Sunday, October 27, 2019

Giuliano Campaign's False Attacks Under Scrutiny

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Ben Florsheim denounced the Giuliano campaign's repeated false attacks on the treasurer of his campaign, Diana Martinez. The misinformation campaign was started by Joe D'Ambrose, whose company has been paid over $10,000 by the Giuliano campaign, in part for public relations. D'Ambrose attacked Martinez for having been convicted of a misdemeanor, not aware that it was a different Diana Martinez.

The attacks were repeated almost 2 weeks later, when on Thursday the self-described "district 1 captain for Seb Giuliano for Mayor campaign", Bill Perkins, claimed "Ben's campaign treasurer is a meanace (sic) and a criminal."

Florsheim tied these repeated attacks to other local campaigns, in which Selectwoman Cathy Osten of Sprague and Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain were attacked by their opponents, “Three days ago, after online death threats were posted about a Democratic first selectwoman and sexist comments were posted about a Republican mayor, political leaders from both sides of the aisle were forced to condemn the uptick in hateful online rhetoric that has come to characterize this election season,”

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Florsheim also connected the attacks on Martinez to national events, “[with] disinformation spread by political campaigns ... in both local and national news, one would think that a candidate running on ‘Proven. Effective. Leadership.’ would be especially mindful of the type of rhetoric his campaign is engaging in."

Both D'Ambrose and Perkins are associated with the Giuliano campaign.

“Instead, in the midst of all this, Seb’s [paid] consultants and ‘district captains’-- individuals who proclaim proudly and publicly that they are working for Seb’s campaign-- are continuing to spread false, absurd, and defamatory claims about their neighbors and would-be constituents on Facebook."

The Giuliano campaign has not responded to a voicemail left early Saturday afternoon.

The Middletown Democratic Town Committee condemned these continued attacks by representatives of Councilman Seb Giuliano’s campaign for mayor.

“This kind of baseless attack is exactly what we see on a national level and exactly what we don’t want in Middletown,” said Vice Chairperson for the Democratic Town Committee and Florsheim Campaign Manager Bobbye Knoll Peterson.

Chairperson Rob Blanchard echoed Peterson’s frustration over the sort of campaigning that has become more prevalent this cycle, “Statewide we are seeing continued attacks on women by Republican candidates and their surrogates ... a page right out of the Trump playbook."

Blanchard said that city residents do not what want these kinds of attacks in our city, "Our democracy functions best when we display honesty, respect and dignity towards all citizens ... I am confident that voters in Middletown agree and will not stand for this.”
Disclosure: the author is a member of the Democratic Town Committee and a supporter of Ben Florsheim for Mayor.

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