Bottoms Up: Chi-Town Wins MillerCoors HQ

Chicago will be the new headquarters of the recently formed hybrid beer company MillerCoors, after the city and state of Illinois poured in more than $20 million in subsidies to land the deal. Somewhere between 300 and 400 jobs will go to Chicago–a drop in the bucket for an economy that nonetheless needed a “symbolic victory” after losing a string of famous names, like Amoco and First Chicago, to corporate restructuring in recent years, writes the Chicago Tribune.  The opening of the cash spigots leads the Tribune to ask: Would MillerCoors have come here anyway, even without an aid package? After all, “with Molson Coors’ U.S. operations based in Denver and Miller’s headquartered in Milwaukee, the new company decided to locate in a neutral site,” the Tribune writes, noting the final decision pitted Chicago against the Dallas area. The Denver Post practically whines that Colorado was “canned” in the deal, noting that MillerCoors ignored “pleas from metro Denver and Milwaukee to locate the lead corporate office in the respective homes of Coors and Miller beer.” But, the newspaper opines that there was a “consolation prize of sorts”: Coors in Golden will receive $100 million in capital to update its brewing and packaging equipment to handle the brewing of Miller products in an expected battle with Anheuser-Busch, the not-so-American-anymore suds titan that is set to merge with the international InBev.

Udall Takes Cash Advance

Senate candidate Bob Schaffer just isn’t bringing in the bucks like his opponent Mark Udall. The Fort Collins Republican raised just $1.4 million in ad-buying, campaign-supporting cash during the last quarter, according to ColoradoPols. Compare that to Democrat Udall’s $2 million and a cash-on-hand advantage now standing around $1.1 million. Schaffer campaign manager Dick Wadhams, well known for his spin doctoring, twists Schaffer’s bad news into a seeming advantage. The Udall campaign is “bleeding” cash, Wadhams says, because Udall has spent slightly more than he has raised this quarter. Polls also show Udall with the edge over Schaffer, including this one from two weeks ago at the The Fix, which highlights a 10-point Udall lead. Meanwhile, Schaffer isn’t the only Republican having trouble raising money in a tight race. Republican Representative Marilyn Musgrave, in Colorado’s 4th Congressional District race, is watching her money advantage slip. In the past three months, Democrat Betsy Markey has raised $389,000 compared to Musgrave’s $280,000, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Michelle Obama Visits Denver Today

Michelle Obama will be in Denver today for a series of events and meetings but mostly to help raise money for her husband’s presidential bid. She will appear tonight at the Grand Hyatt in Denver for a brief cocktail reception, where several hundred people are expected to pay $10,000 each. The money, which goes to the Obama Victory Fund, creates a funding stream for both Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention. For those who lack the deep pockets, state Representaive Morgan Carroll, an Aurora Democrat, is holding a brown-bag lunch that is open to the public. The wannabe First Lady arrives amid a controversy over this week’s New Yorker cover, which depicts her holding a Russian assault rifle and fist-bumping her husband, who is wearing a turban, as an American flag burns in the fireplace under a picture of Osama bin Laden hanging on the wall.

Trading With the Enemy

The City of Boulder is so progressive that it’s one of a handful across the nation to have a sister city in Cuba. But doing business with Cuba is a no-no, as Boulder’s Platte River Associates are finding out. The company allegedly provided specialized computer software and training eight years ago in order to create a model for potential oil-and-gas exploration within Cuba’s territorial waters. On Tuesday, the feds charged the company for its “trading with the enemy,” reports the Denver Business Journal. If found guilty, the corporation could face fines up to $1 million and be ordered to pay restitution. Company president Jay Leonard, charged in a separate case, faces up to one year in prison, plus a $100,000 fine. In a statement printed by the Business Journal, Jeffrey Copp, special agent in charge at Denver’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, says that “illegally exporting controlled U.S. technology is tantamount to a breach of our borders.” Prosecutors say Platte River didn’t get the required license from the Secretary of the Treasury. The Rocky Mountain News attempted to reach Leonard for comment, but a Platte River employee answering the phone said the company didn’t have a statement at this time.

Who’s The Boss?

Rocky Mountain News society columnist turned magazine editor Dahlia Jean Weinstein was fired from Denver Magazine on Monday following much “confrontation and tension” with her boss, Michael Ledwitz, the founder and publisher of the glossy that launched earlier this year. “He wants to be the big dog in the room,” Weinstein tells the Denver Business Journal. “My input and everything I was doing to put the magazine together was impeded on a constant basis.” Weinstein adds that she didn’t “deserve it. It’s like losing a baby.” Ledwitz, who describes Weinstein as someone who “acted like she owned the magazine,” counters that the “direction she wanted to take this magazine was not the direction I wanted to go in.” He references a sexy summer swimsuit issue that he feels has harmed the magazine’s image. Ledwitz, who ran a real estate company and published a condo magazine in Miami before moving to Denver, adds that he didn’t think Weinstein’s departure would hurt the publication’s relations with the high-society crowd. Last year, Weinstein became the editor-in-chief of Shine Magazine, which folded shortly after its first issue. She then took the helm of Denver Magazine, shaping its first issues. “It’s the same old story,” Weinstein complains to The Denver Post’s Bill Husted. “He’s now the editor. End of story. All publishers think they can play with their toy, and they end up breaking it”

Colorado Springs Bears Another Animal Story

Just one day after the search for an elusive lion/dog, Colorado Springs was again on wild-animal alert. Tuesday’s search involved a bear, which wound up inside a Circuit City. The confusion began after Colorado Division of Wildlife officials directed firefighters to try to hose a bear from the tree it was hiding in, outside a Fazoli’s restaurant, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Officials hoped the bear would make his way toward a wooded area, but instead he headed for a strip mall and pushed down a pane of glass at Circuit City, ending up in a small room where customers pick up purchases. The bear banged its head against a door and ran around the room before leaving, as Fox31 (which features a video) reports. What was the bear after? “I would probably say a 72-inch LCD-screen Mitsubishi that we have,” a Circuit City employee tells the Rocky Mountain News. When the bear finally headed for another tree, the wildlife division decided to leave it alone. “The thought process is, it’ll find some place to sleep today and then, under cover of darkness, it’ll leave the area,” said Division of Wildlife spokesman Michael Seraphin.

Rooted in Mystery

Authorities in Hawaii still won’t say whether they think Steven Thomas, the founder of Boulder-based Webroot Software Inc., killed himself, but they are finally confirming that Thomas fell about 200 feet to his death and that murder has pretty much been ruled out, as toxicology tests begin, according to The Denver Post. Thomas’ decomposing body was discovered beneath a scenic lookout in Honolulu earlier this week, after Thomas had been missing for several weeks. The bipolar entrepreneur had become extremely paranoid and delusional in recent months and was expected to move to Boulder with his wife.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.85, a U-Pump It at 11800 W. Colfax Ave. (via

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