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Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO Colorado

I hear that Elizabeth Milias is looking for a candidate to beat Mick Ireland in the upcoming May election. It doesn’t matter who, just anyone who is fairly untainted, someone who will run a “clean campaign,” leaving it up to her to do all the dirty work of smearing Mick Ireland – gathering a collage of quotes from the papers and snippets from Grassroots council meetings designed not to support her candidate but to paint Mick with a black brush, just as she did to Jack Johnson in the commissioner race.

Milias’ name, or the name of Marilyn Marks, the ex-Ant, will probably not appear on this candidate’s supporter list, because these ladies are definitely tainted and prefer, as ants do, to work underground, to foment distrust and unrest, to undermine, to gnaw at the pilings rather than having any positive visions for Aspen.

• • • •

I wrote the above paragraph on Sunday night, only to find it in a front-page story in the Aspen Daily News on Monday morning. Surprise, surprise, and Milias’ plans and motives were even more disgusting than I had envisioned.

This supposed champion of transparency has wrapped herself in a Harry Potter-like invisibility cloak. There is a website, http://www.sickofmick.com, registered by “a local resident,” and of course she won’t say who. Expect a lot of photos of Mick in various states of dishabille, but don’t expect any philosophical depth.

Donations of $19.99 will be accepted because that way, under the current laws, she won’t have to report any of the names of her supporters. She will even carry a roll of pennies, giving a cent in change to slide under the law.

How un-transparent can you get? The public will not know who or how many “peeps” Milias has in her pocket, but with all the secrecy I suspect the pocket is small.

“I get to be the Dick Cheney of the group. … I’m proud to do it,” the article quotes her as saying. How about that for an Aspen campaign slogan – Dick CHENEY, good lord. (Actually more like Karl Rove, isn’t it?)

I hope this thing backfires on Elizabeth with enough of a detonation to blow this evil woman out of town once and for all. She does nothing but stir up trouble when trouble doesn’t exist, and has said she does it for fun. Ain’t funny, McGee. Stand up, run for office yourself and tell us what you’re for other than winning a grudge match against Mick and Jack.

She thinks her proposal to run a smear campaign against Mick will be an enticement for candidates to run (“They don’t have to go negative … I will do that.”), but can you imagine taking on such an albatross?

If you were thinking about running for mayor, I’ll bet you’ll think twice before aligning yourself, whether you want to or not, with the kind of dirty Ant politics we have seen in action before. This time it’s even dirtier since Milias says (as I had guessed) she won’t be supporting his opposition, just attacking Mick. She is a person I wouldn’t want to have on my side or to be associated with if I were running for public office.

Right off the bat, Milias – who is already bragging about being on the front page – would be the issue for any potential candidate. Rob Ittner got away with it (he shouldn’t have) because there was an element of doubt that he was involved in the smear against Jack Johnson, but there will be no doubt this time, the intention has been presented in advance and the assumption will be that anyone announcing for mayor now is going along with her negative positions and her stated plan to run a dirty campaign.

Milias isn’t for anything, she’s against.

The only scenario that I can possibly picture would be for Marilyn Marks to run again against Mick Ireland, playing the innocent to Milias’ diatribes. In light of their past histories, I doubt that that would fly with the public for a minute. So who will it be?

Ah, I should have thought of it – I read in Tuesday’s papers that it will be Andrew Kole in partnership with Elizabeth Milias. Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.

Meanwhile, I’d suggest that the electorate start watching City Council meetings and find out what’s really going on in City Hall, which is an ongoing battle to save what’s left of the Aspen most of us love. Mick and Steve Skadron are savers – Milias and Marks are the destroyers.


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