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TOWN SQUARE: Beanbags, prostitutes make debate top 10

September 24, 2010

Here are the Top 10 highlights from Saturday’s Colorado Springs gubernatorial debate sponsored by Action 22. To read a more serious account of the debate, including where the three candidates for the governor's job stand on top issues, click HERE

10. On Pot, Prostitutes and Advertising.

A single exchange between gubernatorial hopefuls on medical marijuana brought out the best in third-party contender Tom Tancredo, Republican Dan Maes and Democrat John Hickenlooper.

First, Tancredo called for legalized marijuana: “Legalize it. Regulate it. Tax it.”

Then, Maes came out against legalization with a zinger: “If we can legalize it and tax it, how about we prostitute our teenage daughters and tax it?”

Then came Hickenlooper, offering advice to Maes, who has been the target of rancorous Tancredo advertisements: “I should warn you that, with that kind of sarcasm, you’ll have an attack ad saying, 'He wants to prostitute our teenagers'. I’m just saying, one friend to another.”

9. The Job Interview.

At several points, Maes appeared to be sucking up to his Democratic rival, maybe angling for a cabinet job after November.

“You have two successful salesmen right here,” he said, emphasizing that he and Hickenlooper would do a great job of marketing the state to business investors.

8. Keep Them Underground.

Maes produced this clunker, which is sure to endear him to mining towns everywhere.

“We don’t need to be cranking out bachelors of science degrees in coal mining communities,” he said while discussing plans to tailor colleges to the communities they serve.

7. Don’t Mess With People Who’ve Been Drinking.

Hickenlooper, who avoided confrontation during the debate, said owning bars has taught him one important gubernatorial lesson: “You learn early on that there is no margin in having enemies."

6. Multiple Choice Test.

Maes laid into Tancredo at several points, including this question: “What are you today, a fraud, a liar or a statesman?”

5. Birthdays With Bang.

Tancredo, in addition to his political acumen, apparently is a hopeless romantic. During a discussion of firearm rights, he told the audience about the .45-caliber birthday gift he gave his wife.

“She may not have enjoyed it as much as I hoped she would,” he admitted.

4. Taking Aim

Hickenlooper may be a skilled politician, but he’s a lousy shot.

Describing his boyhood infatuation with firearms, the Democrat told a story about blasting a hole in his sneaker with a .22-caliber pistol, avoiding injury by the narrowest of margins.

“I looked around to see if any of my uncles had seen,” Hickenlooper said. "They hadn’t so I kept shooting.”

Tancredo had the best comeback: “You will excuse me, Mr. Mayor, if I don’t go shooting with you any time too soon.”

3. Rock, Paper, Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper discussed using ranches as Army training land with this mixed-media description.

“It's like taking a stone out of the stone wall; you weaken the fabric and the texture of the economic fabric there.”

2. He Must Be Joking

Maes proved to be a master of the obvious.

“You want a strong economy,” he said.

1. Huh?

Tancredo mastered the obscure with this gem: “Politics ain’t beanbags.”

To learn more about the candidates in November's election, click HERE.


The Colorado Springs City Council will meet at 1 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

During Monday’s informal meeting, the council will consider whether to close the pool at the Cottonwood Creek Recreation Center, which is running out of money.

The council will also hear from the Community Partnership Project, which is interested in taking over operations at three community centers.

Sam Mamet, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League, will update the council on municipal league issues and talk about statewide ballot measures.

During Tuesday’s formal meeting, the council will consider a resolution opposing Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 on the November ballot.

The council will also consider a resolution authorizing the acquisition of seven properties for the planned Southern Delivery System, a 62-mile pipeline between Colorado Springs and the Pueblo Reservoir, and a resolution authorizing free parking Nov. 6 for the Veteran’s Day Parade.

Fore more Public Affairs news, click HERE.

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