At public forum, NY-23 candidate refuses to answer if aware at time of fundraising email that GOP operatives “caught” hacking her website
Martha Robertson, the Emily’s List-backed and “Red to Blue” designated Democratic challenger in my home district of NY-23, also has been endorsed by J Street.
Robertson spoke about many political issues involved in the campaign. She barely touched on the Middle East, although she did say she has strong ties and positive feelings toward Israel and supports a two-state solution.
For several months I have been unable to get answers from Robertson’s campaign regarding her fundraising email in which she solicited donations based on the claim that GOP operatives were “caught” trying to take down her website during a key fundraising period. The Robertson campaign has not responded to my emails or calls for months.
But based upon what the Robertson campaign has told other media outlets, it’s clear that she has no proof whatsoever that GOP operatives tried to take down her website, much less were “caught” doing so. For whatever her reason, Robertson simply will not admit that the fundraising pitch was inaccurate and without basis.
Instead, the Robertson campaign has constructed an explanation that there were at least nine SQL injection attacks. Such attacks, however, are completely common, would be unlikely to result in taking down her website, and there is no proof that GOP operatives were behind them. The Robertson campaign has not responded to our request for server logs to confirm that there even were these SQL injection attacks.
The Robertson campaign and Robertson herself never have answered the questions of whether Robertson authorized the email at the time, and if so, why she did so without proof.
Since the Robertson campaign has gone silent on me, I used Robertson’s appearance at this public forum to ask her those questions. Not that it matters, because this was a public forum open to the entire Cornell community, but I waited until several students had asked their questions and no other hands were raised out of deference to students who wanted to ask questions.
After I asked my questions, Robertson repeated the “SQL injection” non-explanation, then launched into a filibuster on a different issue, the GOP creation of fake candidate websites.
When I tried to follow up, both Robertson, her campaign manager Jordanna Zeigler, and J Street students shut my questioning down.
I then was told by a J Street representative that Robertson’s campaign manager would be willing to speak with me in the hallway.
There was no way, given the Robertson campaign’s apparently false accusations in the fundraising email, that I was going to talk to the campaign manager in the hallway unless it was recorded. But when I asked for a recorded statement, she refused (see end of video) and walked away.
This is a dumb campaign strategy.
All we seek is direct and relevant answers. It’s an important issue in the district, as demonstrated by the strong local television media interest in the story.
Here is the exchange, in full:DONATE
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