Wake-Up Call: The next election's a year away, and we're still cleaning up 2006

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The 2010 election is less than a year away, and judging from this past Tuesday's vote, things are going to get plenty messy. But here in Colorado, we're still cleaning up after the dirty dealings of 2006.

The gubernatorial race was particularly bad, with 527s and party operatives pushing the candidacy of Republican Bob Beauprez and going hard against Democrat Bill Ritter. The use of a drunken-driving death against the former Denver District Attorney was a particularly egregious twisting of the facts, although that controversy disappeared when the ad was pulled. But the questions about another ad, this one involving info on an illegal alien that came from a restricted federal database, go on and on.

Now, those questions go all the way to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.

Yesterday, Colorado state senator Ted Harvey and nine fellow lawmakers sent a note to senators Patrick Leahy and Jeff Sessions, asking them to investigate Colorado U.S. attorney nominee Stephanie Villafuerte's part in that debacle. Here's an excerpt:

President Obama's recent decision to nominate Stephanie Villafuerte as Colorado's next U.S. Attorney has raised a number of questions here in Colorado. As you may know, Ms.Villafuerte was questioned as part of an FBI investigation in to whether or not she, with the help of the Denver District Attorney's office, illegally accessed the federal National Crime Information Center Q IICIC database in 2006. Recent media reports suggest that Ms. Villafuerte may have lied to federal investigators during the probe. Before confirming Ms. Villafuerte as Colorado's top federal law enforcement official, we hope that you and the other members of the committee will demand clear, unequivocal answers from Ms. Villafuerte about the inconsistencies in her responses to federal agents, and her role in the matter.

We'll vote for that. Before the 2010 election, let's get the last one cleaned up.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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