Texas Gov Rich Perry and Dwayne Horner. Oct 2014 via facebook
Dwayne Horner, campaign manager for Leigh-Anne Bellew’s 2013 Bayshore Tea Party backed primary campaign against State Senator Joe Kyrillos, received an early Christmas present earlier this month when he was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) Program.
The 45 year old resident of Little Elm, Texas woke up thousands of Monmouth County voters with a 4 am robo call on June 4, 2013 the morning of the primary election. The call purported to be from the campaign of Kyrillos and his running mates Assembly members Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon, informing Repbulican voters that the still had four hours to vote. The calls were caller ID spoofed to falsely indicate that they came from a phone number owned by the Monmouth County Republican Organization.
Wake voters up with a 4am robocall purporting to be your political opponents and you could go to jail for 3-5 years if legislation proposed by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon becomes law.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon
O’Scanlon and his colleague, Assemblyman Scott Rumana of Wayne, have proposed amending the “Fair Campaign Practices Act,” to provide that no person can direct, order or assist another person to produce, transmit or disseminate any communication that purports to originate from the campaign of a candidate for public office but is actually for the purpose of impeding the campaign of that candidate. Such activity would become a third degree crime which calls for a 3 to 5 year prison term and a fine of up to $15,000.
Steven Lonegan and Bayshore Tea Party Group Founders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordan, 2010. facebook photo.
Bob Gordon, co-founder of the Bayshore Tea Party Group said that the organization had nothing to do with the 4am robocall that woke up LD 13 voters on June 4th and that the group considers the action “reprehensible.”
Gordon said that MMM should know better than to suggest that BTPG was involved in the robocall. He said we should have reached to the group. MMM contacted fellow co-founder of the group, Barbara Gonzalez on June 4th and got no response. Gordan said Gonzalez does not respond to our inquiries because the group does not consider this website credible.
Gordon said that he asked both Leigh-Ann Bellew and her campaign manager Dwayne Horner if they had anything to do with the call. Both Bellew and Horner denied involvement. He said he would ask them again today, following MMM’s report that the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the call.
Gordon said he would cooperate with the Prosecutor’s investigation and that he placed a call to them this morning, prior to calling MMM.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos and Mayor Fred Rast greeting voters in Atlantic Highlands. photo by Art Gallagher
In a get out the vote email to his supporters this afternoon, State Senator Joe Kyrillos said that he and his wife were awakened at 4am this morning by the dirty trick robo call, and that his primary opponents are responsible for the call.
I also want to address the 4 a.m. robo-call many are talking about. Susan and I were awoken by it as well, and I can assure you it’s not how we wanted to start our day either. The fact is it was a dirty trick by our opponents who wanted to make it look like it came from our campaign. The matter is being covered by several news outlets and the incident is being investigated by the prosecutor’s office. It is a shame politics has come to this.
No one from the Bellew for State Senate campaign or the Bayshore Tea Party Group have responded to multiple requests for comment on the robo call.
MMM has obtained a copy the 4am robo call that fraudulently announced it was made on behalf on Joe Kyrillos, Amy Handlin and Declan O’Scanlon and reminding the listener that they had “another four hours to vote.
The call had no paid for disclosure, as calls from the Monmouth GOP, whose number was used on the caller ID, would have.
We called the Bellew for Senate campaign for comment. No one answered. This is a copy of the recorded message that answers the Bellew for State Senate phone. Click here to listen to the Bellew for Senate recorded phone greeting.