Democratic Senate candidate Justin Wagner is accusing Sen. Greg Ball of internet impersonation, saying Ball or his campaign is sending out emails through a Gmail account purported to be Wagner.
Wagner’s campaign manager, Steve Napier, filed a complaint with Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore that says Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, has violated state law. They are running against each other in November for the Hudson Valley seat.
The evidence, Napier said, is that the email account firstname.lastname@example.org was sending out messages that links back to wackywagner.com — which Ball registered as a website to knock Wagner. It currently is playing an ominous video with a techno beat.
“Greg Ball has broken the law – sending out an email this morning to constituents from a fake email address and purporting it was from his opponent,” Napier said in a statement. “In addition to criminal impersonation, it also appears Senator Ball misappropriated email information from constituents gathered in his role as a State Senator for this political hack job. The proof is clear as day: Senator Ball himself registered and is the owner of this attack website.
Ball, who set up an attack website against Assemblyman Steve Katz, who had considered a primary run against Ball, responded that Wagner, a lawyer, should be the one being investigated.
“Tomorrow the Ball Campaign will be calling for an investigation and issue an immediate demand that Wagner fully disclose his firm’s clients, detailing the specifics of his ‘extended leave’ from his firm, which we believe may constitute an illegal campaign contribution,” Ball’s campaign manager Jim Coleman said in a statement. “We will give Wacky Wagner two weeks to disclose these details, before filing an official complaint. At which time, the Ball Campaign will ask for a full investigation by all proper authorities, if Wagner does not fully disclose any and all conflicts, and illegal behavior that must be corrected.”
Here’s Wagner’s letter to DiFiore, who also chairs the state’s ethics committee, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics: