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Panorama: Mile-High Headlines for Tuesday, July 22

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Will Bill Clinton Speak at the DNC?

Speaking to a room full of reporters, Bill Clinton said he’s ready to campaign for Senator Barack Obama, who edged out Clinton’s wife for the presumptive Democratic presidential nomination. Yet the former president has given “no thought” as to whether he’ll step up and speak to the throngs at the Democratic National Convention in Denver next month. It would be unusual for Clinton, the only two-term Democratic president in more than a generation, not to appear. But his demi-god powers appear to be waning. Reports recall his foot-in-mouth disease along his wife’s campaign trail. “Of course, every time the former president opened his mouth during the Democratic presidential primary season, he created another YouTube moment,” writes the Boston Herald. WorldNetDaily phoned Denver to inquire about a possible Bill Clinton appearance and was told “those decisions will be made in early August.”

Pop-Up DNC

Software giants Microsoft and Level 3 Communications, of Broomfield, will have the answer to your web fantasies during the Democratic National Convention. It’s a new browser plug-in for Windows and Mac called Silverlight, which provides strange but fun things like Internet-based pop-ups–a la VH-1’s “Pop-Up Video” series–according to The Denver Post. Millions of people are expected to hit the DNC’s website during the convention. When they do, they might scroll over Barack Obama’s face to find biographical information or decide to comment in real time.

FasTracks Fallout

Rail-loving mayors from places like Longmont and Arvada oppose any talk about cutbacks and delays to RTD’s plans for a vast metro-area rail network. Yet the mayors aren’t quite ready to support raising taxes to bail out RTD’s FasTracks, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Costs for the system are billions of dollars more than what was budgeted four years ago, and revenues from the tax that voters approved to build the system are not bringing in as much as expected. Mayors along the FasTracks corridors say they want the full project to be built by the 2017 completion date. RTD has suggested scaling back some lines, but “not serving Longmont is just not an option as far as we are concerned,” says Longmont’s mayor, Roger Lange. RTD staffers are expected to present “a cafeteria” of options for RTD’s board review at an August 12 meeting in Denver, reports The Longmont Times-Call.

Scooter City

“Presumably,” Mayor John Hickenlooper said during his State of the City speech earlier this month, “motor scooters will seem as quaint to those citizens of the future as the horse and buggy does to all of us today.” But for now, there’s a scooter craze in the Rockies. Denver is now ninth in the nation for scooter sales, and dealerships along the Front Range are finding it difficult to keep them in stock, according to the Denver Business Journal. “We’re actually completely sold out,” says Mark Kite, general manager of Sun Enterprises Inc., a dealer in Littleton. Colorado has seen scooter sales skyrocket 30 percent in recent years, a trend that is attributed to rising gas prices, now hovering around $4 a gallon. Of course, Hick knows scooters can get up to 100 miles per gallon; he’s an Aprilia fan himself.

Yet Another Douglas Bruce Flap

Any politician will tell you that endorsements certainly help when it comes to winning an election. Douglas Bruce, who is fighting off a Republican challenger in hopes of keeping his seat in Colorado Springs’ House District 15, apparently knew that well. His website included endorsements from Senator Wayne Allard and Republican National Committeeman Mark Hillman, among a list of fifteen total. But wait! None of them were endorsements for the current race, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Minutes after the paper contacted Bruce, references to the endorsements, dating to 2004, were removed. But not before Mark Waller, who is challenging Bruce in an upcoming primary, questioned Bruce’s “character.” ColoradoPols is a bit disappointed that “most of those listed incorrectly reacted without concern.”

Republican Stars and Stripes

George Lilly, a Republican trying to unseat Democrat Diana DeGette in the race for Congressional District 1, has threatened legal action against a conservative blogger who questioned Lilly’s support for Bob Schaffer, a Republican running for Senate. “At [Lilly’s] public appearances at Denver County GOP events he has launched tirades against the Schaffer and McCain campaigns and has made it clear that he will not support the Republican ticket in November,” wrote 21-year-old Anthony Surace, a Metropolitan State College of Denver student, in his blog, RockyMountainRight. Surace also called out Lilly, a former Constitution Party candidate, as “no Republican.” Lilly asked for an “immediate retraction” of the June 9 posting. He got an apology this week, according to PolitickerCO.

Audiodose: KUNC Radio interviews Jody Hope Strogoff of the Colorado Statesman newspaper regarding several congressional races, the likelihood that Colorado will be a swing state in the presidential race, and more.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.85, Western Convenience at 7603 W. 13th Ave. (via www.gasbuddy.com)

Weather Today: Afternoon thunderstorms and 96 high/65 low
Weather Tomorrow: Afternoon thunderstorms 94 high/65 low

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