Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Union Station's Bill Mosher: If he's bribing me, where's the money?

America Calling came calling on Wednesday.

Page Penk, the man who claims to be president of the local organization 3 Woman Against Violence and is now putting out America Calling, billed as a "Journal of Civilization," arrived at my office with a cop, to deliver a copy of the upcoming Vol. #1, issue, 3, which accuses me of taking bribes.

And who is apparently bribing me? Bill Mosher -- "miraculously, the owner of the new Colorado History Museum, the new Colorado Supreme Court Complex... and the Union Station complex," according to Penk. "Mr. Mosher is, I believe, paying Ms. Calhoun to not cover the fact that he got all these properties either in no-bid or in rigged bidding."

Actually, we're not covering "that fact" because there's no proof to it. Michael Paglia, our art critic, who hasn't been shy in covering the Civic Center deals, debunks Penk's theory. And staffer Joel Warner has been critical of the Union Station deal for years. As for Mosher's alleged bribes? Not only have I gotten no bribe from Mosher, I haven't even gotten a return call from the message I left after Penk's visit.

I hadn't met Penk before -- my only previous contact was when he wanted to write a column called "Ask a Muslim." Nor had I met the officer who came with him, clearly irritated that Penk had called the city to ask for police accompaniment to deliver his missive, wasting both time and money (but amusing our receptionist no end. "Happens all the time," the officer told me.

"If anything is wrong with the article," Penk said in a note he left me, "please feel free to correct any errors."

I would if I could -- but I can't even understand the paragraph that seems to suggest Andrew Romanoff is also bribing me, or Mosher is bribing him -- I couldn't tell.

You can read all about it on Monday; Penk says he's paying $27.50 for a table on the 16th Street Mall so that he can distribute his paper. He's suing the city and Mayor John Hickenlooper over that, too.

Oh, by the way: Penk's fourth issue will focus on bribery by John Hickenlooper "to keep Ms. Calhoun quiet..."

In the interest of full disclosure, when Hickenlooper was a simple brewpub-owner who ran the bar across from Westword, it's possible that he bought a beer or two for a Westworder during our decade as neighbors. And considering how much we dropped in his place, that was just good business.

Make of that what you will, publisher Penk.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun