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"I never get good press," she told the tiny seminar at the Country Harvest Buffet when it finally was her turn to speak. "I'm not going to get fair treatment. I've done it all, and they just paint me as anti-abortion."

Pat Miller definitely is concerned about more than abortion. Extremely concerned. Convinced that she was among only friends, she told the group, "If I said, `Let's tear down the U.N.,' I'd be the laughingstock of the news world--even though it's true!"

Pat Miller and her husband, Lynn, have lived in the same house for more than two decades. Their only child, Eric, whom they adopted as a baby, is a 22-year-old ex-Marine. The three of them share the two-story ranch-style house off 72nd Avenue and Simms, a comfortably cluttered place with inspirational music on the piano--"Have Thine Own Way, Lord." On the coffee table are copies of David Skaggs's campaign-contribution list and a book called Rape of Justice.

It looks peaceful, but Pat Miller isn't. She holds strong beliefs and likes a good argument. "As a woman, you almost have to," she says, "because if you don't, then men think you're just a little milquetoast nothing. Bryan Day was too apologetic and too nice, and people want someone who wants to be aggressive."

She got into politics a decade ago pestering Jefferson County school officials about her son's progress and became a leader of the state chapter of Citizens for Excellence in Education, which rails against sex education and humanism. She and Lynn wound up pulling Eric out of public school in the sixth grade and home-schooling him, but not before they embarked on a campaign to get certain textbooks out of the classroom.

One book in particular set her off: Literature of the Supernatural. "I was totally depressed by the time I got done reading," she recalls. "I was biting my nails, which I never do. And I told the school board that I felt that if you're going to present this book, fine, but there is a light side of life, too. All you're presenting is the dark side of life. They were horrible, gruesome, bloody stories."

She remembers being "called a censor and told to move to Russia."
Teaching her son at home was depressing at first, says Miller. "The first year was hell, absolutely," she notes, "because my son was used to socializing in a classroom and I was used to being on my own pretty much, and it was one-on-one, the two of us.

"I'll never forget--one day, the bus came up, the kids got on the bus right out here at the corner, and the brakes were squeaking and the kids were yelling, and my son looked at me and he said, `Oh, I just wish I was getting on that bus.' I said, `Gee, I wish you were, too.'"

Miller says they both grew to like home schooling, although Eric wound up finishing high school at Maranatha, a Christian school in Arvada. But while she was teaching him at home, she took the opportunity to learn about such political intricacies as Colorado's caucus system of placing candidates on primary-election ballots. She says she wound up reading the platforms of both major parties and decided that she really was a Republican, not a Democrat.

Meanwhile, she and Lynn, an electrician/mechanic at Coors, had discovered Faith Bible Chapel, a sprawling evangelical church at 64th Avenue and Ward Road. Like many conservative churches, its attendees are increasingly politically active. Some people have charged that the Faith Bible flock controls much of the local GOP machinery. "You know," Miller says, "somebody said to me, `Your church is taking over the Republican party.' Oh, that that were true! It's not true at all. They're just common, ordinary people who go to a wonderful church. I've been happy there for fifteen years."

Miller sees red when people--especially fellow Republicans--accuse her church of machinations. But she acknowledges that she has politicked at local churches. "I went out to other churches," she said, "and they gave me the microphone and said, `Pat, why don't you talk to the congregation?' You know, thousands of people there. My own church, I just got to stand up and wave at people. They're scared to death. So to say we have this big power base is a rumor. It is an absolute rumor and it is not true."

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Ward Harkavy
Contact: Ward Harkavy