Houghtaling and Downey complain that DiMaso hurt their reputation

Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey

The phones were ringing off the hook at Assembly members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey’s Ocean Township office after Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso’s July 5th robocall informing 11th legislative district voters of Houghtaling and Downey’s support for Governor Murphy’s massive tax increases and his cuts to school funding for local school districts.

DiMaso’s July 5 robocall:

DiMaso’s call worked better than most robocalls, evidently. The 11th district legislators claim that DiMaso’s call caused them “reputational harm” in complaints they filed with the FCC, the State Attorney General and the NJ Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards, according to a report at NewJerseyGlobe.

Houghtaling and Downey claim that DiMaso “spoofed” their district office phone number.  In their letters to the FCC, the State Division of Law and the Ethics Committee, which are published in the NewJerseyGlobe article, the reputationally damaged legislators claim they have a photo of a constituent’s caller ID to prove the claim.  The photo was not provided to NJGlobe.

NJGlobe erroneously compared DiMaso’s call to the 4 am robo call in the 2013 13th legislative district Republican primary when Dwayne Horner, the campaign manager for the Tea Party challengers to then Senator Joe Kyrillos, Declan O’Scanlon and Amy Hanlon purported to be calling from the Kyrillos campaign at 4 am and encourage people to get out and vote.

Dwayne Horner’s 4 am dirty trick call on June 4, 2013:

Horner’s call was clearly a “spoof.”  Unlike DiMaso’s call where she clearly identified herself, Horner claimed to be calling on behalf of his opponents’ campaign when he woke voters up at 4 am.

Horner was indicted for identity theft and entered into the PTI program. 

DiMaso’s infraction, if there was one, does not rise to that level.

In their letter to the FCC, Houghtaling and Downey claim “upon information and belief” that DiMaso made her call from her legislative office.  DiMaso told MMM that she recorded the call from her home.

Despite the Monmouth County Democrats ridiculous claim that that Houghtaling and Downey’s allegations are “serious,” it is very unlikely that there will be legal ramifications for DiMaso who clearly identified herself in her call, stated that the call was paid for the by ironically named Assembly Republican Victory Caucus and recited the phone number for Monmouth Republican Headquarters as the originating number.

If anyone takes a legal hit for the call, and that’s a big if, it will likely be the robocall consultant who programmed the call.

As Houghtaling and Downey said themselves, DiMaso’s call hurt their reputations.  They raised 11th district voters taxes and cut funding to many of the district’s schools.

The takeaway is that DiMaso’s call worked.  She should do them more often.

Posted: July 17th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

5 Comments on “Houghtaling and Downey complain that DiMaso hurt their reputation”

  1. Houghtaling & Downey hurt their own reputation said at 10:31 am on July 17th, 2018:

    They should be ashamed of what they did to taxpayers in their legislative district and should be thrown out of office next year. Let the investigation commences and I’ll bet they will have egg on their face as well they should.

    However, by pushing this investigation; it gives the topic of the robo call more legs; that being Houghtaling & Downey don’t give a crap about the schools in their own district. If they were wise, they would shut up about it, but no one ever said they were intelligent.

  2. They are there said at 4:45 pm on July 17th, 2018:

    for the foreseeable future. Get used to it- Gopal’s millions added to that already- turning district, last year. A small but unlikely shot at ever getting 11 back, would be the next re- districting, which we usually get whacked in. So, while efforts to change voters’ minds are laudable, appears the incompetence continues..

  3. Proud Republican said at 8:11 pm on July 17th, 2018:

    Wait a minute, let me get this straight – it’s a problem telling voters how an elected legislator votes? Or that these two legislators support the Governor from their own party? If they get upset by that, wait till things really fall apart on them

  4. bobby walsh said at 11:20 am on July 18th, 2018:

    In Howell we now have Assemblywoman Downey’s sister running for council as a democrat.I am sure she will say she is against higher taxes but with her sister and mayor Berger supporting Murphy’s egregious tax increases how can she go against her boss and sister?She works for the mayor as her personal aide. I am very concerned about the tax and spend mentality coming from the liberal D’s in Trenton and pray it does not come down rte. 195 from to Howell.

  5. Bob English said at 7:34 am on July 24th, 2018:

    Issues always a fair game however since Horner got off with virtually no punishment, I would not hold my breath over whomever was involved with programming this call receiving any kind of consequence