Alternative candidates for governor keep on plugging
By Anthony Bowe
Three alternative candidates for governor continue campaigning across the state, despite a frustrating lack of media exposure.
Libertarian Jaimes Brown, and unaffiliated candidates Jason Clark and Paul Fiorino embarked on campaigns they thought would change the establishment. All are still fighting to at least be recognized in the press and in major debates.
“All these debates are happening and we’re not invited. We’re just being kept in silence,” Fiorino complained last week.
Among the three, Clark has probably rallied the hardest for acceptance into the various debates. On Sept. 2, he protested outside the local PBS studio where the first debate was taped between Republican Dan Maes, Democrat John Hickenlooper and American Constitutional Party candidate Tom Tancredo. He also made a Youtube video and sent several emails encouraging people to call debate sponsors and insist on his inclusion.
“No stories, no printing my name, no references to my obvious successes, and not letting me debate is all but factually wrong! The only people who think that I should not be in the debates is the ‘Media,’” Clark complained in an e-mail to Colorado media outlets Oct. 8.
Clark, who has so far spent over $51,000 according to his last filing on Oct. 13, according to the Secretary of State’s office, feels his race is winnable. When the election is over, Clark said he will have spent approximately $250,000 on more than 20 billboards spread out between Fort Collins, Denver and Pueblo, numerous radio ads and two television ads he said he’ll run up to Election Day. Clark said he is basically running a one issue campaign: improving the economy and generating jobs.
In September, Clark suffered the loss of his lieutenant governor candidate, Victoria Adams, who left the campaign because she said Clark doesn’t like to work with women. Clark refutes the charge but offers no comment on why Adams left her post. Clark selected Adams from several candidates who responded to his Craigslist ad posted earlier.
He used Craigslist again on Oct. 1 with hopes of attracting one of several people he listed in the ad: philanthropist Janet Elway, former Bronco legend John Elway, beer company magnate Pete Coors, state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Fruita, La Plata County Commissioner Joelle Riddle, and state Reps. Kathleen Curry, U-Gunnison, and Cindy Acree, R-Aurora. He said he has yet to receive a serious response from anyone he listed.
The Secretary of State’s office ruled that Clark could choose a lieutenant governor after the election if he wins.
Clark is holding several fundraisers in the last few weeks of the campaign. For one he is raffling a four-day vacation package for four to Oahu, Hawaii valued at $8,500. Raffle tickets are $35 and a maximum donation of $525 will earn 15 entries into the drawing which takes place after Nov. 30.
Clark is also sponsoring a golf tournament Oct. 22 at the Heather Ridge Golf Club in Aurora. Donations will go to the Clark campaign with proceeds ultimately going toward reopening three public libraries in Aurora that were closed because of budget cuts, Clark said.
“On Nov. 3, all of the proceeds will go to the libraries,” he said.
Clark said another fundraiser is also in the planning stages. He would only divulge the name of the event, Bachelor Colorado, but hinted he may be directly involved as an eligible bachelor.
Brown, who has spent just over $3,000 through Oct. 13, has been campaigning across the state with Maclyn Stringer, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate. He recently visited Pueblo and Grand Junction. He stopped in Loveland last week to take part in a candidate forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters.
He said he’s also recently been in Pueblo and Grand Junction. Brown said the Paul Revere Liberty tour, a six-week tour across the state has worked out to be only a few scattered appearances. The tour includes appearances by Libertarian candidates Stringer, CU regent candidate Jesse Wallace and CD 3 congressional candidate Gregory Gilman.
Brown said he hopes his campaign brings more awareness and legitimacy to Libertarian causes.
“I want to point out that Libertarians are the best of the parties and I just really believe that we need to stop the finger pointing and the blame game and work together on the problems that we need to solve. A lot of time and energy is wasted on this two party dichotomy,” he said. “We should be the best of what this country is about and that’s liberty.”
Fiorino, who said he hasn’t spent any money out of the $151 he’s raised so far, said when he’s not answering campaign related questions and filling out candidate questionnaires by email he’s training to dance in a one night ballet in Denver on Oct. 23. Fiorino will perform the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with the Ballet Ariel Company and Denver Brass for two shows at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts.
Fiorino has held only one campaign event and said he’s “still trying to get out of town.” In the last week of September he attempted to walk from the state Capitol in Denver to a forum in Idaho Springs holding the picture of Denver’s first police chief, W.E. Sisty to promote Colorado’s history through its pioneers. Fiorino said he got as far as the Morrison exit on I-70 before he needed a ride from his brother due to exhaustion.
Although Fiorino is campaigning with a platform that prioritizes improving education, offering a standard civics class in public school and boosting the state’s tourism industry, he said his actual campaign is a metaphor for something more.
“I’m really trying to reflect campaign reform by my financing — trying to do this with little to no money — to demonstrate that it’s really about trying to get public financed campaigns,” he said.