Law and Order

Denver's DA candidates take a seat in the docket.

Beth McCann, Mitch Morrissey and John Walsh can all agree on one very important thing: If this election were Celebrity Deathmatch, Colorado Attorney General/U.S. Senate hopeful Ken Salazar would beat the crap out of high-flying New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Maybe that's because Salazar has home-court advantage with all three candidates for Denver District Attorney, even New York-born Walsh. "My kids are all little, so a better question for me would be Scooby Doo-related," he says. "But I'll go with a guy from the San Luis Valley any day in a match up."

To get a feel for how this trio of Democrats match up in the August 10 primary, Westword asked them fifteen questions about the DA's office. The complete answers are posted at; here are a few highlights:

What's the one thing people should know about the DA's office that they don't know already?

McCann: "Over 40 percent of the felony cases that were filed last year were drug cases."

Morrissey: "The district attorney is not the boss of the police department. People often think that because we work together on cases that the DA oversees the police department, but that is the job of the mayor, the police chief and the manager of safety. The DA cannot punish police officers for wrongdoing other than to prosecute cases criminally."

Walsh: "That it's full of people who work extremely hard every day for a lot less money than they could make in the private practice of law, because they're committed to what they're doing."

What is your preferred Denver drinking (or dining) establishment?

McCann: "With my kids, Macaroni Grill. Without my kids, Strings."

Morrissey: "Bambino's."

Walsh: "I'm a regular morning customer of the Ivy Cafe on East Colfax -- outstanding bagels, among other things. My wife and I are also big fans of the Cherry Tomato in Park Hill."

What is the one issue that you are most passionate about?

McCann: "Predators -- people who prey on others who are more vulnerable or in situations which may allow someone else to take advantage of them, including crimes against children, the elderly, pimping, sexual assault, domestic violence."

Morrissey: "I am most passionate about juvenile diversion programs. Governor Owens line-item vetoed the funding for our juvenile-diversion program two years ago, and we had to fight to find alternative means of funding to save it. We divert 300 non-violent youth offenders each year and keep them out of the criminal justice system, and we need to find the resources to increase that program. I will find the grants or federal funding to make that happen."

Walsh: "We need to work hard to make sure that law enforcement and the entire community are talking and working together. That means that we in law enforcement need to listen to neighborhoods and the community to get the job done."

If you could have all the assistant DAs wear a uniform, who would design it? Women: Zac Posen or Stella McCartney; Men: P. Diddy or Ralph Lauren.

McCann: "Not being much of a fashion plate myself, I have to admit I am not familiar with the designers mentioned, except for Ralph Lauren. I would go for a designer that could design something that was professional and classy, not flashy.

Morrissey: "I'd have to go with P. Diddy -- bring a little more style to the office."

Walsh: "Deputy DAs certainly don't need fashion advice from the fashion-challenged like me. My wife will burst out laughing that you even asked."

Star Crossed

The three district attorney candidates may all be lawyers and Democrats, but they have distinct personalities. Just to make sure, we sent their star stats to local psychic Julia Stonestreet Smith, who reads for the Twelfth House. Turns out they're all well-suited to public office -- "They all have a little bit of Leo and a little bit of Aquarius, which is what drives them to choose jobs that have a high profile," says Stonestreet Smith -- but they also have their own eccentricities. Here's how she reads their charts:

Beth McCann, 55, born in Radford, Virginia

Beth is an Aquarius, and as such, she is no doubt very idealistic. Many of her ideas may be considered ahead of their time, so it will be a challenge for her to find a way to communicate a vision that most people can understand and appreciate. Mars is sitting right next to the sun in her natal chart, which means she has a lot of energy, intensity and focus. It's probably almost impossible to distract her from her goals.

The moon in Cancer softens her up and brings a warm maternal quality to her energy. This is the part of her that hates to see anyone suffer, so she will work hard to protect those who are vulnerable. Cancer energy can be very sentimental, and, no doubt, McCann longs for a simpler, more peaceful way of life. The planet Pluto is at the top of McCann's chart (the midheaven), in the sign of Leo. This candidate does well in the spotlight and has a lot of charisma and charm. She takes her career very seriously, and it is through work that she gains her sense of self. She needs to be validated for her efforts, and she doesn't usually have to try hard to get it. With Leo up there, she always stands out in a crowd.

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