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Wake-Up Call: Meanwhile, back at the ranch

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After all the Washington, D.C., pomp and circumstances (one major circumstance being that, Barack Obama's astonishing rise aside, most of those in power are indeed insiders), it's refreshing to consider Colorado's citizen legislature, which has a hundred part-time lawmakers who work until early May, then return to their real lives.

Today, you can get a feel for one legislator's very real life at noon, when Representative Wes McKinley, who represents the southeastern corner of the state, will present a concert of cowboy music in the Capitol rotunda. When he's not making laws here in Denver, McKinley is often riding the range, running a working ranch and taking dudes out on trail rides. But his resume doesn't end there. McKinley has also been a teacher, foster father and, most infamously, the foreman of Colorado's first-ever special grand jury, convened to consider what the jurors determined was an "ongoing criminal enterprise" at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant -- right before the Department of Justice gagged the whole bunch.

But guitar-toting McKinley should have no problem sounding off today. Ride 'em, cowboy.

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