Professor Accused Of Leaving Feces At Musgrave Office
The offending fecal matter.
A little early for this sort of mudslinging (poo-flinging?--give a new meaning to "smear" campaign):
A former professor of French at the University of Northern Colorado has been cited for allegedly making a special delivery to U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave that reeked of political partisanship.So the campaign has gone to the dogs already--though it is not surprising that this sort of unhinged response came from a former academic supporting a Democratic candidate. Apparently, one that is not that bright, either.
Kathleen Ensz, professor emeritus at UNC, is accused of depositing a Musgrave campaign mailer full of dog feces at the Republican lawmaker's Greeley office. Ensz was charged Thursday by Greeley police with criminal use of a noxious substance, a misdemeanor.
The offending package arrived on May 31 about 1 p.m. The original addressee's name and address were scratched off, but a police officer was able to use the bar code on the envelope to track the sender's vicinity, which eventually led investigators to the 63-year-old Ensz, said Greeley police spokesman Joe Tymkowych.
Ensz, who couldn't be reached for comment Thursday, is a supporter of Angie Paccione, the Democratic challenger for Musgrave's 4th Congressional District seat, Ensz's friends say.
Those who know her say they find it difficult to believe that Ensz would take such a bizarre action to express her opposition to Musgrave. Then again, Ensz has been known to speak her mind on certain subjects, said Carol Burkhart, who has been active in the Weld County Democratic Party for years.That won't happen, it'll just be distancing and denial from Paccione's campaign. That does not, however, preclude the notion of suggesting a Rovian conspiracy-like accusation of attempting to sidestep important issues on the part of Musgrave by distracting media attention with this stunt:
"Kathy is a pretty straightforward type of person," Burkhart said. "She is a no-b.s. - so to speak - kind of person."
The incident triggered harsh exchanges between the Musgrave and Paccione camps. Musgrave supporters said this could be an early indication that the congresswoman will again be a target of sleazy campaigning.
"Angela Paccione needs to put an end to this gutter politicking now," said Shaun Kenney, Musgrave's campaign spokesman. "If this is how her supporters intend to wage her campaign today, what kind of sleaze and harassment can we expect leading up to November?"
In 2004, Musgrave opponents ran a series of television ads depicting her picking the pockets of soldiers and corpses. She went on to defeat Democratic challenger Stan Matsunaka.
"Shades of 2004 all over again," Kenney said.
Kenney also called for Paccione to return all campaign donations from Ensz and to apologize for the "disgusting" behavior of her supporters.
James Thompson, spokesman for Paccione, said Ensz is not part of the Paccione campaign and that her actions do not reflect the spirit of Paccione's campaign. "We don't condone this type of extremism, no matter what party or organization they're affiliated with," he said.Ensz no longer holds a position at UNC, so there will be no ramifications there, though in this current climate, she might become a minor cause celebre for the Kostards.
Musgrave wanted to make the incident public to divert voters' attention away from her re-introduction of the gay marriage ban in Congress, Thompson said. Given Musgrave's extremist agenda, he added, it was only a matter of time before an extremist on the other side of the political spectrum pushed back.
So far, the campaign for the 4th District - which encompasses much of Colorado's northeastern plains as well as the cities of Fort Collins and Greeley - has been relatively calm, said Steve Mazurana, a political science professor at UNC.Greeley police disavow any favoritism in pursuing the matter, putting a dent in the tinfoil moonbat timing conspiracy theories, but it just amazes how inadvertently the perpetrator of this particular poo proceeding could sum up the Democratic message for 2006, and without words no less. A heaping pile of . . .
But the rhetoric is likely to become more strident as the November election approaches, he said.
"I think it will particularly spike when and if the gay marriage amendment goes to the House of Representative for a vote," Mazurana said.
Mazurana, a Democrat, knows Ensz and was stunned by the allegations against her. "I'm very surprised by the dog feces," he said. "That's not the Kathy I know."
Ensz began teaching at UNC in 1970 and earned her emeritus status in 2000, said UNC spokeswoman Gloria Reynolds.
Since she is no longer on staff, she doesn't face sanctions, Reynolds said.
The Rocky Mountain News has more on this "smear campaign".
The story has gone national. . .