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Campaign Attacks Hit Attleboro Mailboxes

Anonymous newsletters about the Attleboro City Council and Mayoral candidates have hit the streets of Attleboro.

Personal attacks toward candidates running for Attleboro City Council have hit the streets of Attleboro in the form of a newsletter/questionaire called The Fruit Fly Express. 

The author of the newsletter attacks the sexuality of Current Ward 2 City Councilor Mark Cooper, Ward 5 City Council Candidate Jeremy Denlea and Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas. The newsletter also takes a stab at City Councilor Kimberly Allard comparing her to Rosie O'Donnell and the Mayor's run for reelection by referring to his campaign with the Simon and Garfunkel song title, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters."

Denlea, who received a copy of the paper newsletter from someone in the community Thursday morning, said the author has the right to Freedom of Speech but the hateful attacks on his and other candidates sexuality shows the author does not have the best interest of the City of Attleboro in mind. 

"I think it shows [the author] is clearly threatened by my candidacy," Denlea said. "If anything, it bodes very well for my candidacy."

"I’m actually encouraged by the fact that its so early on and I’m already being attacked," Denlea added.

Denlea, who is married, said he does not attack the author for being heterosexual and so he should not be attacked for being homosexual. 

The candidate said believes the negative campaign literature is being written by one of his Ward 5 opponents. Candidates Jerry Chase and Howard Levine are running against Denlea in the Sept. 20 preliminary election. 

"He has the right to call me what he wants," he said. "My only plan is to be transparent and give the public information."

A different version of the newsletter attacks City Councilors Brian Kirby, Frank Cook and Mayor Dumas.

Patty Austin August 05, 2011 at 01:07 PM
I'd be interested in hearing Mr. Chase's response to the suggestion that he may be connected to this newsletter.
Jay DiLisio August 05, 2011 at 02:28 PM
As a candidate for City Council at Large, as well as a resident of Attleboro, I am disgusted at this letter. I believe such cruel and personal attacks should not be tolerated. As we turn our attention to the November 8th election, let’s not resort to cheap politics. We need to conduct ourselves with integrity, while keeping the best interests of Attleboro at the forefront of this election.
Ken Parent August 05, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Though I am a candidate, first and foremost I am a proud resident of Attleboro. Today, I am a little less proud. I find this is truly upsetting. I really hope that this is some outside party rather than a candidate for election or reelection. I may disagree with other candidates, but that will be based on their views and job performance, never on sexuality, race, creed, or gender. For those of you who do not know me as of yet, my wife is a minority and therefore my children are as well. I would be hurt if there race was every attacked. I feel this newsletter really does hurt the reputation of our City. We should always embrace diversity. Let’s put the best candidates in office based on who will do the best for our city.
Reason August 05, 2011 at 03:21 PM
Much like the bumper sticker attack a couple months ago whoever is responsible for this should know that it will likely cast more negativity on the candidates you support rather then the ones being attacked. Time would be better spent researching and publishing issues related to the positions the candidates are running for.
charlene levine August 05, 2011 at 03:35 PM
How sad that adults resort to such tactics!! I'm surprised that Mr. Denlea, being a lawyer, would make such accusations without proof. A little too transparent!! Let me say that my husband, Howard Levine, has lived 62 years as part of a minority group and the idea of doing such a disgraceful thing would not cross his mind. I'm sure anyone who knows him, whether you agree with his politics or not, will attest to the kind of person that he is.
Francesca August 05, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Charlene - I get your outrage but with all do respect, I think what Jeremy did in his statement was smart. He did not name who he thought it was but narrowed it down to two. Naturally, the one who did not write this bogus piece of garbage would be outraged and say they didn't do it just as you did. That just leaves one other person now... Hmmmmm, wonder who that is? I am a minority too and no one should be judged by "what" they are but instead "who" you are. PS - watch out for the candidates with the "Ch" in their names. First or Last. They have more in common than just those two letters... Oh, and this doesn't include school committee. Nuff said!
Laura Dolan August 05, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Aren't we all a minority in one way or another? I agree with Reason that it would more likely shine a bad light on the party that they are supporting, which is a real shame if they had nothing to do with this letter. There is no reason for this to be so mean spirited, people are suppose to be running for the love and concern for their city and NOT their disdain for their opponent! I think it just makes us all look bad.
Shannon Johnson August 05, 2011 at 04:25 PM
I feel a little sad for the person who drafted this, ahem 'newsletter'. Sure, they may be exercising their first amendment rights with this thinly veiled and mean-spirited satire. Who am I to begrudge *anyone* their rights? Even if they are too ignorant to realize just how sophomoric and dullard their speech, or such a coward they remain anonymous.
Christopher McKinley August 05, 2011 at 05:40 PM
According to Zillow.com, I pay more property tax than 98% of Attleboro residents which fuels our city budget, with a majority going to schools -- heterosexuals' children for the most part benefit. I recieve fewer rights and tax deductions than my heterosexual married counter parts. I would like to think I am a valued neighbor and citizen of attleboro with a generous heart and wallet to those less fortunate. I am absolutely ashamed to be a part of the Attleboro community, and feel violated and in harms way seeing KKK like tactics such as this "newsletter". The author(s) need be be revealed and I personally would like to offer a $1,000 reward for the name of the primary author of this newsletter so that the source and address can be made public and vulnerable as they have done to the civil servants and their families mentioned in this publication.
Laura Dolan August 05, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Christopher, It makes me sad to hear you say you are ashamed to be part of this community. You ARE a valued neighbor and citizen. I believe in Karma. You get what you give. One way or another the Author(s) will regret their decision to do this. As for you, you will get what you give, if you have a generous heart, those who matter will always know and love you for it.
John McFeeley August 05, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Thank you, Chris
Hope Attleboro August 10, 2011 at 01:19 PM
Rick - your last sentence was absolutely perfectly said! As some may say lets "fahgettaboutit" and move on to more pressing City issues?
Joe Lazzerini August 12, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Mayor Kevin Dumas, and City Councilor Mark Cooper should be commended for there service to our City. Kevin has led this city out of a financial mess into an economically stable environment. He always puts the people first. Mark, a new member of the Council but not new to our city has been serving as a member of the planning board for sometime and now a City Councilor he is actively representing our interests and needs. I'm proud of both of them. There sexuality should not becoming up in this election and I'm ashamed of who ever wrote this piece. I don't know Mr. Levine personally I've only met him a couple of times; but, I don't think this is something he would do.

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