Nicks Loses Election, Wins Respect
by Ari Armstrong, February 25, 2004
He didn't win at the polls February 24, but he proved a worthy representative of the Libertarian Party. Travis Nicks and his volunteer campaign staff ran an excellent campaign to replace Republican Tracy Baker as the Arapahoe County Clerk. However, the dollars, organization, and habituated voting of the major parties led to a Republican victory. The new Republican, Nancy Doty, won with around 70% of the vote. Nicks pulled more than 14%, while the Democratic write-in candidate, Kathleen Conway, trailed with less than 14%. Nearly 88% of voters chose to recall Baker. (The figures are based on preliminary data as reported by the Rocky Mountain News.) 9News reported Arapahoe is home to around 330,000 registered voters, and the Rocky suggested around 46,000 people voted. (Nicks earned 6,052 votes with 91% of the votes recorded.)
The Nicks team conducted at least two "phone blasts" -- recorded messages sent by automated dialing systems -- that criticized Nicks' opponents and promoted the Libertarian alternative. Nicks appeared on two television shows, one hosted by Peter Boyles and one by Aaron Harber (both on KBDI). He also appeared on "The Uncle Nasty Show" on 106.7 FM (KBPI) on February 23 and 24. The campaign put up yard signs and distributed literature to voters.
Following are the last two releases issued by the Nicks campaign.
Elect Travis Nicks
For Immediate Release
Tracy Baker recall election:
After a long day of campaigning (the candidate was out campaigning at 6 a.m.), the Travis Nicks Campaign for Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder will come to a an end at its election night party at Harlow's Bistro in the Denver Tech Center.
The candidate will be there to answer questions from the media and to celebrate the end of a professional and hard-fought campaign.
Elect Travis Nicks
For Immediate Release
Tracy Baker recall election:
ARAPAHOE COUNTY: I, Travis Nicks, am writing to you today because I know that the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Aurora Sentinel have made a mistake by endorsing my opponent, Nancy Doty.
It will be easier for you to ignore this open letter, but I am hoping that you care, and will at minimum, research the facts as I list them, below.
In the upcoming recall election (Feb. 24, 2004) for the office of Arapahoe Clerk & Recorder; the most influential papers in Colorado have chosen to endorse my opponent, Nancy Doty. I am certain that you will find, given recent facts, that this was a mistake. Please believe me when I state that I understand your motivation for endorsing my opponent, and I do not fault you for it. With the backing of a strong political party, and a large 'war chest', it would appear that your decision was a wise one, and as such, at the time, no one could fault you for your decision.
But I ask you to consider recent information, I am asking that you please reconsider your endorsement, and at least look at the facts concerning my request that you publish a reversal of your endorsement of Nancy Doty, and endorse me, Travis Nicks.
You and I are unified in our belief that Mr. Baker must be removed from office. We disagree, however, on which candidate can give the level of commitment that the people of Arapahoe County deserve. My opponent wishes to be elected to the office of Clerk & Recorded, however, Ms. Doty either does not understand the office, or does not care about her required duties. I make this statement based upon the fact that as a Clerk & Recorder, Ms. Doty would be in charge of our elections in Arapahoe County.
However, Ms Doty has failed to file the Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) reports for the dates for the last two periods (* contact for reference information listed below). [Editor's Note: Ralph Shnelvar later reported these reports were subsequently filed late.] These reports are, as you know, required by law, and more importantly, a Clerk & Recorder should be able and willing to follow election law. This is the person who will be administering the election laws for others, yet she does not follow the letter or the spirit of the law herself. This is arrogance. This is Tracy Baker's arrogance, and I fear that you have selected a candidate with the same kind of arrogance.
She has not debated me and thus the voters will not know who she is other than her party label. The FCPA filings show from whom a campaign's donations come. Because she has not filed these required documents, neither the press nor the public will know who is bankrolling her. Has a voting machine company contributed large amounts to her campaign? The voters will not have an opportunity to know the answer to that, either.
This is a serious breach of trust to the voters on the part of Ms. Doty and shows both incompetence and lack of diligence when it comes to the simplest of filings.
The offense for not filing is a slap-on-the-wrist $50/day. The money however is not at issue, as her campaign can easily afford it. What is at issue is a candidate for Clerk and Recorder not performing a basic requirement for an election. This makes one wonder if Ms Doty would have trouble (as Mr. Baker has) filing Arapahoe County's voter abstracts, enrolling registered voters, or maintaining the voter database.
Haven't we had enough of Tracy Baker's appearances of impropriety? Shouldn't the next Clerk and Recorder rise to the highest standards and not just the legal minimum?
We have, again, tried to engage Ms. Doty in a debate. She has, again, refused.
We contacted Mr. Ken Gorman, a friend of the radio personality Uncle Nasty (Greg Stone). Mr. Stone told Mr. Gorman that he would be willing to have both Mr. Nicks and Ms. Doty on the air. Mr. Gorman called Ms. Doty. Ms. Doty told Mr. Gorman (and we are paraphrasing), "A rock station? Are you crazy? Those people don't vote."
What is so sad is that she had an opportunity to no only debate Mr. Nicks but also to engage young people in the political process.
Again, one can easily understand why you would have endorsed my opponent without this information.
As a result of this information however, I am asking that you please seriously consider taking a closer look at the candidates in this race, and consider whether you truly want someone who either does not know, or does not care about election procedure running Arapahoe County elections, and only cares about a citizen of this county if they already vote (remember, we all must deal with the motor vehicle office, both voter and non-voter alike.
I not only understand election procedures, I care about our elections and the safeguarding of democracy in Arapahoe County. You may rest assured that if elected, Arapahoe County Election Abstracts will be filed on time. If Ms Doty cannot file her campaign reports, she demonstrates in the clearest fashion that she cannot make the same assurance.
Yours most sincerely,