But RTD boardmembers have never had any trouble speaking for themselves. The board hasn't decided whether to appeal Kane's decision, Klein says, but the matter is "not as moot as I think Judge Kane decided." Nor is the matter of light rail, which Klein supports. "I don't care where the funds come from," Klein says. "I don't want to penalize the people. It should be built."
Clearly, though, Klein chafes at Romer's new role as the "martyr of mass transit," as well as legislators' recent suggestions that RTD either be moved under the Department of Transportation or returned to the appointed, rather than elected, board system it had two decades ago. "RTD is alive and well," Klein says, "but I don't know how well we'll be at end of session."
Klein is just warming up on the subject of Romer. "Both RTD and the people can't be bought with this flood of media stuff," he says. "Romer's endorsement is kind of the kiss of death...31 mayors and a zillion bureaucrats and $500,000 doesn't win the Guide the Ride election."
"He's messed with RTD during my seven years," Klein adds. Indeed, this is not Romer's first attempt to push mass transit. There was the MTDC, and the TCA, set up as a taxing district until McCroskey got it defeated in the legislature.
"It never ends in this city," says McCroskey, who once called Klein the "most hypocritical man I know," and is now his unlikely ally. "It never stops. There's no question in my mind that special-interest groups are taking over government more and more."
But McCroskey gives Romer credit. "I have to applaud him to a degree," he says, "I have long thought the major problem facing us is along I-25 and Colorado Boulevard." But Romer is wrong to exclude RTD, he says. After all, he points out, "RTD can borrow money, the state cannot."
Caldara thinks Romer is just plain wrong. First, there's that exit poll the governor cited, which argues that the people who voted against light rail actually support light rail. It was conducted by Talmey-Drake, the firm responsible for the poll the week before the election that predicted an easy victory for Guide the Ride.
"It's remarkably insulting," Caldara says. "The people voted. Doesn't that mean anything? Why won't our politicians listen?"
Listen, for example, to the only poll that counts: the actual vote on November 4 that wrung the neck of that turkey.