Skunked in 5th CD

The dirty tricks that select Republicans in El Paso County have stooped to in years past are legendary, but never as stinky as what Jay Fawcett campaign workers encountered when they arrived at campaign headquarters this morning.

The culprits – whether they be Republicans or otherwise – have not been nabbed, but the skunk smell wafting about is unmistakable. Last night vandals smeared what appears to be industrial-strength skunk aroma up the steps, the railings and all over the antique doors outside the law office where Fawcett?s campaign for the 5th Congressional District is housed.

“Police are narrowing it down, but apparently this is industrial stuff that you can get from hunting or farming stores,” said Fawcett?s campaign manager Wanda James. “Its just disgusting.”The vandals also loosed between five and 20 mice into the building through a cracked window, James said. The building, just south of downtown Colorado Springs, is directly across the street from El Paso County Republican headquarters; Fawcett is a Democrat and retired Air Force lieutenant colonel whose high-profile campaign against Republican Doug Lamborn has generated national attention in this GOP stronghold.

A campaign worker whose car was similarly skunked last week as it was parked in front of El Paso County Republican headquarters discovered the office skunking early this morning. The campaign did not evacuate, but workers instead are handing out cans of Febreeze air freshener and masks to breathe through to volunteers who are working on election day, James said.

Volunteers have caught three of the mice and have given them names, not coincidentally matching those of several high-profile Colorado Republican candidates: Doug, Bob and Marilyn. “All three of them,” James says, “have endorsed Jay Fawcett.”

The mice, she indicated further, are not blind. “They’ve seen the light,” she noted. “They’re in my office; they are quite happy; they are out of the cold and they are well fed. They?re Democrats.”

Campaign workers may be taking the vandalism in stride, but they are not amused over another incident that occurred last night. For the third time during the campaign, Fawcett received a death threat via e-mail. While the first two were also directed at high profile Democrats John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha, the latest specifically called for Fawcett to die, James said. The person issuing the threat appears to have included his name in the e-mail, and the matter has been turned over to the police, she said.

Past incidents of Republican dirty tricks in El Paso County include a 2002 episode involving then-county GOP chairman Chuck Broerman, who fraudulently obtained permits to park trucks in front of the county’s early voting headquarters promoting several candidates, including Sen. Wayne Allard and state Sen. Ed Jones. More about that illegal scheme can be read by clicking here. Broerman later served a term as the GOP  state vice chairman.

A year earlier, Larry Liston ? who at the time was the vice chairman of the state GOP and is now a state representative ? was photographed at a Republican fundraiser exhibiting a very effective technique designed to rip out opponents’ political yard signs using a long stick with a hook on the end. Vandalizing and stealing yard signs in Colorado is a misdemeanor.

When questioned, Liston siad his yard sign-ripping prowess display was just a ?spoof.? More can be read about that – and other midnight commando raids that Liston complained he had been victim of – by clicking here.

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Cara Degette

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