ITHACA, N.Y. — Congressman Tom Reed and his Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano have spent the early part of this week trading barbs over social media posts regarding law enforcement as the general election draws near.
Congressman Reed held a press conference in Corning on Monday to denounce the biography section, hashtags and tweets penned by Callie Wine, who Reed says is a senior strategist for the Mitrano campaign. Wine is a strategist for Mandate Media, not the Mitrano campaign.
“When Tracy Mitrano’s senior political strategist Callie Wine puts this in her introductory commentary as to who she is as a political strategist ‘radicalizing your mom into joining Antifa’ is a very dangerous call to action,” he said on Monday. Antifa is an abbreviation for Anti-fascist.
Watch Congressman Reed’s full remarks below:
Reed used the posts by Wine to tie back to a Mitrano staffer that made vulgar posts during Mitrano’s 2018 campaign. That staffer later resigned under threat of termination, according to the Mitrano campaign.
Reed has worked throughout this campaign to try and tie Mitrano to a national movement seeking greater equity in policing, saying that, because she is also running on the Working Families Party line — which does include defunding the police as a part of its platform, that Mitrano supports defunding the police, a charge Mitrano denies.
The Mitrano campaign issued a press release Monday afternoon calling Reed’s claims outright lies, denying that Wine worked for the campaign directly but rather for a contractor for the campaign, Mandate Media. Federal Elections Commission filings from the Mitrano campaign show that Mandate has been paid more than $50,000 to consult the campaign since September of 2019. No expenditures have been made to Callie Wine directly.
“There were some social networking posts that one of the (Mandate Media) employees made that are inappropriate. There was the resurrection of the very unfortunate incident of a field organizer who had some very inappropriate social networking posts, and what I said to my manager was, ‘She has 30 seconds to resign or she’s fired,’” said Mitrano. “I have taken action. I have a record of actually doing something in alignment with my values.”
Wine, who handled bulk emailing for the campaign on behalf of Mandate Media, has been removed from working on their account at the request, according to a release from the Mitrano Campaign.
Mitrano also tagged Reed for repeatedly framing her as anti-law enforcement. Her campaign says it sent a Cease and Desist on Oct. 8 regarding an ad the campaign ran claiming she supports defunding police.
“I support law enforcement. I support funding law enforcement. My entire family is dedicated to the military and law enforcement work,” said Mitrano. “What Tom Reed is trying to do is turn it into a zero-sum game where either you support the police, in which case you are against fairness, justice and peace, or you support fairness, justice and peace, which puts you against law enforcement. That’s a false choice, and it is not going to help this country heal.”
Early voting for November’s general election begins this Saturday, with polls open at Town of Ithaca Town Hall at 215 Tioga St. and Crash Fire Rescue at 72 Brown Road, near the airport. Complete hours for all nine days of early voting can be found here.
Absentee voting is already underway and polls for in-person voting will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 3.