October 20, 2006
County attorney calls Bruce a �sociopath�
By BILL HETHCOCK THE GAZETTE
El Paso County Attorney Bill Louis lashed out at County Commissioner Douglas Bruce on Thursday, calling him a narcissist, sociopath and crackpot enabler for pushing an initiative that would make it easier to petition measures onto the ballot.
which Bruce authored, �a collection of nonsense� during county commissioners� discussion of a resolution urging voters to reject the amendment. Louis said the amendment would undermine government.
Louis called Amendment 38,
Louis, who left his normal seat beside the commissioners when he spoke, said his views were those of a private citizen, not the county attorney.
Bruce called him �Citizen Louis� and asked if Louis was taking vacation time to speak to the board. Bruce repeatedly interrupted Louis.
�This is not about the public welfare,� Louis said. �This is about Douglas Bruce memorializing his guerrilla and bullying tactics.�
�How do you spell �guerrilla?�� Bruce asked.
�G-U-E,� Louis started.
�Commissioner Bruce, you�re out of line,� Chairwoman Sallie Clark said.
�I just want to know if I�m being called a gorilla, as in large ape,� Bruce said.
Louis continued: �It is about Douglas Bruce having his own personal provision in the constitution whereby he can bully and intimidate local government officials and employees and do so with almost absolute immunity.
�How a person like this could rise to elected office is beyond my comprehension,� the attorney said. �I plan to do everything in my limited power to make sure that comes to an end at some point for the good not only of this community but for all of Colorado and the nation.�
Louis� comments capped a discussion that ended with commissioners voting 3-1 in favor of the resolution. Bruce cast the dissenting vote. Commissioner Jim Bensberg was absent.
Amendment 38 would make it easier to put issues on the statewide ballot and would open local governments � cities, counties and special districts � to the initiative process. It is similar to measures defeated in 1994 and 1996.
Louis said Amendment 38 would allow a disgruntled few to halt government for no good reason, wasting time and money.
�This is about public policy by narcissism and sociopath,� Louis said.
�Are you saying I�m a sociopath, too?� Bruce asked.
�In my opinion,� Louis said.
�I know I�m putting my job on the line by saying this, but that�s how strongly I feel. I�m not backing down from a fight, and you know that. I never cut and run.�
Louis, who is from Missouri, said he admires fellow Missourian Harry S. Truman, and wanted to tell it like it is.
�What this is really about, in my opinion, is the destruction of representative government in order to serve narrow interests that are at the fringes of our society,� he said.
�I think old Harry Truman would tell you that these narrow fringes of society are crackpots, and what this does is empower crackpots to undo the work of good, hard-working elected representatives of the people.�
Before Louis spoke, Bruce said it�s not county government�s job to tell people how to vote.
�That is un-American, that is noxious and that is antithetical to our form of government,� Bruce said.
Commissioner Wayne Williams, who proposed the resolution against Amendment 38, said it�s appropriate for the County Commission to take a stand because passage would affect county residents.
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