Wake-Up Call: Romanoff on the range

"What's he doing in the Senate?"

"Why, it's an honorary appointment. He's an honorary stooge."

Frank Capra's classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington was on TCM yesterday afternoon -- just the thing to warm up the set (and the sofa) before Jake Cutler returned to Mile High, particularly given all the buzz that Andrew Romanoff, former Colorado Speaker of the House, might jump into the U.S. Senate race, challenging Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary for the seat that he's held for all of eight months.

Bennet, the surprise pick for Ken Salazar's spot, is no stooge, even if he has a certain Jimmy Stewart aw-shucks quality. But neither is Romanoff's exploration of a run the outrage that some Dems seem to think. He wanted to be a U.S. senator last fall, when Governor Bill Ritter was considering who might fill Salazar's cowboy boots; no reason why he shouldn't still want to be a U.S. senator. No reason, that is, but pesky party loyalty.

Bennet, who's been traveling across the state, will be at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce today, describing his plan to bring "fiscal discipline" back to Washington.

As for fiscal discipline here in Denver, even in this pre-holiday week there's plenty of public activity (as well as lots of behind-the-scenes arm-twisting). The Mile High Business Alliance hosts a Local Capital Summit from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria Campus; it's $75 to join in the discussion.

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The DIA Way Joint Forum, a seminar on business opportunities at Denver International Airport, gets under way even earlier, at 7:30 a.m. this morning at the Renaissance Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street; it runs until noon. For info, go to www.flydenver.com/contracts. If you miss that event, though, you can still attend the DIA job fair, set for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, September 4 at the DIA City Conference Room, on the sixth floor of the main terminal.

Friday is also the deadline for submitting proposals for the McNichols Building Redevelopment. Dozens of companies and individuals are considering putting forward plans for the former Carnegie Library at the edge of Civic Center Park, which currently holds city offices. And just across the street, the Colorado Legislature's Pinnacol Interim Committee will hold its third meeting on the quasi-public agency that provides worker's comp insurances -- and has an attractive treasury that lawmakers were eying last session. To send your input, e-mail the committee chair, Senator Morgan Carroll, at morgan@senmorgancarroll.com.

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