMITS

Airport '95: Although last Thursday's Big Baggage Solution announcement originally was slated for Denver International Airport itself, the actual unveiling was held in the second-floor rotunda of the City & County Building. It seems that more than a few of the folks who were to gather in support of Mayor Wellington Webb--a veritable Who's Who of the city administration--balked at the notion of making a fifty-mile round trip to the new airport.

Another familiar Denver face has shown up in an unusual place: as counsel to United Airlines. Lawyer Steve Farber, of the wheeling-and-dealing Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Strickland, has been retained by the city on a variety of projects, most recently the Winter Park negotiations; this time, however, he's working with United--which is fighting the city's interim baggage system. A conflict? Not according to Farber, who says he hasn't represented Denver on any airport business (although his firm has served as a DIA bond counsel) and "called the city before I undertook United." If the city had had any problem with his proposed new client, Farber adds, he wouldn't have taken on United. At least it should cut down on introductions around the bargaining table.

A more unusual Farber sighting: at Representative Pat Schroeder's recent birthday party at Barry Fey's house. Farber must have been on Fey's guest list: Schroeder hasn't taken any money from Farber's firm or its principals since the Silverado scandal broke, and she returned or gave away over $10,000 in S&L-related contributions.

The loan rangers: Sure, last week's Whitewater hearings dwindled into tedious details--unless you happened to be one of the two Denver-based Resolution Trust Corporation whistleblowers. Bruce Pederson and Jacqueline Taylor, both RTC attorneys, have done their share of testifying before Congress themselves--the first time in August '92, then again in September '93, when they joined a lineup of a dozen past and present employees who blew the whistle on the RTC's mishandling of the S&L cleanup. By then, of course, as recent testimony made clear, the only S&L that really interested the Treasury Department was Madison Guaranty. In February, deputy treasury secretary and former RTC head Roger Altman told Congress there might have been one contact with the Clinton White House over Madison; last week, as Altman squirmed before the senators, it became clear that his previous testimony was, well, inaccurate.

Pederson and Taylor could have told you that. In fact, Taylor did in an interview with Westword last March--after which she was officially gagged by the RTC's chief counsel. And although a lineup of White House whippersnappers was doing plenty of blabbing last week, Taylor still isn't allowed to talk.

Is that balk or bawk? Two Republican candidates for governor--not including the chicken--were vigorously working the crowd outside Mile Hi Stadium Sunday, taking only a brief break to compare notes. "Look, there's Mike Bird talking to Dick Sargent," noted one politically aware fan. "You know, I never liked him as much as the first Darrin on Bewitched," replied her companion. So much for name recognition.

 
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