Michigan Democrats accused the state GOP of sending out political flyers that featured the personal cell phone numbers of at least seven Democratic candidates.
The mailers arrived in mailboxes at a time when political candidates are increasingly at risk of violence.
“Doxing candidates by putting their personal cell phone numbers on a political mailer is a new low for the Michigan Republican Party,” House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski, D-Scio Township, said. “At a time when candidates and elected officials are experiencing increased levels of harassment, threats, and violence, this is a dangerous tactic designed to intimidate our candidates and it is simply beyond the pale.”
The candidates whose cell phone numbers appeared on flyers promoted by the Michigan GOP were Jaime Churches, Rob Kull, Reggie Miller, Joey Andrews, Denise Mentzer, Betsy Coffia, and Anthony Feig.
Churches, a teacher and first-time Democratic candidate for state House in District 27, which includes Gibraltar, Wyandotte, Trenton, Riverview, and Grosse Isle, said young women are frequently a target of political harassment and threats.
“This is obviously upsetting and disappointing, but I refuse to be intimidated by tactics like this,” Churches said. “It’s a shame that the Michigan Republican Party is going to these lengths to harass me, but I am not going to let it stop me from staying focused on connecting with voters about the issues that matter to Downriver.”
Feig, who is running for state House in District 92, which covers Mount Pleasant and neighboring communities, was visibly irritated when he talked about the negative ads, which included his personal phone number.
“What kind of person does that?” Feig said in a video posted on Twitter. “It’s true: When people get scared, and they’re afraid they are going to lose something, that’s when what’s inside of them comes out.”
A few of us Dems running for State House are being doxxed. Here is my response to what my opponent, Jerry Neyer, has done: pic.twitter.com/3mw0G5bJ4I— Anthony Feig (@AnthonyFeig) November 1, 2022
In this election cycle, an increasing number of Republican extremists have plotted violence against Michigan Democrats. On Tuesday, a member of the Boogaloo Boys, a far-right anti-government extremist group, was arrested by the FBI after he was accused of plotting attacks on politicians and planning to disrupt the Nov. 8 elections.
Multiple men were convicted this year of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
In February, two Michigan men were accused of threatening Democrats over the presidential election results.
In March, a 21-year-old man was charged with threatening to kill Whitmer, President Joe Biden, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Also in March, an Ohio woman was charged with leaving threatening voicemails for state Reps. Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, and Sarah Anthony, D-Lansing.
In 2021, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, had her Dearborn office vandalized and received a threatening voicemail.
Not long after then-President Donald Trump tweeted “Liberate Michigan,” gun-toting protesters rushed the state Capitol in Lansing in April 2020. So far, 19 Michigan residents have been charged with their role in charging the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Most recently, on Oct. 28, Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi was attacked in San Francisco by a hammer-wilding intruder who asked, “Where’s Nancy?”
The Michigan Republican Party wouldn’t comment for this story. But Michigan GOP spokesman Gustavo Portela expressed no shame in an interview with The Detroit News.
“We are utilizing publicly available information, just as Democrats have against Republicans,” Portela said. “Leave it to Democrats to complain because we’re calling attention to their terrible inflationary policies that make it harder for working Michigander to make ends meet. They won’t be able to distract from their policies much longer because Michiganders are going to send a message loud and clear rejecting their expensive agenda next Tuesday!”
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