Sarasota News Leader

10/12/12

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Sarasota News Leader October 12, 2012 The Fitzgerald campaign is also charging Bu- chanan with potentially violating federal law with its distribution tactics. "Voters across Sarasota and Manatee counties have spotted men tampering with their mailboxes," reads a press release, "and are reporting finding DVDs of a disingenuous attack ad produced by the Buchanan Campaign without postage." Gretchen Serrie, who lives near Fitzgerald, says she found her DVD on Monday, when no regular mail was being delivered. "I went out to my mailbox and this was on Columbus Day, so sitting there pristinely, with no other mail, was this DVD," Serrie tells the News Leader. "The fact that it was done in my neighborhood on Columbus Day made it very obvious that it had been done il- legally." "Anything in a mailbox has to have postage on it," says United States Postal Service spokesperson Enola Rice, suggesting the DVD dump could be a viola- tion. According to Serrie, the DVD was clearly labeled as a product of the Vern Buchan- an cam- paign, and it con- tained only the one-minute "Outrageous" Page 21 ad. She has heard that other folks have con- tacted the Postal Service, requesting an in- vestigation, and she she'll call to file a plaint as well. resentative of Inspection which tasked the is- Lead- re- thinks com- A rep- Service, would the Postal be with investigating sue, tells the News er his office hasn't yet ceived any formal com- plaints. "Not only do I think it's a violation of FEC law, most likely, but it's definitely a viola- tion of federal law governing what can go in mailboxes," Fitzgerald spokesperson Matt Harringer tells the News Leader. "Vern's primary intentions are to deceive you, and that's the problem with politics today," Fitzgerald says in his YouTube clip, adding: "Vern saw this as an opportunity to protect his job, so he wants to talk about a staffer's mistake. He's too scared to dis- cuss the is- sues." The Bu- chanan campaign did not re- spond to a News Leader call.

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