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

Some Democrats have been receiving “hateful and nasty” phone calls — after their Republican opponents put their cell phone numbers on their campaigns.

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski said it happened in six highly competitive races, and the calls are getting more frequent and aggressive as the election approaches. He said the campaign strategy encourages abuse and is unethical.

“Candidates should inform local law enforcement about these messages,” said Lasinski. “At this point, they haven’t crossed the line of threats that might take one of the candidates out of the campaign, but they’re getting very, very bad messages.”

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

Others include Democrat Rob Kull in the 28th District, who is running against Republican Jamie Thompson, Democrat Joey Andrews, who is running in the 38th District against Republican Kevin Whiteford, Democrat Denise Mentzer, who is running against Republican in the 61st District race 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 receive a response by press time, except for Jack O’Malley.

O’Malley’s office sent this statement via email:

“It has come to my attention that a sender has been sent with the cell phone numbers of my opponents. It is reported that he has received many disturbing calls from individuals because of this. Let me not even begin to say that the sender in question was sent without my knowledge or consent. It was not paid for by my campaign. My opponent knows very well that this is possible because he also had to explain the incorrect statements made on his behalf.”

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“With that,” continued O’Malley’s statement, “as I was trying to intimidate and stupid, I do not encourage this behavior and never will. Although I did not participate in this, I apologize to Ms. . Coffia for the stupidity of others.”

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

Lasinski said Democrats who have been victimized are taking extra precautions.


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