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Dirty tricks alleged in campaign mailers

Brief by Allen Best

Politics – December 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

During the presidential campaign this year, supporters of Barack Obama strenuously objected to letters, e-mails and other campaign materials that included his middle name, Hussein. Their argument was that using his middle name was a sly attempt to link him in the public mind with Saddam Hussein, the late dictator of Iraq.

But something of the same thing occurred in a state legislative race in Summit, Eagle, and Lake counties. There, the Republican candidate, Ali Hasan, was targeted by a so-called 527 group unaffiliated with his opponent. The mailed fliers from a group called Accountability for Colorado included his first name, “Muhammad.” It is not a name he used in the campaign or on the ballot.

Christine Scanlan, who defeated Hasan, said she was nonetheless disturbed by the mailers. “What it shows is that we need real campaign-finance reform.”