MOUNT VERNON, NY — June 10, 2021 — A good government coalition dedicated to reforming politics in Mount Vernon has today asked New York State Attorney General James to investigate mysterious robocalls that libel honest Mount Vernon citizens and cast a pall on the open Democratic primary election in the city.
“The unidentified calls contain deeply racist and sexist language that attacks the entire community of Mount Vernon, and calls into question the issue of election law in the city,” said the Mount Vernon Forward coalition in a joint statement.
“We believe elements close to certain Mount Vernon candidates may be responsible for these ads. We call on Attorney General James to investigate, and we ask that our Democratic leadership – specifically Mount Vernon Democratic Chairman Reginald Lafayette and Westchester County Democratic Chairwoman Suzanne Berger – immediately denounce these disgusting Republican-style attacks.”
None of the calls reference a legal constituted political committee under New York State law.
“We are running an open and above board campaign for public office,” said the Mount Vernon Forward team in a statement. “We formally request that our opponents in the City Council race condemn these tactics – Janice Duarte, Andre Wallace, Delia Farquharson, Lauren Carter, and Nicole Lucio must stand against base racism and vicious misogyny and join with us in asking Attorney General James to step in.”
The MV Forward slate noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security are already investigating similar “intrusive” robocalls in Michigan. Those calls are also being investigated in New York State by Attorney General James, who said she had already sent subpoenas to investigate the source of the intrusion, according to the Washington Post.
“We can never forget that illegal robocalls sent the mob to the U.S. Capitol,” said the Mount Vernon Forward coalition in a statement. “Now we’re seeing the same disgraceful tactics in Mount Vernon. Dark money groups used robocalls to attack American democracy. Now they’re using racism and misogyny in Mount Vernon. This must stop.”
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June 10, 2021
Dear Attorney General James:
My name is Danielle Browne, and I’m an attorney based in Mount Vernon and a candidate for Mount Vernon City Council. I am writing to ask your office to investigate a series of mysterious and deeply offensive robocalls to Mount Vernon residents during this election season.
These calls do not claim the “paid for by” sponsorship of any known political committee registered with New York State.
They contain offensive and sexist attacks on me, and on other candidates in Mount Vernon. They are filled with lies, innuendo, and libel – all without the accountability required by law.
I note that you recently filed a request to intervene in a Federal proceeding against two notorious conspiracy theorists over their efforts to suppress Black voters. This is happening in Mount Vernon as well; it is nothing short of a concerted effort to suppress voting in a majority Black city just as a major primary election will decide our city’s future.
My team has collected recordings of these calls and we are happy to furnish your investigators with copies, and to be interviewed about the circumstances surrounding this disinformation campaign.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.
Founder & CEO, The Browne Firm PLLC
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SOURCE: Tom Watson, Partner, Post Partners LLC