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OFF LIMITS

The fight stuff: Whether or not Mayor Wellington Webb succeeds in stopping the "Ultimate Fight" scheduled to hit town December 16, this dueling-palookas business has plenty of politicians on the ropes. Last week, Denver City Council president Debbie Ortega worried that if the fight goes on, people will think of Denver as a town where "anything goes." Gee, considering the multiple investigations into alleged shenanigans out at Denver International Airport, we thought Denver already had earned that reputation. And the next round in that battle comes this Thursday, when the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is looking into whether the city and its consultants misled potential buyers of DIA bonds, is expecting an official response from the Denver City Attorney's Office.

Just about the only politician who hasn't weighed in on the ultimate-fighting issue (they're all avoiding the DIA/SEC mess) is Congresswoman Pat Schroeder. But her surprise announcement that she won't run for another term has set off a real political free-for-all. In fact, longtime Schroeder aide Dan Buck, always quick with a quip, has already likened the competition to the "ultimate primary." The first candidate to sign on officially for the fight is state representative and People of Color Coalition chairwoman Glenda Swanson Lyle, who's apparently undeterred by the fact that her House wages were garnished by the state last year until she agreed to clean up a tax debt.

With Lyle already in the ring, the early money has Wilma Webb deciding against a run. Her husband, of course, has already ruled out his own candidacy--as Denver learned from an overblown, copyrighted front-page story by Christopher Lopez in the Denver Post that repeated an overplayed "exclusive" offered the night before on Channel 9 (which actually got the info from the Post, its promotions partner). Left on the sidelines were the Rocky Mountain News and the other TV stations, to which Webb had refused comment.

Rarely refusing comment is radio talk-show host Mike Rosen, one of Schroeder's frequent sparring partners. Last Tuesday, though, Rosen took on another opponent: CBS anchor Dan Rather, who was broadcasting live from Denver and giving new CBS affiliate Channel 4 a much-needed boost in the process. (Rather's appearance also received front-page treatment from the Post; not surprisingly, this is one story that Channel 9, now the NBC affiliate, passed up.) While lecturing--er, interviewing--Rather, Rosen was quick to trumpet his own resume, then proceeded to provide proof that he should have spent more time studying his guest's. Asked by Rosen when the country would get a conservative anchor, Rather replied that it already had one: him. How could that be, Rosen pounced, when Rather had written speeches for Lyndon Baines Johnson? Easy, actually: Those speeches were written by Bill Moyers.

Press the flesh: Happy birthday to the Rocky Mountain Oyster, the swinging local publication that publishes its thousandth issue this week. In honor of the occasion, publisher Elaine Leass is touting some unusual credentials of her own. On the paper's fifteenth anniversary, Leass bungee-jumped in lacy lingerie and thigh-high boots (an act captured by NBC's Today Show). Maybe this year, someone will jump out of a cake--clothed. That would be fine with Leass, who says she hasn't given a celebration much thought. "Total nudity is nice," she says, "but what's more exotic would be some kind of exotic outfit.

 
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