Off Limits

It was funds while it lasted: The RTD board was so proud of its hastily adopted (and sadly unconstitutional) Resolution 15, "'Guide the Ride' is NOT for sale," that in late August it sent a hurried notice to potential RTD bidders, warning them that if they wanted to bid on future projects connected with Guide the Ride, they couldn't donate more than $100 to the campaign pushing the November ballot item (and its potential $20 billion booty).

But then the ACLU had to go and spoil all the fun. In early September, attorney and Colorado ACLU chair Ed Ramey challenged the resolution's constitutionality--and won a temporary injunction against it in U.S. District Court. Pending the outcome of the trial (conveniently set for after the November 4 election), even corporate fat cats have the right to free speech, which, believe it or not, extends to campaign donations--and, presumably, buying elections that will make the fat cats even fatter.

Bloodied but unbowed, the RTD board has appealed the court's decision. In the meantime, though, it had to send a second notice to potential bidders. "Pursuant to the court's mandatory injunction," the card noted, "you are hereby notified that Resolution No. 15 is no longer in effect."

Your tax dollars at work: The two mailings cost $5,000, estimates RTD spokesman Scott Reed.

Which, coincidentally, was the cost of one ticket to Monday night's pro-Guide the Ride dinner at the Oxford Hotel. But the fat cats who bought their way in got an appetizer they didn't bargain for: Assorted protesters, including renegade RTD boardmember Jon Caldara, hectored arriving donors with signs ("Don't Buy the Lie") and questions about what they stand to gain from the tax increase. When Governor Roy Romer showed up, Caldara shouted, "How much is your son making off this?"--a reference to Chris Romer's position at George K. Baum and Company, RTD's bond dealer. The governor offered no reply.

Back-to-school special: Former Overland football star Scott Bentley--who rated a spread in Sports Illustrated while still in high school and was heavily recruited by both Notre Dame and Florida State--got a second chance at the NFL when the kicker was called up by the Broncos this week. (He made two out of three field-goal attempts at Monday night's game.) But this wasn't Bentley's first second chance. The local-boy-made-good went bad fast at Florida State where, as a sophomore, he pleaded no contest in May '94 to charges that he'd illegally tape-recorded himself having sex with a Florida A&M pre-nursing student without her consent--and then played the tape for friends. Bentley was fined $500 and sentenced to forty hours of road-crew work.

And another Coloradan recently made the news in Florida. At one point, Margaret M. Ray was this state's most infamous export, back when the former resident of Crawford tried to take up residence in David Letterman's Connecticut home--but instead had to content herself with stalking the TV yakker, stealing his Porsche in 1988 and camping on his tennis court in 1993. After several convictions, Ray spent a year and a half in a mental hospital, where she penned this missive about Letterman: "Although I continue to give him the opportunity to integrate me into his household, he decides otherwise, on behalf of us both. Case closed."

Not exactly. Late last month Ray was charged with stalking former NASA astronaut Story Musgrave. She was apprehended, dripping wet, outside his Orlando, Florida, home, where she'd turned on all the faucets. Ray must have a thing for water as well as celebrities: She once did her laundry in Letterman's pool.

Post toasties: By one veteran's count, the Denver Post has lost 24 newsroom employees in the past 18 months--including Pat O'Driscoll, who left to open a local bureau for USA Today, and Alan Gottlieb (both were omitted from our rundown two weeks ago). Now you can add another to the long list: Robert Kowalski, a member of the paper's defunct investigative team, is moving on to a job as a political reporter in Alaska.

Also heading out of town this week is former Post restaurant reviewer John Kessler, whose house--owned by your-friend-in-the-diamond-business Tom Shane in the early Seventies--is now on the market. Among those treated to a showing was attorney Michael Tigar, who's apparently contemplating a long stay in Denver--although not in the Shane/ Kessler house. "Too much work," he told the realtor.

What does he call defending Terry Nichols?

 
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