The mayoral circus arrives
Boy, oh boy! The circus is coming to town!Thrills and chills. Geeks and freaks. Elephants and hyenas. Popcorn and cotton candy.Or, to put it another way, it’s election season in Aspen – specifically, mayoral election season … which really brings out the sideshow freaks and geeks.Speaking of freaks and geeks, we have the usual categories of candidates:Serious: Tim Semrau, Mick Ireland.Whacko: Is Andrew Kole really going to run … again?And Cheesecake (a new category this year): Torre, Bonnie Behrend.How could anyone ask for more? (Please … no more!)The serious candidates, of course, deserve a serious thrashing – which they will both receive in due course.Making fun of Mick Ireland is almost too easy: a bike-riding geek who can’t help demonstrating, time and again, that he is both smarter and snottier than anyone else in the room.The same goes for Tim Semrau: a voracious developer who builds project after project, claiming every time that he’s just a poor, working-class local trying to find a home for himself and his family in this cruel, cruel town.As I said, they’ll get a thorough going over in weeks to come.Next, the pretty faces: Torre and Bonnie.Bonnie hasn’t formally announced yet, but she seems intent on teasing us with the possibilities – which actually seems to be her specialty. Her website features an impossibly seductive photo. Her face is covered (except for her luscious lips) by a rakishly tilted cowboy hat. Apparently topless, she shows one naked shoulder and just a glimpse of the very top of the beginning of the swelling of her breasts. (Hey, don’t blame me – I didn’t post that photo. I’m just describing it.)That photo tops her home page – and leads every other page on the site … most of which are filled with brief essays and many, many more glamour shots of Ms. B. (The site also includes instructions for contacting her at her Aspen or New York address. Bonnie, here’s a free political tip: The Mayor of Aspen should not maintain a New York address.)Next, Torre. He actually has a respectable political history in Aspen. He has served ably on the city council – and, as others have already said, I wish he’d had the self-control to hang on to his council seat, instead of jumping into the mayor’s race.Sadly, it seems his ego won out over his brains (that does often happen with good-looking people). As a result, he will probably suffer a double defeat. He’ll lose in the mayor’s contest and he’ll lose his council seat, which may mean the town will lose his solid stance on so many important issues.That’s too bad. On the other hand, it means I get to keep making fun of him for having just one name. (Like this: Losing one of his names was a clear sign of carelessness. And anyone careless enough to lose one name could easily lose the other. Imagine if he were mayor and he lost his second name. “Aspen’s nameless mayor today announced …” No. It just wouldn’t do. Here’s a thought: Brent Gardner-Smith, the brilliant head of Aspen Public Radio, is obviously a bit greedy with names. He’s got three of them. Brent … you’ve got a name to spare. Give one of them to Torre. Any one of the three would do. You could become Brent Smith and he’d be Torre Gardner. Or you could be Gardner Smith and he’d be Torre Brent. Think about it.)And, finally, there’s Andrew Kole. What can you say about Mr. Kole except this: We need him. I mean, hey, you can’t have a circus without clowns.Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.