A new book puts Colorado's political sex scandals on the spot

There's nothing like a good sex scandal to clear out the political pipeline. They've killed some careers (goodbye, Eliot Spitzer) and launched others (hello, Barack Obama, who won his Chicago Senate seat after his opponent, Jack Ryan, faced a messy divorce-and-sex-club disgrace with actress Jeri Ryan), and gotten the whole country talking (yes, about you, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, with your alleged stroll along the Appalachian Trail on Naked Hike Day).

Colorado has certainly seen its fair share of salacious stuff, and several of our home-state screwups are included in The Little Quiz Book of Big Political Sex Scandals, by satirist Paul Slansky. Sure, there are questions dealing with everyone from the Kennedys to Bob Packwood to Bill Clinton to Newt Gingrich, but Slansky gives equal time to Ted Haggard, Mike Jones, Larry Craig and former presidential candidate Gary Hart, who took that ill-fated cruise on the Monkey Business.

Here's a sampling of our state's sex scandals. And if you don't know the answers, you just haven't been paying attention (but just in case, they're all c):

29. What made Mike Jones decide to expose "Art"?

a. He was annoyed by Haggard calling him all the time wanting to buy crystal meth.

b. He saw it as a viable way to impact the political process.

c. He was offended by Haggard's hypo-critical support for an amendment that would ban gay marriage in Colorado.

33. What other self-proclaimed non-gay politician did Mike Jones say he had sex with?

a. Jim West

b. Robert Bauman

c. Larry Craig

9. Two of these quotes came from Gary Hart's wife, Lee. Which one came from Donna Rice?

a. "If it doesn't bother me, I don't think it ought to bother anyone else."

b. "If I could have been planning his weekend schedule, I think I would have scheduled it differently."

c. "Any stupid publisher who doesn't want [a book about my life] has his head up his butt."

Scene and herd: Buffalo Bill Cody was an expert shot and an even better salesman, as his traveling Wild West Show proved in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Now he's coming back from the grave — his grave, on Golden's Lookout Mountain — to help sell merchandise for the Denver Mountain Parks system. T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and eventually hats, all featuring the parks department's spiffy new bison logo, will be on sale later this month at the Pahaska Tepee Gift Shop at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, and at the gift shop inside Echo Lake Lodge near Mount Evans; both shops are in Denver-owned parks and are run by longtime Colorado concessionaire Bill Carle.

Denver Mountain Parks (which also owns Red Rocks and Winter Park) commissioned the logo last year as part of a plan to better brand the historic system, which includes 47 properties on 14,000 acres. And not just better brand the system, but better fund it.

While a percentage of merchandise sales will come back to the city, "the real motivation is to create more awareness of the mountain parks," says Susan Baird, a project manager for Denver's Department of Parks and Recreation. "This is one more little step in the whole big push to market this whole system." Carle is paying for the manufacturing, which may expand to include coffee mugs and other souvenirs.

More than half a million people from around the world visit Buffalo Bill's grave every year, and about 60,000 also visit the museum.

 
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