Martha Robertson, the Emily’s List-backed Democratic candidate in NY-23, a swing district that includes Ithaca, sent out a fundraising solicitation on September 30 claiming that her webmaster had “caught” “GOP ops” trying to take down her website.

Legal Insurrection broke that story, which since then has been picked up by local media and The NY Daily News.  Yet the Robertson campaign went silent when questioned by media as to proof of the accusation.

If the Robertson campaign did not have a basis for the accusation in the fundraising email, that would raise serious questions as to whether the Robertson campaign tried to mislead potential donors.

It appears that Robertson is walking back the accusation, although her campaign still has not come forward with a full explanation.

Robertson was quoted in The Ithaca Journal early this morning stating that her webmaster had noticed something suspicious, but not repeating the hacking accusation:

Both campaigns are trading charges over a website problem Robertson experienced on Sept. 30. Reed’s campaign accused Robertson of possible mail fraud for sending out an email accusing “GOP ops” of trying to shut down the site.

“Our web manager noticed some very, very unusual activity,” Roberston said, explaining that the email was meant to help potential donors by providing “a phone number to call in case they had any questions or problems.”

Ithaca Journal Robertson Quote re Website

Rather curiously, that quoted language was removed mid-morning from The Ithaca Journal article, but fortunately I saved the screenshot. It appears that the language also was removed from other Gannett websites in the area, including The Elmira Star-Gazette. (I have an email to the IJ inquiring about the deletion).

The Robertson campaign still has not returned my calls and emails seeking an explanation for why her campaign made a fundraising accusation of GOP hacking, and whether it has proof to back up the claim.

We will keep on this issue until the Robertson campaign either comes forward with the proof, or explains why it made the accusation without proof.

Update: The Ithaca Journal responded as to the deletion of the text: “Just a technical glitch. I was told it would be fixed online.”