Democratic candidates receive 'despicable' calls after personal cell phone numbers added to opponents' mailings

Democratic candidates receive ‘despicable’ calls after personal cell phone numbers added to opponents’ mailings

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Some Democratic candidates have received ‘hateful and despicable’ phone calls – after their Republican opponents put their personal cell phone numbers on campaign mailings.

Minority House Leader Donna Lasinski said it happened in six highly competitive races and the calls were becoming more frequent and malicious as the election drew closer. She said the campaign strategy encourages harassment and is unethical.

“Our candidates had to notify local law enforcement of these messages,” Lasinski said. “At the moment they haven’t crossed the line of a threat that would take one of our candidates off the campaign trail, but they’re getting messages that are just plain despicable, they’re pretty terrible.”

At least six candidates have had their personal cell phone numbers published in GOP senders, Lasinski confirmed. (The calls were first reported by Capitol Information Service Gongwer.) Among the “doxxers” is Democrat Jaime Churches, whose opponent in the 27th District race is Republican Bob Howey.

Others include Democrat Rob Kull in the 28th District, against Republican Jamie Thompson, Democrat Joey Andrews, against Republican Kevin Whiteford in the 38th District, Democrat Denise Mentzer, whose Republican opponent in the 61st District race is Mike Aiello, and Democrat Betsy Coffia. , running to represent the 103rd District against Republican Jack O’Malley.

Michigan Radio has contacted the Republican candidates by email or phone, but has not received a response as of press time, except for Jack O’Malley.

O’Malley’s office emailed this statement:

“It has come to my attention that a letter has been sent containing my opponent’s cell phone number. It is reported that she received several disturbing calls from people following this. Let me first say say that the mail in question was sent without my knowledge or consent. Nor was it paid for by my campaign. My opponent is very aware that this can happen as she too had to explain incorrect statements made in her name.

“Having said that,” O’Malley’s statement continued, “having been the victim of threats and stupidity myself, I do not condone this type of behavior and never will. Although I have not participated to that, I apologize to Mrs. Coffia for the stupidity of the others.”

A spokesperson for the Michigan Republican Party said in a statement that it was “using publicly available information” in campaign materials.

Lasinski said Democrats who have been harassed are taking extra safety precautions.

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