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

Some Democratic candidates are receiving “disgusting and vile” phone calls — after their Republican opponents put their personal cell phone numbers on campaign mailings.

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski said this has happened in six highly competitive races and that the calls are becoming more frequent and malicious as the election approaches. She said the campaign tactic encourages harassment and is unethical.

“Our candidates had to notify local law enforcement of these messages,” Lasinski said. “Right now, they haven’t crossed the line into threatening to take one of our candidates off the campaign trail, but they’re getting messages that are just bad, they’re pretty terrible.”

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At least six candidates’ personal cell phone numbers were published in GOP mailers, Lasinski confirmed. (The call was first reported by Capital News Service Gongover.) Among those “docked” is Democrat Jaime Churches, who is running against Republican Bob Howe in the 27th District race.

Others include Democrat Rob Cull in the 28th District, Republican Jamie Thompson, Democrat Joe Andrews, running in the 38th District against Republican Kevin Whiteford, Democrat Denise Mentzer, who has Republican opponent Mike Aiello in the 61st District race, 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 received a reply by the time of publication, except for Jack O’Malley.

O’Malley’s office emailed this statement:

“I have noticed that a mailer has been sent with my opponent’s cell phone number. It is reported that she has received harassing calls from several individuals. I would first like to say that the mailer in question was sent without. my knowledge or consent. My The campaign didn’t even pay for it. My opponent is aware that this could happen because she too has had to explain the false statements on her behalf.”

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“With that,” O’Malley’s statement continued, “given the threats and stupidity involved, I do not and never will condone this type of behavior. While I had no part in it, I apologize to Ms. Coffia for the stupidity of others.”

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

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


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