Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN MOVE? The Keith Fitzgerald campaign has questioned whether the Vern Buchanan campaign violated fed- eral laws in distribution of a DVD attacking Fitzgerald. ANTI-FITZGERALD DVDS DUMPED IN SARASOTANS' MAILBOXES ON COLUMBUS DAY, CAMPAIGN SAYS By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor The Keith Fitzgerald campaign is firing back at Rep. Vern Buchanan over a DVD containing an ad accusing of Fitzgerald of "intolerance and hate" that was distributed, perhaps illegally, to voters in Fitzgerald's own North Sarasota neighborhood. The ad, "Outrageous," plays off a blog post by former Fitzgerald campaign spokeswoman Ana Maria Rosato, written before she joined the Fitzgerald team. In June, she accused Re- publicans of hating "women, immigrants, Af- rican Americans, firefighters, police officers, teachers, citizens who vote for Democrats, the poor, the middle class, anyone but each other." "Our campaign hired a staff member without knowing that her personal blog was full of in- appropriate comments," Fitzgerald said in a video response released Thursday. "As soon as these comments were brought to my atten- tion, I fired her. Now it's time to move on. We don't need distractions. We need solutions." But Buchanan's ad flips the script and goes on to accuse Fitzgerald of running a campaign of "intolerance and hate." As those words are spoken, the words "Hatred toward teachers," "Hatred toward the poor" and "Hatred toward police" flash on the screen. The source for those non-quotes? A Washington Post blog item aggregating the news that Fitzgerald had fired Rosata.

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