Hasan’s high-energy campaign | VailDaily.com

Hasan’s high-energy campaign

Robert Allen
Vail, CO Colorado
Preston Utley/Daily file photoMuhammad Ali Hasan recently handed out cloth grocery bags, which he says are more environmentally friendly the campaign signs.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Residents may recognize Republican Ali Hasan, 28, from a charity dunk tank, a personal home visit or an array of colorful advertising.

The outgoing, fiscally conservative and socially liberal candidate for state House District 56 has high hopes for bringing about solutions to the region’s pine-beetle outbreak and Interstate 70 traffic congestion.

Hasan’s high-energy, mostly self-funded campaign includes plugs for animal shelters, pine-beetle pheromone packs and Edwards’ Shaw Cancer Center, though none of these organizations endorse candidates for public office. Lately, district residents have been receiving eco-friendly re-usable tote bags.

“Politics doesn’t have to be a dirty game; we can make this one of charity. Peace and love to you all!” the Beaver Creek resident wrote on his Web site.

His political experience includes standing in as a Republican commentator on Fox News, MSNBC and BBC Radio, among others, frequently representing Muslims for Bush, now Muslims for America.

The group advised American politicians on issues dealing with the War on Terror, according to Hasan’s campaign Web site.

Hasan has been active on issues contrary to the local party line, such as campaigning in the summer 2007 against plans to increase drilling on the Roan Plateau, which would have sent half the royalties to higher education on the Front Range.

His resume also includes experience teaching 10th-grade English, environmental research and filmmaking. He won nine awards for directing “Rabia,” a short film about a conflicted female suicide bomber. The film has been shown at more than 30 festivals.

Hasan said he has a screenplay underway on the life of assassinated Pakistan political leader Benazir Bhutto.

His environmental research on topics such as water usage and the effects that pollution has on K-12 test scores was included in reports to officials of Colorado and California, he said.

Local Democratic political consultant David Cunningham said the race between Hasan and incumbent Christine Scanlan, 44, has “all the makings of a nail-biter.”

“Ali Hasan, I have to tell you, is running a textbook-perfect campaign,” he said. “And he’s got financial backing behind him to do that, so it will be very interesting to see what comes out.”

Hasan said he decided to enter the political fray because, as a young bachelor, he can fully dedicate himself to serving his constituents. He’s said he isn’t especially interested in pursuing national office.

“I’m not crazy about D.C.,” he said. “The most innovative solutions are from our states.”

He said he would like to see changes to the criminal-justice system, with “rehab rather than jail.” He also said he’s not against same-sex civil unions.

Born on the Fourth of July in 1980, Hasan was raised in Pueblo before moving to Eagle County when he was 11. He went to college in Los Angeles, graduating from Occidental College with a degree in education, environmental science and filmmaking.

In the spring of 2007, he obtained his master’s degree in film directing from Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

His organization memberships include the American Civil Liberties Union, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, the Summit Chamber and the Eagle County Colorado Cattlemen’s Association.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or rallen@summitdaily.com.

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