Hall of Shame

You'd have to go a fur piece to find bigger embarrassments.

And while the major breakdown arrived with the summer's heat wave, Colorado had nothing to complain about compared to, say, residents of Texas--home of PSC's new partner--who suffered through weeks of temperatures well into the hundreds. So when the mercury in this state started climbing toward triple digits, PSC reminded us of what a bunch of wimpy whiners Coloradans have become. If we dared to turn on that air conditioner, PSC warned, we might so overload the grid that the city would suffer through a series of rolling brown-outs. Merely pulling an ice cube from your refrigerator could endanger entire sections of the map, a compliant media echoed. So the Front Range sweltered. The next day, PSC had the gall to take out full-page ads in the dailies congratulating consumers for pulling together.

Hey! Next time save those advertising dollars and hire some better prognosticators, ones who could look at PSC's account rosters and recognize that growth is actually occurring. Or better yet, buy them a one-way ticket on an RTD commuter bus attempting to head down I-25 at rush hour.

Betty Beedy
El Paso County Commissioner
Houdini himself couldn't have escaped from the tight spot El Paso County Commissioner Betty Beedy seemingly found herself in this fall, after all five liberals in Colorado Springs launched a recall effort against the motormouth for the embarrassing statements she'd spewed across the state--and then repeated nationally on ABC's pajama party of a talk show, The View, last July. The audience booed as host Meredith Vieira clicked off some of Beedy's headline-grabbers: single mothers who receive child support and date are "sluts"; gays and lesbians are "pedophiles"; Colorado Springs shouldn't name a highway after Martin Luther King Jr. because he was an adulterer. From that introduction, Beedy went on to joust with an attorney from a national organization that fought Colorado's Amendment 2 and made this astute observation about gay rights: "It's not like the race issue, where we can look at her (View co-host Star Jones, who is African-American) and know that she's different--she's different than the white, normal American."

And so, we can only hope, is Beedy, who despite her unusual outbursts (or perhaps because of them--let's face it, she represents El Paso County) handily survived the recall effort. Her next campaign: to bring back the lost Victorian art of draping pianos, so that their shamefully naked legs do not shock visitors to her parlor.

Keith Weinman
Mattress Pitchman
Let's see, which was more creepy: Listening to alleged business reporter Keith Weinman take a commercial break from the KOA morning report to pitch mattresses last year, shortly after he'd been charged with stalking his wife? Or telling a Channel 9 reporter this fall that no matter what the police reports might say, and despite the fact he'd just racked up another charge for assaulting his wife, he wasn't a batterer--he and his spouse were just "very physical" people.

Twenty years ago Colorado was in the forefront of the fight against domestic violence--but you'd never know it from the treatment Keith Weinman's received. Even after his stalking charge--reported by employees of an auto dealership appalled by what they'd seen of the Weinmans' relationship--went public, both KOA-AM/850 and Channel 4 kept Weinman on salary and on the air. And when he disappeared from view this year--following a reported suicide attempt after his wife showed up at a hospital with battered ribs--neither outlet addressed the issue until others forced them to.

Weinman goes on trial next year in Boulder.

Alex Hunter
Boulder District Attorney
Almost two years ago, longtime Boulder district attorney Alex Hunter looked into the TV cameras and spoke directly to the murderer of JonBenet Ramsey. "We will find you," he said. Silly us, we thought that meant that not only would a murderer be found, but that Boulder's DA would actually charge him or her. Wrong.

If Boulder's overall ambience is laid back, Lady Justice is comatose--and the only reason she's still around at all is probably because she cut a deal with Alex "Monty Hall" Hunter, who's renowned for his liberal use of plea bargains (only 7 percent of his criminal cases have gone to trial). Only Hunter could make former police chief Tom Koby look hard-charging; when Koby's replacement, Mark Becker, said the cops had done all they could and urged Hunter to send the Ramsey case to a grand jury, Hunter spent two days looking at the cops' evidence and promised an answer in a few weeks. A few months later, he was on vacation in Alaska when a former police investigator and former Ramsey friend Fleet White both went public with their concerns that the DA's office was doing nothing, and would do nothing. Governor Roy Romer reeled Hunter back in for a confab with other metro DAs--and as a result, the Ramsey case finally went to a grand jury in September.

More than three months later--and fully two years after JonBenet was found murdered--that grand jury has yet to hear from either John or Patsy Ramsey.

Still, that doesn't mean there have been no charges filed in connection with the JonBenet case. Hunter has managed to strike deals with at least three minor characters in this Boulder soap opera. Know who they are? Go to www.westword.com to take our JonBenet Trivia Challenge.

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