Democratic candidates get “vile” calls after personal cell phone numbers put on opponents’ mailings

Some Democratic candidates have received “hateful and vile” phone calls after their Republican opponents placed their cell phone numbers on campaign mailings.

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski said it’s happened in six highly competitive races, and the calls are getting more frequent and vicious as the election gets closer. She said the campaign’s strategy encourages harassment and is unethical.

“Our candidates should have informed local law enforcement about these reports,” Lasinski said. “At this point, they haven’t crossed the line against threats that would take any of our candidates off the campaign trail, but they’re getting messages that are just vile, they’re pretty terrible.”

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The personal cell phone numbers of at least six candidates were published in GOP mailings, Lasinski confirmed. (The calls were first reported by Gongwer, the Capitol News Service.) Among those “secured” is Democrat James Church, who is facing Republican Bob Hovey in the 27th District race.

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

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Michigan Radio reached out to the Republican candidates by email or phone, but had not heard back by press time, except for Jack O’Malley.

O’Malley’s office emailed this statement:

“I noticed that mail was sent out with my opponent’s cell phone number. She has reportedly received several disturbing calls from individuals. Let me first say that the mail in question was sent without my knowledge or consent. It was also not paid for by my campaign. My opponent is well aware that this can happen because she too has had to explain the wrong statements made on her behalf.”

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“That being said,” O’Malley’s statement continued, “having been the recipient of threats and stupidity myself, I do not condone this type of behavior and never will. Even though I had no part, I apologize to Ms. . . Coffia for another stupidity.”

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

Lasinski said the embattled Democrats are taking extra security measures.


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