Mile-High Headlines for Friday, August 22 Here Come the Party Crashers Add former Republican presidential candidates to the list of Democratic National Convention party crashers, including former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The opposition used to “linger in the shadows” during conventions, but those days are gone, according to The Hill. The GOP is “determined to steal as much thunder as possible from the Democrats during their weeklong coronation” of Senator Barack Obama, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. There will be plenty of coordinating with Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s campaign, plotting in a GOP “war room,” and loads of media availability with the aforementioned as well as representatives Eric Cantor of Virginia, Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida, and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, among others. Giuliani will be kicking up dust on Wednesday as former President Bill Clinton takes the stage. Reuters says the party crashers’ slogan is “Not Ready ’08: A Mile High and an Inch Deep.” The DNC Rounds (Fast and Furious) Although Denver’s city council has made it clear that possession of small quantities of marijuana are legal in Denver, according to this Associated Press story, it’s unclear if people caught with pot during the DNC will be punished anyway. The council can’t tell police what to do, and the council’s recommendation to heed local law, it should be noted, came after police said they’d enforce a state marijuana statute during the DNC. (I’m filing this in Panorama’s “Does This Change Anything?” box.) … Here’s the Cornball Headline of the Week: “Nervous Nellie Denver revs up for Dem convention.” The story reads: “Like a Cinderella deciding to pass up the ball, Denver said no thanks to an invitation in 1976 to host the Olympic Games. Now the Mile High City is off to the dance of the Democrats, a party pooper no more.” What do Baltimore Sun readers think of us now? … Follow the money, dear reader, and ye shall learn something about America’s messy politics. Capital Eye does that quite well and notes that Colorado is turning from Republican red to wishy-washy purple in its campaign giving as it rises to become the 15th largest state contributor in the nation. So far Barack Obama has reaped $3.4 million from Colorado contributions; John McCain has collected $1.8 million. … With 50,000 credentialed attendees coming to Denver (and perhaps twice that number actually arriving in the end), where do you stay if you didn’t plan until now? How about graphic designer Lincoln Young’s one-bedroom apartment? He’s charging $3,000 for six nights, although he only pays $950 a month on his mortgage, according to The Caucus.
Scare at McCain Campaign Office Marc Harold Ramsey, a 39-year-old Colorado inmate, is also, it turns out, a “prolific writer of threatening letters,” according to a Secret Service agent. It appears Ramsey is the source of the unidentified, but harmless, white powder contained in an envelope that was opened at Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s Centennial campaign office yesterday, prompting several staffers to rush to the hospital amid an office evacuation. Federal agents, National Guardsmen, and postal inspectors swarmed over the site and quickly determined that the letter emanated from the Arapahoe County detention facility where Ramsey resides, according to The Denver Post. The Rocky Mountain News reports that Ramsey is “serving time on a variety of charges, including felony menacing, stalking and assault.” Another letter with a Denver return address was sent to a McCain office in New Hampshire, but the Secret Service has not linked the letter, which did not contain powder, to Ramsey. McClain Finlon Advertising Firm Crumbles One of Denver’s largest and most celebrated advertising agencies, McClain Finlon, appears to be going out of business less than a year after losing a key account. The company is laying off most of its staff, and longtime owner Cathey Finlon is talking retirement in the wake of a failed effort to sell the company to a top deputy, according to the Denver Business Journal. The agency’s 2340 Blake Street building is for sale, Finlon tells the Journal, adding that she “had wanted the agency to continue on, but things work out the way they work out.” The agency once had about 200 employees but has withered to just 40 after losing a crucial Qwest Communications International account. The local blogs lit up at this bad news, including Andy Bosselman and The Denver Egotist, which opines that there are still unanswered questions. “The exact cause of death is not completely clear,” the Egotist writes. Next Prez: Cyberwar Is a Looming Defense Issue When Russia invaded Georgia, it also launched a coordinated series of attacks against the enemy’s websites, “leaving internet servers overloaded and disabled,” according to the Financial Times, which notes that this was not the “first or the most damaging attack in cyberspace on a sovereign nation.” Indeed, the specter of a cyberwar is real and scary because it can shut down an entire nation–from its banks to its government. Air Force General Victor Renuart, who heads U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, says the next U.S. president would do well to pay attention to this issue and prepare, perhaps with the help of allied nations. There’s lots to figure out. For instance, it isn’t even clear what constitutes an act of war in cyberspace, Renuart tells the Air Force Times: “[W]e have not yet defined what that is. That’s a policy decision that has to be made.” A New Frontier for Frequent Fliers Just to make sure gas prices have you (insert gassy adverb) fuming, Frontier Airlines is increasing the number of frequent flier miles you need to get a freebie, according to the Denver Business Journal. As of September 15, Denver-based Frontier, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, won’t give you a domestic roundtrip ticket until you’ve traveled 20,000 miles. The old deal was 15,000 miles. And the charge for the award ticket will rise from $25 to $75 (if purchased within 14 days of travel). “Unfortunately, with oil still nearly 50 percent higher than just six months ago, we had to review the current structure and revise elements that will afford our ability to remain both customer friendly and cost conscious,” says Jim Young, Frontier’s vice president of marketing, sales, and distribution. Customer friendly, Jim? Broncos to Take on Green Bay When the Broncos take on the Green Bay Packers tonight at Invesco Field, keep your eyes open for tight end Nate Jackson, who played in “the smallest collegiate football program of anyone in the game–perhaps in the league,” a guy who has fought his way into the starting lineup. Jackson had his share of rejection. “For all the people who were not believing, who were saying, â€˜No, you’re too slow; no, you can’t play here, you can’t play there,’ there were people who said, â€˜Yes, you can,'” Jackson tells the Rocky Mountain News. My kind of guy. Pollster: A Rocky Mountain News/CBS4 poll finds 11 percent of people in Denver are “annoyed” about the Democratic National Convention; 34 percent are indifferent, and 9 percent are worried about the convention’s “presence” in Denver. Just 20 percent are interested in the convention; 15 percent are excited; 9 percent are thrilled. Yep. That sounds about right. Comical: The Rocky’s Win, Lose & Drew takes on Barack Obama’s theme of change and John McCain’s theme of experience in these animated comics. Cheapest Gallon of Gas â€˜Round Here: $3.63, 7-11, 1103 Yosemite St. (via www.gasbuddy.com). E-mail relevant articles to [email protected]