Rick Manguson, the pro-drug war challenger in the Pitkin County Sheriff’s race, is complaining that Grass Roots Television has shown a video he made a year ago showing him spanking the monkey.

Magnuson admitted the video shows him masturbating. The shot, however, is from far away and Magnuson says the piece was a legitimate mode of self-expression….The 12-minute movie shows Magnuson digging a hole in the Mojave Desert on his 40th birthday. When he strikes water, the shot switches to about 20 yards away, with Magnuson’s back to the viewer as he faces the hole and masturbates into it.

Magnuson said he doesn’t understand why the film has become an issue in the campaign and claims Aspen Daily News editor Rick Carroll made the video in order to hurt his chances for sheriff…..Carroll, however, defended the choice to print the article, saying The Daily News would have written about the film whether Braudis made it or Magnuson made it.

Manguson is challenging 20-year Sheriff veteran Bob Braudis. As always, Braudis is taking the high road by refusing to comment. Local voters show no such hesitancy:

Numerous voters, however, felt the video would likely hurt Magnuson’s chances.

“After the article in The Daily News, it’s like, ‘Who is this guy?'” said a longtime Aspen resident who didn’t want to be named. “Aspen is very accepting, but that’s pretty strange.”

Anyone else note a little hypocrisy here?

Early in the race, Magnuson slammed Braudis for not being upfront about entering an alcohol treatment clinic, saying it made Braudis unfit to be a role model. And though Magnuson has said he wanted to stay away from the issue of art in the race, when pressed, he stood behind the art he has created.

“In life, everyone will have problems and issues,” Magnuson said. “The healthiest, most therapeutic way to deal with issues is through art. It’s much more healthy than sedating yourself. I would encourage everyone to use art in their lives.”

Art is more therapeutic than rehab? Hmmmm……