Letter: Statement of the Lenox Democrats Regarding Smear Job on Alex Morse
To the Editor:
We, the Lenox Democratic Town Committee, condemn the Massachusetts Democrats and the Massachusetts College Democrats for their deplorable conduct with respect to candidate Alex Morse for Congress. The public may not know that the Massachusetts College Democrats are actually a branch of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and not a separate organization. The Massachusetts Democratic Party is supposed to be neutral regarding Democratic candidates battling it out in primaries. Rather than maintaining this neutrality, the state party allowed the Massachusetts College Democrats to issue a scathing and slanderous rebuke of candidate Alex Morse. Compounding the matter, they allowed it to happen with anonymous sources, vague accusations, and suggestive but false language.
There is a hard-hitting piece by the Intercept titled, "College Democrat chats reveal year-old plan to engineer and leak Alex Morse accusations." According to the Intercept exposé, "Timothy Ennis, the chief strategist for the UMass Amherst College Democrats, admitted in the chats that he was a 'Neal Stan' and said he felt conflicted about involving the chapter of the College Democrats in a future attack on Morse. 'But I need a job,' concluded Ennis. 'Neal will give me an internship.'"
According to another article in the Intercept, titled "Massachusetts State Party Leader Told College Democrats To Destroy Communication Records," "The executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, as the scandal around congressional candidate Alex Morse began to implode, told student leaders to delete records of communications between themselves and the state party, according to five sources with knowledge of the matter. The executive director, Veronica Martinez, had personally coordinated with College Democrats ahead of the release of allegations of sexual impropriety against the Holyoke mayor." Martinez, who according to the Intercept "had personally coordinated with College Democrats ahead of the release of allegations of sexual impropriety against the Holyoke mayor," and "who told student leaders to delete records of communications between themselves and the state party, according to five sources with knowledge of the matter," should also be investigated.
The Lenox Democratic Town Committee calls for an immediate investigation as to whether state Democratic Party leaders had a role in smearing Morse. We support the more than 50 Democrats of the State Committee (and the number keeps growing) calling for an independent investigation of state party head Gus Bickford, Jim Roosevelt (an attorney who may have helped draft the letter designed to sink the Morse candidacy). We also want an investigation of Timothy Ennis and any other Massachusetts College Democrats that were involved in this. Richard Neal and any connections he had with those ambitious students that conducted the smear campaign ought to be investigated as well. A member of the Morse team ought to be able to both observe and/or participate in the investigation to assure that it is fair.
Finally, we condemn the numerous news pieces against Morse. Anonymous complaints should not make it into press releases and newspapers. According to the Society of Professional Journalists, one should verify information before releasing it, using original sources whenever possible. That would mean interviewing the accuser directly.
Rinaldo Del Gallo III signing in his capacity as Secretary of the Lenox Democratic Town Committee for the Committee.
Rinaldo Del Gallo