August 18 2009, 9:07 AM
Bad boy Douglas Bruce, the visionary behind the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights and former state representative censured by his peers after kicking a newspaper photographer last year, is back in the headlines. This time he's charged with trespassing at a Costco in Colorado Springs in his efforts to solicit signatures for his petition to repeal "illegal taxes." Bruce was briefly detained by police and issued a summons after refusing to leave Costco on Saturday, after the store contacted police, who then gave Bruce and an associate "a lawful order to leave the premises numerous times," according to a police spokesman quoted by The Denver Post. Costco general manager John Wynns says Bruce was impeding people entering and exiting the store, prompting the call to authorities. Bruce, who plans to fight in court, retorted: "It is a public shopping complex, but they didn't want us there." In a statement, Bruce adds: "The city cannot cancel its legal duty to obey the First Amendment, even though it hates this petition to end both stormwater and secret utility taxes"(via the Colorado Springs Gazette). City spokeswoman Sue Skiffington-Blumberg says the summons Bruce received has nothing to do with politics.