And in the latest issue of “What’s going on?,” LB Patch has got a shocking – and awful – story up about what appears to be a campaign of “harrasment and vandalism” around City Council Candidate Scott Mandel’s run for office.
Mandel reported that after a Latino Civic Association awards dinner on September 22nd, he found that his driver’s side mirror was covered in feces, and a pair of men’s underwear was also hanging off the mirror.
That evening after he went to sleep, he was woken by a doorbell ring at midnight. No one was there, but he found feces on his car windshield, smeared on his front door, and more on his driveway.
Then on September 26, he found more feces on his property. Four days, two disgusting attacks. Classy
And of course, there’s more: Darlene Tangney – who is running for County Legislature – found her daughter’s car in front of her house with all its tires all slashed, and as I reported previously, the window of the Long Beach Dem’s Park Ave office was smashed.
All of the above events have had police reports filed to support the claims. Specifically on Mandel’s, two are with the LBPD, and one is with Nassau County’s 4th precinct.
So, what’s going on? Mandel has taken the high road and not accused anyone, but certainly has noticed a strange difference between a lack of feces-covered property before he decided to run, and now after his announced run the increase in feces-covered property.
As he says, “I’ve lived in Long Beach for close to a decade and I never had a problem… After I announced I was running in the election and I started campaigning, in less than a week [I’ve been a target] of three different incidents of harassment and vandalism.”
Instead of finger-pointing or childish pranks, Mandel did the right thing – went to the police, and the Nassau County DA, Kathleen Rice.
I can’t even begin to fathom what’s going on here. Would people in this City really be this petty, this childish, this immature, this pathetic to stoop to disgusting pranks because they disagree with someone’s politics? What would these morons hope to achieve by doing this? Scare a grown man out of running for a council position? Really? Are we living in an amazing “City by the Sea” or some podunk town where jackasses threaten those they disagree with?
I for one sure hope these attacks stop, or even better the Long Beach Police Department gets to the bottom of this. But based on their recent track record on arrests (note: there has still not been any arrests or follow-up on the September 19th Boardwalk Beating) I’m not particularly hopeful. Good job though on those Irish Day arrests, I’m sure finding disorderly drunks in the West End was a challenge.
Now, Mandel is a champ and taking these cowardly actions in stride, but Councilman Len Torres sums up what the real problem is, “People are afraid to put political signs up because they are afraid they may be the next ones to be victimized.”
Attacks like these sour the entire political process and dirty everything that makes small-town democracy good. Things stop looking like America very quickly when public support for someone different or a different opinion creates a palpable fear of criminal reprisal. That’s just not the way things should work.
Note: It took all my willpower to not delve into any scatological humor. Political intimidation is really not something to joke about.