Top

news

Stories

 

CHECK, PLEASE

MEET THE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO KICK THE NEW MAYOR AROUND.WHO'S WATCHING THE WATCHDOGS NUMBERS AREN'T THE ONLY THINGS GETTING CRUNCHED IN THE RACE FOR DENVER AUDITOR.

Unlike any of the other candidates, Doering openly disavows the "watchdog" function of the auditor's post, saying it's a "managerial" position, not a "policy-making" one.

"As auditor, you shouldn't be involved in whether an expenditure is appropriate," Doering says. Instead, he says, the auditor should confine himself to making sure that the office runs smoothly and that city contractors are paid on time. Doering does say "performance audits"--reviews of how well various city departments are functioning--are legitimate and would become a regular feature of his administration. But he is adamant that it is not the auditor's job "to launch smoke grenades and stink bombs at the mayor's office across the street."

Doering's reticence about attacking the mayor doesn't surprise his critics. During his tenure on the city council, they say, Doering has been one of Webb's staunchest allies, frequently lambasting Crider and anyone else who questioned the mayor's policies or spending habits. City councilman Ted Hackworth, a longtime Webb foe, describes Doering as "a very, very close associate of Mayor Webb's" and says if Doering and Webb were both elected, "you would not see any kind of dispute between the two."

Jack McCroskey agrees. "He's in the mayor's pocket," McCroskey says. "I don't think there's any question about that."

Doering bristles at the charge. "That's an unfair characterization of me," he says. As proof, Doering notes that he opposed Webb's highly controversial plan to sell off the Winter Park ski area in the summer of 1993--one of the most important initiatives of Webb's first term.

Doering says the perception that he is a shill for the Webb administration stems from his nonconfrontational style. If he disagrees with the mayor on an issue, he says, he'll call Webb and work the dispute out, rather than pick up the phone to call a newspaper reporter. "I communicate before I criticize," Doering says.

But Doering apparently wasn't able to smooth over differences that arose recently between him and Frances Hillyard, a former deputy director at the Mayor's Office of Art, Culture & Film who initially agreed to work as his campaign manager. Hillyard quit the campaign earlier this month.

Hillyard declines to specify why she abandoned Doering. "There were some issues that came to light that made me decide that the best decision would be to step back," Hillyard says. Doering is only slightly less vague, but he implies that Hillyard expected him to run a "grassroots campaign," whereas "political reality" forced him to concentrate on raising money. Doering donors include Webb fundraiser and city financial consultant Rita Kahn; Hensel Phelps, the giant construction concern that got millions of dollars in city contracts at Denver International Airport; and Logplan, the German company that built the city's "backup" baggage system at the new airport.

After Hillyard left, Doering admits, he considered dropping out of the race. For weeks, his opponents say, he was a virtual phantom, failing to show up for candidate forums and debates. Doering, however, says he's changed his mind about giving up and is now back in the campaign. He even attended a candidate's forum last week.

"I'm in the race through the end," he says.
The Denver municipal election takes place May 2.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 
Loading...