Mile-High Headlines for Friday, November 7

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Another Milestone Democrat Terrance Carroll, who grew up in some of the harshest areas of Washington, D.C., never thought he would live to see America elect a black president. His mother, who grew up on the same plantation that his family worked on as slaves, would be “overwhelmed with emotion,” the 39-year-old tells 9News. And she’d certainly be proud of her son, who yesterday was selected by fellow Democrats as the first black speaker of Colorado’s House of Representatives, according to The Denver Post, which writes that Carroll aims to be a “beacon to the entire state.” Carroll’s name entered the mix when Bernie Buescher, the Grand Junction Democrat expected to get the job, lost his election to a Republican. Carroll, of Denver, is an attorney with Greenberg Traurig LLC and an ordained Baptist minister, according to the Denver Business Journal. In January, he will replace Denver Democrat Andrew Romanoff, who leaves because of term limits. This month, Governing Magazine named Romanoff one of the nation’s top public officials. Meanwhile, KUNC radio notes that two black men now lead the state’s legislative branch; Peter Groff was named Colorado’s first black Senate president last year. Salazar: On the List for Interior Secretary Governor Bill Ritter might not be on any of Barack Obama’s short lists, but U.S. Senator Ken Salazar is. The Democrat is mentioned alongside former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles as a possible candidate for secretary of the interior, according to The Associated Press, a job once held by former Colorado attorney general Gale Norton, a Republican. If he gets the job, Salazar, who has also served as the state’s attorney general, would oversee everything from the National Park Service to the sandal-ridden Minerals Management Service. Ritter praised Salazar’s qualifications to CBS4 News, which notes that former Denver Mayor Federico Peña, who served as secretary of transportation and then secretary of energy under President Bill Clinton, is an adviser to the Obama cabinet search. Salazar was dismissive about the possibility, saying it’s “highly doubtful” that he’d serve and that he likes his current job, according to The Colorado Independent. In August, 5280 executive editor Maximillian Potter profiled Salazar for the magazine. The former state attorney general also topped our list of Colorado’s most politically influential Latinos that month, followed closely by Peña, who was honored by the national Latino Leaders Network during the Democratic National Convention.

Affirmative on Affirmative Action Finally, two days after Election Day, the Rocky Mountain News called the results for Amendment 46, the measure that seeks to eliminate race and gender preferences in state programs. The amendment, backed by California millionaire Ward Connerly, failed by a slim margin, according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, it passed handily in Nebraska, joining three blue states–California, Washington, and Michigan–that have eliminated such preferences in recent years. Although liberals tend to back such programs, affirmative action is a complicated modern issue made even more complicated now that America has elected its first black president, writes Richard D. Kahlenberg, author of “The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action,” in The Atlantic. Of America’s pursuit of equality, he notes that Tuesday’s election of Barack Obama was a “stunning triumph for the early 1960s notion of colorblindness: don’t discriminate against people of color–or in favor of them.” Spies Among the Protesters During the August 25 clash with Democratic National Convention protesters in Denver, a Jefferson County deputy used pepper spray against Denver police officers. There was no way the deputy could have known they were officers–they were undercover detectives spying amid activists, likely trying to learn more about their plans. That’s according to a police report obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (via The Denver Post). The documents say the detectives were sprayed as they attempted to stage a struggle with a commander, in an attempt to get out of the crowd during an incident at 15th Street and Court Place that eventually led to 106 arrests. The ACLU now wants an investigation of the incident, concerned that the detectives’ confusing stunt may have somehow enraged police during an already “tense situation.” Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News reports that police did not view impartial legal observers as exempt from arrest during the incident, according to officers’ testimony in a Denver County Court trial this week. Immigration Arrests Rise Denver’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office increased its arrests by seven percent for the 2008 fiscal year. More than 6,000 immigrants were returned to their native countries–about 60 percent of them with prior criminal convictions, according to The Denver Post. Nationally, immigration officials sent more than 349,000 immigrants home, a 20 percent increase compared to the 2007 fiscal year. This Westword blog notes that the numbers were released just after the election: The feds “stepped forward with a new report that attempts to deflect criticism from those who believe the department isn’t doing nearly enough to capture and deport people in this country illegally…” Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr says deputies and other law-enforcement officers are “under the gun” to pursue those who are in the country illegally, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Broncos Pull It Off The Denver Broncos had to fight like crazy, but they bagged a win against the Cleveland Browns last night, a game that left them “battered, bruised, wobbly and wounded,” according to The Denver Post. Quarterback Jay Cutler rallied the team in the 34-30 victory, which lifted both the Broncos’ spirit and its record. The team is now 5-4. In the fourth quarter, Cutler threw three touchdown passes, including a 93-yarder to receiver Eddie Royal and a short game-clincher to Brandon Marshall with just 1:14 left on the clock. McDyess: Forget Denver Antonio McDyess, acquired along with Chauncey Billups in the Denver Nuggets’ trade of Allen Iverson to Detroit, isn’t very excited about joining the team. In fact, the forward’s agent, Andy Miller, told The Denver Post yesterday that McDyess’ chances of playing for the team are “very, very low to zero.” McDyess has played for the Nuggets twice before–1995-97 and 2000-02–and Denver wants to put him on the court. But reports say he doesn’t much care for the Nuggets organization, and Miller, who is negotiating a buyout of McDyess’ contract, adds that the window to keep McDyess is “closing quickly” and that McDyess wants to chose his own destination. Videodose: President George W. Bush’s Scottish terrier, Barney, attacks the “liberal media”–really. Barney nips at Reuters reporter Jon Deckers at the White House, breaking the skin on his index finger. Here’s the edge-of-your-seat slo-mo version (and, yes, the White House provided first aid). And here’s the real-time take. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $1.84, Conoco, 2000 Youngfield St. (via