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Off Limits

The name game: Pat Bowlen should send a big bouquet to Charlie Lyons and the rest of Ascent's front line. Compared with the prospect of an Arapahoe County Avalanche (or an Alabama Avalanche, for that matter), the Broncos owner's demand for a new stadium suddenly seemed all warm and fuzzy. But first, he sent his coach, Mike Shanahan, to the big-bucks Bill Clinton fundraiser at developer Mickey Miller's house ten days ago. Shanahan didn't have to pony up for the $10,000 ticket himself--it came courtesy Bowlen, who was reportedly out of town and isn't registered to vote in this country, anyway. But he has a vested interest in this country's laws: A bill proposed in June by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan would prohibit the use of federally tax-exempt bonds to finance sports stadiums for private teams. And even if taxpayers are backing those bonds--in the case of the proposed Broncos stadium, at least $180 million of them--without the federal tax breaks, they'd be a lot less attractive to investors.

Before any bonds are issued, of course, the legislatively mandated eighteen-member site-selection committee will have to pick a place to put the stadium (anyone willing to bet against Coke-swilling Wellington Webb?), and the new Metropolitan Football Stadium District board will have to get it on the ballot. There's technically another step--to determine whether a new stadium is actually needed--but if you think that hurdle hasn't already been cleared, we have a potential stadium site in Adams County to show you. Last Thursday the final members of both football-friendly groups were named. Rounding out the nine-man (and we mean man) stadium board is retired federal judge Jim Carrigan, picked by the Boulder County Commission; Denver's slot has already been filled by former DA Norm Early (the four other counties in the district also got their draft choices); and Governor Roy Romer had earlier tapped Sam Suplizio, co-chair of the Colorado Baseball Commission, and Chris Romer (an MVP who also serves on his father's Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission and chairs Tom Strickland's Senate campaign).

Romer, like Webb, got to name three people to the site-selection committee, and although the governor made up for lost chromosomes last Thursday by choosing Adams County school-board member Carolyn Jones, his picks also included one of the oldest names in the old-boy network: that of Mike Stratton, a political strategist whose resume includes running the campaign of none other than Roy Romer.

Lamm chops: Even before Dick Lamm's name was made official on the Reform Party ballot this week, it had been popping up all over the place--in a several-page spread in the current People magazine, in a far less flattering essay in Saturday's Washington Post, headlined "The Chicken Little of the Rockies?" But although our former Governor Gloom is the wild card of this election season, he didn't make the cut for Politicards '96, a stacked deck of 54 political figures--Hillary Clinton rafting on the S.S. Whitewater, Janet Reno playing Dragnet--that's the hottest collectible in D.C. these days. Company veep Robert McLellan blames an early lead time for the omission: "We even had to predict who would get the Republican nomination," he says. (Bob Dole is depicted in the deck as a dinosaur stomping through Hollywood.) Although the two jokers--a slot for which Lamm is eminently qualified--are filled by David Letterman and Jay Leno, McLellan thinks Colorado's great reformer could break out of the pack. "We should be drawing a Dick Lamm picture," he understates. "He certainly lends himself to caricature."

It won't fly: Much to DIA officials' dismay, last session the legislature approved a bill siphoning money from the airport's fuel tax to fund a $100,000 independent study of Colorado's intrastate air service. Those officials will be even more dismayed to learn of one applicant for the job who landed at the legislature just before Tuesday's deadline: Aviation Systems, whose head, Mike Boyd, has torn more holes in the airport's shiny image than its baggage system.

 
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