Representative Susan Fisher
NC House District 114

MEDIA ADVISORY

September 7, 2006
Contact: Beth Trigg, Campaign Manager
btrigg@electsusanfisher.com
828-582-8153

For immediate release

Representative Susan Fisher Decries Republican Internet Scam

Today Buncombe County Republican Party Chair George Keller was implicated in a scandal involving a fraudulent website which attempts to mislead voters in Buncombe County. The website purports to represent an “independent” organization; the organization seems not actually to exist and the website is actually the work of members of the Buncombe County Republican Party.

The site claims to be associated with a group called the “North Carolina Independent Public Policy Research Group (NCIPPRG),” which, the site claims, surveys and ranks legislators on how effective they are. The group’s name is strikingly similar to the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR), a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which is well-known for publishing an annual report ranking legislators. Both the authentic and the knock-off sites have lists of legislators ranked by effectiveness. The significant difference between the two lists is the elevating of the “effectiveness ratings” of Republican legislators and the low ratings of Buncombe County Democratic lawmakers, who were never surveyed by the sham organization.

Candidate for NC House District 114 Mike Harrison has promoted the NCIPPRG site via the Asheville Citizen-Times reader forum chat room as a “peer review” of NC legislators. There is no contact information on the site for the organization, which appears only to exist as an Internet front for Buncombe County Republicans. The domain name under which the “independent” organization is operating is registered to Republican Chair Keller.

NC House Representative Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe) spoke out today against Harrison and Keller’s tactics. “My opponent has been encouraging voters to look at this fraudulent information,” said Fisher. “He and other Republican party activists have been attempting to confuse and mislead voters. This is dishonest and unethical.”

“Voters deserve honest discussion of the important issues,” Fisher stated, “not this kind of deceit.”

Representative Fisher, who represents House District 114, served on the House Ethics Committee and helped draft the historic ethics legislation passed in the 2006 Short Session of the General Assembly. “In helping to create and voting for this legislation, the strictest in NC history, I hope that I have contributed to cleaner elections and cleaner politics in our state,” said Fisher. “I believe voters deserve clean, fair elections, and honest dialogue with candidates for office,” she continued. “I will continue to focus on the issues that voters care about, despite the ‘dirty tricks’ of my opponent and the Buncombe County Republican Party.”