Anonymous social media account takes aim at Democratic candidates in Rockland County

New York state law states that any campaign material used to promote or attack a candidate must include the disclosure of who paid for it, whether it is a political party, interest group or even an individual.

Tara Rosenblum and Lee Danuff

Aug 8, 2023, 9:24 PM

Updated 248 days ago

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An anonymous social media account is creating some major political drama in Rockland County, as its posts takes aim at a number of local Democratic elected officials with attacks that some have labeled racist, homophobic and possibly even illegal. 
Its twitter handle is @HVDemocrats, and it says it was created to "elect true-blue candidates."
However, a majority of the posts attack other Democrats.
There is a tweet calling former state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi "unhinged" and "borderline psychotic." Another post shows the face of Mondaire Jones photoshopped onto an image from the movie "Brokeback Mountain," along with anti-gay slurs. There are also tweets accusing state Senate candidate Elijah Reichlin-Melnick of being "on the spectrum" and a bad husband.
Reichlin-Melnick was also the target of a negative attack ad on a bus seen driving around Rockland County. Additionally, there was a phony website set up in his wife’s name that is linked to more attacks and a caption of her calling him a "loser."
Reichlin-Melnick's quest to win his old seat has turned into a crucial battleground that both parties are intensely focused on. The Democrats currently hold 42 out of 63 seats in the Senate chamber, which means they have zero room to spare in their fight to keep hold of their 'supermajority' in Albany.
The 38th District is very much in play, widely expected to split 50/50 in a presidential election cycle.
Reichlin-Melnick says he does not believe it's the Republicans behind these anonymous online attacks. Instead, he and others believe the unnamed tweeter could be a fellow Democrat and aspiring politician. The Turn To Tara team could not confirm that conclusively, so that name is not being released.
Political consultant Brendan Martin thinks campaign tactics like this have no place in local politics.
"I think it's disgusting. It's Democrat-on-Democrat crime, it's not who Rockland is. It's just wrong," he says.
And possibly, even illegal.
New York state law states that any campaign material used to promote or attack a candidate must include the disclosure of who paid for it, whether it is a political party, interest group or even an individual.
In these cases, that didn't happen, so, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski plans to file a complaint with the state Board of Elections asking them to confirm who's behind them. He says voters have the right to know who is trying to influence their elections. 
Sen. Bill Weber's office tells News 12 they were unaware of the tweets.


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