Republicans Say DNC Will Be a Grand Ol' Party

Colorado Republican leader Dick Wadhams thinks the 2008 Democratic National Convention will help his party, too.

Upon hearing about the incident during a phone call, Wadhams says, "I couldn't grasp the enormity of it" — a reaction that probably ac-counts for his initially dismissing the story with what the Washington Post described as "a barnyard epithet." Today Wadhams insists that he understood how damaging the comment was the moment he saw it on video. Yet the Allen brain trust sent mixed signals for more than a week, and by the time everyone had finally settled on contrition, it was too late. Webb won, handing control of the entire Senate to the Democrats.

Suddenly, Wadhams was the golden boy no longer — but a new prospect soon presented itself. Colorado Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany phoned to chat about who should lead the Colorado Republicans and soon concluded that Wadhams was the man for the job. Wadhams says he laughed off the suggestion only to change his mind because of the challenge involved in trying to turn Colorado red again, as well as the likelihood that Denver would land the DNC. In his words, "I thought, wouldn't it be fun to help rebuild the party after two bad cycles and be here when the Democrats come to town?"

Thus far, Wadhams has mainly resisted the urge to go head-to-head with Dems over convention developments. When Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean visited Denver on August 22, "I could have held a counter news conference," Wadhams maintains. "But it's not significant what they're doing now." Nevertheless, he notes, Channel 2's Jann Tracey, Channel 4's Terry Jessup and Channel 9's Adam Schrager "proactively called me and asked for comments." He regards the trio's actions as a sign that the local media will make an honest attempt to give Republicans a say in the face of DNC fever — and he plans to reward them with releases and events designed to stir things up.

"As we get deeper into the actual election next year, we'll be weighing in very directly," he promises. "It's too early for that give-and-take. But I will be doing more of it. A lot more."


CPR for CPR: When last we heard from attorney Frances Koncilja ("Going Public," June 14), she had resigned from her position on the Colorado Public Radio board to protest what she saw as an attempt by CPR chieftain Max Wycisk and chair Barry Curtiss-Lusher to change organizational by-laws in order to ramrod through a host of dubious proposals. Since then, she's created a Colorado Public Radio blog, at http://coloradopublicradio.blogspot.com/, which has quickly developed into the go-to site for news about the state's public radio stations, including CPR. Among other things, she's posted documents that shed more light on her concerns.

The next big day in Koncilja's battle to save CPR from itself is September 19, when the board is expected to meet for the first time since putting many of the plans she criticized on hold. Via e-mail, she writes that her preparations for the session will include contacting local officials who appear on the network to "ask them to inquire of management why there is no diversity on the board and on air." She's also requesting input from "previous boardmembers" plus "current sponsors and underwriters." She adds, "Even though I was not asked to submit anything" for the meeting, "I have."

As she understands, silence isn't always golden.

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