Juice. Influence. Power. You want to know who’s controlling the Mile-High action? First things first. To know what’s what in ’05, you need to get hip to the Denver skinny: Circa now, D-Town is Splittsville, U.S.A. Ever since the Guv and the First Dame threw in the marriage towel, everything has gone wack-a-doodle. “Trial separation,” Bill and Frances Owens said, hush-hushing the press. And just when it looked like Billy could have scored a win on the national scene, just when he coulda bagged a U.S. Senator’s seat and hobnobbed with the D.C. heavies, Mr. Family Values was forced to take himself out of the game.
For a while? For good? Don’t matter. For now, for sure. Along came last November’s ballot bash. The Guv’s exit left his organization stunned and scrambling; Team Elephant hitched its hopes to Beer Man Pete Coors. Owens and company closed the deal for their incumbent Beltway Boss, “Dubya,” but here on the Guv’s home turf that other outfit moneyed up and muscled in. Dem Donkeys took over. Split the ticket. Splittsville, see. Ever since, the town’s been all topsy-turvy. Barkeep turned Mayor “Johnny B. Good” Hickenlooper is on the FasTrack at City Hall. Over at the Gold Dome, Speaker Andrew “Baby Face” Romanoff is calling the shots. Meanwhile, a kid full of hoop dreams is holding court, two sharp Daddy-Uh-Ohs dish scoop on the radio airwaves, and holy rollers preach political gospel. Sure, fat cats still pull strings, but the First Dame has spoken, the Dems done won, and a new cast of characters is center stage.