Vandalism and smears reached a new level last week, for some candidates, as they ready for the Sept. 12 Primary.
Liam McCabe, Republican candidate for the 43rd City Council district covering Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and Bensonhurst, says his campaign has been the target of vandalism and smear tactics that include trespassing, discarding lawn signs of residents and destroying posters of businesses that openly support the candidate.
Jerry Kane, a Bay Ridge resident who requested and was issued a lawn sign from McCabe’s campaign office claimed a passerby took the sign down and discarded it in the street.
“I am in a high foot traffic area, many people are walking from the 95th St. train station, to and from the Express Bus, said Kane. “Someone came and ripped it down on their way from the train and threw it into the street. It was definitely done on purpose.”
Kane is not the only McCabe supporter to feel the brunt of campaign shenanigans. A campaign representative said several business owners have had their campaign signage ripped down. Hookah Nuts at 7214 5th Ave. has requested replacement posters claiming theirs were torn down.
In addition to sign sabotaging, McCabe was the subject of a satirical article that claimed attendees present at the opening of his campaign headquarters were hospitalized because of a dessert that was served.
“Thousands of constituents acquire second-hand food poisoning from Liam McCabe,” read the satire.
However, no illnesses were reported during or after the event that was attended by several news publications and nearly 30 supporters, including Congress member Dan Donovan (R-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island) of the 11th Congressional District.
“The mean-spirited authors of this article will say it is satire, they will dismiss it as a joke,” said McCabe. “But it speaks to a very real desire to take me down and to hurt my campaign and those affiliated with my campaign.”
McCabe said he found the cupcake attacks particularly upsetting because the article targeted a local baker who made the deserts. “[They were made] out of the kindness of her heart and to show support and excitement about my campaign for City Council,” said McCabe.
“These are targeted and purposeful attacks,” says McCabe. “There is a feeling that I am not the establishment candidate, I am not the guy who is supposed to be leading the way I am, so there is a fear about the momentum my campaign is creating and that fear is turning into targeted attacks that seek to undermine our success.”
McCabe is running against Bob Capano, Lucretia Regina-Potter and John Quaglione in the Republican primary. The winner will oppose a Democrat in the Nov. 7 general election.