Off Limits

Hail Mary: After Sunday's Mile High opener, the most intriguing Monday-morning quarterbacking focused not on the late hit on John Elway, but on whether a deal's in the works that could rid Denver of Pat Bowlen and ensure that any stadium vote is a hit with voters.

Everybody knows that the nation's richest garbage man, Wayne Huizenga, is hot to buy Elway's Toyota and Honda dealerships. At last report, Huizenga's offer--which Elway snubbed--was up to $85 million, and some insiders say it could climb as high as $100 million.

Up in that rare air, if Elway grabbed the deal, he might have enough cash on hand to go from employee to majority owner of the Broncos, wresting control away from the capricious Canuck. He might even forgive the $20 million or so that Bowlen owes him in deferred salary.

With Elway leading the team both on and off the field, the Broncos might actually manage to convince voters to pony up most of the money for a new stadium. And unlike Bowlen (who's been urged to keep his fur coat on the sidelines this year), Elway's eligible to vote--since he finally got around to renewing his voter's registration (Republican, of course) in Arapahoe County last year.

Now, if Biff could only do something about those damn shwooshes...

Party crashers: First, upstart Colorado Democratic Party chair Phil Perington accosted Ben Nighthorse Campbell at the senator's town meeting in Colorado Springs last week and had the nerve--the nerve!--to ask for the return of the money the Dems had given Campbell for his 1992 race, before he turned tail and became a Republican. Perington didn't ask nicely, either, which earned an equally profane response from Campbell and a rebuke from Campbell spokesman James Doyle that Perington was "living in the past."

Maybe Phil should ask for interest, too.
Then, upstart Colorado Republican Party chair Steve Curtis mixed it up at Friday's Lincoln Club meeting--but at least he kept the fight within his own party. Curtis had recently penned an anti-abortion essay, which decried divisions within the party and the "general moral breakdown in society," for two ultra-conservative newsletters; his views had other top GOPs hopping mad. In fact, Chris O'Dell, former chair of the Jefferson County Republicans, had adorned each place setting at the luncheon with copies of a scathing letter attacking Curtis. That meant the audience was all warmed up before Curtis stood to deliver his own speech--and had his head served up to him on a platter.

Both Curtis and Perington were dark-horse candidates to be the state's top party animals. But then, their national counterparts weren't exactly likely picks, either. After all, the top GOP is Colorado developer Jim Nicholson; his Democratic counterpart is Colorado governor Roy Romer, who must have envisioned his role as DNC chair entailing something other than apologizing for Bill Clinton. The two Coloradans cozied up rather cordially on Meet the Press ten days ago--but Romer had yet to hear of the latest Democratic fundraising fudge involving Al Gore's busy finger. Among the dozens of moneybag connections Gore had dialed up from the White House: former Denverite Marvin Davis.

Stop the presses! Although the Denver Post wisely declined to print the photos released by the Boulder Police Department as part of its campaign to nail last May's rioters, the Rocky Mountain News was happy to oblige. And why not? One of the snapshots reproduced in the News's August 27 issue showed irate white guys kicking a Post box--no doubt outraged by that day's Dilbert punchline.

The death of Princess Di has pushed JonBenet Ramsey off the front pages, at least for now. But the St. Martin's book on JonBenet's murder, Death of a Little Princess (coincidence or conspiracy--you decide), had already disappeared from one spot: the shelves of the airport shop in Missoula, Montana. After receiving a complaint that the $5.99 paperback was a loser (and contained none of the "startling, late-breaking information" promised on the cover), the store sent the rest of the copies back to the wholesaler.


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