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 www.westword.com; 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."
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."
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.
McCann has Neptune in the twelfth house. This can help her intuit what the collective mind is thinking and feeling, but it can also lead to confusion about her own personal agenda. It's easy for other people to put ideas into McCann's head. People with Neptune in the twelfth do best if they have a way to clear their space on a regular basis.
With Saturn in Virgo, McCann is truly in it to be of service. Virgo is known for its humility and desire to make things better. This is the part of McCann that may not actually enjoy being in the spotlight but feels it necessary to reach other, more important goals.
Mitch Morrissey, 46, born in Denver, Colorado
Mitch is a Sagittarius, which is a freedom-loving fire sign. Adventure is important to the Sagittarian, so Morrissey needs a battle to fight or a cause to align with. His interests are most likely varied, which can lead to chaos. He is more of an optimist than a pessimist, and he will keep trying even when the situation looks futile.
With an Aquarian moon, this candidate may seem socially and emotionally awkward at times. He filters his feelings through his mind and decides what to feel based on what he thinks is appropriate, so it may be difficult for the voter to feel warmth coming from him. On a positive note, the moon in Aquarius leads to a lot of progressive thinking and a desire to plan for the future. With Venus in Capricorn, Morrissey is not afraid of hard work. He has a lot of patience and endurance and can stick with something until it is done to his satisfaction. There is a lot of ambition here, and a lot of willingness to wait for the right time. People tend to lean on this candidate for support -- professionally and personally.
Mars in Scorpio can lead to a lot of passionate energy. In the Dark Ages, all the soldiers with this planetary placement would be put on the front lines of the battlefield, because Mars in Scorpio is bloodthirsty! In other words, you don't want to get in this guy's way when he feels strongly about something. He will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to remove the opposition.
Jupiter in Libra helps to lighten up this character a lot. He is charming, attractive and attentive when meeting new people. There is an ease and a grace about the way he carries himself. The Libran charm will help him smooth over any awkward moments that come about as a result of some of the more challenging planetary energies.
John Walsh, 43, born in New York, New York
John is a Gemini, and that means being curious about everything. This is a candidate who will research something until he's practically an expert. Gemini is a sign known for quick thinking and adaptability. Following through is tough for Geminis because they are always on to the next exciting project. This candidate probably has a lot of connections and can make friends with everyone from the president of a large corporation to the night janitor at his office.
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Walsh's Scorpio moon will help him stay committed to projects that take a long time to resolve, but it also makes him appear a bit mysterious. He doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, and you'd have to get to know him pretty well to see what's really going on with him. Walsh's privacy is very important to him, and he wouldn't sacrifice it for anything. He's probably surrounded by people he trusts that have known him for a long time. Scorpio moon people need to be told the truth no matter how painful it might be.
With Venus in Aries, he can be aggressive without seeming so. His pursuit of a goal can look playful and diplomatic from afar, but when you get a closer look, you'll see the ambition rippling under the surface. He is sensitive to women's issues and may have more than one powerful woman in his life helping him reach great heights.
Walsh has a Mars/Uranus conjunction in Leo. This means that the two planets were in alignment the night John was born. Mars is the planet of war and action, and Uranus represents alternative ideas and new ways of doing things. This combination makes him creative and at times impulsive. He is willing to take risks to find solutions. With the two planets in Leo, he needs to be validated and praised for his contributions. The Mars/Uranus conjunction reinforces his Gemini energy, making it extra-challenging to stay grounded and committed to one course of action.