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 put their personal 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 malicious as the election gets closer. She said the campaign’s strategy encourages harassment and is unethical.

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

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At least six candidates have posted their personal cell phone numbers in GOP mailings, Lasinski confirmed. (The calls were first reported by the Gongwer Capitol News Service.) Those “doxxed” include Democrat Jaime Churches, whose opponent in the District 27 race is Republican Bob Howey.

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

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

O’Malley’s office emailed this statement:

“I am aware that an email has been sent containing my opponent’s mobile phone number. It is reported that I have received several disturbing calls from people as a result. Let me first say that the email in question was sent without my knowledge or consent. Neither did my campaign pay for it. My opponent is well aware that this can happen because she, too, has had to explain the incorrect statements made on her behalf.”

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“That said,” O’Malley’s statement continued, “having been on the receiving end of threats and stupidity myself, I do not condone this type of behavior and never will. Although I had no part in it, I apologize to Ms. . Coffia because of the stupidity of others.”

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

Lasinski said Democrats who were harassed are taking extra security measures.


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