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NAG, NAG, NAG, NAG

THE FOUR MAYORAL CANDIDATES ARE AT THE GATE.

March 1994: Crider questions legality of city's new financing deal with United Airlines (which now is represented by Webb crony Steve Farber). Webb calls it "political posturing by auditor Crider, who has never really understood his job as auditor and has been running for mayor since he got elected." Crider replies: "The first and second letters I sent Mr. Webb were requesting information, and his answer to the letter with statements about political posturing are just that, his political posturing, not mine. I'm also saddened to think that Mr. Webb, after having been auditor for four years, doesn't understand the duties of this office, which are to protect the people of Denver's financial well-being and to act as their watchdog."

April 1994: Crider says DIA "out of control and without leadership." Webb replies: "If Mr. Crider is truly running for mayor, I would hope that he would have the dignity to save the political mudslinging until 1995. Mr. Crider has done nothing to make this project a reality and seems to be doing everything within his limited ability to bad-mouth the accomplishments of everyone who has contributed to this project." Crider replies: "If you look at it objectively, almost all these cost increases go right back to his doorstep, buddy. The change orders are there; the management is not there. Trying to dodge the issue isn't the answer."

May 1994: Webb vetoes a DeGroot amendment to a law calling for contract bidders to promptly reveal information on ownership and stockholders. "If it had been another councilmember that proposed it," she says, "I don't think he would have opposed it."

October 1994: Webb accuses DeGroot of racism. "Mary thinks that if she sees four or five black people sitting together that they're automatically plotting some overthrow," Webb tells Brian Weber of Rocky Mountain News. "I think Mary has problems she doesn't know about." DeGroot demands apology: "It simply won't wash for you to attempt to dismiss legitimate questions and legitimate criticism by labeling them as `racist.' The citizens of Denver won't stand for it. It is unfortunate that you have started this campaign on a low note by slinging a deliberately inflammatory term." Webb backs down: "I thought the remarks I made were unfortunate and I regret having made them. I called her and told her I apologize." Side benefit of flap? Post columnist Ken Hamblin plagiarizes Weber's story and gets suspended.

October 1994: Frew says of Webb, DeGroot and Crider: "The three of them have been part of the problem. What I hear loud and clear is people want an alternative. I'm the only one that presents a choice."

Tip sheet:
Two other auditors have gone on to become mayor: Webb and Tom Currigan. Two others, Mike Licht and Chuck Byrne, have tried and failed.

Three (so far) contenders, all viable, promise to split anti-Webb vote, which likely will result in a runoff.

Money picture cloudy until end-of-year campaign-finance reports are in.
DIA, its opening delayed four times, is scheduled to take over for Stapleton on February 28. If it doesn't, will Webb answer the bell in May?

All bets are off if there are late entries. A fresh-faced upstart could run away with the whole thing.

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