Fitz-Gerald threatens Polis campaign with official complaint

The most expensive U.S. congressional primary race in Colorado history officially turned into one of the ugliest Wednesday when former state Senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald threatened to file a misdemeanor complaint with “the appropriate District Attorney’s office” against the Jared Polis campaign for knowingly making false campaign statements in a TV ad.

Fitz-Gerald campaign manager Mary Alice Mandarich sent a letter to Polis campaign director Robert Becker asking him to pull a Polis ad that ties Fitz-Gerald to an ad paid for by Colorado Counts, a 527 registered by lobbyist Steve Adams. That ad questioned Polis’ record on education issues such as school vouchers, charter schools and the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind policy.

“I would like to give you the opportunity to pull this false and reckless advertisement immediately before a complaint is filed with the appropriate District Attorney’s office,” Mandarich said in her letter, which cites Polis’ “It’s a shame” ad aired in response to the Colorado Counts spot.

The Polis ad features an announcer saying “You’ve seen Joan Fitz-Gerald’s negative campaign against democrat Jared Polis” and simultaneously shows an image of the Colorado Counts ad.

“No,” Becker wrote back in a response he then sent out as a press release. “Senator Fitz-Gerald has had numerous opportunities to renounce the so-called ‘Colorado Counts’ ad attacking Jared Polis’ education record. Despite the attacks being called ‘despicable’ by the press, Joan Fitz-Gerald has decided to remain silent.”

Becker said Fitz-Gerald does know who’s behind the Colorado Counts ad: “Trouble is, you know exactly who they are — two special interest lobbyist friends of your campaign: Steve Adams ($1,500 campaign donor) and Collon Kennedy ($2,300 donor and former high-level aide to Fitz-Gerald).”

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About the Author

David O. Williams

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail
and Real Aspen.

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