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Anonymous attack ad targets Fisher

Scott N. Miller
Sara Fisher
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EAGLE COUNTY – Sara Fisher first saw an anonymous postcard smearing her Monday evening. She’s working hard to maintain her composure.The cards, sent to voters in Eagle and Gypsum, level some serious charges against Fisher, who’s running for Eagle County Commissioner. The cards allege that Fisher had an affair while she was Eagle County Clerk and Recorder, and money disappeared from the clerk’s office while she was in charge.

The card also asks, “Does Sara Fisher have a problem with alcohol?”Fisher was asked directly about the allegations.”The only one that has some truth is that I’m a recovered alcoholic,” Fisher said. “I’ll have one now and then, and usually it’s only with my husband.”Fisher said her first reaction to the cards was “outrage and anger.” She also handed over a card to District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.Hurlbert said his office will investigate the cards under a relatively new state law that makes it a crime to “knowingly” or “recklessly” make false claims against a political candidate.

Hurlbert said if his office can find enough evidence, it will be sent to a bipartisan group of district attorneys from around the state. The group would then make a recommendation whether or not to file charges, but Hurlbert would have the final say about bringing the case to court.The trick will be to find who mailed the cards.The cards don’t carry the name of any political group, itself a violation of state election law. The cards also were mailed with stamps, rather than run through a postage meter, and have Glenwood Springs postmarks. All mail from 32 towns between Vail and Collbran is processed and postmarked in Glenwood Springs, so there isn’t much to go on.The postcards brought nearly the same reactions from officials from the two major political parties.”This is wrong, it’s inhuman, it’s unfair and it’s cruel,” said New New Wallace, co-chairwoman of the Eagle County Democrats. “I’m extremely saddened by it.”Randy Milhoan, co-chairman of the Eagle County Republicans, said he hadn’t seen the postcard, but said the idea of anonymous, possibly libelous campaigning is “bad for politics.”It’s like getting hit in the dark,” Milhoan said.The other candidates for commissioner took a similarly dim view of the postcards.”I find that terrible,” Gypsum Republican Tom Edwards said. “I want to win or lose on the issues.”Roger Brown, who’s running as an independent, said the postcards are “incredibly reprehensible.”A couple of likely voters this fall also said the postcards were out of line.”This is unbelievable,” Will Miller said. “Would it change anything about my vote? Absolutely not.”Ed Alpi said he hopes an investigation can turn up who’s responsible for the postcards.”It’s pretty sick,” Alpi said. “Whoever gets caught for this should pay dearly.”

In Gypsum, Fisher said she’s going to keep campaigning the way she has been. She said she’s willing to let the district attorney’s investigation run its course. If the person or people who mailed the postcards are identified, Fisher might have grounds for a civil suit.”We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” she said. “I have a solid faith that’s helpful in getting through things that are unpleasant. I feel sorry for the persons who feel they had to go to whatever extremes to do this.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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