Photo by Daniel J. Chacón
After today, Doug Bruce will be known as a tax cheat.
But since I’ve been in Colorado Springs, I’ve called Bruce a quote machine.
Among the most memorable quotes of the past three years:
“I’m sorry the city clerk has a problem with reality … I hope she takes some anti-hallucinogenic drugs to take care of her problem,” Bruce said in August 2009 about former City Clerk Kathryn Young.
“That’s like calling a brutal rape a handshake. It’s hardly a tweak. They want to repeal the whole thing! How is that a tweak?” Bruce said, also in August 2009, about a ballot issue the former City Council was considering to ask voters to overhaul of the local Taxpayers Bill of Rights, with the exception of asking voters to approve taxes.
“The city doesn’t have any options to get any fees out of anybody unless the people voluntarily, foolishly, gullibly pay. I’m throwing away all my past-due bills since I never paid a dime, a whole shoebox full of them,” Bruce, who encouraged property owners not to pay their storm water fees, said in December 2009.
“She is the architect of all these absurd, bad faith, malicious attacks on our right to petition. She is obsessed with doing anything and everything to block petitions,” Bruce said in December 2009 about former City Attorney Patricia Kelly, who he called a “bad woman” and a “lawless city attorney” who is the “No. 1 enemy” of the petition process.
“They’re planning to steal the election this Tuesday… It’s a new low for the City Council. I didn’t think that they could think any lower,” Bruce said in January 2010 when the former City Council was considering an ordinance to implement ballot Issue 300, which led to the demise of the Stormwater Enterprise.
“Arrogance and ignorance are a dangerous combination. In a senile lawyer, it’s a pathetic combination,” Bruce said in February 2010 about Boulder lawyer Herb Fenster, who planned to sue the state of Colorado over the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which Bruce authored.
“Please. Is the drug abuse problem that widespread? Have you been hanging around so many medical marijuana dispensaries that the fumes are getting to you? The answer is I have other plans for the city, but that will be unveiled this summer,” Bruce said in March 2010 when asked if he was considering running for mayor or City Council.
“I’m not going to go into my private business. That’s what they want to do. They want to ask me to bend over and spread my cheeks,” Bruce said in June 2010 when asked to explain where he was when the state Attorney General’s Office made 30 attempts to serve him with a subpoena.
“I am sure your actions are of great benefit to your re-election campaign; using an unpopular public figure as a political whipping boy has got to be a political ‘no-brainer,’ a slam dunk winner. But I appeal to your conscience and sense of legal ethics not to continue down this wrong path,” Bruce said in in June 2010 in an email to Attorney John Suthers, who he said was targeting him in an effort to get re-elected.
“Their open records ‘policy’ is getting crazier and crazier. It’s a case of blinding bureaucratic stupidity. It makes my head hurt,” Bruce said in June 2010 when he claimed the Police Department had given him only 30 minutes to review documents he requested under the Colorado Open Records Act and that a police employee has to stand watch.
“It is shameful and contemptible that a sworn police officer would abuse his position of trust by gratuitously attacking a private citizen. His effort at intimidation by insult will not succeed. What kind of political thugs are you hiring there, anyway?” Bruce said in July 2010 in an email to then-Deputy Police Chief Pete Carey when requesting an internal affairs investigation against a detective who sent him a disparaging e-mail from work.
“His conduct merits a visit or two with the police psychiatrist,” Bruce told police officials, also in July 2010, about the detective who sent him the disparaging email.
“I am disappointed that you keep stating as a fact that I ‘kicked’ a photographer. Telling a lie 100 times does not make it true. Not even the House resolution stated that. It said “made physical contact.” Today, you even left out my denial that it was a kick. Don’t be so gullible. The whole incident was a set up, and I was trying to prevent his disruption of the prayer and pledge. I don’t regret giving him a non-violent “nudge” to get his attention,” Bruce said in a July 2010 email to The Gazette after publishing a story referencing the infamous kick.
“Nine squabbling part-timers have made mistake after error after bungle after blunder after goof. They pay the hospital CEO $550,000; the Utilities CEO gets $306,000. Over 130 people make more than the governor’s $90,000. The average city salary, with cushy benefits, is $89,000, over twice that of average city taxpayers who hire them. It’s arrogant. It’s wasteful. It’s wrong. It must stop,” Bruce wrote in September 2010 in a flier promoting a proposed ballot initiative to give the mayor sweeping powers.
“They succeeded in telling a Joseph Goebbels-style Big Lie. Capital B, capital L,” Bruce said in November 2010 after Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 went down in flames because of a “massive campaign of lies.”
“Maybe they should get Bill Louis to write the ballot language for them. ‘Are you in favor of non-profit organizations in the city?’” Bruce said in December 2010 about efforts to turn city-owned Memorial Health System into an independent non-profit. Bruce was referring to County Attorney Bill Louis, who drafted the highly criticized ballot language for measures to extend the term limits of county officials, which voters called deceptive.
“Is there another question that’s maybe a little more responsible?” Bruce said during a February 2011 press conference after a reporter asked him if he was pulling the strings of the so-called Reform Team, a slate of candidates running for City Council.
“It pays to carry water for the establishment, particularly SDS water,” Bruce said in March 2011 after former City Councilwoman Margaret Radford got a job with a company that received a $10 million contract from Colorado Springs Utilities to work on the Southern Delivery System pipeline.
“Sodomy should not be ‘celebrated’ by public officials speaking on behalf of the city. The city must avoid pushing controversial issues that endorse or force on us distasteful, unhealthy, and aberrant behavior know as the ‘gay agenda,’” Bruce said in a Focus on the Family-sponsored election questionnaire.
“When I politely asked her in her office lobby one question about the reporting period for campaign finance reports, which was nowhere listed on her site, she said I was ‘like a baby crying on the floor,’” Bruce wrote in a March 2011 e-mail to The Gazette after he and the Reform Team, among other candidates, asked the Secretary of State’s Office to send an election monitor to Colorado Springs. Bruce called former City Clerk Kathryn Young “a bad and malicious person and utterly incompetent.”
“Would you shut up!?! Would you shut up?!?” Bruce yelled at a reporter in March 2011 during a press conference at the City Administration Building.
“People want to be introduced to the winners, not the losers,” Bruce said in April 2011 when declining an interview after every member of the Reform Team lost election.
“Hurray! That’s all caps. If you want, for our religious community, you can quote me as saying, ‘There is a God,’” Bruce said in August 2011 after hearing that former City Attorney Patricia Kelly was going to retire.